Let’s be honest, Virtual Reality (VR) is probably one of the coolest tech around. Put on the gear, and utopia is right there in an instant. However, no one is really asking how it stands to impact the economy. Yes, it is already transforming critical sectors in the economy ranging from education, tourism, commerce, healthcare, and entertainment. Society is literally getting an overhaul through immersive technologies that change the very fabric of reality, and this is done by the simulation of a real world environment in VR.
Is It Really New?
VR uses a combination of hardware and software to simulate realistic images, sounds, and other sensations that imitate a real environment. These in turn simulate a physical environment. The simulated environment is experienced through a three-dimension system whereby human beings view and interact with simulated objects in the same manner that they would do in a real world scenario.
What most people might not know about VR technology is that it has been in existence for decades. It is only recently that it gained popularity with the advent of web 2.0 technologies such as social media coupled with increasing broadband speeds and deeper internet penetration rates. These have ushered in a new era by transforming every aspect of making VR a reality. The technology is already aggressively adopted in different platforms such as in video game consoles and in electronic commerce whereby consumers are already shifting their allegiance towards VR compatible products.
Can Businesses ‘Cough Up’ The Cash?
VR accessories are now more affordable and widely available in different online outlets. For instance, in the past two years, Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Laboratory has shifted from using a $40,000 VR headset to a product that only costs $300. This implies that VR technology is being accepted in the market due to its affordable retail price.
While most people might be familiar with the use of VR in the gaming industry alone, there are actually many places where VR is making considerable impacts. These are:
Enhanced Entertainment Experience
Sports teams are already embedding their videos with tickets whereby fans are accorded privileges to preview the level of entertainment to expect. Such concepts have already proven to be exceptionally reliable since psychologically prospective clients tend to purchase a ticket if they have some prior knowledge of the kind of entertainment to expect.
VR is making great advances in the education sector too. Medical schools can now use VR to teach medical students how to use special lab equipment. Since most medical equipment are expensive, going the VR way will be cost-effective. Another example is the training of pilots. The simulated virtual environments that pilots go to during training actually represent VR since they resemble the real cockpits of commercial aircrafts. Aviation institutions are able to minimize on their training costs because a single VR simulator can be used to train thousands of pilots.
Virtual reality is also transforming the tourism industry. For instance, a good number of hotels and resorts have uploaded three-dimensional images of their facilities. Through virtual reality headsets, travelers can remotely walk in the hotels and even interact with objects as they would in a real world.
However, virtual reality does come with a few requirements that might leave you digging deep into your pockets. To enjoy the immersive environment, different products are necessary, and these include items such as gloves embedded with sensors and a helmet fitted with a screen and earpiece for simulating images and sounds. The good thing is that these products are affordable and readily available.
So, there’s no doubt that we will be seeing more and more of VR in the near future, and to prove that VR is the future, you might want to read about what happened to commercial 3D TVs.