Virtual reality entertainment is immersive and amazing – films, music, gaming and exploring the world are all suddenly in interactive 3D, not just flat 2D.
Rather than just watching on a flat screen we are moving and interacting, it’s still “screen time”, but it’s a more physical experience.
Of course, it’s probably not good for us to spend all day in virtual reality!
Virtual reality will add far more than just entertainment to our lives and the benefits of virtual living go further than just entertainment.
Virtual reality will improve our access to healthcare and learning. It will undoubtedly improve the quality of life for those less able, and it will encourage us to talk more – “face to face”.
Below, we analysed and included some of the most crucial ways in which virtual reality will change an everyday life:
#1 Better Healthcare
Healthcare has to be the biggest across the board benefit from virtual reality. Medical practitioners from every discipline have an opportunity to learn and practice in a “real-world” scenario.
Surgeons can develop new techniques to improve the success of critical operations working on almost “real” patients. Which means when they operate on a real person, they know exactly what might happen, how to deal with it, and can work more accurately and confidently.
Virtual reality provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about mental illnesses and how they affect a patient’s perception of the world around them. Virtual reality applications for patients can show practitioners exact how a patient reacts or feels when exposed to their anxieties or fears.
Virtual reality software is in development for better diagnosis of patients. Seeing a patient interact with the world gives a psychologist far more information than the answers to questions in a cold, awkward, office.
Certain conditions can also be treated, like phobias and PTSD, by allowing sufferers to experience and work out their fears, in a safe virtual environment.
A doctor in your house
In the future, we could attend a doctor’s appointment, with a real doctor, in virtual reality. Without needing to visit an overloaded hospital or surgery. At first, this will be for minor conditions, but the potential is enormous. Think of the impact for those who struggle to get to a doctor’s surgery or hospital.
The next step from this could be virtual doctors…
Training for caretaker
Care for those with debilitating conditions can be improved significantly if caregivers can better understand their patient’s needs. Mental and physical conditions, even a patient’s individual situation, can be simulated.
Caretakers can experience the “virtual life” of their patient to understand how better to treat them, and create higher levels of empathy.
#2 Virtual Learning
We can learn in our homes in virtual reality, with a near real experience. We can explore the world, every sight, or museum, and understand far better the world outside our doorstep. Especially if we cannot travel.
It’s not just adult learning though.
Children could benefit hugely from a virtual teacher, the technology is not quite available yet, but it certainly will be.
What if augmented reality, and artificial intelligence combined with virtual reality, gave us perfectly qualified, interactive teachers in our homes?
Okay, the parent/child experience is vital. But, having a qualified physics teacher in your living room, to work with a child on a complicated project, one who can react precisely to a child’s level of understanding, could accelerate learning incredibly.
#3 Talking “in-person”
We know the criticisms of technology, we spend too much time staring at our phones or screens, typing messages to our friends and family, rather than going to visit, or talking to them on the phone.
We live today in a world where families and friends are scattered due to a global movement. Virtual reality allows us to talk face to face, and in person, in a café, bar, even a simulated version of the home we grew up in.
We can see each other’s expressions, reactions and even soon, gestures.
#4 Quality of Life For the Less Able
We’re almost back to the healthcare benefits of virtual reality on this topic. But it’s not just healthcare. Many physically less able people barely leave their homes, who can’t visit their friends, or explore the world.
The cost will be a barrier to improve the quality of life for the less able or elderly, with virtual reality. And, of course, learning to use new technology. But, for some at least, either through their purchase of virtual reality equipment, or access to an organisation, the less able are beginning to experience virtual living.
For someone who is wheelchair bound, imagine the freedom of being able to visit every beach, or the top of every mountain in the world, in near real virtual reality.
#5 Preparing for Dangerous Situations
We don’t all work in dangerous situations. For those that do, in the military or demanding work environments like mining, drilling and construction, virtual training can better prepare them for every eventuality.
Safety and fire procedures can be practised over and over in virtual reality. If the worst happens at work, the virtual training experience may reduce panic, and make a situation less dangerous, or an outcome better.
The military, police, firefighters and doctors can prepare for any emergency situation in almost real life. Rather than just covering the theory in a classroom. They can learn how they, and others, can react, and be better prepared for an actual emergency.
Increasing Benefits of Virtual Living
Virtual reality has gone through a significant boost in the past few years.
Early adopters of virtual reality systems like the healthcare sector are beginning to show us major benefits of virtual reality, applied to our daily lives.
As technology improves and the price of equipment and development falls, more sectors will adopt virtual reality. This adoption will start to impact our daily lives as these areas begin to use the technology.
We’re only touching the tip of the iceberg of the benefits of virtual living. It’s easy to think about lots of potential virtual reality applications to improve our lives.
For example, banking, likely to be sector slow to adopt virtual reality, but once it does, how much more comfortable will it be to visit your bank in virtual reality? The list is endless…
If you have more ideas on how virtual reality will change our lives, share with us in the comments below!