Virtual reality technology holds enormous potential to change the future for a number of fields, from medicine, business, architecture to manufacturing.
Psychologists and other medical professionals are using VR to heighten traditional therapy methods and find effective solutions for treatments of PTSD, anxiety and social disorders. Doctors are employing VR to train medical students in surgery, treat patients’ pains and even help paraplegics regain body functions.
In business, a variety of industries are benefiting from VR. Carmakers are creating safer vehicles, architects are constructing stronger buildings and even travel agencies are using it to simplify vacation planning.
To help paraplegics regain body functions.
baranozdemir | Getty Images
A year-long study conducted by Duke University discovered huge benefits of virtual reality technology for paraplegics.
To treat PTSD.
MTMCOINS | Getty Images
Traditionally, doctors use “exposure therapy” to treat the nearly 8 million adults who suffer from PTSD a year. Exposure therapy pushes patients to recount their traumas, visualize it in their imaginations and explain to the doctor what is happening as they experience the stressful scenario.
To train medical students.
Caiaimage/Robert Daly | Getty Images
Virtual reality provides medical and dental students a safe and controlled environment to practice surgeries and procedures, allowing them to make mistakes without having any impact on an actual patient, and prepare for any unexpected situations.
To treat pain.
valentinrussanov | Getty Images
To treat anxiety attacks.
Dave and Les Jacobs | Getty Images
To help children and teens with autism develop social skills.
MariaDubova | Getty Images
Professors at the University of Texas in Dallas have created a program that uses virtual reality to help children with autism develop social skills. Putting kids, teens and young adults in social scenarios such as job interviews or blind dates with avatars, they learn how to pick up on social cues and respond appropriately.
To help in business.
Westend61 | Getty Images
Look out video chat, virtual reality is here. Businesses are beginning to employ VR in a number of ways: to reduce costs, lessen business travel, conduct interviews, give tours, forecast trends and hold meetings.
Rather than traveling for a conference or meeting, or interviewing a candidate “face to face,” companies are using virtual conference rooms.
To better model architects' designs.
Hero Images | Getty Images
Virtual reality will benefit key players in the construction space such as architects and designers. The tool allows a user to virtually inhabit spaces in three dimensions. Computer-generated images will replace hand-drawn renderings -- ultimately reducing time spent reworking layouts and drawings, effectively reducing costs and increasing safety.
To test car safety and drive sales.
Caspar Benson | Getty Images
To plan your next vacation.
Paolo Cipriani | Getty Images