Engineers and programmers around the globe are working hard on getting more sophisticated VR experiences every day. Nowadays it is clear that virtual reality (VR) is not a sci-fi tool for movie plots anymore. The technology is real! It still has big challenges ahead, but many industries are already using it. Are you lagging behind with VR? Let’s find it out!
VR is working very well for real estate sellers, who now offer virtual tours to potential investors and buyers of properties and projects before they’re built. Having the chance to experience the space before it is even built, customers’ preferences can be considered by sellers and architects. Similarly, already built properties can be shown to buyers without requiring their physical presence.
We even use this feature at Neterr; we offer a virtual walk to show off one of our four data centers. Check out Sofia Data Center 2.
Planning and developing real estate is expensive and the process involves many decisions that impact security and budget. Architects are already using VR to visualize their ideas and make more informed and responsible decisions. The use of 3D environments and immersive models allows them to envision and feel their constructions, avoid errors, and solve problems before they pop up, without risking lives and money.
This field is using the VR potential to benefit learning processes. Through VR, teaching-learning becomes an immersive, distraction-free experience. VR has not yet been spread widely to all education levels and institutions due to its price., but it is already being used to transform scientific and abstract concepts into tangible objects easier to explore and understand; virtually explore locations around the world, historical events, etc. VR is also helping knowledge to reach people in cases where they can’t be present in a specific location to take a lesson.
VR is being used already in different areas of the healthcare landscape (psychology, psychiatry, anatomy, physiology, neurosurgery, cardiology) and from surgical simulations to medical training, and all types of therapy. VR provides safe environments and real-world situations and emergencies, for medical professionals to teach and practice complex procedures and surgeries, and help patients overcome pain, phobias, anxiety, etc., without risking anybody’s life.
Tourism and hospitality
Through VR, both industries are providing virtual experiences and tours of a wide variety of tourist destinations (in and out of the planet), hotels, resorts, and their facilities (restaurants, SPAs, gyms, pools, etc.). That way, travelers can have a preview of their experiences (try-before-you-buy concept). During the lockdowns derived from the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual tours were the only way of traveling, and many would-be travelers took this option to kill the boredom of the same four walls. VR has already proven to be good at captivating users’ attention by recreating immersive landscapes, cultural landmarks, or historical sites.
Gaming and entertainment
These two industries did not waste the chance to immerse players and audiences into virtual worlds to interact with existing and fictional environments, their objects, characters, etc. Online gaming and consoles, theme parks, and cinemas already offer high-quality VR experiences. Without a doubt, gaming stands out from other industries due to its incredibly high quality development of storytelling and visuals. There are different titles available, but if you take a look at “Half-Life” or “No Man’s Sky”, you will get the point and see the high level of quality storytelling and visuals).
Festivals, concerts, and live events were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the music industry looked for a solution for those users who didn’t want to just listen to but to experience music. And yes, VR worked very well for creating new immersive and interactive music experiences: concerts available for people by simply putting on a VR headset! No more rush to get a ticket in a front row seat, long waiting lines in the toilets, and a guarantee of perfect sound and view of the stage. VR opened a great alternative for the music industry and concert lovers.
The automotive industry is using VR for virtual designing, prototyping, testing regular and smart vehicles, and training their workers. VR is a useful tool for engineers and technicians to evaluate vehicle components and functionalities without having to create physical prototypes.
Through VR, multiple use cases are simulated for all the experts involved to get immersed and analyze cars’ behavior in different road scenarios, regular situations, and emergencies. Problems can be detected, adjusted and improved upon before sending them to production. Employees execute their testing tasks and get training courses with a reduction in costs and risks.
Aviation and Aerospace
Both are expensive and critical industries that involve the design of complex procedures, mechanisms, and training. They also have to deal with hostile environmental conditions. From the design and improvement of aircraft to pilot training, VR is already providing virtual, realistic, and safe immersive environments for practicing procedures in different scenarios, aircraft maintenance, virtual flight tests, visualizing navigating systems, terrain, weather, air traffic control, etc. Everything, without risking lives and expensive infrastructure.
