Virtual Reality, a technology which humans are going crazy for soon might replace our actual world. This technology now has made us more reliant on itself since the spread of the pandemic. When you can’t go out and live in the real world, then why not switch to virtual, right?
First, let’s understand what this technology is. Virtual Reality in short VR is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment which can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors. The user uses a virtual reality headset.
The inception of Virtual Reality
The first-generation virtual reality gear was made in the late 1900s, around 1968. Although, the virtual reality concept came from the early 1800s. Practical photography developed in this period. That concept of later developed into View-Master, patented in 1939 and still produced today.
Working on the same technology, we got our first virtual reality device in 1962. The machine used scent producers, a vibrating chair, stereo speakers and a stereoscopic 3D screen and was named The Sensorama VR machine.
During this period, the head-mounted display or HMD device was also under development. In 1968 Sutherland, with his student, Bob Sproull created the first virtual reality HMD, named The Sword of Damocles. This head-mount connected to a computer rather than a camera and was a bit primitive as it could only show simple virtual wire-frame shapes.
In 2010 came the second generation of virtual reality headset. Since then, this technology is on a rapid rise as companies like Google, Facebook, etc. are working on this technology.
Business Application of Virtual Reality
Commercial Online Shopping and Retail
Several organisations are now giving their customers a reality-based buying experience at home. For example, IKEA has developed a virtual reality kitchen experience. This feature enables customers to put on a VR Headset and explore the store or examine different products before purchase. All this from the comfort of their own home.
Engineering and Manufacturing
Airbus, an aerospace corporation, has developed a cost-effective virtual reality maintenance system. This feature allows the engineers to check all the components of maintenance before starting the process of manufacturing. This features also helps in maintaining all safety standards. This technology helps in examining the comfort of the passenger’s seat.
Tourism and Hospitality
Hoteliers and travel agencies have started to involve this technology to attract more customers. Customers can use the VR Headset to check out the hotel and the place of vacation by staying at home. This experience from home helps the businesses to attract more customers.
Application in Training
Virtual Reality has enabled organisations to create a more efficient training environment. Efficiency is not only brought by making the courses more interactive and responsive but also by making them much cheaper. No physical attendees, whether trainer or trainee, are required. No need for physical training environment and no cost of maintaining the equipment as everything is virtual now.
Architecture and Interior Designing
Architects with, the help of virtual reality are now able to attract more clients. They present their ideas and designs to the clients through the use of this technology. With this, the client can gather a better understanding of what he or she is getting into.
On the other hand, virtual showrooms are currently replacing the physical ones. The customers are more willing to purchase the product when they can save their time, energy and money. Being able to do all this from the comfort of their own house is a bonus for the customers and it works in favour of the sellers. For example, IKEA Virtual Reality Kitchen.
Medical and Healthcare Application
Through the application of virtual reality in the medical field, the work of doctors to treat psychological disorders has gotten much easier.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or phobias are now getting easier to treat.
Doctors now can create a virtual simulation of a particular situation and the patient can be trained to face these situations. Patients are treated step by step until they gain the confidence to face such situations in real life.
Marketing and Advertising
Virtual Reality promotional videos are helping the organisation to attract more customers. The customers can virtually experience how these products add value to their life and can satisfy current and future business needs.
The performance of content marketing organisation is also improved, after attaching the virtual reality technology to their content. This helps them to make their content more engaging and entertaining for the viewers. For example, National Geography VR.
Application in Education Sector
Students can learn about any subject in a more interactive and fun manner through the use of virtual reality technology. Students can understand the subject better through virtual simulations. This can help them memorise even better.
Sports and Entertainment
Through the application of virtual reality technology, a sportsperson can improve their game by facing a specifically designed simulation. Application of this technology enables them to work on the most minute mistakes which they couldn’t have done in real life.
IIT Bombay’s Virtual Convocation
On the 23rd of August, 2020, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay held their 58th Convocation, but what is so special about it?
IIT Bombay makes history with this event. This event was organised in the most unique way possible. IIT Bombay used virtual reality to make this event interesting and realistic so, the students don’t miss out on the fun. Each student and professor had their virtual avatars. Each avatar received awards/certificates from the virtual avatar of the director Subhasis Chaudhuri.
The director said,” Providing a virtual reality experience to all our graduates needed not only highly innovative steps but also a tremendous effort by our professor and staff. They did it for the students. Hopefully, this will enthuse our graduates as well as other engineers in the country to think big and think innovatively.”
Prof. Duncan Haldane, co-recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics and a professor of physics at Princeton University, was the chief guest during the ceremony. Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone was the guest of honour. They both witnessed this wonderful occasion.
Many viewers attended this convocation. It was live on DD India and DD Sahyadri and also on YouTube and Facebook.
Reliance Jio on Virtual Reality
Reliance Jio went a step further with this technology and created Jio Glass. Jio Glass uses Mixed Reality (MR) technology. Mixed Reality is the merger of both the real and virtual world. The Jio glass merges the real and virtual elements to create an entirely new environment.
The design of the Jio glass is just like any other sunglasses but a bit thicker. This in comparison to the VR Headset is very sleek. The glasses have a pre-installed high-resolution display and an audio device. This helps in creating a more realistic and personal space for the user.
This enables the users to make holographic video calls with interactive 3D avatars. Reliance Jio also mentioned that this device can be used for 3D virtual classrooms, where the classes can be conducted via the Jio Mixed Reality Cloud. This device can be beneficial for reliance as the pandemic rages across the world.
This analysis confirms that the upcoming world will have virtual reality deeply rooted within itself. With such wide usage and such advancement, this technology is getting more popular and cheaper day by day. Soon we will enter the world which will be more efficient and will have no scope of making errors.
The improvement in holographic images might soon bring us to a future where we can make contact with each other through a holographic image projected outside a device. Seeing India’s progress in the field of virtual reality technology, it is safe to say that soon we will be at the forefront of this technological advancement.
Read our other analysis here: