When we hear the words Virtual Reality (VR), most of us think “gaming”. The time has come to open our eyes to a wider range of applications for this revolutionary technology. Over the last years, VR started proliferating various fields such as education, healthcare, art, etc.
As a result of this VR technology has established the position as a crucial driver for social and economic growth with the “VR for good” or “VR for impact”.
Let’s explore some of these applications…
Education as a prime candidate for VR
We are relying on the next generation of young scientists to move humanity forward in its battle against climate change, cancer proliferation, and water shortages. Yet “science is found to be boring, ineffective and expensive” (Moskovitz, 2011) and young students are not engaged. This is why education is considered a prime candidate for VR.
In order to recover a sense of purpose in learning science, professors and innovators are teaming up to build empowering and inspiring immersive experiment simulators for students.
As an example of this Micheal Bodekaer, scientist and innovator, introduced “Labster” in Copenhagen, an exciting virtual platform that immerses students into a virtual cutting-edge laboratory where they can take ownership of the learning by performing experiments, solving mysteries, etc.
Virtual immersive experiences help cancer patients be more responsive to treatment
Initially, VR entered the healthcare arena as a way to help surgeons perfect their skills. Today, VR is expanding to patient care as a way to help patients in palliative care cope with severe illnesses.
As a matter of fact, Leyton recently partnered with the “Centre Eugène Marquis” in Rennes to launch a fundraising initiative for the purchase of VR technology. The project is intended to build virtual immersive experiences that will transport cancer patients to paradise islands, savannas, ocean depths, etc. to build morale help them be more responsive to treatment.
“Leyton recently partnered with the Centre Eugène Marquis and Arthur Le Vaillant to launch a fundraising initiative for the purchase of VR technology in the hospital.”
As a fully involved supporter of this initiative, Arthur Le Vaillant, a professional sailor and sportsman joined in and has committed to take on fun challenges while racing on the Route du Rhum as the fundraising progresses.
Don’t believe the hype?
While it may seem like motherhood and apple-pie, we must face the fact that VR is still in its experimental stage and there are many hurdles that need to be over-come before we can reach the kind of positive impact intended by the “VR for good” movement.
The creation of good quality content, the high cost of quality platforms that support and deliver quality VR content and the network infrastructures in some parts of the world are only a few challenges of the development of VR for Good.
But don’t despair we’ve seen that China is facilitating access to VR through VR theme parks and that the EU is working on improving Europe’s connectivity and internet infrastructure to foster VR technology – the future may be brighter than we think after all!