An overview of Virtual reality applications and their future impact on AI
In the last post, I discussed about augmented reality applications and their implications for AI
In this post, I will discuss virtual realty applications
I am very interested in combining AR/ VR with the Digital twin based on my work at the #universityofoxford
Both these ideas (AR+VR and also the Digital Twin) add a virtual element to the world and in combination they can be used to simulate a process
Unlike Augmented reality, virtual reality provides an immersive experience like the Microsoft hololens
see this example from GE and Microsoft of VR in manufacturing for modelling a machine as a digital twin
VR allows engineers and designers to experiment easily with the look and build of a vehicle before commissioning expensive prototypes.
Healthcare professionals now use virtual models to prepare themselves for working on real bodies and VR has even been used as pain relief for burn injuries.
Human Simulation Techniques
VR is very helpful in various human simulation techniques and enables doctors, physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals to interact with others.
With the primary emphasis on pain relief, DeepStream VR developed an app that distracts patients and places them in a landscape with changing seasons with a mix of different creatures in it.
This company is working on creating a simulation-based surgical exploration and training. They use a series of simulators with a digitally replicated environment.
In an attempt to use VR in various treatments and therapies, "Virtually Better" developed various therapies, with the most notable being "exposure therapy". Here, the patient is exposed to an anxiety-causing stimulus in a controlled environment, which facilitates faster recovery of the patients.
Working on a stimulating surgery using their "Virtual Surgeon", Medical Realities has developed a 360-degree video, which unlike traditional still surgery videos, provides a detailed perspective of the surgery to help surgeons stay better prepared when they step into the operation theater for the first time.
This company is developing a simulated surgery system, which allows users to use their hands.
This organization represents a possible synergy between gaming and healthcare using VR to promote positive health effects, such as fitness, good hygiene, etc.
Therapy for Paraplegics
VR headsets are being used to enable paraplegics to build back their brain functions and regain control of limbs.
VR simulation technologies are being used in medical education and training,
Virtual Reality in Diagnostics
VR is being used as a powerful diagnostic tool, which helps doctors and physicians to carry out accurate diagnosis.
VR is slowly changing the way exposure therapy is being carried out for mentally ill patients, by providing a low cost, flexible and low-risk solution to treat mental illnesses.
Physical Fitness and Therapy
Many startups in the industry are combining cardio routines with VR and changing the way we exercise.
Virtual Reality in Surgery
The surgery is performed by a robotic devise, which is controlled by a human surgeon. This method reduces the time and risk associated with the surgery complications.
In Realities, you can visit exciting places like the Alcatraz Prison. Once you click it on the virtual globe, you will be transported into it and have an educational tour of the area.
Do you want to climb Mount Everest? Or do you want to know how it looks and feels like from a climber’s perspective? If yes, then Everest VR is perfect for you. This interactive VR experience is the closest thing you can have, without worrying about the dangers of actual climbing like death and frostbite.
Place yourself in a giant aquarium exhibit through theBlu by Wevr. Using this VR collection of underwater experiences, you will be able to meet whales face-to-face and swim with bioluminescent jellyfish without investing in expensive scuba equipment or diving classes, not to mention that expensive plane ticket to and accommodation in the Bahamas.
Atlantis Dubai Virtual Tour VR 360
technology for providing virtual tours of hotels and hotel rooms
Maldives VR 360 – 4K Video, Visit Hamilton Island in 360˚ Virtual Reality with Qantas, A Virtual Honeymoon to London and Hawaii
Virtual Travel Experiences
Learning and Development
The L&D market is beginning to open up to VR, with companies such as VirtualSpeech providing VR training for soft skills.
Lloyds Banking Group have introduced a VR exercise to assess graduates for its 2017 intake.
You can now play multiplayer poker in VR with Poker VR. It’s just like being in a real casino where you can talk to other players and read their body language.
VR is being used in the entertainment industry to heighten experiences with 360 films and increase your emotional connection with them and/or the characters.
