Where are the players?

March 14, 2017

The scene: a panel discussion about VR in Ghent.

The challenger: a researcher at IMEC who obviously isn’t convinced about VR.

The question: whether VR isn’t a gimmick.

None of the panellists can give a strong answer.

There is some vague bla bla about that in 2-3 years it will be in consumer’s hands.

And there is some stupid idea that Apple is going to release something that’s going to change the game this year.

What the fuck guys…

VR is going to revolutionize a ton of industries.

From the top of my head I can give 3 examples of why it’s going to be great.

First you can give someone a virtual tour of a place they haven’t been. This has obvious real estate purposes.

When I bought a house I visited over 15 places. With 10 of the places I already knew I didn’t like them within the first minute. How much realtor working hours can VR save? A lot I presume.

But also think about company training. How do you learn about the layout of a power plant safely? By familiarizing yourself with the environment in VR of course.

The next example is medical. I broke my arm when I was 14 and I didn’t do the required “exercises” as well as I could. Thus my left arm is a bit weaker than it should be.

If we can make the exercise into a game using VR, we can motivate kids (and adults :)) to do the necessary exercises. I “met” a kid in Climbey who claimed he had osteoporosis (? a bit weird) and something clicked that really VR could be used for medical purposes.

There is a European Union funded project going on to use VR to help people conquer their fears (e.g. arachnophobia). When I first heard about this project the idea seemed a bit far fetched; but now that I’m convinced about VR as a technology, not so much.

The guy that lost 50lbs through VR? That is not a joke, some of the games really feel like sports. I bought Table Tennis VR and it is really awesome. If I think about some games I feel like I want to change into gym clothes because I know it will be a bit like a workout.

The next example is in education. When I was 12-13 we had this course called “T.O.” (technological education). Basically we had to make electrical schemes and learn how to wire things together. We didn’t do a lot of wiring and mostly spent time staring at schematic representations of electrical circuits.

This could be so much better with a simulator where you build electrical circuits by attaching various pieces together in VR.

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