13 Amazing Uses for VR Beyond Gaming

Military | Education | Health Care | Sports | Science | Video Gaming | Entertainment | Business | Architecture and Construction | Fashion
Film | Engineering | Art and Music | Museums and Travel

Virtual Reality in Fashion

The fashion industry is pouring money into VR, but their use is mostly to broadcast normal fashion shows, merely in virtual reality. At this year's New York Fashion week, Refinery29 shot 8 runway shows all in 360-degree viewing and released them on their Facebook page. Fashion houses like Rebecca Minkoff and Dior have developed its own stylish custom version of VR headset.

What else can you experience with fashion VR besides watching a fashion show? You could try on clothing in a virtual space. See yourself try on numerous outfits in an instant. Atlantis Virtual Reality and Zugara are just two companies that have created virtual dressing rooms. Online retailers can use the software, Webcam Social Shopper, to let shoppers to use their webcam as a magic mirror to try on items virtually. Not many e-tailers are doing this now, but we image this can create a better online experience for your shoppers that leads to increases conversions, brand awareness and engagement.

Virtual Reality in Fashion
Virtual Reality in the Military

Virtual Reality in Education

Kids today learn and want to be taught using the latest technology. Virtual reality will let children experience a whole new way to learn and perhaps keep them engaged and talking about their education. The expansion of Google's VR education program, Expeditions Pioneer Program, takes students on virtual reality field trips right in the classroom using Google’s smart phone base VR viewer, Google Cardboard (price starting at $15 USD).

Nearpad, which usually is run on a tablet is another VR application that takes students on a virtual field trip. Virtual experiences like Google's Expeditions Pioneer Program and Nearpad give students the opportunity to travel to another country, engaging in new journeys and immersing students in entirely new experiences.

Virtual Reality in Health Care

Virtual Reality in Health Care

The two areas that virtual reality will be most utilized in healthcare are training and rehabilitation. Next Galaxy, a developer of VR solutions, and Miami Children's Hospital have joined together to create VR didactic modules on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as well as other lifesaving procedures that will be available on smartphones and tablets. Participants using this VR CPR training will be able to make clinical decisions regarding proper techniques, after they make assessments using specific medical VR scenarios. Real-time feedback from the virtual CPR will give trainees the instant opportunity to correct any errors they've made and perform CPR techniques accurately.

VR medical simulations are meant only to supplement and not to replace traditional medical training. It offers unique opportunities to learn new skills in a controlled setting before going on to the care for patients in a medical environment.

Virtual Reality in Entertainment

Gaming isn’t the only way to have fun using VR, theme parks are repurposing roller coasters as ride systems integrated with VR for an out-of-this-world experience. Six Flags, the thrill seeker's theme park, will be repurposing nine of its roller coaster rides. The New Revolution Virtual Reality Coaster at Six Flag's Magic Mountain in Los Angles, California is open to riders and fully equipped with Samsung Gear VR wireless headsets. When riding the coaster, you’re no longer looking at reality, your flying through a city sky battling aliens.

One company is building an entire virtual reality theme park call The Void. It is a full-body simulation, and it is completely wireless. With The Void, you are completely free to go wherever you want within the bounds of the simulation. The Void, Sony Pictures, Madame Tussauds New York and Ghost Corps have teamed up to bring Ghostbusters to life like never before. Included in the multi-sensory, all-immersive environment will be Ghostbusters: Dimension, a first-of-its-kind, virtual reality (VR) experience based on the studio's new Ghostbusters movie.

Even airlines, like Qantas Airlines, is offering an in-flight VR entertainment experience for it's first-class customers.

Virtual Reality in Entertainment

Virtual Reality in the Military

From jumping out of helicopters to training snipers and their spotters, virtual reality is changing the way we prepare for war. The cost savings for governments can be in the millions. Instead of building simulated environments, cabins, classrooms and buying training equipment, VR can replace and relieve much of the financial cost associated with military training. Virtual reality is helping to train the perfect solider.

UK electronic design service, Pletek, has been creating training simulations for army medics. Although virtual reality can't recreate smells of gun powder or burnt flesh, the visual and audio effects of a VR severely wounded solider can still create a heightened sense of fear and anxiety.