VR is already a tool used by military forces to train, plan, and design different strategies, recreating locations, spaces, and situations as realistic as possible. Soldiers, doctors, and all people involved in this field have to operate in very life-threatening scenarios. They are constantly facing different dangers during training and of course, when they work in real operations. Right now, VR is simulating dangerous environments, situations, environmental conditions, etc. for these people to train, without jeopardizing their lives.
VR is used to simulate hostile jungles, enemy territory, escape routes, and all types of vehicle experiences (tanks, submarines, fighter jets, etc.). Medical personnel are also using VR to train strategies, moves, and medical procedures under harsh conditions (war, fires, floods, etc.). This technology is being incorporated into medical treatments to support soldiers in overcoming battlefield trauma.
Industrial training, manufacturing, and logistics
Yes, VR is already working for these important industries, creating industrial and safe environments for workers to learn and train in troubleshooting, safety protocols, and equipment operation without risks. 3D models and simulations are helping to improve performance, efficiency, and productivity in manufacturing; storage, inventory management, and all the planning for transporting all types of goods to their final destination (logistics).
Retail and E-Commerce
Both are key industries for the global economy. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, many physical shops and businesses closed, pushing them to develop alternatives to survive and reach the customers who were at home. In this context, VR became an ideal tool for these industries to enable the try-before-you-buy concept. Virtual supermarkets, immersive experiences to test cars and feel the benefits of different products and services, virtual fitting rooms to try on clothes without being physically at the shop, etc. Now, such experiences keep being developed and enhanced to make the virtual shopping experience more interactive.
Virtual simulations are proving efficient in getting customers’ attention and make them purchase what’s being advertised. The more immersive the VR experience, the better it is to show customers the benefits of a product and convince them to make the transaction. Different brands and businesses already have included VR experiences in their marketing strategies. Some have replaced traditional advertisements and commercials with virtual experiences to promote their products and services.
Sports and athletics
VR is being used in a variety of sports and athletics at different levels: training and analysis, technique improvement, strategic decision-making, and equipment/clothing design, based on realistic simulations of game scenarios. VR simulates the perfect environments and situations to practice specific activities or tactics (throws, penalty kicks, jumps, etc.), while trainers measure performance, analyze in detail, and tune the athlete’s or player’s reactions, technique, and movements.
Clothes and equipment in these fields are constantly innovating to support the maximum comfort and best performance. They have to keep the pace of athletes who are constantly pushing boundaries in terms of speed, strength, endurance, etc. Clothes and equipment manufacturers are also using VR to explore all possible scenarios for athletes while trying new technologies, materials, or designs.
Additionally, VR is used to engage audiences more through immersive experiences (3D) to visit training spots, stadiums, and events, or to interact with popular players and athletes.
Museums are using VR to make tangible abstract concepts, and encourage virtual visitors engage with their content, and complement their exhibitions. Frequently, the physical space of a museum limits it to recreate historical environments, locations, artifacts, or scenes (natural disasters, battles, ancient civilizations, space, submarine life, etc.). Well, VR can do that through attractive, immersive, very realistic, and interactive 3D experiences. VR is shown to be a powerful ally of museums to attract more visitors, improve their educational value, and have an emotional impact on their audiences. Not bad at all!
VR is providing interior designers and homeowners with choices to visualize spaces and make smarter decisions before they spend money to implement them. VR allows clients to visualize the renovations a designer proposes, how the decor and furniture look in their homes, etc., before they say “OK”. No more time and money wasted!
It will take more time for VR (virtual reality) to become a mainstream tool, but many industries already use it. The potential of VR is opening many exciting possibilities for innovating and growing businesses, from startups to large companies. Are you lagging behind with VR? It depends. You have to analyze all the current pros and cons of VR, and the needs and goals of your business to know if this technology can make you reach them faster.
Explore VR further now you know more of the benefits and give it a try. Either as a business person, or a user, it is a great idea to understand and tap into the potential of a technology that can transform the way we do things in the future.