VR – the beacon of the future
Attempt to visualize this scene: you’re strolling down the Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet. There are dozens of people and cameramen pointing there cameras at you and are making an effort to capture your picture.
You’re speaking about the weather to your favourite actor, and behind you, there are a sea of fans striving to obtain your signature.
However, this isn’t a conventional festival. You are not required to be well-dressed and can even sit on your sofa over the course of the entire event. Sounds odd, correct?
But there is nothing odd about this scenario if we’re speaking about virtual reality. By merely just putting on VR glasses, you can become the recipient of a prestige award, dive down to the trenches of the deepest ocean, observe exotic marine wildlife and perhaps, maybe even walk on another planet? It looks to be some kind of science-fiction fantasy, however VR technologies are poised to translate these dreams into reality.
What exactly is Virtual Reality and how can it be harnessed in your everyday life?
Let’s check out real-world scenarios and instances.
Back To the Basics
VR is going mainstream, and is experiencing widespread consumer adoption in the world of advanced technologies. We usually hear the term “Virtual Reality” but are you aware what it means in actuality? We bet that when you hear these terminologies you immediately visualize photorealistic scenes in games or movies. But what underlies the technology?
Virtual reality leverages VR equipment, typically in the form of a headset, on top of physical spaces or “holographic” environments to develop authentic-looking imagery, sounds and other sensations that make an individual feel as though they’re in a digital environment. Virtual reality is usually mistook for augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality (MR). However we’ll learn why these terminologies are differing a tad bit later.
It’s difficult to believe, but the first-known account of virtual reality was way back in the 1800s. So you can immediately understand that the history of its development is very long. Instead of focusing on long, protracted stories, let just look at the summarization of the primary turning points: In 1838, a research experiment by Charles Wheatstone demonstrated that the environment we observe all around us is in reality only a combo of two-dimensional images we decode from both our eyes. Our brain subsequently processes this imagery into one large image. In the past, people could mimic VR technology by looking at dual stereoscopic imagery, which were located side-by-side inside a stereoscope headset. This enabled the user to immerse themselves into the world put forth to them, which made them feel as they were physically there. Later-on, the well-known View-Master stereoscope was developed and leveraged so that people could go on “virtual tours.”
Morton Heilig, a cinematographer, discovered the Sensorama in the 1950s. This device was a theatre cabinet which appeared like any other essential arcade game. The variation was that it could stimulate all of your senses, rather than merely stimulating sight and sound. This was a revolutionary breakthrough, as it had never been performed prior.
VR technology went on to experience evolution, as we can observe with the creation of the preliminary VR headset prototypes in the 1960s. These were: the Headsight, the Telesphere Mask and the Sword of Damocles.
The terminology “Virtual Reality” was something nobody was aware of till 1987 when it was initially leveraged by Jaron Lanier, who, at the time, was the head of VPL, a visual programming lab.
31 years ago, in 1990, Nintendo and SEGA put out the first-ever gaming console which touted VR glasses, however they didn’t manage to penetrate the market in sales terms as the console winded up being too costly for the average gamer of the time.
And lastly, in 1991, VR devices became accessible for almost everybody who wished to find out all about the futuristic sphere of virtual reality.
AR/MR/VR: The Differences demystified
You just read about a tad bit of the history. We’re far past the “dark era” of virtual reality, the time when VR glasses and other head mounted displays were really clunky and big. You know the ones we’re talking about, they would be quite uncomfortable and odd to play your Steam library with. But as we specified prior, there are two other “realities” which are often mistaken and used interchangeably with virtual reality in the traditional sense. We mean augmented reality and mixed reality. AR, VR, MR, at times it’s too simple to get confused with all of these short forms. But in reality, there is nothing tough about it. Let’s set things straight:
- To experience the enthralling world of virtual reality you require to have a particular headset which produces realistic-like sounds, imagery and other sensations. The beauty of VR gadgets is that they develop an imaginary environment for you, which provides no space for your current, daily reality.
- Let’s face it: Who hasn’t played Pokemon Go when it received all of that hype previous summer? It was precisely what we perceive as augmented reality. AR is a variant of fantastic “addition” to your current reality. Mobiles and tablets are leveraged the most with regards to AR technology (however, custom headsets can additionally be leveraged). With the assistance of your device’s camera, particular apps add electronic elements to your environment. So don’t be shocked to witness a funny digital creature running along the street.
Not only games: Real-life use cases of VR
Just so you are aware, VR tech has become a favoured tool not just amongst tech geeks and passionate gamers. Yes, with no doubt it’s really widespread in these spheres. But, there is a typical misconception that virtual reality can just be leveraged in these industries.