The Oculus Rift has a library of ready to use 3D models of tanks, guns, and soldiers that were develop by Unity, a game development platform that builds games to be deployed on VR.

WorldViz helps create virtual reality solutions for defense and military organizations. Their Vizmove VR System supplies a complete hardware and software solution, from the VR headset down to the customizable virtual environment

 

Virtual Reality in the Military

Virtual Reality in Museums and Travel

Virtual reality can add a lot culture to our lives. It could instantly transport users to the Louvre in Paris or take you back into history and experience the perfectly preserved Pompeii. Several museums have already collaborated with VR developers to create virtual spaces where people can experience walking through the museums' physical collections. The British Museum in London launched its first virtual-reality weekend last year. Held in the museum's Great Court, 1200 family visitors had opportunity to interact with Bronze Age objects from the collection in a virtual reality roundhouse settlement via Samsung Gear VR headsets. American Museum of Natural History in New York City teamed up with Google to create an educational VR experiences. Anyone with a smartphone and a Cardboard VR headset can now take a tour of the museum. Google Cultural Institute has added many other virtual experiences such as ballet performances and wonders of the ancient world.

Hotels are even getting into the VR business. Marriot invited customers in eight cities to virtually travel to Hawaii or London using the Oculus Rift. They've also launch "VROOM Service". Marriot guests would borrow a Samsung Gear VR headset and experience three "VR Postcards". In these 3 locales, the guests are taken through a unique tour and learn about the significance of the destination. 

Chances are, most of us will never experience space travel in our lifetime. Thanks to virtual reality, we can experience space or Mars safely with your feet planted on Earth. NASA has taken thousand of images and put together a 360-degree videos of what walking on Mars would be like.

Virtual Reality in Museums and Travel
Virtual Reality in Business

Virtual Reality in Business

People today want visuals to make a decision. Products sell better when there are lots photos accompanying it. Houses sell faster base on pictures a buyer views on a website. Business deals often require in-person negations to close. Virtual reality could save or earn business lots of money.

Real estate agents who integrate virtual reality with their properties might just see a increase in turnover. Companies like VR Global, Start VR, and Matterport have applications for real estate agents to take photos and videos and turn them into VR environments. VR real estate can engage buyers in the most immersive reality when they are too far to see a property in person.

Your company's HR department would probably love using VR in the future to interview candidates, hold training sessions, attend conferences, preview office building and hold meetings. Jet.com has used VR to give potential candidates the opportunity to experience the culture of their office before hiring. The cost of flying, accommodation, and transportation for going to conferences or in person meetings would be gone with the use of VR headset.

Virtual Reality in Engineering

Virtual Reality in Engineering

The engineering world has been using virtual reality for years now. Car manufacturer BMW, FordJaguar, Peugeot, and Renault all have VR centers. Now other industries such as cars, aircraft, boats, appliances, and factory planners are using VR to prototype their products. Manufacturers can create interactive virtual prototypes for far less money and time than a real prototype. See for example:  Airbus, BoeingLockheed Martin, Miele, and BAE.

VR is a great tool for engineering to identify early design problems and evaluate if a product is really manufactural. Making physical models and prototypes are expensive but it can be radically reduced in VR saving a lot of time, money, and increases product quality.

Virtual Reality in Sports

The world of sports has latched on to virtual reality for the purposes of training. Sports such as golf, skiing, golf, baseball, cycling, use virtual reality to refine their techniques, measure their performance abilities and demonstrate, through repetition, their flaws. Eon Sports is helping the sport industry create VR baseball and VR football training. They've developed for major sport industries like the NFL, SEC, and ACC.

Virtual Reality in Sports

Virtual Reality in Art and Music

If you haven't tried or seen virtual reality being used by an artist, your missing out on the endless possibilities art can do with VR. Time magazine gathered seven artists and filmed them using Tilt Brush, a program where users make art in 3D space using the HTC Vive headset and controllers. Some of the artists have never used VR but still created amazing drawings of galaxies and animals.

