Virtual Reality (VR) is a concept that has really picked up speed in recent years. It’s influencing the way we live and the way we learn — it’s even changing the way we shop. You might be familiar with the concept of virtual reality, but there’s a lot to learn about how it is changing our world and shaping our future. Below, we’ll explore five ways virtual reality has had an impact across various industries, from gaming to medical animation.
1. Immersive Gaming
Gaming has always been a form of escapism. Virtual reality is taking this a step further, making gaming even more immersive. Virtual reality environments are being used to stimulate our senses. Using visual and auditory stimuli, VR games are carefully designed to fool the brain into thinking they are in another world, heightening the sense of urgency and enjoyment. Aside from basic VR headsets, accessories such as specialised controllers and treadmills are available, which are designed to enhance your simulated experience and to immerse you further. Great examples of virtual reality games include Fallout 4 VR, Skyrim VR, Beat Saber and Edge of Nowhere.
2. Interactive Media
What’s better than watching a horror movie on a Friday night? Watching a horror movie on a Friday night in virtual reality. With a virtual reality headset commanding the attention of all your senses, you are able to truly become part of a story. You don’t have text messages or email to distract you and you can completely engage with your environment.
There are other examples of breathtaking immersive media, some of which can be found on YouTube. Imagine seeing a grizzly bear right in front of your eyes without having to fear for your life, or enjoying a 360 view of Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall. A VR headset brings the action right to your front door.
The travel industry has refused to take a backseat with regards to virtual reality. Given the fact that people generally spend a lot of money on a holiday trip, they want to make sure their investment is a good idea — and they also want to know what to expect. VR can help customers experience a destination before they spend any money, allowing the travel industry to entice them by giving them a taste of what they could enjoy. Through VR, you can enjoy a scenic view, have a look around a local museum or check out your hotel room. This experience can certainly put people in the right frame of mind to buy.
4. Medical Animation and Pharmaceutical Marketing
Virtual reality has shown itself to be invaluable to the world of medicine. In fact, it’s now being used as a scientific storytelling tool by medical animation companies. Random42 recently released an interactive virtual reality experience titled Intercellular, an educational tool that takes users on a journey through the human body and allows them to witness biological processes up close and personal.
Further to this, virtual reality is also being used in pharmaceutical marketing due to its clear value in terms of drug visualisation. Virtual reality is being used as a sales enablement technology to demonstrate a drug’s value and purpose to stakeholders — the stunning imagery and the mix of art, technology and science, along with the use of descriptive and emotive language, work to draw in and engage, increasing the likelihood of investment and giving sales reps a real edge.
5. Virtual Reality and Human Resources
Virtual reality isn’t just changing how we play; it’s also changing how we work. Specifically, virtual reality is helping us revitalise and evolve our recruitment processes.
Using virtual reality, companies can create interactive experiences that give managers a solid idea of how a prospective employee would behave and react in a given office situation or under certain pressures. Virtual reality is also helping with recruitment efforts by attracting employees and helping them to feel part of the company before their first day — such as by providing 360-degree video walkthroughs of a workplace. Furthermore, virtual reality is now being used to help measure performance management — virtual reality analytics provide companies with an unbiased mechanism to measure performance.
These are just a few select examples of how VR is changing the world. As the technology advances and becomes increasingly realistic, its potential is limitless. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to walk around inside FinalBoss one day. Given its rapid advancement, we don’t really know where VR is going, just like people could have never predicted the evolution of smartphones, the complexity of modern aircraft, or the diversity on offer at Toby Carvery. Whatever happens, it’s exciting to contemplate where we will be and what VR will make possible in ten years’ time.
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James is THG’s technophobic TV nut, movie addict and theorist crackpot. He’ll be bringing you features, insights and incoherent ramblings on all your favourite and least favourite shows and movies.