The idea of having virtual reality has been around for a long time. Now that headsets and other tech has been developed to be able to throw a person into that virtual reality, we’ve opened a whole new world. I don’t mean just revolutionizing your idea of gaming and finally realizing the concepts that Japan has consistently reinforced is what the future will be like.
We are free to simulate situations and locations and have an almost genuine experience of what it would be like to really be there. A facility in the UK has taken advantage of this fact, and transportation just might be made more efficient. The “Visualisation Laboratory” that opened last year, allows designers and engineers to test ideas and services without needing a prototype. Virtual reality technology allows the users to explore a mock city or town, using an omnidirectional treadmill. The user can physically walk, and with the VR headset, they make their way through the virtual location that is set up.
This seems so simple but opens so many doors to new tests for transportation systems and new innovations; we now have a much more efficient way to test and examine the impacts of new ideas and a means of testing previously impossible scenarios because of restrictions, whether financial or geographical etc. Surprisingly, you can actually rent the floor where the omnideck is to test out your own software.
Of course, this isn’t the only area where virtual reality is expanding possibilities. The healthcare industry is one of the biggest areas where virtual reality will change the entire industry. Already, there are uses for VR in medicine: exposure therapy. Exposure therapy is a treatment for patients with phobias; psychiatrists at the University of Louisville are currently using VR to help their patients deal with their fears of things like flight, heights, claustrophobia, and more. Because virtual reality provides a controlled environment, it is a safer way to provide therapy because patients can face their fears in a place where they know that it is safe, private and can easily be stopped.
Surgical training usually involves many hours of practice on cadavers and assisting more experienced doctors during surgeries. Stanford University has a surgery simulator that even includes haptic feedback for those doing the training. Some of Stanford’s simulations use the data from scans from patients to create 3D models for practice, and has been in use since 2002.
Even in cars, virtual reality is becoming a major player. BMW’s developers have introduced virtual reality technology into their development process. They no longer need to build expensive specialized facilities to test their environments, they have decided to take advantage of the HTC Vive. Using the Vive, BMW’s developers are able to implement and test modifications and receive feedback from their teams across the globe.
This incredible development can allow us to improve our current reality and be able to try many new things without risking things that would normally be restrictions. There are so many new possibilities and so many doors have been opened thanks to the continuous development of new technology opening the world of virtual reality.