We already told you that in 2017 virtual reality is going to be on of the biggest trends, and will skyrocket in use. To see where we are now with VR, we should look at where we started off. I was at a Facebook 360 presentation the other day, and in it, they said: “virtual reality is a trial and error process, you try it out, it doesn’t work, you start over again.” Before I go any further, I guess I should explain what Virtual Reality (VR) is. It’s pretty straight forward. VR is a computer-generated environment. When you put on the VR headset you ‘step’ into a different virtual world. Hence, Virtual Reality.

So, a recent upgrade happened on Facebook where anyone can take videos at a supposed 360 degrees. A quick life hack. If you post a panoramic shot, Facebook converts it into a 360 video. I discovered this by accident. But still, it is pretty neat.

I wish I knew all of the technology behind VR and VR movies, videos, pictures, etc.I am not very tech savvy so; I’ll just tell you about all the cool things you can do with VR. If you have the time and money creating a VR video for your company can be a huge branding and marketing strategy. It is a new way to reach people. But VR cameras expensive, editing the videos is time-consuming (between 2-4 hours for a 30-second video depending on what your shooting).

So far what can you do with VR? Well, large companies and brands have already started to invest in VR videos for their clients, customers, etc. I would say there are about 8-9 overlapping categories of uses for VR. With new cameras being created with the intention to capture VR stories and uploading and live streaming tools and algorithms growing quickly. VR is happening quickly.

Entertainment

My favorite pastime in the summer is to go to concerts (indoor and outdoor) of all genres. But, sometimes I’m unlucky and don’t hear about it soon enough and miss out on tickets. Well with VR I can slip on the headset and virtually be at the concert getting the full experience.

Art& Design

Let’s say hypothetically you’re building a house, wouldn’t it be great if you could see the design and layout virtually instead of a bunch of lines on paper that we pretend to understand but don’t. I watch a lot of home design shows – and being able to see what the plan is before actually doing it seems helpful. Or maybe you’re an artist; you could collaborate with people all over the world to paint a 3D painting. With this technology hitting the market quickly, VR is a playground for all.

Gaming

I’m not big on video gaming but think of the places Video Game designers could go with VR. And no more remotes.

Education and Simulation

So many studies have told us that reading and learning to memorize is not working and retention of information is decreasing. VR could change that. Imagine in history you’re learning about ancient Greece. The entire class could take a VR trip back in time to Greece and learn things in the environment – experience it rather than learn about it. Without the expenses and risks. Or if you were doing a book report, imagine acting it out and going on an adventure in the safety of your home, bed, school, etc. The simulation could let you test things out and practice techniques, responses, ideas, etc. without the risks.

Tourism & Exploration

Virtual tourism would allow you to hike the Grand Canyon, travel to Paris, Germany, and Thailand. You could also go to space, walk on the moon, or go to the bottom of the ocean. Tour the hotel you’re staying at and travel to your destination. A new way of planning trips is here.

Psychology & Meditation

With VR you can escape your reality, take some private space to relax and think. It could be a place to face your fears without any implications. Studies have shown the VR can be so effective that is works as an effective painkiller compared with traditional painkillers

Real Estate & Shopping

Like testing out a destination before you travel, VR can allow you to tour a home, property or other residential areas, as if you were right there in person. With VR you can place life-sized models of your furniture and get the full impact of what it will be like living there. I hate walking around malls and going shopping. The crowds overwhelm me – imagine just slipping on a headset and having unlimited clothing to try on, with no one else around you. That is my kind of shopping.

Social & Telepresence

VR can introduce a new way to be social – you can become an avatar and interact with friends, chat, play virtually calls another. The opportunities are endless. With the virtual shrinking of the world – VR is making cyber distances even smaller.

Medicine

VR is already implemented used in many areas of healthcare and the medical field. From diagnosis, treatment, e.g. surgery, rehab, and counseling. It can train doctors and other medical professionals. VR is currently being used in motor rehabilitation. At the Facebook 360 presentation I mentioned earlier, on of the speakers mentioned that the multidimensional and multisensory virtual reality environment is helping paraplegics and quadriplegics gain feeling or tingles back in their limbs. Going into a virtual reality where you can see your toes wiggling, can help form new brain spinal cord pathways. There is still a long way to go, but I think that it is great that we can make these improvements. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC546406/
VR can make the impossible possible. Maybe one day we will be able to experience our memories virtually. Now with every good thing in technology, we always have to consider the consequences. Maybe with VR, people will exercise virtually and be unhealthy, what happens if the technology crashes, what about radioactive, cancer-causing waves. We won’t know a lot of these answers until the technology has existed and been used for a while. But I think embracing change and technology rather than fearing it is the best way to live. I’m all about the optimism.

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