Virtual Reality generally refers to those 3D computer-generated spaces created online, that allow people to dive into any kind of immersive environment.
Virtual Reality has been historically associated with video games, virtual worlds, immersive backgrounds or entertainment but it is much more than that. This technology is disrupting the way we work and is offering innovative solutions to other industries such as HR, healthcare, police training, education, geriatric care and much more.
In March 2022, The Insight Partners published their research study on “Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market Forecast to 2028”. They expect growth in the AR and VR market from 27.96 billion USD in 2021 to 252.16 billion USD by 2018.
In this article, we give you some examples of its use and implications on modern society. Let’s get into it!
Multinational corporations hire tens of thousands of employees. For positions up in the company hierarchy, traditionally they had to fly people over to headquarters for interviews or training sessions. But virtual reality technologies are changing the hiring approach and cheapening the process.
An excellent example of this technology implementation is implemented by Accenture. In 2020 they started giving VR headsets to thousands of new hires as a virtual reality experiment.
As a way to create a safe environment for their meetings, the company has developed a virtual environment that enables employees to conduct training, socialize, form teams, and work within it in real time.
Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture declared: “The headsets make up part of the company’s strategy of replicating the intimacy of an in-person work environment while preserving the safety and flexibility of working from home”
Virtual reality together with Augmented Reality allows us to look inside the human body from the outside. This is quite an asset when studying at medical school.
Thanks to advancements in radiology, we can practice surgery in advance using the patient’s medical imaging. With this technology, we can foresee possible problems and study different scenarios where things could go wrong.
Not only doctors can benefit from it, but VR also gives patients a chance to understand their surgical plan and walk them through all the steps of the process.
VR therapy is also helping people overcome mental illnesses such as agoraphobia!
This new and revolutionary approach enables patients to build confidence and face their fears. Since the scenarios feel real, VR therapy allows users to “go outside” and try something new.
Patients can go out for a stroll in a safe place because, even though the technology makes it seem real, users know they remain indoors.
While these applications are still in the early stages and only the best hospitals use them, we will become accustomed to seeing them in the coming years.
Accessibility, Second Chances & Pain Relief
Virtual Reality is giving elderly people another chance to travel, discover and experience situations and places they could never imagine.
The goal of the company Myndvr and its CEO Chris Brickler was to offer VR experiences as a tool to improve the lives of senior citizens.
Many of these elderly people living in nursing homes have no chance to leave the facilities. By providing a safe virtual space they can partake in activities they won’t have the strength to do in the physical world.
RelieVRx is the first and only FDA-approved at-home immersive virtual reality pain treatment indicated as a complementary therapy for chronic lower back pain. It is prescribed by a doctor and self-administered by patients at home.
How does it work? The patient receives a headset and controller together with a breathing amplifier. For eight weeks the patient takes daily 7-minute immersive VR sessions. By engaging different neurological systems to modulate pain, the process helps users to develop skills for dealing with pain in the physical world.
The way we learn has drastically changed in the last 10 years. During the 2000s nobody would imagine that children would have phones, tablets, and IPads at school as a learning tool, but today it’s a reality.
VR presents itself as the next logical step in educational learning. It can offer students unique and immersive experiences, take them to new planets or explore the amazon, without leaving the classroom.
This technology enhances the engagement of students since they can interact with the content they are learning. Immersion is the best way of understanding facts.
Let’s take history class as an example. We are digging into ancient Rome. What would you like better?
Would you rather be immersed in the ancient city of Rome, its markets, roads, and bustle while moving around and interacting with the scenario, or sit at your desk in the classroom hearing from your teacher?
Studies have shown that pupils retain much more information when they connect, cooperate and merge within the experience.
Google Expeditions was a great example of an app created as a library of trips that allows users to visit places that otherwise couldn’t see. Google launched this initiative in 2015 in schools all over the world and millions of children participated in those expeditions. The platform was discontinued on June 2021 and was merged into Google Arts & Culture.
Officers from the Chesapeake Police Department started their new training program with a Virtual Reality system.
This new initiative allows them to do use of force training with minimum staffing. Before they needed 15 officers helping with face-to-face sessions, but this equipment knocks it down to two!