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Virtual Reality – A Future Beyond Gaming

Randy RayessRandy Rayess

With the launch of Playstation’s VR headset, Facebook’s Oculus RIft, PS4 VR, we are on the break of the dawn of the virtual reality revolution. While stereotypically, considered for gaming technologies, the virtual reality world is expanding with new applications and the tech giants like HTC, Microsoft, Samsung, Google etc. are investing heavily in its research and development.

But the question arises – is virtual reality really worth the hype? How far can it be expanded to make significant impact on other sectors? Are the expectations and investment going to pay off for the much awaited tech revolution? Virtual reality is going to be the big change in the way we interact with our screen based devices and empower the way of human imagination. The future generations will learn, live, communicate and connect in a whole different way than we do now.

Virtual reality is set to transform every aspect of our lives. Today, the perception of virtual reality has changed as companies search for new ways to make data accessible and easier to understand. Augmented reality superimposes computer-generated images and overlays information on a user’s real-world view. Virtual reality takes this a step further by creating an immersive, computer-generated environment. It is also being researched to deliver these new workplace experiences, such as improving collaboration or making hands-free data access easier. Typical examples of these workplace experiences include training, design, and field service. These  will benefit across many types or organizations and roles such as viewing digital dashboards for knowledge workers or providing a digital overlay that displays equipment health to a factory manager.

Companies are creating brand new ways to build, sell and service products through virtual reality like Lowes are experimenting with virtual reality headsets to help their customers visualize furnishings for a kitchen remodel. With mass adoption of virtual reality through popular platforms like Oculus, HTC Vive, Cardboard and Playstation’s VR, consumers and businesses alike have already begun flocking to virtual-and-augmented-reality platforms as they come online. Virtual reality has become a brand new marketing space for companies to attract and educate customers about their products and services in a much attractive way.

Virtual reality has gone far beyond just the gaming technology that it was once perceived to be. Many companies are utilizing it as a marketing tool. Virtual reality as a marketing arena certainly will revolutionize the way of brand awareness, experience and advertising. For instance, Volvo introduced a virtual reality test drive for their XC90 SUV. The experience took the user down a breathtaking country backroad with the feeling of being in the leather-preened driver seat of the highly-rated, luxury sports utility vehicle. Marriott Hotels tried putting users in telephone booth-like teleportation devices complete with heaters and wind jets for the real feel of a beach destination and more for their vacation getaways marketing.

Some of the educational and training projects of virtual reality include NASA’s PlayStation VR demo of how VR could help its operators practise using robotic arms on the International Space Station. VR films – whether fiction or documentary – is another fascinating area for experimentation already, particularly on the journalism side. Like Lucasfilm has experimented with Google Cardboard and a series of short VR videos called Jakku Spy, released before Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Virtual reality, without a doubt, presents an unexplored space of endless potential to us. The way it is now and from the expectations about its growth, it’s going to change the word as we live in. A couple of decades later it would be hard to imagine that we ever lived without such technology in our lives. With companies exploring about its applications and potential and researching about its advancement, we’re on the brink of a technological revolution that is going redefine every aspect of our lives as we live today on a global scale.

CoFounder at VenturePact Passionate about software, marketplace startups & remote work. Previously at SilverLake Partners, Ampush and Wharton.