Virtual reality has come a long way since the idea came about in the 1860s. Originally thought of as a way to better serve theatre audiences, it has since seen increased applications for it in various sectors like the gaming, education and tourism industries.
Overcoming a brief resistance entering the market, it has now been mainstreamed and widely used. This is largely due to advancements in computer technology, especially in powerful mobile technologies while prices continue to fall. The video gaming industry has also played its part by driving development of Virtual Reality games. Google released Google Cardboard, a DIY headset that is powered by a smartphone, for provisional virtual reality products.
With a myriad of things that VR can do, here are some things we look forward to doing:
1. Living life as an athlete
At times, watching boxers or UFC fighters have a go at each other can leave you wondering “Why didn’t he punch here? Throw a jab to his left?” or better yet, "How hard can this be?" etc. Given that our feeble bodies probably won’t be able to withstand the amount of punishment these fighters take in real life, the next best alternative would be to do it virtually. Not to mention, it's a pretty good way to destress after work.
Interestingly enough, Samsung has launched free VR previews of UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championship fights and a short preview that allows users to see what it's like to spar with Max Holloway (A UFC fighter) in the UFC octagon.
2. Exploring Countries
If cash is an issue, the next best alternative would be to view your friends’ Instagram or Facebook Wall photos and videos of places they went to. Well, Virtual Reality is here to lend you a helping hand. The opportunity to see the Niagara Falls, lions in Cape Town, participate in the Venice Carnival and many more. The possibilities are endless, and the experiences are always eye-opening and highly appealing.
The tourism industry has already adopted this approach when it comes to selling package tours, it allows such an immersive experience that consumers simply want to see so much more. Thomas Cook, a travel agency, has utilized VR to great effect, allowing customers to “Try Before You Fly”. They saw a 190% increase in New York excursions bookings after people trued the 5-minute version of the holiday destination in VR.
3. Watching movies in VR
More and more movies are increasingly coming out with VR experience or a 360-degree experience. The whole idea is to engage audiences on a much higher, much more intense level. Now, they actually get to live it, feel like they are right there with the characters in the movie. Imagine fighting side by side with the Avengers or exploring the seven seas with Captain Jack Sparrow.
Currently, there’s VR experience for several movies like Alien: Covenant and Dunkirk. It provides a new level of entertainment, engagement and perhaps, you'll now know what it's like to stare at the Hulk as he's charging at you.
4. Riding roller coasters
This literally offers you a quick fix for your stress-filled day after work, put your hands up, feel the gravity, twists and turns, all from the comfort of your sofa. Give yourself that adrenaline buzz, thrill factor or terror, depending on your opinion of roller coasters before zipping back to work.
5. Exploring Space
While on the topic of traveling, space VR is becoming an increasing hot topic. The intriguing mystery of space has always been an alluring prospect for many to ponder about. Been able to travel the galaxy and discover the universe and beyond sounds like such an engaging and fascinating concept. Project “Mars 2117” was unveiled at the World Government Summit in Dubai, a result of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) plans to have the first city on Mars in the next 100 years. Mars 2117 was showcased in VR to provide sneak-peek of the project.
At the start of 2017, there were an estimated 230 companies developing VR-related products. Many big companies like Facebook, Google, Sony and Microsoft have dedicated VR teams. The Virtual Reality market is expected to be valued at $7 billion by 2018, it’s better to hop onboard the VR bandwagon rather than deny its viability for your business. Pardon the shameless sell-out, but check out our VR service page here.