Do you associate VR with gaming and entertainment? Well, this technology reaches far beyond the entertainment industry. As the digital generation, we are no longer afraid of computer-generated experiences and thus started perceiving VR as offering endless possibilities for broadening the horizon of various businesses rather than just an immersive tool for having fun. From retail to aircraft manufacturing and from waste management to healthcare, many different industries have already adopted VR – and this trend doesn’t seem to slow down. This article will show you that the sky is not the limit for this quickly improving technology and will provide you examples of five completely divergent industries and VR’s usage within it.
Do you remember all these jokes about terribly bad doctors’ handwriting that would typically result in only them being able to understand the diagnosis? Surgical Theater has built a powerful patient engagement solution powered by VR. Patients and their families can virtually walk through their surgical plan while stepping into their anatomy and diagnosis, and to gain a better understanding about the individual neurological condition. And not only that – today VR is widely used by doctors and nurses all over the globe to simulate operations for learning and training purposes, as well helps in honing skills of synchronisation, examination or collaboration.
Roughly 50 employees worldwide today are experimenting with Gravity Sketch – a virtually immersive 3D design tool – to sketch future vehicles of Ford and it seems that the company sees the potential of deploying VR and AR. The company also uses specially designed gaming equipment to configure a virtual production line, which supports them in identifying possibly dangerous manoeuvres and fine-tune workflows before building a real assembly line. It’s only a question of time until the automotive industry will fully deploy VR when building their products, yet the idea of using VR for car manufacturing is thrilling to bits!
Today is hands down the most exciting time to be a student with all these exciting ways of acquiring knowledge. Emporia State University uses InstaVR applications across different departments – including history, forensic science, and business marketing for students to immerse themselves, experience and get familiar with specific use cases. Labster is an award-winning Copenhagen-based company that provides virtual lab experiences and training for university and high school students that cover fields of the cell and molecular biology, ecology, and physiology.
We are seeing a shift towards approaches that shape frameworks for sustainable consumption and lifestyle. Festo Didactic and EON Reality have created a VR Water and Wastewater simulator that focuses on several scenarios where users interact with a virtual water treatment plant, operate machinery and perform emergency procedures. CP Group, a San-Diego based recycling solutions provider and equipment manufacturer, revealed its Virtual MRF, a tool that allows users to walk around inside a life-size, virtual model of a materials recovery facility. VR enabled them to show customers how the product will look and operate before actually constructing it.
VR reaches further than just the entertainment. Warwickshire-based company RiVR developed software that provides UK firefighters and rescuers with extremely realistic and interactive environments to train while following a vast number of different possible scenarios. Sounds too good to be true? Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service have already invested £50.000 and expect that this will also help save a fair amount of taxpayers’ contributions.
The industries mentioned above serve as a small piece of a big and colourful picture of how VR can be used in today’s practices. More is yet to come – and the same as you we are excited to see what else the future has to offer!