Disney Movies VR
takes the user to red carpet events and to an interview with ‘The Jungle Book’ cast
moviegoers can up their cinematic experiences with applications like Oculus Cinema
created a virtual stadium for them. This platform can make them experience the thrill and excitement of a sports game, alone or with their friends, without having to leave their house.
Live Concerts or Performances
Can’t go to a live concert or performance because of various reasons? Virtual-reality technology can help you with that. Next VR, a VR filming company, captures such performances and brings them to you.
Samsung Gear VR
headsets that use smartphones as the screen in a pair of goggles
Art and design
The most well-known application for creating art in VR is Tiltbrush and it’s amazing what some people have managed to paint in it. You can also make virtual 3D models and sculptures with MasterpieceVR.
One of the more unique ways VR is being used is by Galatea, who provide a writing and narrative design management tool for immersive storytelling.
Thanks to VR technology, people can learn more about a country’s culture and history by virtually visiting its museums and/or exhibits.
a VR set that is specifically designed for schools, allows young students to explore the aftermath of a natural disaster, providing a better understanding of the effects of such disasters on people’s lives while developing their empathy towards these people.
In professional education, Redmako Learning pioneered the use of VR technology in diploma courses such as BSB50215 Diploma of Business, 10118NAT Diploma of Social Media Marketing, and CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support. By delivering these courses in virtual reality, students get a uniquely enhanced learning experience.
Events and conferences
An example of this was at the Mobile World Congress 2016, when conference attendees wore VR headsets as they attended the launching ceremony of the new Samsung S7 and S7 edge smartphones.
There are several players already building social communities in the VR space, such as High Fidelity, vTime, AltspaceVR, Oculus Rooms and Parties, and VRChat. Altspace is one of the most popular and holds regular community-created meetups on topics from ‘Mingle and Chill’ to ‘Boss Monster’ to ‘Lia’s birthday drawing party’.
For example, in 2015, Unicef used the video ‘Clouds Over Sidra’ to double their donations towards their work with the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
Coca-Cola was one of the first companies to try out virtual experiences in their marketing when they transformed their Christmas advert into VR in Poland.
As with the military, police forces are using AR and VR tools from companies like VirTra to train personnel in simulated scenarios complete with visual, auditory, and physical stimuli (ranging from barking dogs and street noise to the recoil of discharging a weapon).
Courtrooms and Justice System
In the United States, jury members can now evaluate crime scenes in 3D.
News and journalism
You can now watch news stories and documentaries in VR. The New York Times has already entered this space, and it’s only a matter of time before other media outlets join them. In the NYTVR app, you can experience stories rather than just listen to them, as if you were standing opposite the journalist where the story is happening.
Guardian VR app
The Guardian has published a number of pieces employing virtual reality and has created a “Guardian VR app,” which readers can use to readily access virtual reality journalistic content.
Through the help of VR technology, NASA is building cutting-edge ways to explore space further. Specifically, they are trying to control a robotic arm using the combined technologies of the Oculus Rift headset, Kinetic 2 sensor, and Xbox One game console.
, a tool developed at Benaroya that uses VR to visualize images from confocal microscopes,
, an app designed for these simple devices, visualizes the connectivity of the human genome as a Mars-like landscape scarred with a colossal wall
Work Collaboration in the Workplace
Since teamwork is essential for a company’s success, VR technology makes it possible for workers to hold meetings through video conferencing and deliberate on issues.
Creating Ideas and Forecasting Trends
Virtual reality allows businesses to come up with fresh ideas and perform tests before implementing them in the actual environment. This immersive technology allows companies to forecast trends and determine the performance of projects beforehand.
Training on Social Cognition to Manage Autism
Autism impairs the reasoning, interaction, and social skills of patients. Virtual reality technology can help in managing the condition by boosting the patients’ brain activity and imaging.
Image source – GE / Microsoft
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