Everyday Uses for VR

The first use of Virtual Reality was, logically, in the games industry.  By using Virtual Reality, a user can feel like they are in a game and with tracked controller the user can navigate the VR world.  There are many other potential applications for VR outside of the gaming industry.

Health Care

Psychiatrists at the University of Louisville use VR in cognitive behaviour therapy to treat patients with social anxieties or phobias (Carson, 2015).

A company called “Surgical Theatre” have developed a method to integrate 2D CT, MRI, DTI, etc into a Precision VR visualisation platform so surgeons and students can learn and prepare like never before.  They can see different aspects from different angles and at different sizes in 3D.


Google Earth is available in VR, and you can navigate planet earth, its countryside and cities as if you were flying round.

A Virtual Reality company called Next VR have released VR experiences that include Paul McCartney, Cold Play, and Cirque du Soleil which allows you to hover on stage while they are playing and experience the performance up close.  They have also released VR sports events like boxing, tennis, NBA and NFL.  YouTube have also created a channel just for Virtual reality content.


A company called Immersive VR Education have created experiences of many historical events like Apollo 11, and the Titanic.  With VR children can learn about historic events, and take field trips to experience things from all round the world.

Toyota have partnered with Oculus to create a VR simulator initiative called TeenDrive365 to teach teenagers about the distractions of driving amid traffic noise, text messages, and friends in the car.  (Dredge, 2015)

VR can be used to help train skilled trades’ people without the risk of injury or of making mistakes.  If real world tools were tracked in VR then training could be very closes to real life without the dangers.


When buying a new car a dealer rarely has the specific model that a customer requires, therefore Audi is fitting dealerships with VR experiences so customers can try out the specific car that they want in VR  (Sorokanich, 2015).

McLaren executive director Zak Brown told reporters “I don’t see how any F1 team can ignore the power of e-sports, the audience, the people it produces,” he said. “So I’d like to think most F1 teams will do something in some way, shape or form.”  (Baldwin, 2017)

Shopping and Advertising

Imagine instead of going to an online shop in a web browser you actually go to a life like three dimension shop in virtual reality, the shop could closely mimic real life.  Further to that, if the user had a 3d scan of themselves then they could view themselves in 3d with the correct size clothing on, order it and know it fits.

Design and Construction

With VR a user could design their perfect house and see it, move round, and explore it before it is built.  Architects and builders could also analyse the design to ensure every aspect works and to ensure minimal mistakes can occur.  Auto Desk is one of the world leading architectural, BIM and product design software companies and recently they released a software called Auto Desk Live which, at the click of a button, allows the user to bring their designs into the VR world.

IvisVR have recently received $8 million funding for their software that allows the user to import Tremble Sketch-up, Revit, OBJ, Rhino, or Grasshoper 3d models into virtual reality  (Ha, 2106).

Military and Law Enforcement

With VR and VR scanners investigators, military personal, and a jury in court rooms, can experience crime scenes as if they were present at the time.  The VR crime scene could provide retrospective analysis for missed or misinterpreted evidence.  A team from the University of Zurich has successfully used the Oculus Rift to recreate a shooting, which police officers confirmed was accurate  (Fecht, 2015).

Militaries around the world are using VR to train their personal using realistic war zone games like Virtual Battle Space.

The British government announced that they would incorporate the Oculus Rift into its training for trauma medics.  Other military applications are training personal on how to deal with IEDs.

In the Office

At home and in the office a VR app called “Virtual Desktop” allows users to experience their computer in VR with multiple screens and application able to be used as the same time.


Baldwin, A. (2017, 05 23). McLaren boss sees a world of virtual F1 teams. Retrieved from Reuters: http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-motor-f1-mclaren-gaming-idUKKBN18I2GF

Billinghurst, M. (2017, 03 31). What is Mixed reality? Retrieved from Startup Grind: https://medium.com/startup-grind/what-is-mixed-reality-60e5cc284330

Carson, E. (2015, 03 10). 9 industries using virtual reality. Retrieved from Tech Republic: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/9-industries-using-virtual-reality/

Dredge, S. (2015, 01 15). Toyota Oculus Rift app uses virtual reality to explain distracted driving. Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jan/15/toyota-oculus-rift-virtual-reality-distracted-driving

Fecht, S. (2015, 01 09). Scientists Want To Take Virtual Reality To Court. Retrieved from Popular Science: http://www.popsci.com/jurors-may-one-day-visit-crime-scenes-using-forensic-holodecks

Ha, A. (2106, 10 25). IrisVR raises $8M to bring virtual reality to architecture and design. Retrieved from Tech Crunch: https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/25/irisvr-series-a/

Kishino, P. M. (1994). A taxonomy of mixed reality visual displays. IEICE Transactions of Information Systems, 15.

Letxter, R. (2016, 04 6). My brain did something crazy and totally new in virtual reality. Retrieved from Buisiness Insider UK: http://uk.businessinsider.com/virtual-reality-gave-me-depth-perception-2016-4?r=US&IR=T

Ram, G. (2016, 09 16). How can Augmented reality be usd in sport? Retrieved from Affinity VR: http://www.affinityvr.com/augmented-reality-in-sports/

Sorokanich, B. (2015, 01 15). Audi Crams an Entire Dealership With Infinite Inventory Into a Virtual Reality Headset. Retrieved from Car and Driver: http://blog.caranddriver.com/audi-crams-an-entire-dealership-with-infinite-inventory-into-a-virtual-reality-headset/

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