Application of virtual reality and augmented reality | TheCable
Technology is making possible swifter change and progress, resulting in an acceleration of almost everything from education, banking, governance, entertainment, and healthcare, to mention a few. However, not only the trends and emerging technologies are advancing, a lot more has happened bringing IT professionals to the fore as we all discover that their role has become indispensable in the contactless world now reality. We must be continuously learning, unlearning, and relearning to stay relevant to the work and life demands of today.
These demands call for the use of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Extended Reality (ER) for a better overall experience. VR puts the user in an environment, that AR enhances, and ER extends. The differences between VR and AR become evident in the devices required and the experience users get. AR tweaks a real-world setting and allows users to control their presence, ER extends possibilities while VR is entirely virtual and users are controlled by the system.
All of that said, the main advantage of VR and AR is the personalization it supports for content and new business experiences. With VR and AR tech, infused into the user experience, ‘try-before-you-buy’ becomes much easier allowing many good trial options. This allows e-commerce businesses to offer customers an experience of their purchase while in the comfort of their homes on their smartphones.
Moreover, virtual and augmented realities help to increase brand awareness due to the unique nature of social media platforms, as users experience the product in an immersive, and engaging way, by themselves. Startups can strongly grow their online presence by leveraging the power of AR and VR.
In addition to the afore, augmented and virtual reality options allow the integration of web analytics and social media, which help better understand users’ choices and behavior for customization and endless possibilities (including those not yet apparent). Such depths help the business better allocate its resources while planning for a future its customers can experience individually.
Furthermore, prototyping and testing become cheaper and easier to achieve with myriads of tweak possibilities. This saves a huge amount of money and time while offering so much useful practical knowledge. AR and VR offer approaches and superior tools for engaging with ideas in prototypes, while also testing until more desired outputs become realizable.
In academia, VR can better bring academic subjects to life with little to no risks, while allowing students to gain newer and fresher perspectives on the subject they exemplify. Although VR won’t replace real interaction, with learning primarily as a social experience, it offers learners a good augmentation. How could schools better use VR in their classrooms? VR brings to light topics that are visual and tactile, for example, students can learn physics, electronics, and chemistry (to mention a few) with little to no exposure to the physical laboratory hazards of an error in connection or mixture.
Healthcare is, however, not excluded when virtual reality is subject as it helps to treat phobia or anxiety. Imagine that one is taking a virtual walk along a very high bridge while a coach provides guidance to master the fear of heights (would have been helpful before my tour of the 163-floored Burj Khalifa). In addition, VR pediatrics could use the same to assist children to get through their treatments without pain. They could also be applied to areas requiring physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Moreover, VR finds extensive use in tourism as it could simulate amazing landscapes or a luxurious hotel room while you are in the now. It could also allow users to personalize their destinations of choice while generating revenue for the smart business people who make that possible for others.
The organization’s human resource development could leverage VR and AR in training employees to handle real-life situations. Some airports now make use of this technology for safety training. Pilots have long used VR platforms to gain mastery of techniques that could enhance their profession. This has allowed a cut back on losses resulting from damage to aircraft, while drastically reducing the cost of training. Some companies also utilize VR to train employees on emergency handling. Walmart, for instance, uses VR tech to train and prepare employees for real-time threats, like a sudden shooting case.
Another area is gamification (adding game mechanics into non-game environments), which helps employees learn better and demonstrate an increased success rate. Gamification reaches a whole new level when infused into AR and VR technologies. Organizations and governments can engage it to get new employees up-to-speed while cutting the monotonous process in two. A lot of thought can be invested to present the best of your organization, and put together a superior and engaging learning experience.
It is no news that VR and AR are mainstream in the gaming industry. VR gamification is more appreciated by gamers because it offers a perception of reality and helps the employees learn on the go. Facebook’s historic $2 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014 began the trend in modern AR and VR. They offered Oculus twice what was paid for the acquisition of Instagram. At the moment, the company has a whole business unit called the Reality Labs with more than 6,000 people dedicated to it, as it brings together a world-class team of researchers, developers, and engineers to build the future of connection within virtual and augmented reality and a focus of democratizing VR. The Oculus Quest 2, an all-in-one device offered for $299, is changing the consumer virtual reality space and is, within a short time, positioning itself as the headset that will take mass-market virtual reality.
Another company doing amazing work is Sony, with their PlayStation games division as one of the most important business segments. It launched the PlayStation VR in 2016 and released a slightly updated version of the device a year after. Sony’s VR device has exceeded the performance of more advanced PC-focused headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive even though the PS 4 user base is not as much as the PC one. Individual sales of the PS-VR since its release in October 2016 hit 5 million dollars back in January 2020, placing it as the best-selling virtual reality headset on the market, whose sales have only continued to increase in the last 365 days.
Asides from Gaming, Healthcare, and Education, Austin Texas city leaders are using AR and VR to prepare emergency responders in case of the unexpected. Philadelphia is engaging VR as a way to improve the accessibility of public transport. Various municipalities in North Carolina are seeking ways to leverage the technology to harness the potential of everything from tourism to workforce development. AR and VR have become more ubiquitous and user-friendly, and they offer enormous possibilities for every citizen-focused government to explore innovative options, especially when infused with artificial intelligence. Truly, if you can dream it, VR can make it, as I round off with Spiegel’s thought that virtual reality is like dreaming with your eyes open. I remain yours in tech Olufemi Ariyo. Email: [email protected]
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