At current times, VR is on the verge of its mainstream adoption, but this technology has been applied in some sectors since quite some time. While we mostly see VR associated to gaming and entertainment experiences, defense, space and large industry sectors have been applying VR for many years. VR is one the foundational technologies of our future, it could be defined, for a number of reasons, as the next computing revolution.
Throughout the history of computing, computers have become smaller and more powerful. Starting from large server rooms in basements, computing has now gotten closer to us, so close that we even wear it, and in the future, integrate it with our body and brain. VR has been used as an ideal tool for simulating complex environments or specific conditions which involve hazards. This makes it the ideal training tool, since with VR we are essentially able to create any environment and simulate any event. When it comes to applying VR to business, training is definitely one of the first application of this technology. From this first use, VR has rapidly been seen as a revolutionary tool to enhance any digital experience, from collaboration to e-commerce, to marketing.
In the next years we will see a rapid growth in smart VR devices that will allow us to have a more immersive and compelling experience in VR. We currently use devices such as head mounted displays (HMDs) and hand controllers to interact in VR environments, but in a not so distant future, we will develop technologies that will allow us to fully immerse ourselves in virtual environments, with new types of man to machine interfaces, which will make devices become obsolete at once, and create a new breed of connectivity and interactions between ourselves and the digital world.
As we have been moving online most of our activities and interactions, what is really happening with VR is that we are adding a new dimension to the Internet. The third dimension. As we have been going from an internet of words and numbers, to one of images and dynamic content, we are now evolving from a 2D Internet to a new version of the web in 3D. As VR is opening the doors to the “world inside of computing”, what can happen once you add this additional dimension to the Internet, is really only limited by our imagination. While our digital world is going 3D, we are also merging the virtual with the real and creating Augmented Reality experiences.
We are doing this by placing a digital 3D layer of data and content, on our real life environments, hence connecting more and more the real and the virtual, in mixed reality experiences. Augmented Reality could be defined as virtual reality mixed with real physical elements, or as a subset of VR, a further step into merging the real with the virtual, to generate new value and content for our everyday applications.
So how should such a technology be approached today by an Organization? How do we implement it in different fields and with different use cases?
If you want to learn more, here are some resources I’d suggest:
- History and Future of VR Speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9axd9626-io
- LinkedIn articles on VR: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattiacrespi/recent-activity/posts
- Videos and examples of VR of corporate projects: https://www.youtube.com/user/templarmerlin
- Various presentations of applications of VR in corporate use cases: https://www.slideshare.net/MattiaCrespi1