Virtual reality and augmented reality are increasing in importance in business and even in everyday life. While many people think of VR and AR as a cool way to play video games—think of Pokemon Go as the flagship of AR gaming—both are in fact much more useful beyond gaming.
Medicine is a field that is already using VR technology to its advantage and is seeing results that can help save lives. Doctors are already using VR in the pre-planning phase of surgery to better visualize incisions and to go over strategy. There is little question that these kinds of medical VR uses will only expand precisely because exploratory surgeries can now be done virtually, and as a result, much more safely. If a doctor can see inside a patient in three dimensions before operating, then surgery is much more likely to be safe and successful.
Education is another place where VR and AR can be very useful. By creating a virtual environment in the classroom, students can immerse themselves in a subject. Instead of going on a field trip, a class can quickly be brought to a different part of the world, and even a different era entirely, because of virtual reality. It can also elevate the learning experience from the classic textbook experience by showing graphics and models in 3D.
Auto designers, architects, and interior designers are already using VR and AR, and it’s likely those industries are only going to expand their use. AR can be especially useful for interior designers, as they will be able to show customers in their actual space how furniture is going to look in a certain area or what it will look like with a new wall or other design elements. This development might eventually remove the need for renderings. Artist concepts will come ever closer to what the finished product will look like.
Of course, VR is still in its early stages as far its integration to the general public. Yet, there is little question its cost and practical uses are improving. As costs decrease and quality increases, more and more private uses of the technology will become available. Whether it is gaming, watching films, or virtual travel—and potentially improving quality of life for many people—VR is opening up possibilities the public has only just begun to imagine, virtually or otherwise.