With the drastic evolution of technologies, it’s no longer a secret that VR can influence every domain of business. So we made the decision to check out the most unexpected and intriguing domains that leverage VR technology.
To begin, let’s speak about how virtual reality can make life simpler for software developers. We don’t wish to drone on about the benefits of Virtual Reality, so we have some real-world instances that will demonstrate to you all the things you are required to be aware of.
Not a lot of people are aware that the Department of Computer Science in North Carolina State University even exists, and lesser still are aware that it was behind a virtual reality prototype that can rescue a software engineer.
RiftSketch is a web-based coding environment you can leverage while donning the Oculus Rift which assists developers focus on their work particularly.
RiftSketch contains a text editor in the digital world, which props up in front of developers and enables them to make alterations that are instantly updated.
It is particularly beneficial as it can identify bugs very swiftly and rectify them as well.
Several make the argument that being inside the digital world, surrounded just by code, makes a ton more sense than being seated at your computer, attempting to come up with ideas on how to alter your code.
Your coding impacts the scene and completes the VR world – we don’t believe anybody would dare to imply it isn’t an engaging experience.
Another striking instance is with regards to a finance organization. This provides proof that some geniuses can develop something really special and unique.
You might’ve heard about Intuit. It’s a fintech organization, which went viral upon including virtual reality into their recruitment framework and systems.
The question then becomes, how did they act to make this a reality?
Intuit’s creative team of similar-minded professionals, with the assistance of the University of Washington, developed a digital experience for their organization’s visitors. The most impressive aspect of this is the fact that they produced it in a question of days. Ten days to be precise.
It became a very fascinating way to entice the attention of future candidates. Students were elated to have an opportunity to take a sneak peak into the organization’s workflow. All they are required to do is put on some virtual reality eyeglasses and enjoy the organizational culture.
This innovation compelled not just prospective staff members but also the current ones, as it improved their engagement and made the hiring procedure more fun.
Taking not just software developers and the recruitment procedure into consideration, we’ve prepped a compilation of other domains that are reaping the advantages of VR technology, on an ongoing and active basis. Let’s keep this simple and look at some other fascinating use cases for virtual reality technology.
This might be tough to believe, but you can imagine that presently, healthcare practitioners can treat their patients with the assistance of virtual reality. From treatment of phobias to assisting patients to get back up on their feet, this virtual tech opens up the avenues for healthcare practitioners and doctors, enabling them to enjoy a ton more opportunities.
- Spinal cord injuries: After several research experiments, researchers and scientists learned that an exoskeleton combined with an Oculus Rift and other gear can assist persons with spinal-cord conditions practice walking.
- Phobias: By bringing together cognitive behavioural therapy strategies and virtual reality, healthcare practitioners identified a way to develop an authentic imaginary world, that they are capable of controlling so that patients can encounter their fears in a safe space.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: As PTSD consists of traumatic memories, stressful life events and flashbacks, the VR glasses enables to patient to revisit the event they are impacted by in order to get past them.
- Autism: A lot like the treatment of phobias, children impacted by the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) are put into the simulated environments to break down social barriers and prep them for real-world scenarios.
Virtual reality elevated the procedure and process of learning and took teaching to the next level. It assists students access educational content from wherever they are, at their convenience. A brilliant instance is Google Expeditions – a learning utility that takes students on a VR journey right from the comfort of their school classrooms. It is simple to explore historical sites and swim with the sharks – the possibilities are limitless.
Even students preparing to be surgeons have gotten acquainted to the habit of leveraging VR technologies in their studies and research. These headsets enable them to watch surgeries on a live basis and actually observe what professional surgeons perform while attempting to save patient’s lives.
Being one of the preliminary industries that began leveraging virtual reality tech, marketing organizations continue to undertake implementation of a ton of crazy ideas with the assistance of VR headsets.
A brilliant instance of leveraging virtual reality in marketing – Volvo Reality: XC90 Virtual Reality Test drive.
Volvo Reality – is a widespread VR app that immerses you in a hilly landscape, where you can enjoy test driving their yet unreleased cars and other vehicles. What is also fascinating and worth specifying is that you can experience anything without the requirement for the Google Cardboard Headset. All you require is your smartphone.
You can get to live this virtual life as if it were the reality – by looking in all directions and having the feel of actually being seated within a vehicle.
Their objective was accomplished and several prospective consumers had an opportunity to observe the design and capacities of the yet unreleased vehicle. This application became widespread amongst the people and attained 238 million media impressions.
