A Sneak Peek at Virtual Reality

You’ve probably heard the hype around Virtual Reality (VR) and how this technology-focused tool is about to touch many aspects of human life from education to healthcare, real estate to the motor industry and beyond. The last two decades have especially seen big steps being taken to advance and develop this technology.

This ever-increasing awareness has seen time big players like Facebook and Google investing in the making VR products. Today products are more affordable and accessible, unlike when it was only expensive and applicable to military use or training pilots without having to physically be in an aircraft. At present, the market is exponentially booming and the market is expected to generate around R931.8-billion globally by 2027.

A BREAKDOWN OF WHAT VIRTUAL REALITY IS

Imagine sitting in an office space. A VR mounted headset placed over your eyes. All of a sudden, you’ve ‘teleported’ to a whole different environment. And as you glance around, everything looks real. You walk into a store and the manager warmly waves at you. Assuming you’re there, you also smile and wave back. Only to find that you’re waving back at the wall in your office. I literally shared the dancefloor with a virtual robot – and it all felt real.

Unlike our traditional books, the television set or any other media that have been our window to the world, virtual reality takes us into that world.

Virtual reality, sometimes referred to as ‘interactive visual simulation’, can be described as ‘a computer-generated environment in which the user is able to both view and have control over the contents of that environment’.

What this powerful immersion tool does is that it lets you interact with virtual objects while at the same time hearing, seeing, and touching the contents of that environment.

What you might be wondering now, is how might this technology be of best use to you. Let’s explore…

 

FEATURES OF VIRTUAL REALITY

Virtual reality can be experienced in one of the three ways: either fully immersed, semi-immersed, or and non-immersive, but still interactive.

Fully immersed experiences, which “removes” you from the real world, requires a powerful computer or laptop and other extra accessories. These could be motion detection sensors, data gloves, and any other sensors used to process the information that lets you become part of that environment and interact with it.

Semi-immersed, which often needs a head-mounted display and an app from a computer or smartphone, allows you to be immersed in the VR environment only to a certain extent.

The biggest advantage of non-immersive applications, however, is that it doesn’t need any dedicated device for display. Application of such can be found in desktop or mobile phones, meaning that content becomes readily available and for sharing with others.

However, just like any other technology, VR has its very own shortcomings. Once you are fully immersed in the experience, you have no idea of what is happening in the real world around you. Apart from that, you may feel a bit of motion blurriness, which can sometimes be at the cost of the image resolution in the VR scene.

APPLICATIONS OF THE TECHNOLOGY TODAY:

  • Trade shows and expos, letting more people to be in the same space at the time without having to worry about social distancing.
  • Architecture or product visualisation, displaying the process of a product or service from start to finish.
  • Corporate events, including internal ones like staff training or team building activities – even birthday parties too
  • Virtual tours, letting industries such as the real estate to walk potential customers through their dream homes.
  • Education and training solutions, where using the technology allows learners to interact with and experience an environment without having to be physically there.

WHICH BUSINESSES WOULD BEST BENEFIT FROM THIS TECHNOLOGY?

All businesses can benefit from this technology. However, as with so many tech-focused trends, the power feature in this trend is not the technology itself. It is more about how it will enable you as an innovator to get your message across or solve your customer’s needs in new and meaningful ways. You should think about what it will do for the user, and initially, your brand.

With that said, virtual reality shouldn’t just be read about, but should be experienced too. For an in-depth advice on the potential of VR for your organisation and how you can use it to enhance your product or service offering, feel free to drop us a line below.

(And if you happen to be anywhere around Pretoria, you can book a free experience and come wave at one of our walls too.)