You have probably heard a lot about virtual reality (VR) in terms of the gaming industry. After all, the applications for using the tech for gaming are pretty fascinating. Put on a VR headset and you are transported to an entirely new world which is perfect for gamers who want to immerse themselves in the game and get the full experience. Still, while most people immediately think of gaming when they hear about VR, there are a lot of other industries and applications for this revolutionary tech.

 

Is VR Really Available to Everyone?

First, don’t think you need to invest obscene amounts of money to get the VR experience. In fact, Google made a pretty handy set of cardboard VR glasses that can turn a smartphone into a VR device in a snap. However, if you do want something a bit fancier, the Oculus Rift underwent a price cut that makes it a bit more affordable. While VR headset enclose the wearer in an entirely virtual world, that does not mean they have to be prohibitively expensive.

The better the headset designs get (and the cheaper they become) the more companies will start coming up with VR apps and content for everyday use. The Guardian came out with a list of their picks for the top ten VR apps. Well-known companies like YouTube are flocking to the tech allowing us access to VR content so we can immerse ourselves in the videos we love to watch. Even though produced video content for entertainment is yet another great way for people to use VR, there are still more interesting (and potentially lucrative) ways that VR is being molded to change the world.

 

The Many Uses of VR

Now that you know how accessible VR tech can be, you can see why there are a lot of everyday uses for the technology. Meetoo’s blog has an awesome list of VR applications you probably never considered before like job recruitment, tourism, and even working remotely.[1] Imagine going on a virtual walkthrough of a potential travel destination to see if it’s somewhere you would like to visit? If you have ever been on a disappointing vacation, you probably wish something like that had been available a bit sooner.

VR is an interesting way to take the world we currently know and add another layer of depth to it. When you think of VR, look beyond the immediate uses and imagine how it can help you and even your business every day. There are groups exploring all sorts of other applications, like how to use VR in hospital settings to make patients more comfortable in their environment. The applications are pretty broad and as the technology evolves, there will be even more creative cases of people using virtual reality to change the way we interact with the world. But it doesn’t end there…

 

Combining VR and AR

What’s AR? It’s the acronym used for augmented reality, which is essentially taking your reality and turning it up a notch. Sticking with the gaming theme, when a Pokémon pops up in front of you on your phone screen while you are playing Pokémon GO, that’s a pretty solid example of an AR feature. The world around you is enhanced with new elements thanks to augmented reality.

The Next Web gives us a great (and succinct) explanation of why mixed reality is such a big deal, “Mixed Reality works by scanning your physical environment and creating a 3D map of your surroundings so the device will know exactly where and how to place digital content into that space – realistically – while allowing you to interact with it using gestures.”[2] Yes, again this is a great way to make gaming even more exciting, but mixed reality is about a lot more than gaming also.

Mixed reality is a huge leap in the direction of the future we’ve all seen promised to us in futuristic movies. While it’s still really in the early stages, companies and brands are starting to consider how mixed reality can take their content and products to the next level. Most future-thinkers expect mixed reality to change everything about the consumer experience, but it will take a while. You can expect to see some odd applications and probably some clunky roll-outs as companies try to carve out their digital territory. Be patient, and keep your eyes open for revolutionary content to start hitting the market in a big way.

 

 

Having you noticed any particularly clever uses of VR by businesses or companies recently? Any really interesting applications that you are considering using? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

 

[1] https://www.meetoo.com/blog/2016/the-future-of-the-virtual-reality-world

[2] https://thenextweb.com/insider/2017/01/07/mixed-reality-will-be-most-important-tech-of-2017/