Can VR Technology Go Further Than Just Entertainment?

Tristan Teitler

In recent years, the virtual reality technology market saw impressive growth – there are predictions that the VR field could be worth $40billion come 2020.The new technology allows for deeper immersion in video games, event spectating, and a variety of other unique experiences.

While all these uses are enjoyable, it doesn’t seem to be the complete picture of what VR technology can provide; VR technology can go further than just entertainment.

Month after month, company after company releases their own unique VR products – 16million products were sold in 2016, a market growth of 47%. These companies seek to dominate the market through improving the technology’s usability while lowering production costs, and consumer costs in turn.

The growing availability of 360-degree material has proved popular with Facebook (prior to its crippling-to-publishers algorithm change), revealing that, on the platform, it holds 70million 360-degree photos and one-million 360-degree videos, and that those videos have gained 580million views.

What VR Can Do Now

Customers dive into incredible the incredibly fantasy world of Skyrim to explore, quest, and conquer the creatures that are scattered across Tamriel. They fight enemies in a world where time only moves when the player does in Super Hot. They fight against a robot rampage in Robo Recall, a game which feels like the natural evolution of arcade shooters like Time Crisis.

Users can even put on a headset and find themselves field side at a football game. They can be standing front row at a concert. It’s super cool, but is it useful? Not really. Using VR technology to “go to” a sporting event that’s far away is more convenient than driving. However, it isn’t something that will really improve one’s life considerably.

Current VR technology and company’s focus on the use of VR to provide entertainment to customers, but VR’s true potential remains untouched. VR technology has a future in the fashion industry, in interior design, in education, and countless other fields.

Where VR Can Expand

The future may well have no physical clothing stores. Customers will put on a VR headset and see through an avatar matching their physical dimensions. They will rapidly click between different shirts, pants, socks, shoes, hats, and jackets. With each click their avatar’s outfit will change accordingly. Once satisfied, the customer will have the clothes delivered to their residence.

A VR headset or sensors will scan a room and allow users to experience a simulation of the room while viewing an online catholic of furniture. They will select a piece they are interested in and drop it into the room, moving it about and rotating it without all of the heavy lifting. Teachers will not only tell their students about the Emancipation Proclamation, they will provide a simulation so the students can truly experience the event. 

VR technology certainly offers plenty to experience in its current form, but the field is young and still has plenty of growing to do. Who knows, maybe one day people will live their lives through VR as an avatar that forever remains young and beautiful, only coming back to reality to eat, reproduce and use the bathroom.

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