In 2015, when the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was being developed, the Facebook-owned VR company announced that a ‘virtual reality era’ was dawning. Last year, Oculus released a VR headset for consumer purchase, and they continue to develop new models. For the past few years, virtual reality has been a hot topic for journalists and tech enthusiasts alike, but most accessible VR experiences have been limited to gaming. Is the dawn of virtual reality as close as some sources say? Which industries will benefit from the rise of VR? Here, Tej Kohli Ventures explores the not-so-distant future of virtual reality, and how it could affect our lives.
The Growth of VR
Though we may not currently use VR in our daily activities, the industry is rapidly growing. New research reports that global virtual reality revenues will hit $7 billion this year, and could even reach $75 billion by 2021. This growth will undoubtedly be driven by the incorporation of VR into our day to day lives.
Industries with a VR Future
Beyond entertainment, virtual reality could play an important role in a number of fields. Healthcare is a prime example of VR’s many uses. VR simulations of a patient’s anatomy can aid in diagnosis, and can also help doctors understand the effects of treatment. In addition, VR can help with rehabilitation for patients dealing with strokes and brain injuries by framing rehab exercises as a fun game.
Have you ever considered how VR could revolutionise the way you shop? Virtual reality could streamline the retail industry, allowing customers to experience items without the store having the item physically on-site. Imagine choosing your sofa colour with a VR headset on!
In addition, the ability to simulate buildings through VR could disrupt the architecture industry. When designing a building, architects could create a VR model, manipulating the lighting, materials and other aspects to experience what the structure will be like once it’s built. This method of designing could save millions of dollars in design flaws during the construction process.
One of the most exciting possibilities for VR is its use in education. Virtual reality will allow students to experience science and history for themselves—taking a tour of a human cell or walking the Great Wall of China through VR could give pupils incredible insights and personal perspectives. VR could also bring together students from all over the world in the same classroom—without the students having to leave their homes.
What It Means for Us
Though we’ve been gearing up for the dawn of a ‘virtual reality era’ for years now, recent innovations and growth in the industry are promising. The release of VR headsets for home entertainment use is just the beginning. Virtual reality has the capability to transform so many areas of our lives, from the way we shop for groceries to the way our children study for tests, and new applications will develop as we become accustomed to VR in our daily activities.
For Tej Kohli, business and emerging technologies like VR are inextricably linked. Investing time and energy into exploring the possibilities of virtual reality can help us flourish in the workplace, ultimately leading to more innovation and a better future.