Only imagine a favorite vacation. Where has it been? What’ve you been doing? Who has gone with you? How’s the weather been? What have you been wearing? Are you able to recall every little detail? You can remember the overall vacation if you’re anything like a normal human, maybe some unique flashes here and there, but most of the exceptional points have withered. It’s a bummer, huh?
What if you were able to relive your first time seeing the Eiffel Tower or the rock concert you attended whenever you wanted last summer? You can start with Virtual Reality certification. You can fly to distant destinations with technology, escape to new worlds, and even recreate your favorite moments.
- What is Virtual Reality?
- Features of Virtual Reality
- Virtual Reality (VR) vs. Augmented Reality (AR)
- Applications and examples of Virtual Reality
- The Future of Virtual Reality
What is Virtual Reality?
The word used to describe a three-dimensional, computer-generated world that can be accessed and interacted with by a human is virtual Reality. The person becomes part of or is immersed in this virtual world and is able to control objects while there or perform a series of actions to decide what happens in the environment.
Features of Virtual Reality
Below we have discussed a few characteristics of Virtual Reality:
- Believable: You feel like you, from what you see and hear, are in your virtual world.
- Immersive: What you often see changes when you turn your head around, much as it does in real life.
- Computer-generated: With complex 3D computer graphics that shift in real-time as we move, VR worlds are typically built.
- Interactive: Whether it’s pressing a button or opening a door, you can communicate with various items in the scene.
Virtual Reality (VR) vs. Augmented Reality (AR)
We’ve covered some virtual reality ins and outs, but you may still think, “All of this still sounds a lot like augmented reality.” So what’s the difference? The predecessor to the fully interactive VR experience is basically Augmented Reality (AR). Augmented Reality (AR) is, in simple terms, an embellished or altered shape of Reality in which material lies over the real-world views of users. The less invasive technique allows augmented reality experts to incorporate digital tools into their physical world.
In contrast, by developing a new interactive interface, VR really makes the user feel like they’re in a totally different environment. What you see and feel when using VR is distinct from what’s actually around you.
Applications and examples of Virtual Reality
It’s not difficult to think of enjoyable and exciting ways to use virtual Reality; years of watching the holodecks on Star Trek have shown off the fun side of VR along with more recent examples such as Ready Player One. Many enterprises, however, are struggling to find practical applications for the technology. Let’s talk through a few ways in which some industries already use VR.
While VR has helped pilots learn to fly through flight simulators for years, imagine the effect VR could have on other education forms. In 19 of their shops, Lowes recently launched augmented reality “how to” experiences to help teach hopeful DIYers how to complete tasks correctly, ranging from painting their house to tiling a bathroom. The virtual reality DoItYourself videos had a 36 percent greater recall as compared to individuals who actually viewed YouTube videos on the topics.
Hospitals have recently been using VR to help patients deal with all manner of illnesses. A Duke University study found that paraplegic patients were able to recover some control of their own bodies by shifting simulated VR limbs. The test was so successful that half of the patients, instead of full paraplegics, were upgraded to partial paraplegics. Virtual Reality has also been used to treat PTSD and helps to relieve pain as an alternative to medication. In fact, VR was found to be more effective than morphine in reducing pain in a 2011 study involving burn victims.
- Travel and Tourism
Virtual Reality’s potential to bring users remotely to faraway places is often used to inspire people to visit physical locations. Visit Wales produced six VR videos in 2017 to encourage travelers to visit the country. The videos featured Wales’s natural beauty with ocean shots, dolphins, fish, and other wildlife. According to Visit Wales, eighty-five percent of people who watched the videos confirmed that they would visit the places they saw.
The Future of Virtual Reality
OK, you’re probably getting pretty excited about starting to play with VR, but there are a few essential details to remember before you go out and create your own VR experience. For all SMBs, the truth of Virtual Reality is that it does not make sense. It is more costly to build than virtual reality alternatives since VR requires advanced hardware to construct and use. With only a few million VR headsets currently in use, the number of VR users, although increasing rapidly, is still relatively small. The cost of producing personalized experiences for this small audience is probably not worth it for most organizations.
VR technology has a long way to go until it’s entirely part of consumer entertainment, but there are already promising outcomes for many businesses using technology. As it evolves, growing companies can keep up with the technology and virtual reality experts can continue to search for ways to create a VR experience. While investing in VR now doesn’t make sense for every organization, new advancements could make it easier to create content in the future.
Virtual Reality offers a beautiful opportunity for consumers to immerse themselves in entirely new experiences. Adopting this technology may take a while for customers, but we only see it continuing to rise in popularity. Who couldn’t use a break from reality, after all?