Virtual Reality (VR) is the computer technology to create a visual simulated environment. Because we humans are visual creatures, VR shows a lot of promise to change the world. From entertainment to education, research to medical use, VR has shown a lot of promise.
Virtual Reality technology
Virtual Reality’s most recognizable device is the head-mounted display (HMD). Because we humans are visual creatures, HMD is something going to be mainstream soon. In addition, display technology is the biggest difference between VR systems and common user interfaces. For example, CAVE automatic virtual environments display virtual content on a room-sized screen. While they are fun to use in a university or lab, consumer wearables are an emerging trend.
Major players in the VR industry
The best-selling VR headsets are from Oculus, HTC, Sony. However, this is not a surprise as they are the leading HMD makers for the last few years. Recently VR landscape is getting bigger with Google, HP, Lenovo, and other companies who are entering this market.
Mixed Reality HMDs
There is a big confusion about the difference between Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, and Augmented Reality (AR). Besides, everyone seems to think that AR is a mobile phone experience. While VR needs an HMD, Mixed Reality devices such as Microsoft Hololens use headsets to overlay 3D images on top of the real world. This is very cool, but certainly not Virtual Reality.
How Virtual Reality is being used today?
Even though the video game industry is the biggest market for VR, there is some world-changing use for it. So, here are three major uses of VR to improve efficiency.
- Data visualization: Scientists and engineeres has benefited for years from using VR in big data visualization.
- Aviation, medicine, and military: In these sectors, VR training is an alternative to live training taht requires expensive equipment in dangerous situations.
- Mental illness treatment: the treatment of some mental illness like PTSD benefits from the use of VR technology to therapy programs.