How VR will Change the World

23-May-2016

The hype around VR won’t stop anytime soon. Having worked on a number of VR related projects, especially the well-received Virtuix Omni Treadmill, for almost 2 years, CRE8 has learned from this immersive experience in designing VR gaming products and we are excited to share some firsthand know-how.

In its exploratory phase, VR has focused mainly on gaming, but the immersive technology is slated to take the experience to a whole new level and it will become visible in different everyday scenarios.

VR Travel
The rise of Virtual Reality in travel and tourism is one example. You can go deep in the rainforest or appreciate sculptures in world renowned museums without the hassle of flying over. The VR travel experiences may not be able to fully replace actual travel as it is still hard to replicate all senses such as the “smell” of a city or the interaction with locals, but for people who are physically challenged or have concerns about budget, VR tourism would be an ideal way to visit the world. Furthermore, it can take you to places where you could never go in person, so you won’t have to be an astronaut to space walk or visit the moon.

VR Sports
When it comes to watching and playing sports, VR will soon be fully capable of transforming your living room into a sports arena. Simply put on a pair of goggles or a VR helmet and you can easily get a front row seat hearing the cheers from the crowd, or move around with your favorite player on the football pitch. Getting bored with your daily workout routines? The headsets will allow you to jog in different cities every day or cycle on the boardwalk along the beach rather than in the gym. Dare not to compete in F1 racing? Enjoy the race to the extreme while sharing a cockpit view with Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton.

Real Estate and Automobile Showrooms
Want to book an appointment with your real estate agent? Just take a virtual tour first to check out the house of your dreams and actually walk through all the rooms in the building while filtering properties to the ones you want to see in real-time. Same for your car shopping experience, the automobile industry has already launched showrooms with the latest VR technology to let you check both the exterior and interior, even the engine of vehicles, and experiment which package option is for you. One thing to look forward to: a VR test drive will be next in line.

VR Gaming
Back to the territory that we are most familiar with - VR gaming, what should we expect next? While some leading mobile phone companies (e.g., LG and Samsung) dedicate their efforts on developing VR headsets for mobiles, we at CRE8 are wondering: phones and tablets are undoubtedly more affordable entry-level VR products, but how far can they take the immersive experience? Will they one day be able to meet or surpass the same experience that the goggles or helmets offer? Or will phone-based headsets die when prices for VR goggles start to fall?

All the Sensory Experiences
Most current virtual reality technologies focus on visual experiences. Though still under development, soon the technology could simulate almost all the sensory experiences, from virtual taste, sight, smell, sound, to touch. Hence it may help in terms of military training, surgical practices, or to create a more vivid, lifelike dining or travel experience. However, will we be able to handle it? Could VR play with your mind so much that you won’t tell the virtual reality from reality? Due to this nature, VR may become a powerful tool to stimulate our brain. On the good side, this could treat various mental illnesses or help people quit smoking; on the flip side, VR could create new mental “highs” with drug-like addictions to follow. This is definitely food for thought…in reality or virtual reality.