Design

10 Unexpected Uses for Virtual Reality

July 19, 2021
4 min. read

Introduction to Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality, also known as VR, is often used in games to take users to places they could never go or imagine. VR has been around for some time, and many people think it's just for gaming, or watching movies. However, VR has improved over the years and has become indispensable in the technology world.

VR is used for many incredible purposes. A good number of companies, scientists, and technology developers use VR to make the quality of life better for many people, make products better, and undertake new scientific research.

VR is valuable in different walks of life, and we would like to point out some of its significant unexpected uses and the reason we created our VANAS VR Diploma program for Canadian and USA students.

Photo by XR Expo

1. Astronaut Training

One of the unexpected uses for Virtual Reality is in Astronomy and to simulate all the environmental effects. At the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Jet Propulsion Lab, some astronauts fasten Oculus headsets matched with motion sensors to regulate a robotic arm. This training replication is used to help space travelers gain sufficient education on how to control automated equipment, which may someday help with future jobs.

2. Stock Exchange

Virtual Reality is helpful in the finance industry. Today, many financial organizations employ VR in their business operations, especially in the Stock exchange. For quite some time, Bloomberg LP has been working on a virtual reality version of a data terminal, which has been reported to have the capability of presenting a ludicrous number of data screens, all at once — interestingly, more than 40. Perhaps you've never heard about Bloomberg. Bloomberg is a globally- recognized frontrunner in business and finance. The company is devoted to using the power of technology to connect the world's decision-makers to accurate information on the financial markets. The company focuses on arts, education, environment, government innovation, and public health.

3. Employee Training

To achieve the best output, employees' training is essential in every organization. This is why an oil company like Frank's International has opted to use immersive VR environments to train their workers, which help to create safe training situations where employees can learn without risk, either to themselves or the company's equipment. In this kind of environment, there is an experience of immersion into VR which is an awareness of being physically present in a non-physical world. This perception is created by surrounding the user of the VR system with images, sound or other stimuli that provide a riveting environment.

4. Fitness and Sports

VR thrives in fitness, and esports and sports companies that are beginning to see attractive prospects and a colorful future with it. One of them is Intel, a top technology company. The company partners with the PGA Tour to present the competition in Virtual Reality. More so, VR is being used to create cheaper seats that will help sports lovers in their virtual stadiums, from the comfort of their couch. Interesting!

5. Manufacturing

VR is now highly noticeable in the manufacturing world. Interestingly today, designers at an automobile company, Ford now construct models on a 3-D canvas. Through this, you can walk around your models, seeing how they'll look in the real world. About two years ago, about 40 to 50 Ford employees were reported to have experimented with the idea of using Gravity Sketch to design future vehicles. This experiment has yielded positive results and today, models are made on an impressive 3-D canvas.

6. Architecture

VR is vital in the world of design just like Matte Painting for the movie industry. But, rather than designing a building from memory, VR lets you experience your designs as you develop them. Top design company, iteVR provides immersive 3D experiences based on models created in standard formats and make them accessible to anyone. More so, VR technology allows architects to design with special hand-held controllers as they walk around inside their creations. This is quite interesting as it's a novel and an innovative way to design living spaces. You can live in them as you create.

7. Health and Therapy

VR is used today in assisting the physically incapacitated. A good example is the Oculus Rift VR headset used to help patients with chronic spinal-cord injuries practice walking.

A study carried out with the unique combination of technology and rehabilitation by researchers at Duke university made patients wear a specially made headset showing a 3D model avatar from a first-person standpoint while walking with the help of a custom-built exoskeleton. It was learnt that after more than 2,000 sessions and almost 2,000 hours, all the patients experienced some level of improved muscle control and sensation. This is good for neuro-rehabilitation therapy which can induce partial recovery of key neurological functions.

8. Military

Today, VR headsets and software are being used to help U.S. soldiers who've suffered from traumatic experiences while in active service. A notable most recent program is Bravemind, a joint effort between the Pentagon and academics that is aiding both Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which is also known as PTSD.

This particular program employs video-game graphics to re-create scenes a particular veteran has gone through, as a form of exposure therapy. In fact, relevant sounds and even smells a veteran may have encountered during active service are also brought into play. A recent Bloomberg article pointed out that Bravemind has reduced stress symptoms in some veterans by up to an impressive 80%.

9. Travel

Today, VR is used in the travel industry. Travel agencies use VR to take customers to places they intend to visit. Agencies are trying out holiday experiences where VR headsets are made available to customers. This will enable them to virtually visit exotic locations or even view their hotel before they book their vacation. More so, they create professional VR videos that correspond with the destinations of customers. This serves as a boon to their business.

10. Journalism

Journalists are already using VR to create more engaging reports because it presents an avenue for a new style of immersive journalism. VR today helps journalists in getting a first-person perspective on stories which help their profession in a great way. It's not a matter of choice, it's a proven fact that VR is coming to a screen near you, even if you're not seeking it out yourself, the news, in general, is going to start making that option more conspicuous. Nowadays, journalists use immersive recorded video and immersive animations which are often employed to fill in details that the cameras might have missed.

A source of fun and lively working environment, VR has come to stay and is rapidly becoming the new solution for problems in many industries and it's important for you to improve your knowledge in VR.

These are some of the reasons why at VANAS we’ve designed our Virtual Reality Diploma Program. We made a unique opportunity available for you. Enroll in our VR course today and help shape the future of Virtual Reality from Canada or the USA.

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