The reach of virtual reality is expanding. With new software and hardware comes more engaging and realistic graphics, and with creators pouring in comes incredible experiences and stories. Now, the rest of the world is taking notice, and learning to incorporate the new technology into their work. Check out the exciting, and unexpected, places you’ll see VR this year.
There’s nothing quite like getting away from it all for a while. Virtual reality can help distract patients from pain and put them back in touch with what matters most. Doctors, like those in this video from Cedars Sinai, are seeking out virtual reality to help give their very sickest patients a chance to be back out in the world again for a little while. There’s promising research on the effects of VR on pain tolerance; but most importantly, it’s a ticket to another place or into a captivating game.
In an Architect’s Office
Sometimes, drawing out a project isn’t enough. Interior designers and architects are discovering they can better communicate their vision to clients and friends by modeling a building or dressing a whole room in VR, where it costs nothing to make a change. Imagine knowing beforehand that the cabinets in your kitchen would be built at an awkward height, and being able to fix it before production, or having a client tell you whether the bedroom you’ve designed feels restful enough before you go in with the paint and light fixtures. This gives designers the opportunity to create a rough draft with a “real-world” feeling.
Whether you’re learning about geography, biology, or astronomy, nothing can be compared to experiencing the real world. Virtual Reality removes the barriers of cost, safety, and even the laws of nature, so that every student can get up close and personal with their favorite subjects. Students can already experience a space launch, shrink to the size of a cell, and play with a moving mathematically accurate Solar System. Future innovations may take them to the lips of volcanoes, every season in every national park, and much much more. The ability to engage in learning through VR is incomparable to any other medium, and today’s advances are making it affordable and accessible to students of all kinds.
At the Museum
School isn’t the only place where educational experiences are making a splash. Museums are quickly discovering that Virtual Reality is a great addition to traditional exhibits, allowing people to get closer to fragile artifacts or go back in time to see ancient cities. There’s hope, too, for offering VR as a way to see long-lost artist studios, the paintings “beneath” a finished work, and even adding whole new virtual wings to existing museums.