As Virtual Reality technology develops, there are a wide range of industries that are interested in expanding into this multi-billion dollar industry such as:
Live Events Industry
This allows people to feel like they are REALLY at an event, like a concert, art exhibition, or sporting event, all while decreasing the cost that would be typically associated with such an event. Imagine if you could attend a concert without the typical costs associated like travel, ticket cost, and time off work!
Travel and Tourism
Like the live events industry, the travel industry is also expanding into Virtual Reality because you can increase visits to museums, landmarks, etc. while cutting costs for the consumer. People can experience a small taste of travel and adventure through virtual worlds!
Movies and Video Games
Imagine the experience of watching a movie becomes more than just sitting in an uncomfortable movie theatre seat, where instead the audience can be immersed in the story! And instead of sitting on your couch to play a video game, you can be immersed in the virtual world and feel like you are actually inside of a video game!
With the assistance of Virtual Reality, while renovating your home or constructing a new building designers and architects can actually “walk through” their designs in order to finalize their designs. This can cut costs associated with home design and increase the functionality of new spaces!
While Virtual Reality is slowly taking over the entertainment industry, it also has interesting applications for education as well!
In the field of education, Virtual Reality can help students experience “real” life and have hands-on experiences in a variety of contexts. Students can experience a virtual simulation of a historical place and time which will take students beyond the descriptions in their textbooks. VR can provide relevance to some of the topics they are learning in the classroom and can enhance the more traditional methods in the classroom too!
Virtual Reality is already having great benefits in engineering education. VR can be used to reduce time and material costs normally associated with innovation, can reduce impact on the environment by reducing wastes, and can allow engineering students to experiences environments that would otherwise be difficult or unsafe to access. In engineering, Virtual Reality has been helping to reduce development time and costs needed to improve the quality and usability of new products, and has shown to be a beneficial tool for engineering education.
It can be a struggle to make subject matter relatable in the classroom when students have not experienced it in real life. One of the biggest benefits that Virtual Reality will have to education is its ability to bring these things to life! VR can allow for teachers to expose students to subject matter that they cannot experience in the real world!
For example, if students are learning about Shakespeare, think about how helpful it is to be able to take a virtual tour of The Globe Theatre as it would have been in Shakespeare’s time to see how a production may have had to be staged? This is why virtual reality is such a great educational tool, to allow for students to experience things they would not otherwise be able to experience. It’s not JUST for fun (even though it totally is lots of fun!)
Research into virtual reality is still quite novel but it has enormous potential for expansion into various industries, and not just for entertainment, for education too! Of course there are still hurdles (such as budget) to making VR widely available in classrooms, but the future is exciting! Students do not have to be bound by classroom walls in order to have a range of experiences, Virtual Reality is only expanding and the benefits it can have for education are very exciting!