When you think of virtual reality (VR), the first thing that comes to mind is probably virtual gaming. VR gaming has completely changed how players interact with video games, offering them a far more immersive experience that was previously impossible. And with all of the new VR gear and consoles on the market, now is a very exciting time to try out VR video games.
But did you know that VR has many more applications beyond gaming? VR has the potential to reshape society in any way imaginable, from how we work to what we do for fun. Here are some of the cool ways we’ll be able to use VR in the future:
The answer to the decline of physical shopping malls might lie in the virtual world. Online shopping will someday move to the virtual world and allow you to make purchases in a simulated environment. The virtual shopping process could resemble shopping in a real-life mall with stores, kiosks, walkways, fountains, and decorations. You might be able to visit already-made virtual malls (perhaps ones designed after real-life malls around the world), or even “make” your own mall, meaning that you can customize the store selections that you see so you only ever see your favorites (and nothing else).
Want to test out clothing, makeup, or products before you buy them? VR shopping will allow you to do that in a more realistic way than AR and a more convenient way than real-life shopping. You could even shop for a car or a new house virtually, allowing you to experience both in a new way.
Who says you’ll have to leave your house to get an education? We can already virtually tour museums and different parts of the world, or join online virtual chat rooms for teaching purposes. But in the future, the entire education system might be virtual. Virtual reality has the power to completely transform education at all levels. You won’t just be reading about historical events or how to perform a certain task — you’ll actually be able to “relive” historical events, travel, and perform tasks virtually. VR education also has the potential to be more fun. This could help to engage more students, and more engaged students learn better.
Can’t travel the world for whatever reason? In the future, virtual travel might become the norm. It’ll be cheaper and more convenient than real-life travel, but at the least, it’ll be another way that you can explore the world. Think of it as a Google Maps simulation that you can step into, but with virtual hotels you can actually stay at and real-life people you can meet in the virtual world. You could virtually travel to India, Argentina, Iceland, and Thailand all in an afternoon. Visit the world’s best sights, go to a museum, check out some nightclubs, or climb Mount Everest. There are so many possibilities!
This type of virtual travel might eventually be combined with a type of sensory simulator that allows you to “feel” the weather or “smell” your environment. Or, if you want to head to a virtual spa for a massage, you could use a VR-equipped massage chair at home that will allow you to “feel” the massage. This will add a whole new level to immersive VR experiences. Although many people might not find it better than the real deal, it offers an alternative for those who aren’t able to experience the real deal, need a chance to relax, or simply want to be entertained.
Right now, VR job training is mostly being used in more specialized and dangerous industries, but it has the potential to be used in any industry. It can help medical students to practice performing complicated surgeries or get experience with a variety of patients by simulating medical care. It can also be used to help architects visualize their creations, astronauts to see what traveling to space is actually like before they go, or train soldiers for combat.
Additionally, VR could be used for retail, customer service, or sales jobs. It could replace real-life trainers while offering trainees the same experience. This would allow business operations to continue operating as normal without any disruption. So VR offers a much more efficient way that employees can be trained for any job. Technology might already be changing business, but VR has the ability to completely transform business.