Virtual Reality: Not all Fun and Games Anymore

Cognitive Build team ViDA helps you “see” data in a whole new way

Virtual Reality: You’ve probably seen it for gaming, entertainment, or education. But did you know that VR can also be used for analyzing reports?

Gone are the days of pouring over endless spreadsheets to gain insights into all that data, thanks to a team in IBM’s Cognitive Build Program. The ViDA (Virtual Immersive Data Analytics) project uses the power of Watson and virtual reality to help you navigate through your data, and uncover new information that you may not know.

Once you put on the virtual reality headset and launch ViDA, you ask Watson a series of questions, and Watson fetches the relevant data, then analyzes different sources. The data and the information are projected in a digital space, using a mix of 2D and 3D objects.

You now have a fresh window into the data and can wander through an environment with multiple rooms. Data projects on the walls and all around you. You can navigate to what you find interesting or see data that you might not have even thought possible. Digging deeper takes you into new rooms with new visualizations helping you gain better insights into the data. ViDA talks and explains the insights and gets smarter using Watson’s learning capabilities.

With the growing amount of data being generated and stored out there, it has become increasingly important to deliver that data in a way that can be absorbed and analyzed. It’s not much use having ever growing amounts of cloud processing power able to hurl insights at us with ever increasing speed if the interface between us and the algorithms doesn’t have a chance of keeping up.

This where virtual reality and Watson Analytics can step in. By immersing the user in a digitally created space with a 360-degree field of vision and simulate movement in three dimensions, it should be possible to increase the bandwidth of data available to our brains.

Whether you are looking at financial reports or trying to diagnose a rare disease visualizing data in a 2D and 3D environment helps you “see” data in a totally different way so you can quickly make decisions.

Learn more about Watson Analytics here and about data visualization with VR check out the article in PC World.