The commercialized use of virtual reality is on the horizon, and it offers numerous opportunities beyond just video game enhancement. Virtual reality is defined as an environment that stimulates physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds and lets the user interact in that world. It gives users artificial sensory experiences such as sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Imagine a world where one could virtually go to a conference overseas without leaving the comfort of his or her home. Or, imagine a world where you could meet a person without physically being there with them. The possibilities are endless with virtual reality, and as producers get closer to unveiling the products to the mass public, corporations are brainstorming more and more ways to utilize the software.
A recent way that virtual reality has been used is in the National Football League (NFL). Players would simulate real life situations in a football game by entering a virtual football game and practicing their skills. Militaries worldwide are currently investigating ways to train soldiers through virtual reality experiences and landscapes. When you think of all of the inaccessible training opportunities that are only teachable “on the job”; these situations are where virtual reality applications would be most useful. Whether it is astronomers, soldiers, athletes, adventurers, or businessmen, virtual reality will provide beneficial real world situations without the implications of real world failures. It will open up many doors for global business and communication with enhanced remote experiences.
Facebook’s recent acquisition of Oculus is a prime example of how internet companies are going to use virtual reality for communication and business enhancement possibilities. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook verbalized his dream of virtual reality beyond gaming when he explained, “After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home.” He predicts that virtual reality will be the future of computing. It will be interesting to see where the virtual world becomes most effective. It is a delicate operation with global implications, hopefully leading to optimized global trade and communication. Where do you think virtual reality will prove most useful?