I started Virtual Perceptions for many reasons. Like many working in the immersive reality industry, I am drawn to the new like flies to a flame, keen to follow what comes next. This started with video games, but then grew to an overall, fascinating area – the benefits of virtual reality as a whole.
Virtual reality can help with training, where people can gain new skills without endangering the lives of others. Learning new experiences becomes more vivid and memorable as users can interact with a virtual world, beyond books and web pages. The technology also provides an overall experience which grabs people’s hearts and minds, making them want to share widely with their friends and family (myself included). ‘Revolutionary’ is the best way to describe virtual reality, and VR in 2019 is set to be an interesting year for it.
This article will explore the numerous benefits of virtual reality, from mental health to learning and beyond.
Benefits of virtual reality in training
Medical applications of virtual reality is a rapidly growing area. One reason is that it allows people to be trained without harming others. Doctors can practice their skills without touching a real human body. No-one wants to be the first person ever being operated on by a junior doctor, and it will happen at some point. Yet this process helps to address issues before they arise.
One new VR surgical tool is Laduma. The company is an immersive consultancy which has been working to create a new 360 experience of
These immersive qualities help to improve training in virtual reality without a tool being picked up. While expensive, experiences like these help doctors hone their craft and learn, without being in the operation room. Hands-on experiences will always trump other forms of training – yet it provides a great groundwork to build on. The benefits of virtual reality in medical practices are massive and should be financed where possible.
Learning real life experiences in virtual reality
Companies tackle racial bias in numerous training programmes; a notable example is Starbucks in 2018, who shut 8,000 of its stores for training.
Dorvilas found that empathy allowed people to humanize each other, and applied that to VR. Numerous studies shows that unconscious bias impacts education and teaching, as it shapes how people teach and how they see relative achievement. This shaped the creation of Teacher’s Lens, an app which provides simulations in VR and reduces bias in a safe and comfortable way. The app presents the teacher with a racially diverse classroom, and tracks who the teacher interacts with. In this way, the benefits of virtual reality are made clear.
Virtual reality and experiences in social spaces
Recently I attended the Raindance Film Festival, which provided excellent coverage of the very best in new immersive movies. From Judi Dench talking about
The team found that smaller spaces promoted closer conversations. In larger areas, when the team enabled special audio, participants felt they didn’t connect to others as they moved away from them. This was
Such experiences are fascinating to
Benefits of augmented reality
Many people do not know the difference between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality. While VR puts people in a virtual world, augmented reality places virtual objects
Pokemon Go is the smash hit in 2016 which gripped the world. While the hype has subsided, Niantic still boasts a dedicated
Pokemon Go showed that the benefits of augmented reality are social in nature. Games can bring people outside, compete, and play. It lets children and young adults interact and trade. In several cases, it brought new customers to cafes as they become hub spots for players. Wizards Unite may have the same effect when it comes out in 2019.
In 2020, we can expect Apple to release their AR glasses, which can have new benefits as well. Solutions like maps on tables
The benefits of virtual reality in the future
The public is beginning to see the benefits of virtual reality. Many mainstream papers cover developments of the technology for treating depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. Social spaces like VRChat take over YouTube for a few weeks, as viral videos are shared widely. Doctors cite how virtual reality helps them develop professionally, and become better practitioners.
While these benefits are clear, more work needs to be done. Governments should invest more in the technology, with small steps already being made by the UK government. Investors should finance new projects, provided the return on investment is clear. Most importantly, curious enthusiasts should take more risks and try the experiences out, and support the ecosystem.
Developers will use bother virtual and augmented reality to help the public. The VR headsets can be used at home for entertainment, or learning via new experiences. Augmented reality can help learn new languages by labeling furniture. The applications are wide and being tapped. It is a matter of time before the mainstream public uses it as well.
Editor, Virtual Perceptions