You might wonder how music would fit in with virtual reality besides creating virtual music videos. How about seeing what your voice looks like virtually? Intone is a music visualizer, instead of visualizing a song you have on your computer, it visualizes your voice. Another music VR app you need to try is Playthings. Imagine you're 5 years old again and you're got your first xylophone and you're in love with the sounds it makes. Playthings created the most colorful candy-land type world where you drum on gummy bears, hot dogs and other lovable candies.

Virtual Reality in Media

Virtual Reality in Science

Wired magazine said it right, "VR will make science even cooler";. At CES this year, NASA used virtual reality to share the experience of what it's like onboard a spacecraft. People got a chance to experience what astronauts would see when climbing into the Orion capsule at the top of NASA's Space Launch System.

Seeing fossils of the 120-foot-long Titanosaur at the American Museum of Natural History already makes you feel overwhelmed that something as large as that once walked the Earth. Seeing through virtual reality is a entirely new perspective. In the VR film, Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur, you get a real sense of just how gargantuous the Tiatanosaur really is compared to us humans.

Virtual Reality in Science
Virtual Reality in Construction

Virtual Reality in Architecture and Construction

Virtual reality is an obvious winner for the construction industry. It enables them to virtually build a construction project from architectural plans to test its viability. Juhee Rho, Director of BIM Department, Samsung C&T, gave a presentation demonstrating building a virtual hospital room using Unity Pro. She goes through different scenarios on how VR can be used and help with the practicality of the design.

There are now several companies, such as IrisVR and Floored, Inc., who provide software or services which allow architectural design firms and industry clients to tour virtual models of building designs while in the proposal stage. IrisVR provides software which can convert design files created in CAD programs into viewable 3D images with an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or a smartphone in one click.

Virtual Reality in Film

Virtual Reality in Film

Movie studios have been developing VR films to give viewers a new way to experience the cinema. Disney, Marvel, Twentieth Century Fox, Lionsgate, and Warner Brothers have all done work in the space, releasing VR videos as long as 20 minutes. CUK has compiled a list of VR Videos for your entertainment so put your headset on and enjoy:

  • The Hunger Games Virtual Reality Experience
  • The Lion King‘s iconic opening number, "Circle of Life."
  • Wild – The Experience
  • School of Rock
  • Star Wars
  • Jet Leg - A teaser of VR short film about out a young woman who’s visa expired and leaves India and her love
  • La Péri - A ballet in VR
  • Henry - A story of a little hedgehog with a big problem
  • Sonar - A 360 Experience in space
  • The Mission, trailer release - follows the adventure of a WWII Special Operations team that is dropped into a raging battle on the Eastern Front.

Those who are wanting to film in VR and have $60,000 can buy Nokia's 360 degree virtual reality camera called OZO. Nokia's partnership with Disney puts an Ozo cameras into the hands of Disney filmmakers and its marketing teams to create 360-degree, virtual reality content across all of the studio’s various brands. Disney has already used the Ozo for two recent pieces as part of the promotional campaign for The Jungle Book. Facebook also created their own virtual reality camera, Surround 360. Shaped like a flying saucer, Facebook Surround 360 uses a 17-camera array and accompanying web-based software to capture images in 360 degrees and render them automatically. GoPro has also announced pricing for its Omni camera rig. At $5,000.00, its a whole lot more accessible than the OZO or Surround 360 which is priced at $30,000.

Virtual Reality in Video Gaming

Between the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift, and the PlayStationVR, virtual reality headsets with the purpose of playing video games are becoming more and more common in this day and age. With games like EVE: Valkyrie, and Lucky’s Tale, the virtual gaming world looks to encompass any world that anyone has ever dreamed of visiting. Virtual reality in gaming allows players to take control of certain people and play through their lives rather than playing as a bystander and simply controlling the main character.

Running across Reach as Master Chief or seeing Hyrule Castle off in the distance as Link takes on a whole new meaning when it feels like you could actually reach out and touch the environment. Imagine being able to physically pick up your Battle Rifle to down Elites, or fight Gramps while seeing him appear right in front of you. All of this can become possible with the invention of these headsets as well as peripherals such as Gloveone, or the Manus gloves. Companies can take the gaming worlds we’ve always dreamed of to new measures with the immersive, 360 degree feel of these amazing new products.

Virtual Reality in Video Gaming