What is also fascinating, the tourism field has been harnessing virtual reality more and more consistently with the passage of time. They reap the most advantages from VR frameworks as they leverage all of these benefits for their own purposes.
“VRoom Service” is one instance. It’s a service that Marriott Hotels developed for transportation of viewers to their hotels. Leveraging VR glasses, persons can easily “visit” the rooms and go about experiencing virtual travel.
Collaborating with Samsung Electronics America this campaign was the first of its sorts in the travel field. They linked technology and storytelling and desired to illustrate why travelling is so critical. What more, they included 4D opportunities, such as mist and warm air. This thrilling journey assisted them in obtaining a growing interest to their enterprise and compelled other travel organizations to shift in this direction and leverage virtual reality. You can additionally observe how it looked like by checking the tag #GetTeleported
Since the inception of Virtual Reality, armed forces of the military have been one of its primary users. It has been successfully leverage to prep a solider for hazardous scenarios. Safety is a particularly valuable aspect as soldiers do not encounter any actual risks, regardless of the fact that the scenarios are authentic and incite engagement. Typically, 1 in each 20 soldiers hurt themselves while prepping for real-time combat, however, with these VR simulations, this number reduces to a very positive 0.
There are, actually, 2 variants of military training:
- Immersive training sessions that are leveraged for obtaining experience (and for getting past fears), in for instance, skydiving;
- Situational awareness is with regards to placing trainers in the simulated settings, like a jungle, for the first time and observe how they develop their skills and abilities (navigation, teamwork, survival)
There are an array of advantages and applications of Virtual Reality and one of the greatest instances is Striker VR – an organization which is producing peripheral gun prototypes that are effectively leveraged for army training. Soldiers can even feel the gun’s weight and recoil. All this makes a soldier’s experience really authentic.
What’s fascinating, Augmented Reality is playing a more active part in present military strategies. It assists soldiers improve their combat readiness and enhance their cognitive abilities. So, as it happens, “AR” is not just an excellent rifle, it’s also the tech that soldiers leverage in their training.
Another field which has come into the VR era is the domain of design, and to be more particular: interior design. An increasing number of designers attempt to entice a viewer’s focus by leveraging VR technologies. They provide persons an opportunity to see their future houses from all angles and immerse themselves in the visuals.
It was Lowe’s Innovation Lab that went the next step and developed a utility for design and visualization. If you were prior frightened of altering your interior, now you don’t need to be.
Since 2015, Holoroom has been providing individuals the capacity to design their dream homes leveraging the VR application. And currently, you can also leverage virtual reality glasses to get a real-life like experience of that room.
On the basis of Augmented Reality Technologies, Lowe’s Holoroom was featured on the list of CES 2015 Best of Tech by Digital Trends. It fulfils customer requirements and assists with home enhancements.
What’s around the corner?
The future of VR, to discover more about and gain some insight – we are required to look at some stats, specifically estimates by Goldman Sachs. Going by these, VR is set to turn into a $95 billion market, and in not less than 4 years from now, by 2025.
- Live events
- Video entertainment
These industries have already begun harnessing VR technologies in full swing.
In the not too far off future, specific domains with have an increased demand for VR technologies owing to its increasing prevalence and deployments in domains such as:
- The military
- Real estate
This provides an explanation about the massive success of prior specified cases and indicates that major industries have started to comprehend that the avenues provided by VR technologies are virtually limitless and with its evolution and development and extension, they can reap more advantages than ever before.
As VR technology confers upon people the opportunity to perform things they never could prior, the interest in VR life has appreciated exponentially. You can observe this in the image below, which is on the basis of a representative survey of 3,000 individuals in the U.S.A. All those VR headsets, VR chairs, and other gear keep people thrilled for what’s coming in the future.
Once again it is a testament to the fact that this bleeding-edge tech has massive potential and its development options are limitless.
With every passing year, virtual reality is becoming more and more integral to several industries, and the entertainment industry in particular, has lapped the technology up happily. It will become so widespread soon that it might even lose its novelty. We wouldn’t be able to wow people anymore as it goes mainstream.
The immense popularity of Pokemon Go, which was in actuality an AR implementation, is proof that everybody is ready for VR/MR/AR experienes.
Regardless if you are a businessman who is searching for some novel things to include to his marketing techniques or merely a user who wants to make the most of VR systems, this fresh tech can fulfil the requirements of any consumer.
VR provides you with an array of avenues and opportunities that you can leverage in whichever way your heart desires.