I was first introduced to Virtual Reality (VR) about 2 years ago when my family and I took a trip to Minneapolis and spent a day at the Mall of America. My wife and daughter, who was 6 at the time, went shopping while my 5-year-old son and I wandered off to entertain ourselves. We made our way to the Microsoft store where my son immediately sat down at a gaming PC with Minecraft and three 24-inch monitors. He was in heaven! My attention was drawn to the 3 VR stations that they had setup within the store. I kept 1 eye on my son playing Minecraft and my other eye on the closest VR station watching people experience different things. Some people chose the Home Run Derby simulation, others tried their luck with virtual fishing, and some chose to be artistic by painting things in a virtual 3D space. Whenever somebody’s time was up, and they removed the headgear it was easy to see that these people had just experienced something in a new and exciting way. I immediately began to wonder what was possible with VR outside of the world of gaming. I will cover a few of the uses that I found most interesting.
Travel: Soon you will be able to be virtually transported to many popular tourist destinations. Imagine clicking a button and finding yourself at the Rome Colosseum, the Louvre in Paris, or my personal favorite, Graceland!
Sports: Many of the 2018 Winter Olympic events were filmed in 180 degrees and 360 degree VR. The NBA on TNT has also started a VR broadcast giving you floor seats to your favorite team without having to fight traffic.
Education: Having 2 children, I found this to be the most interesting. Wearing the headgear transports you to a virtual world, one with fewer distractions making it easier to concentrate and soak up information. Science experiments are presented in a new, more hands-on way without the mess. It also creates a more personally interactive experience. UCLA is using VR to train Neurosurgeons, giving them more time in virtual labs.
Real Estate: Agents have started bringing the property to the consumers in the real estate world. Imagine you are a corporation in New York looking to open a Seattle branch. It would be expensive and time consuming to fly your decision makers to Seattle to spend a few days looking at real estate. What if somebody could bring the inventory to you while you are in the comfort of your board room? That is exactly what is happening. Virtual tours help to expedite the process of purchasing real estate.
As you can see by these examples, VR isn’t just for video gamers, it might just have the power to change the world!
David Malsam – Senior Sales Executive/Network Analyst