Initially, it was difficult to imagine that we would be able to study, work, visit doctors, meet friends, and watch concerts of our favorite bands live until recently; thanks to all kinds of video services. Today, all is taken as a given.
If anything else is capable of surprising contemporaries, then it’s virtual reality. VR technology is far from new. The term “virtual reality” was first used by Myron Krueger back in the 1960s. The first VR system appeared in 1962. It was Morton Heilig’s multi-sensor simulator called “Sensorama.” This system immersed the viewer in virtual reality through short videos, which were complemented by smell, wind, and city noise in audio recordings. Yes, this is not very similar to the modern idea of VR technology, however, more than 60 years have passed.
A few years later, the first VR helmet was created in 1967. The image was displayed using a computer. It was at this point that the development of virtual reality technology began in its usual form.
How virtual reality captures major areas of our lives
The most obvious use of VR technology is video games. We are not saying that this is a huge niche, but it takes about 11.6% of all sales of VR gadgets.
As you may have guessed, there are many other areas in which virtual reality technology is used:
- Healthcare — 6.1%
In healthcare, VR technologies are used by 3.4 million users. One of the most common areas of application is surgery. Also, virtual reality in medicine is being used to treat phobias.
It is difficult to predict how relevant virtual reality will be in medicine due to the complexities of legal regulation of many issues. However, the development of specific software is not an easy process.
- Designing — 4.7%
To date, about 3.2 million users use virtual reality technology in design mainly for testing the operation of various structures in the virtual space, as well as for working with digital versions of drawings.
Nevertheless, this direction cannot be called mass yet. The technology is quite expensive, and training staff to work with VR equipment takes time.
- Live events — 4.1%
Broadcasting various kinds of events in the virtual space is an increasingly relevant direction. Everything rests only on the high cost of VR equipment and the acquisition of the appropriate license to display.
It is unlikely that VR will replace conventional television broadcasts and attendance at offline events. Nonetheless, technology will still occupy its niche in the future.
- Movies and series — 3.2%
In this regard, the prospects for the introduction of virtual reality are simply huge. VR provides a better immersion in the story and a clear sense of presence.
Certainly, there are some limitations: existing content is difficult to adapt to VR, and creating new content requires the use of other technologies that are very expensive. Not every studio is ready to invest in such shootings, because users do not have the necessary equipment for viewing.
- Real estate sales — 2.6%
At the moment, this is far from the most popular area of application of VR technologies. According to forecasts, by 2025, about 300,000 users will use virtual reality technology in their work regarding the sale of real estate.
- Sales area— 1.6%
Currently, VR and AR technologies have 32 million users in the field of sales. This number is growing quite rapidly. According to experts, by 2025, the share of VR in the retail sector will hit $1.6 billion.
Today, virtual and augmented reality technologies are most often used in the sale of goods for the home, clothing, and cars. However, this list is likely to be actively expanded in the future.
- Military industry— 1.4%
In the United States, for several years now, VR technologies have been used to train military specialists, practice combat situations, simulate military operations, and much more.
At the moment, the use of virtual reality for military purposes is not particularly popular. According to experts from the World Bank, the number of potential customers of VR technologies in the military industry may hit 6.9 million people. However, this is in the most developed countries of the world. Later, when the technology becomes more accessible, the figure may increase significantly.
- Education — 0.7%
The use of VR in education is complicated. The price of the equipment is high coupled with the poor perception of virtual reality by the vestibular apparatus of many people, especially children. This form of learning is uncomfortable for many people.
For the same reason, VR is unlikely to replace online cam chats for dating and communication: cam chat with girls CooMeet, Nowchat, Chatrandom, and others. Classic cam-to-cam chat remains the most convenient, and effective, at the same time, it is a good tool for dating. Also, a large selection of online camchats makes it easy to choose the one that suits you.
What about virtual restaurants?
A virtual restaurant is a relatively new concept of catering, the essence is to place orders exclusively online. Nonetheless, these are not just restaurants with a delivery service, as you might think. We are talking about the entire metaverses with NFTs.
Popular places such as Chipotle, McDonald’s, Panera, and Wendy’s are actively working in this direction. Currently, it is difficult to say what kind of experience this will offer the users.
Obvious disadvantages of virtual reality
The main disadvantage is that the technology is imperfect and expensive. By and large, the only digestible virtual reality helmet available for purchase remains the Valve Index. Nonetheless, you will have to pay at best $1,000 to have one. Also, if you wish to own a VR set from Valve, you will pay up to $2,000.
Cheaper virtual reality helmets give a rather mediocre picture with a low resolution. The technology needs significant improvements.
Other disadvantages of VR at the current stage of its development include the following:
- A small amount of software is made specifically for VR.
- A strong feeling of discomfort and nausea in many people who use VR helmets. 20% of users cannot physically stay in the virtual space for a couple of minutes.
- Transferring a high-quality picture to a VR helmet is not yet possible over the air, hence, staying in virtual reality always requires a lot of wires and attendant discomfort.
At the moment, the majority of contemporaries do not understand the purpose of using the technology. However, this does not rule out the fact that VR and AR are the future. It’s just that the future is yet to arrive.