30 May 2017
virtual reality

Is virtual reality just a gimmick?

VR-y useful… 

Virtual Reality (VR) seems to be finding its feet in 2017, and it has now become synonymous with gaming and entertainment (and art!). However, there is more to VR than just zombies and virtual worlds.

Virtual Reality startups have received strong support over the past few years, having raised more than $1.46 billion in venture capital since 2012 (and growing). Considered to be a useful tool that enhances human interaction and engagement, the changing world is finding new ways to make the most of this technology.

In fact, there are more uses of VR than you probably realise. From the hospital to the classroom, via engineering and construction, the possibilities are endless.


Taking VR to class

Modern education is starting to take VR seriously. Students no longer want ‘traditional learning’. Instead, they want to immerse themselves in a subject. Being told about a topic is no longer enough. In this tech-heavy world, kids are struggling to be motivated within the confines of the classroom. They want to see, hear and feel it – and VR is the perfect tech tool to make it happen.

Dropping students into an immersive world can only enhance their learning experience, and tech companies are recognising the potential. Learning labs, teacher training, subject content… the educational uses are impressive.

According to classic research by Edgar Dale, the average person only remembers 20% of what they hear and 30% of what they see, but up to 90% of what they personally experience.

Take a look at Unimersiv – the largest platform for VR educational experiences. On a mission to make learning fun again, it downloads new experiences every month and can even help teachers create their own. Students can take a journey through the human body, explore the Titanic, or see the Acropolis of Athens as it was thousands of years ago.

It’s almost enough to make you want to go back to school!


Healthcare: the biggest adopters

Encompassing surgery simulation, phobia treatment, robotic surgery, and skills training, VR in healthcare enables skill development without causing any danger to patients.

When distance can be an issue, VR has provided the solution in bringing doctors, surgeons and health professionals from all around the world together.When

When Dr Shafi Ahmed performed a three-hour surgery of removing cancerous tissue from the bowel of a patient, it was broadcast live through virtual reality.

When time and space is limited for trainees to witness surgery, this provided the perfect cost-effective solution. Enabling doctors to see best practices almost first-hand through VR can assist the sector in making major advancements faster.

It could even be life-saving.


When VR means business

Virtual Reality has a number of business applications, and companies have been pushing forward in adopting the technology.Head of the queue are estate agents as VR tours of new and existing properties become increasingly common.

Head of the queue is estate agents, as VR tours of new and existing properties become increasingly common. The use of VR in property is already a $1bn industry globally, and according to Goldman Sachs, this is set to treble by 2020.

When distance is an issue, you can tour the house in VR. If you are buying off-plan, you can see what the home will look like in VR. Virtual open houses are increasing in popularity. The owner of a West Yorkshire farmhouse recently saw 6,000 views and two offers within 24 hours after holding a virtual Open House by using the live-streaming app Periscope.


It’s VR but not as we know it

VR has an exciting future in a range of sectors. Every year, virtual reality finds a new use in a new world.
We might think we know virtual reality, but its potential is virtually unknown. But one thing is for sure, it is more than a game!