All the rage around Virtual Reality (VR) and its cousin Augmented Reality (AR) seems to have died down quite a bit, but that’s usually a good sign around newer technology which has since been introduced. If we look at the likes of cloud technology, one would have been justified in dismissing its use, especially since it was mostly presented as a platform for media storage, going on to open up a privacy can of worms with come celebrity nudes leaked from what appear to be some hacked cloud storage accounts.
Bringing things back to VR, it appears to have failed to completely capture the imagination, especially since getting a pair of VR goggles in some countries is such an expensive exercise that they’re not even offered for a cash purchase. You have to buy them on credit.
There are indeed some very practical applications of VR though.
A richer gaming experience
I had to discuss gaming, if only to get it out of the way, because of just how big an industry it is. People take their gaming very seriously, testimony to which is how much they spend on gaming consoles and the latest game titles to come out for those gaming consoles. They then go to spend money on memberships to gaming groups, forums and other services and there are even some spectators who watch interactive gaming tournaments without taking part themselves.
So as far as the implications of VR to the gaming experience, it’s somewhat of a match made in heaven. VR definitely offers a much richer gaming experience, one which is often not confined to consumer-level home gaming, but is rather accessible through the likes of gaming arcades.
Google Earth-style travelling
Google Earth is not quite as ubiquitous as one might first think, but it has a wide enough reach. In fact, Google Earth has many would-be travellers and even existing travellers lost in the many destinations they’d like to visit, for hours on end, or exploring those destinations they’ve already visited in greater detail.
Add VR to the mix and the experience comes alive in a whole different manner, but this could be useful in route planning and such.
The Boeing 737 Max saga comes to mind in consideration of flight simulation training as a practical application of VR, but that’s exactly what VR offers – a way to train individuals such as pilots for high-skill jobs such as flying aircraft.
Obviously nothing beats the real thing, but VR can go a long way in making for a more controlled and safer environment in which to hone those skills.
Skilled labour technical assistance
This more of an AR application, but in some automotive factories what is otherwise seen as some useless novelty tech in the likes of Google Glass is used to offer technical assistance to technicians or skilled labourers who are working on the factory floor. You get real-time, guided assistance on which part to manipulate, how to manipulate it, etc, how to identify it, etc.