VR is not just about gaming and consumerism. Its potential as a career expands into everything – from the military to healthcare
The world of virtual reality is vast and ever-expanding. From being used in education, design to healthcare and exhibitions. Therefore, a career in VR can only be fruitful. But before you make up your mind, it’s important to understand the importance and applications of VR.
Computing and Education
The biggest uses of VR technology today are in the military, education and gaming. However, as 5G communication evolves, it will further proliferate into many areas. In fact, VR needs to move beyond devices and content; i.e., it should be used as a computing platform. The VR platform of the future must allow people to multitask efficiently, navigate apps seamlessly and connect with others easily. Tomorrow’s VR platform should improve upon the tools of today, but more important, it should enable entirely new ways of working. At the heart of this new experience is a flexible and infinite workspace that will allow teams and individuals to define their computing environment from anywhere in the world.
Improved Patient Experiences
We are seeing some incredible uses for virtual reality in healthcare. It is being used for pain management and to ease anxiety in patients with severe and chronic conditions. It is also being used to show service providers what patients experience (e.g., during a seizure) to create more empathy and understanding. These uses could dramatically improve the patient experience in so many ways.
Healing Paralysed Patients
Virtual reality is highly effective for learning because it writes to our brains like a real experience or memory. VR has countless uses, but one inspiring example is helping paralyzed patients heal. In one study, a VR program helped patients regain movement and sensation, demonstrating just how advanced this medium is, compared to older methods. This has been made possible, as VR technology relates to how our brains respond to it.
Handling of Dangerous Materials
VR is already being used in the fields of manufacturing and in energy production. The concerned technicians can make use of VR, integrated with machines, like Tony Stark in Iron Man. They can use VR to visualize how to move dangerous radioactive or contaminated materials around them, by using robot “hands”—with a far lower risk of an accident.
Helping People Understand Their Emotions
One of the best applications of VR technology is in helping people understand what they are afraid of. Usually, VR can help people return to situations that could not be replicated otherwise, understand their fears and really beat them. It is possible, as VR can replicate the real world as closely as possible. It is an amazing thing that was impossible before the advent of VR technology.
Remote Training in the Manufacturing Industry
VR is becoming a technology for reaping the benefit of competitive advantage for manufacturing services providers. Remote training applications of VR help engineers as companies expand by adding locations and through scale advanced electronics manufacturing technologies. Subject-matter experts across the enterprise can deliver training in virtual manufacturing classrooms quickly, efficiently, cost-effectively and with minimal disruption to operations.
Visualizing Complex Product Configurations
VR and/or mixed reality can be used in industrial settings to help visualize complex configurations of manufactured items in real space. Business-to-business organizations that sell big, complex products need to be able to ensure the configuration that meets customer needs. VR technology can be applied in order to get to the right configuration quickly and easily to remove friction in the sales process. It is digitally transforming the entire sales process.
Construction Site Collaboration
The latest application of VR (or mixed reality) is in Microsoft HoloLens 2-based tool combined with their Trimble Connect software. It allows a multiple number of people to collaborate in a construction job on-site, during actual construction, with plans overlaid onto the unfinished project site. It is incorporated into an industrial safety helmet.
Training Frontline Workers in Safe Environments
Nowadays VR technology is made compatible with different Head Mounted Display (HMD) for Business. Organisations can onboard, configure and manage different VR headsets, as part of their established unified endpoint management infrastructure. Public Utility Companies in different countries use VR devices to train frontline workers in safe environments to troubleshoot faulty equipment.
VR is a powerful tool to help evoke empathy. The United Nation VR Initiative is giving prominent decision-makers, business leaders and citizens entirely new insights into the world’s most pressing problems by pushing the bounds of empathy. By amplifying the voices of those unheard, UNVR is bringing a deeper level of understanding of the intricate issues the earth faces.
Virtual Exhibitions, Conference and Entertainment
VR is useful for different kinds of entertainment and tourism, such as for remote showings of places—like virtual visits to museums and exhibitions.
VR has enormous mainstream potential, but its isolated gameplay makes it challenging from a consumer’s perspective. Physically intensive games like Box VR, work because so many people exercise alone. Like wearables, they gamify fitness in dynamic and insanely funny ways.
Special operations—especially direct-action missions of the army—are characterised by achieving dominance through surprise, speed and violence of action in highly dynamic environments. Often, the smallest mistake can be fatal in these environments. VR-assisted “after-action reports” allow each team member to replay training missions using video taken from a 360-degree video camera.
Business Cards and Promotional Items
The best way for a VR company to show its product is to start using it themselves. VR business cards can be impressive as it often encourages a person to look at it. The same concept could be used for business promotions such as pamphlets, brochures and promotional items.
Real-Time Medical Education
Real-time medical education is possible through different projects in which physicians can aid and train, in real time, during an active surgery. It is by far the most valuable use of VR that has real-world impact. But many other examples exist within healthcare, such as VR gamification of medical rehabilitation, as done by many VR companies in Europe and others. The future of medical science will be the ability to practice everywhere through VR.
Prof. Samir Mukherjee has over 30 years of experience in technology and communication. He is currently the Head of Emerging Technology at MAKAUT-WB and also part of various VR/AR and IT-related institutions in Europe, China, Malaysia, and India.
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