Why VR is nothing like 3D

Virtual Reality is a means of viewing the world in a completely unique manner. Several other technologies, such as 3D have sought to amplify user experience, but none have come close to the inimitable feature that VR possesses, interactivity.

3D allows the display of images or items in a form that seems to be physically present with a specific structure. In essence, it tricks the human eye into thinking that flat images have proportional dimensions such as width, depth and height. Although there has been some acceptance, primarily through the movie industry and 3D printing, overall it has always been seen as a gimmick.

In contrast, VR has significantly more uses, and not just in a few industries. Virtual reality is a communication platform that will make the world a closer and better place. There is no comparison between the two.

Just about every major technology company is tossing their hat in the ring, including Facebook, Google and Apple. Highly respected universities like Oxford, Stanford and MIT are promoting VR. The media have fully embraced VR as “the ultimate empathy machine,” and major entertainment companies from Fox to the NFL are backing it. So many of the top brands and companies are using VR, it would probably be easier to list those who aren’t. According to Forbes, 75% of the world most influential companies, have some form of VR contained in their marketing strategy.

The below represents some of the industries embracing VR as a technology to push beyond the boundaries of what is achievable:

1. Gaming

The most well know case for computer generated VR, the gaming industry is going from strength to strength with huge support from Sony PlayStation and Microsoft pushing more and more hardware as well as software.

2. Neuroscience

Research carried out by a team of psychologists in 2005 showed that virtual reality can support conservative rehabilitation methods of brain damage. ImmVRse is currently conducting a research in partnership with Imperial College London on the effects of VR to the human brain.

3. Meditation

Various apps are now available to utilise the immersive nature of VR technology to assist with meditation.

4. Journalism

The Guardian is just one example of major news platforms branching out to develop content in VR. Anetta Jones, producer at Guardian, used the storytelling power of VR, to transport the viewer to a windowless solitary confinement prison cell. The experiment was a huge success as it highlighted psychological responses such as empathy.

5. Phobia

VR allows to get close to phobias without having to actually deal with them head on. Fears such as anxiety, heights or the fear of flying can be experienced and in some cases reduced with relevant VR material.

6. Real Estate

The home buying process could get a lot easier in the future with prospective buyers walking through their dream house from the comfort of their own living room.

7. Manufacturing

VR allows for companies to test scenarios and designs, and experience products before they are even made.

Ford Motor Company’s Immersion Lab allows employees to don a virtual reality headset and walk around looking at a car. Colleagues can watch what they experience on a large screen.

Ford also uses the technology to examine the entire exterior and interior of a car design, as well as to drill right down to how a particular element looks, such as a dashboard or upholstery. The VR technology links right into its computer aided design (CAD) system.

Much of the observation involves specific details, such as light positioning, size or brightness, and the positioning or shape of individual design elements. In 2017, Ford examined more than 135,000 details, on 193 virtual vehicle prototypes, using the technology.

8. Education

Imagine a technology that allows for children to be taught in their homes or towns and avoid walking 5 miles to the nearest school. Virtual reality in the education and training sectors provide a wealth of advantages. For instance, Siemens is using virtual reality to train future employees — for example, on oil rigs. This includes the handling of errors occurring, but also the very concrete “daily business” on a platform.

9. Film

With Ready Player One a global success, many more movies will follow to enhance the audience’s experience. 2018 will bring a raft of new titles on the big screen as well series for giants such as Netflix.

10. Tourism

Within the travel industry, VR is the ideal supplement to their marketing and promotional campaigns. With the immersive experiences that are available, travel brands can offer customers an opportunity to see new sights or enjoy exotic adventures without leaving the comfort of their own space. Hotels are already jumping on board with this new technology, and it won’t be long before nearly every tour and activity operator offers some type of VR experience to their travelers.