Whilst many think virtual reality is exclusive to the gaming, there are many cases where it can be used as a tool to educate, treat and inform people. One such example of this, is how it can be used for trainee surgeons to use the Oculus Rift to view in first person what the lead surgeon saw during the procedure.
They achieve this by attaching a camera to the surgeons head, which records with a high field of view. This means that as the person using the Oculus is watching it, they can turn there head and look to the side of them, not only making it feel natural, but allowing to see what others are doing within the operating room. By building and archiving footage such as this, it will allow for future surgeons to use this technology easily, without needing any advance technology to run it. Meaning that trainee surgeons can see how experienced surgeons who have been working years in the field perform, right from at home where they study. Virtual reality has also allowed for surgeons to map out a baby’s heart, using sketch fab and google carboard in order to plan the surgery. By having the freedom to move around in the virtual space, and look into the smaller details without been confined to a monitor gave the surgeons the details they needed in order to perform. It’s also worth mentioning that this was done on a phone and not dedicated VR which makes it more impressive, but you can only begin to start thinking how this could help in the future as the technology matures.
Modelling, designing and architectural based work can also be helpful in VR allowing you to see what you have designed in a virtual space and what it looks like. If you were to plan where to put buildings on a housing development state for example, you could get an understanding of what it would look like from a first person view, without physically building and starting the project. Saving money and time potentially. The heritage project is also another example of this, which is a restoration project of sorts. Simulating that time and place which can allow the person to be there and experience it through VR, but also been able to plan our assets and buildings and view them through VR is extremely helpful. By looking at my building though VR is allows me to get an idea of the sense of scale, along with what looks off with it and whether they are any defects with it. Augment reality can also be used in a similar context in allowing you to see your model in the world.
By being able to rotate/scale your models it can help see how it would look in the real world. For this tram, I need to go to Victoria square to see how it looks in a place where the trams used to be back in the 1930s.
References – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/google-cardboard-saves-a-baby-s-life-by-helping-doctors-map-out-heart-surgery-a6802671.html