Through the lens: 6 Amazing VR Applications Outside Of Gaming

Editor: Jeremy Lawrence, Arabian Business

For years now, developers and proponents of virtual reality (us included) have maintained the stance that virtual reality will enter, and better our lives in numerous ways, some perhaps unfathomable to us today; however, the general consensus still remains that the extent of its use will move no further than wearing an Oculus Rift headset for a leisurely stroll in a digital park or confusing its potential with a game like Pokemon Go (that’s Augmented Reality!).

Well this should help paint a picture of just how fast the space is moving, but more importantly where it can and will go in years to come

1. Space

NASA is but the latest to jump on the virtual reality hype train, as it was reported this past summer by RD mag, Thomas Grubb from the renowned space agency is leading a team to develop six multidisciplinary pilot projects. A few of which include a collaborative virtual reality environment to design, assemble and interact with space crafts, a 3D simulation of Goddard’s thermal-vacuum chamber, as well as a 3D visualization of space around the sun, to allow thorough mission planning.

2. Real Estate

You know where we’re going with this; what better way to embellish on the lifestyle and environment one can expect of an under construction villa or penthouse than providing them with a visual tour of the same.

Last year, at Cityscape Jeddah, Artar Real Estate Development’s provided Saudi home seekers and investors a VR tour of their Mada Residences. As per Goldman Sachs Investment Research, VR in Real Estate could reach up to $2.6 billion by 2025.

This supercharged form of experiential marketing in addition to remote client management, and other positive factors is why many in the industry look to VR/AR as its future.

3. Healthcare

Samsung recently signed with Korean VR studio and Gangnam Severance Hospital, one of South Korea’s largest hospitals to develop VR-based mental health solutions and Aaron Stanton, director of Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise has claimed that many of the mainstream VR sports games, built off of the popular and nostalgic milestone Wii games, are actually more effective at burning calories than exercise.

And finally and perhaps the most significant development, VR could provide doctors with further insight into cancerous tumors. Apparently, through wearing the Occulus Headset, the wearers can see how the certain drugs combat DNA strands inside the cell of a cancerous growth. The possibilities are certainly endless, and this year at GITEX Technology Week, we have surgeon Christopher Queen to help shed some more light on the topic.

4. Travel

Not sure whether or not to head to Bali, the States or maybe just stay home for the summer? All your travel planning worries maybe be solved with a quick virtual tour of your select destination, all from the comfort of your lazy boy.
And now, you might even be able to step into someone else’s shoes, with locally born app 360 VUZ providing a platform wherein users can share (you guessed it) 360 degree videos, allowing you to see the world through the lens of another.

5. Retail

The benefits of VR application in retail have been in development for quite some time now. IKEA, in a testament to their corporate vision have been on the bandwagon for at least a few years. Recently releasing the AR ‘Place’ app, which allows the users to decorate their homes with IKEA furniture digitally. While it may seem like a fringe benefit, the app has massive cost saving potential; imagine the number of times items would get returned simply because they didn’t look the way you thought it would at home or the failure to even make a purchase due to the indecisiveness.

The obvious next step, a perfected virtual storeroom, which as you can imagine, costs far less than a physical one. Could this be the value add e-commerce stores (already growing rapidly) need, to dominate retail ‘space’.

6. Education

People learn in different ways, and for many, ‘seeing’ and better yet ‘feeling’, is a far more effective tool than reading or having something narrated to you. VR allows the student and teacher to be involved in the environment their studying and share the same experience. NASA as discussed is doing some great work in this space. In the UAE, last year, the Ministry of Education ran pilot projects leveraging VR headsets to explore ‘’worlds and scenarios too difficult or dangerous to experience in real life — such as the destructive effects of climate change or a tour of the International Space Station.’’ as reported by Khaleej Times.

If you’re ready to join the AR/VR revolution, do make sure to stop by this year’s GITEX Technology Week, where esteemed speakers the likes of Head Of Digital Learning & Innovation, Steve Bambury and the aforementioned Christopher Queen to highlight the pros, cons and some of the barriers to innovation in this space.