The gaming industry might be the primary innovator within the virtual reality (VR) space. But VR applications extend further than gaming. While VR is an amazing tool for the gaming industry, this is just one market segment.
As non-gaming platforms, VR applications are experiencing a growth in diversified content. Greater expansion in multiple industries such as tourism, retail, and education greatly increases the adoption rate of virtual reality in the wider consumer market.
VR has immense potential to impact the future of many industries. Below, we list five industries already realizing the limitless potential of virtual reality.
A growing number of educational virtual reality content is enabling students to learn beyond the classroom. VR applications allow students to take virtual field trips and campus tours, and even participate in distance learning programs.
The popular social application VR chat is used in the University of British Columbia Law School to enable distance learning students to participate in virtual reality lectures. Stanford Graduate School of Business recently launched a certificate program delivered entirely through VR applications.
2. Travel & Tourism
Several applications, such as Google Expeditions and Discovery VR, are giving potential travelers the opportunity to experience a place before they visit.
The “try-before-you-buy” model available through virtual reality allows for greater marketability of travel products. The immersive travel experiences available through VR enable consumers to preview destinations to decide if it’s right for them.
Medicine is going digital. VR applications are affording healthcare practitioners, from medical students to nurses and surgeons, exciting new opportunities in gaining experience in caring for patients.
Virtual reality can simulate numerous clinical scenarios for physicians and nurses to safely make beginner mistakes. This allows medical practitioners to effectively tackle medical errors and miscommunication in a realistic but completely safe environment.
Medical VR applications are not just about education, though. Virtual reality therapy is being used as a treatment tool for mental health issues, pain relief for burn victims, and even rehabilitation for people with physical disabilities.
From fashion walks to online shopping, VR is making fashion more accessible to a global market. Imagine being able to try on different outfits in the perfect size with just a swipe of your hand. Through virtual showrooms, this is possible.
When combined with augmented reality (AR), fashion designers and retailers can showcase their collections through a virtual showroom. Avametric and Virtusize are two virtual reality shopping platforms that enable customers to access digital garments that faithfully showcase size and fit.
5. Corporate Training
Training is an important segment of virtual reality.
As healthcare showed, VR training simulators can create immersive medical scenarios that imitate their real-life counterparts. And much like healthcare, emergency services, aviation, and the military are turning to VR to train their personnel.
Virtual reality also plays a role in business applications. VR is a cost-effective solution for businesses looking to improve their employee training. Companies like Walmart, UPS, and Boeing are employing VR for worker education and training programs.
Companies that use VR as a tool for corporate training has seen increased employee retention rates and productivity rise.
6. Real Estate
Despite being a newcomer to the real estate industry, virtual reality is already addressing certain pain points for realtors and customers alike.
VR, with its sophisticated software, is making home touring more accessible to both home buyers and tenants. This is providing potential buyers, particularly overseas buyers, accessibility to a larger pool of available homes without having to physically travel to the location.
Virtual reality allows real estate investors to visualize the progress of a home renovation project. Investors engaging in real estate flipping can make use of VR to effectively communicate their desired end product with their contractor or renovation team.
Expanding the commercial reach of VR
While consumers tether VR to gaming, there are a lot of different ways industries can tap into the immersive experience of virtual reality. The VR applications above are just a brief snapshot of the capabilities of VR technology.
Virtual reality is a diverse technological tool that can be adapted to any industry. Be it retail, education, or corporate training, in the immediate future, expect to see VR play a larger, more transformative role.
This article was written by Judit Chackal, the responsible for the marketing, communication and business development efforts of Reach MENA and its sister company, SENSE-R, the leading MENA-based virtual reality developer for VR branding projects and Industrial Training Simulators. She has over a decade of experience in delivering strategic marketing & business development visions for global clients in the travel, hospitality, events and education sectors. Her passion for content and experiential marketing led her to the field of virtual reality project development.