Since the early 2000s, the virtual reality industry has taken off, launching it quite literally into a completely different planet. Virtual reality is the idea of presenting a version of reality with a computer generated real environment that allows our senses to perceive it’s really there by creating an immersive and interactive world. Most current virtual realities are displayed on a VR headset that places goggles in front of the users eyes, has stereo sound and head motion tracking sensors.
In this video, you can get a better idea of what people see when they put on the Oculus Rift Headset and their reactions from trying it for the first time.
The implications of what this new technology can do for the world are obvious and endless. Countless industries have already incorporated the contraption into the business place, including architecture, sports, medicine, art, entertainment and many more. Here are a few examples of how some of these fields are using it.
For sports fans
Earlier this year, San Francisco based company LiveLike VR launched their app VR Stadium that allows users to watch live sports together anywhere in the world. The app was the first of it’s kind, and gives users the ability to enjoy the full game day experience in the comfort of their own homes. All you need is the Google Cardboard or Samsung GearVR headsets and an Apple or Android smartphone to use the app. Besides just being able to watch the game as if they’re sitting there watching it in real time, sports fanatics can select their view of the field, pull up highlights and stats, and create their own replays. The first sporting event on the app Ohio State vs. Oklahoma football game on September 17.
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In the healthcare world
Mindmazeto, a healthcare start-up company in Switzerland, used virtual reality to create an immersive rehabilitation tool to help stroke and brain injury victims regain their motor and cognitive function. The virtual reality provides a more stimulating environment for patients that’s made to feel like a game to motivate everyday usage. It’s tailored to each individual patient and can give realtime feedback. The company claims that motor and cognitive function are regained quicker than tradition physical therapy with their virtual reality “games”.
Here’s a demo of one of their virtual realities from 2015.
To lure in shoppers
Tom’s, the for-profit company that gives a new pair of shoes to an impoverished child whenever a pair of their shoes is bought, has discovered how to use virtual reality as a marketing tool. In their flagship store in Venice, California, Tom’s placed a virtual reality chair next to the shoe section, where shoppers are invited to use the VR headset to “experience a giving trip”. The virtual reality takes users to a distant village in Peru where the “givers” hand out their shoes to children at a school. The tool is emotionally compelling and gives shoppers a closer look at the impact their making by buying Tom’s shoes.
Here’s a video of what users are seeing when they put the headset on.