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What industries are using virtual reality?

By Hannah Williams | Nov. 22, 2017
Virtual reality holds enormous potential outside of entertainment, with VR poised to change the way we shop, experience, communicate and even conduct business.

So, what is virtual reality? The goal is to alter a human’s perception through virtual systems.

Basically, the sensory information appears so realistic to the brain that it is tricked into seeing the virtual as reality.

Consumer adoption of the technology is still in its early stages but is proving popular in the gaming industry. Now, as innovations pick up pace, more businesses are identifying ways to use VR too.

Here are some of the fields that have already benefitted from using VR.

Automotive

Virtual reality in the automotive industry has changed processes for design, safety and purchasing. The realistic elements of VR allow designers and engineers to examine how a car would look and function without having to build multiple models. Replicating the outside environment virtually also allows for safety trials to be performed on vehicles without exerting the time and energy it takes to run actual tests.

Major brands such as Ford, Volvo and Hyundai are using VR not only for the building process, but also in sales. Entire vehicle lines are available to customers who can do everything from trying out different features to test driving. The need for dealership showrooms could be obsolete with the use of virtual reality technology.

Healthcare

Using realistic virtual environments or virtual models of the human anatomy, healthcare professionals can gain insight into what they’ll experience before actually working on a real body. This is useful not only for students, but also for experienced professionals who are performing new or high-risk procedures.

Surgeries can now be viewed from 360 degrees and in real time from all around the world with VR apps such as Medical Realities. Not only can surgeries be viewed with VR, but robotic surgery can now be performed with the technology.

The opportunity for decentralised patient care is also incredibly useful. Virtual reality applications are being designed to learn about patients and examine them in the same way a healthcare professional would. The time and revenue saved from such care could be significant.

Tourism

Virtual reality allows for guided tours of any place around the world. Pegged to advance the tourist industry, people can now ‘try before they buy’ destinations. This will especially help smaller and less well-known places, as travellers can observe what each destination has to offer.

Travel and hospitality firms are also able to showcase destinations and accommodations. The interactive technology allows potential guests of a hotel or resort to explore and experience the grounds before booking. Some firms have gone so far as to recreate the environment of the accommodation by using real stimulants (wind, aromas, etc.) on the potential client during the virtual experience.

The collaboration between Thomas Cook and Samsung Gear VR is one such example, offering the realistic presentation of Thomas Cook locations around the world. The endeavour brought in nearly £12,000 and a 40 percent return on investment within the first three months.

Architecture

 

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