In recent years, the world has witnessed technological development like never before. Reality today was unfathomable 20 years ago, and with the exponential development of technology, our world may be almost unrecognizable from its current state in just five years.
One of the most influential technological advancements to hit the scene has been virtual reality. With limitless possibilities, this cutting-edge technology offers unprecedented opportunities in all sorts of diverse fields. Its applications are manifold, and it is highly likely to dramatically change our lives in almost every aspect.
One of the domains in which the VR disruption is most evident is the education sector. Virtual reality technologies offer educators a way to present information in a highly engaging, immersive way that is simply impossible with conventional methods. Not only do these innovations facilitate the learning process, but they also capture students’ interest, inspiring in them a passion for learning.
Imagine not reading about Ancient Rome in history class but actually exploring it in VR. Picture yourself picking up a new language rapidly by touring the country from the comfort of your VR headset in your own home. Envision yourself training for a new job in a highly realistic yet stress-free virtual environment. These are just a few examples — the possibilities are endless.
Virtual reality would also improve accessibility to education, granting people in rural areas the educational opportunities previously only bestowed upon city dwellers. In a virtual reality classroom, a single teacher could provide a lecture to hundreds, thousands, or maybe even millions of students. Thus, not only does VR make education more effective, but it also allows significantly more people to participate in it.
The healthcare sector is another major industry for VR technologies, which, as it turns out, could save your life. Virtual reality offers an excellent training environment for inexperienced medical professionals, allowing them to make mistakes without grave consequences. That means that even if you’re your heart surgeon’s first real, human patient, his extensive VR experience ensures your safety.
Virtual reality can also, believe it or not, provide pain relief. Since pain is partially psychological, distraction can reduce the sensation of pain, and hardly anything is more distracting than plunging into an entirely new world. Researchers have already developed a virtual reality program as a means of pain relief for burn victims.
Finally, we mustn’t forget about mental health — virtual reality technologies are making strides in this domain, too! Virtual reality worlds can offer an effective approach to overcoming anxiety or PTSD, offering an immersive yet safe environment in which patients can face their fears.
Although perhaps not as important as education and health care, the retail sector also houses massive potential for VR technology. Online shopping has already overtaken the market, with Amazon becoming increasingly more popular.
But online shopping has its drawbacks — for one, you can’t try on clothes, so you just have to take measurements and hope for the best. And besides that, a certain element of the “shopping experience” is simply lacking when you’re scrolling through pages on a website.
Enter VR. In China, online retail giant Alibaba has already launched a VR shopping environment to replicate the experience of a brick-and-mortar mall. Similarly, IKEA has released a VR app on Steam to offer virtual shoppers the most immersive experience possible.
Even more excitingly, body-scanning technologies allow clothing retailers to simulate how a certain outfit would look on a customer, which means that the common hassles of online clothing shopping may soon come to an end.
Finally, gaming and entertainment are currently the most widespread application of VR technology, with headsets like Oculus Rift dropping in price and VR games hitting mainstream gaming platforms like Steam. It’s no surprise that gamers, who tend to be tech enthusiasts, are at the forefront of this innovative new technology.
One type of gaming that will witness disruption thanks to VR is gambling. At present, gambling has not been overly digitalized, with most gamers still preferring brick-and-mortar locations. However, the launch of the Alive Casino, a blockchain-based VR casino, promises to change the landscape of the gambling sphere, offering a transparent and immersive experience. The Alive Casino will broaden the possibilities of gambling without sacrificing security, making it the natural evolution for the industry and yet another way VR is changing our lives.