VR was initially solely associated with the gaming and entertainment industry. Today, it has been applied to various sectors and has the potential to transform how people interact with one another, businesses and organisations, and their surroundings.
Virtual reality applications have now been developed across a range of sectors and organisations, spanning from architecture and engineering to education, psychology and activism. And over the next few decades, we are sure to see this rise exponentially.
Here are five innovative uses of VR today.
Project Nourished have created what they call "gastronomical virtual reality experiences", which aim to provide customers with the experience of eating foods without actually eating them.
Customers would be seated at their table and through their VR headset, would see a sushi roll. Aromatic diffusers activate when the food is picked up, releasing the scent of sushi. And when it is placed in the customer's mouth, they taste sushi.
But the sushi is actually made from agar-agar, a low-calorie, vegan alternative to gelatine, made from seaweed.
Jinsoo An, the founder of Project Nourished, imagines the technology could help with a number of issues, including feeding people more sustainably, weight loss, and control of overeating via substitution and simulation.
The VR healthcare market grew from $525 million in 2012 to $976 million in 2017, and is set to reach $5.1 billion by 2025.
VRHealth has partnered with Oculus Go to provide VR technology to the healthcare industry, offering a solution to a range of challenges, including mental health, pain management, and rehabilitation.
VR headsets for healthcare are currently in use across the United States and are being used to treat cancer patients during chemotherapy to alleviate anxiety and pain management for birthing mothers. It is also widely in use in rehabilitation facilities, as researchers have found that people are more likely to remain in a rehabilitation program if they have access to VR.
3. Space Research
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have created a Virtual Reality Laboratory (VRL) which is used as a training facility for astronauts prior to their departures.
The facility provides real time graphics and motion simulators with tendon-driven robotic devices that provide the sensation of mass and inertia of any large objects being handled. The main objective is to assist crew members in being highly self-sufficient, particularly when working in deep space, where assistance may not be available.
4. Risk-Free Extreme Sports
Thrill-seekers can now opt for a risk-free, virtual alternative to extreme sports, thanks to ParadropVR, a simulated paragliding experience which was installed in the spring of 2018 in Denmark's Universe Science Park.
Riders are suspended in a harness and experience up and down motion, as well as sudden drops and smooth descents that create a realistic feeling of paragliding.
VR-based assessments are reshaping the traditional recruitment processes, with companies such as Lloyds Banking Group incorporating VR into their assessment centers.
Candidates are required to wear VR goggles and partake in immersive computer-generated scenarios which could never be explored in traditional interview processes, providing employers with an insight into how candidates would perform in real life scenarios while giving the candidate an opportunity to experience their potential future working conditions and day-to-day activities.
Join us at Women of Silicon Valley on 4-5 May to learn more about uses of virtual reality, as well as other technology trends and market dynamics such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and cloud migration.