Virtual Reality (VR) is an environment created using software and hardware. It tries to simulate close to perfection the world around us by generating images, sounds, and other human sensations. First attempts to create this kind of technology were made even before ’70, but truly remarkable results were registered in early ’90. Virtual Reality commercial headsets registered a real widespread after 2001. Therefore nowadays everyone who has around 15$ can buy a pair of VR glasses.
It’s affordable, it’s revolutionary, it’s easy to use, and it’s practical. This can only mean people adopted it very quickly. Let’s see how Virtual Reality changed the way we do things.
Virtual Reality in education
This is how VR is currently being used in schools, colleges, universities, and other educational centers:
1. New researches
With the help of Virtual Reality professors and students are trying to discover, improve and document different human behaviors. Among them racism, sexism, empathy, motivation or physical reflexes.
2. Anatomy and dissection
VR models of the human and animal bodies were developed in order for medicine students to visualize the circulatory system, heart, muscles, lungs and so on. This increases the chances of a better transition between theory and practice.
3. 3D Design and coding
Older generations used the PC to learn C++, JAVA, Python, and other programming languages. Today the kids can learn all these by experimenting with immersive technology through a combination of hands-on learning and case studies.
4. Field trips
As not all parents afford to pay for expensive field trips, now all the kids have this possibility. Google offers, through their Expeditions program, the opportunity to visit places around the world from the comfort of a chair. And it is free!
Virtual Reality in medicine
VR offers many possibilities in the field of medicine as well. To name a few:
1. Exposure therapy
Phobia and anxiety are treated easier with VR. Patients face their fears in a secure environment and benefit of medical support. Most of all they have the possibility to practice till they overcome it.
2. Pain management
Doctors use VR to overwhelm the senses and pain pathways to the brain. For patients who suffered burn injuries or are in terminal phases, Virtual Reality was proven to be more efficient even than morphine.
3. Opportunities for the disabled
Not being able to run, jump, swim or walk limits your world. Not anymore. Since VR became popular new perspectives for these patients arose. In the end, it’s not the same, but it’s a start.
4. Surgical training
As mentioned above students use VR to simulate real body parts. Once they become surgeons they can practice complicated procedures without being assisted by other doctors or expose real patients to any risk.
Virtual Reality in gaming
First of all, try not to make the common mistake of thinking that VR gaming is the same as augmented reality gaming. The last one involves the integration of digital content with the user’s real-world environment. The first one involves creating a completely new virtual world.
This is what gamers all over the world have expected since the first 3D game. And it’s finally real. There is still a lot of room for improvement but the foundation has been set. Current technology allows you to scale the room, use motion sensing controllers and a tracker to work in concert with the VR headsets or even use them in a seated position.
Virtual Reality in military
Maybe this is the one we should have started with. Military sector is probably one of the first to benefit from the advantages of Virtual Reality. Flight simulators, tank simulators, and real combat scenarios. Just a few of the possibilities offered by VR to the army. Probably there are more others about which we will not find soon.