Virtual reality (VR) has been a concept since the 50s, and is now finally emerging as a viable platform in the tech industry. From the start of the new millennium, VR startups attracted approximately $1.46 billion in venture capital. The growing trend of VR is strongly booming and by the end of 2019, projected VR capital could be $15.9 billion. As a result, Citi is projecting that demand for VR related hardware — glasses, headsets and other products, could surge to $200 billion by the end of 2020. A multitude of industries will be affected by the rise of VR. Here are four industries where there could be the greatest potential impact.
VR has begun to show its benefits in the education sector. Providing immersive experiences to students, virtual reality can take students to any time or place in history to better impart the significance of historical moments. Using 3D modelling, as VR becomes more sophisticated, students will be able to build virtual models of anything! These models can range from the smallest molecular structures, to the largest objects in the know universe!
VR can also be used as a powerful tool for data modelling. Enabling students to visualize information in 3D, will provide an interactive experience unparalleled by any data mapping software. Finally, VR will facilitate distance education, enabling remote students to sit in a virtual classroom, fully immersed in the traditional education environment.
Although the interactive experience may not lend itself to live events yet, immersion in 360 video is proving to provide an amazing experience from the comfort of your home. With the emergence of 360 cameras at sporting events, fans can immerse themselves in a 360 degree, VR livestream of the event. The potential of VR for events extends beyond sporting — to concerts, performances, and theatre. We’re extremely excited to watch the emergence of these experiences.
Virtual reality in healthcare is not a new idea. VR has been used in patient treatment for over 20 years. Physicians use VR to treat patients with phobias and PTSD, by slowly exposing them to the stimuli that cause their anxieties. In training, VR is used to simulate high-stress environments, like surgery, allowing doctors in training, and even more seasoned doctors to experience new situations in a non-life threatening environment.
The emergence of companies like SyncThink are starting to push the boundaries of what applications VR has in healthcare. Utilizing their product Eye Sync, they are able to track abnormal eye movement within a minute to identify symptoms of a concussion. Within the healthcare industry, there remains an abundance of red tape deterring many companies from following through with innovative ideas. We hope to see more organizations pushing through the bureaucracy to disrupt traditional healthcare.
VR is revolutionizing the real estate market, side-stepping the arduous process of visiting endless locations during the selection process. Whether searching for residential or commercial property, a client can sit comfortably in their realtor’s office, virtually visiting each property through an immersive 360 degree tour. The benefits are even greater when hunting for real estate in another city or abroad, reducing the need for travel, and encouraging international real estate transactions.