VR has become the new buzzword. With its ability to significantly improve customer experience across each industry, companies are trying to incorporate this technology in any way possible.
In 1968, Sutherland and his student, Bob Sproull, developed the first virtual reality head-mounted device, The Sword of Damocles, which showed simple virtual wireframe shapes. Then in 1972, General Electric built a flight simulator that provided a 180-degree field of vision. Later in 2014, Facebook acquired the Oculus VR company that changed gaming forever. Fast forward to 2019, so many companies were accomplishing significant feats in VR that Forbes declared it as the year virtual reality gets real.
Today, VR is delivering memorable experiences to customers. PlayStation, Valve, and HTC are taking this tech seriously to make a mark in the mainstream.
According to Statista, the number of VR users worldwide has increased rapidly from 43 million in 2016 to 170 million in 2018.
Numerous industries are trying to implement VR to streamline their processes and improve customer experience. This article will shed light on how VR technology will impact the future of five such industries.
1. VR in healthcare
VR is creating a significant impact in the healthcare industry. One of the first use cases of this technology is for rehab patients.
Rehab patients often go through a series of painful stages and find it challenging to adhere to doctors’ medications and therapy sessions. Companies like the VR Health Group are trying to ease their pain by developing fun-filled activities facilitated by the playability and rewarding video game experiences.
Patient education is another field that is changing rapidly due to VR technology. Doctors find it extremely challenging to explain medical concepts and provide disease-related information to patients. Textbooks, charts, diagrams, and pamphlets consume enormous time and only give so much information. On the other hand, Ghost Productions creates immersive animations that help share details of the medical procedure conveniently.
Researchers are also developing compelling 3D models of the human body from information collected through MRI and CT scans, allowing the health care staff to provide exact details about the patients’ treatment. New developments in this field are also helping surgeons to perform intricate surgeries remotely.
2. VR in Entertainment
The entertainment industry has been at the forefront of developing and implementing VR solutions. A significant share of new VR users belongs to this field. Experts believe that if widespread adoption continues, it will have a ripple effect in other industries.
VR has taken the gaming world by storm. Gamers provide detailed accounts of their personal experiences while playing a virtual game. Most of them deeply enjoy the immersive experience inside a VR world where they can explore the environment and enjoy the beauty of nature as in the real world.
The best thing is that VR gaming headsets are available across various price points. High-end headsets such as HTC VIVE, Oculus Rift, and PS VR will leave no stone unturned to provide you a compelling virtual experience. On the other hand, Gear VR, Oculus Go, and Google Cardboard are affordable offerings in this space.
The story doesn’t stop here. New developments like the Vive tracker allow you to transform real-world objects into VR objects. Suppose you purchase a VR cricket game, but instead of playing on the Vive game controller, you prefer to play on an actual cricket field. You can attach the Vive tracker to a real cricket field that will produce its digital replica inside the virtual world.
Moreover, VR systems allow converting your living room into a theatre hall so that you can get the best-quality cinema experience in the comfort of your home. Soon, you will be able to try new clothes without visiting a trial room at the local garments store.
3. VR in Finance
You might have heard the quote “Data is the new oil” hundreds of times. Data has become the backbone of each industry, especially finance, which depends on gleaning information quickly through tables, charts, and graphs. Imagine if financial analysts could promptly go through immersive visual representations of financial data. It would help monitor changing market trends in real-time and make faster decisions.
Oculus Rift VR headsets provide compelling 3D representations of factual data that allow financial analysts to visualize their investment portfolios’ crests and troughs. It enables them to interpret data and understand its underlying implications much more quickly than relying on hand-written reports or boring presentations.
Do you know that 68% of millennials believe that the way they handle their finances will completely change in the next five years? Another intriguing statistic by Millennial Disruption Index tells that 73% of millennials like using financial services from tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, PayPal, and Google instead of traditional banks.
By adopting VR technology, banks can attract millennials’ attention and increase the range of their financial services.
4. VR in Hospitality
When you book a hotel room through a website or an app, you see spacious rooms, enormous swimming pools, and mouth-watering delicacies. But most of the time you feel disappointed when you enter your room.
Few hotels are adopting VR technology to allow their customers to take a 3D tour of the property from their home’s comfort. It will enable customers to get a complete picture of the features they will get for the money they are paying.
The virtual booking process is slowly picking pace in the hospitality industry. Recently, Oracle.com conducted a survey of hoteliers that provides shocking results. Out of all the respondents, 52% believe VR will become an essential part of the hotel booking process by 2025.
VR technology will also change the way people enjoy themselves in a hotel or a resort. For example, in 2014, the Marriott Hotels chain launched the Marriott Teleporter, an immersive 4D VR travel experience. The user wears an Oculus Rift headset while being inside a particular teleporter station. The best part is that, along with visual experience, the user also experiences smell and touch.
5. VR in fitness
Some are fitness freaks who visit a gym daily. Others visit sports clubs sporadically to lighten their mood or to play with their friends over the weekend. The best part is that VR improves the experience of both kinds of customers.
Companies like Holofit and VirZOOM are building exercise machines integrated with VR capabilities that allow fitness freaks to experiment with new exercise regimes periodically. They use VR applications’ reward techniques in the gaming industry to motivate the person to adhere to a specific regimen.
For those who don’t like exercising in front of others, VR is no less than a boon. It allows them to perform various exercises privately within the confines of their home. You will be surprised to know that Nintendo sold more than 22 million copies of its Wii Fit, a motion control game that encourages users to move around through the numerous reward-based mini-games from 2007 to 2012.
The advantage of fitness VR devices is that users don’t necessarily have to perform full-body exercises. The virtual environment is so enthralling and mind-boggling that users instinctively want to explore the world around them. In this process, they automatically move their hands, legs, and other body parts.
VR is quickly making its mark across various industries. Companies have realized its importance and the benefits they can expect to gain by using this technology.
With fast adoption rates, the prices will come down in a few years. Moreover, companies like HTC and Oculus are weeding out VR technology’s inefficiencies that will further improve user experience. By looking at the present scenario, experts believe that VR will soon become mainstream that will transform each industry forever.
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