Virtual reality is booming. Startups in the industry are finding creative ways to apply the technology and are concurrently discovering new business models to bring it to mass market.
With VR, almost anything is possible to re-create. It just takes the right idea, budget and talent to make it happen. The possibilities are endless: fitness training, roller coasters, training courses, wing suit skydiving. In 2022, these creative endeavors are pushed to the limit.
With the following list of 5 creative ways VR is being used this year, we hope to inspire you to realize the potential of the technology as it stands and maybe even push you to think about something that hasn’t been done yet. Maybe you have your own million-dollar idea?
- VR for lying down / resting – HalfDive by Diver-X
- VR to alleviate pain – DeepStreamVR
- VR Swimming – SwimVR
- VR Dating – Flirtual
- VR Police Training – VirTra V-300
VR for lying down / resting – HalfDive by Diver-X
When you think about VR, the thoughts that usually appear are of people either standing up or running on those insane treadmills developed by Kat VR. This first application is something different.
The working hours in Japan are crazy. So much so that people sometimes, themselves, go crazy. Japanese startup, Diver-X, has developed a very specific use case for its virtual reality headset. It is designed to be used while lying down. It’s the first time VR is brought to the mass market for use in a purely relaxed state.
The headset is called HalfDive. It has a pretty good resolution, but slightly worse than the Oculus Quest 2. It also has haptic feedback and a rather wide viewing angle of 134 degrees. It’s compatible with SteamVR.
The device is equipped with two fans that enhance the feedback effect. When operating in silent mode, they can be used as cooling fans, increasing user comfort during long sessions in virtual reality.
The funding has its roots on KickStarter. The basic model of the device will have a price tag of $800. The price for the full set will be $1,200. And the headset set, equipped with advanced varifocal lenses will be an estimated $4000.
For more information, visit the Diver-X website.
VR to alleviate pain – DeepStreamVR
VR transcends vision and can actually affect other senses, too. DeepStreamVR, an American startup from San Francisco has developed a revolutionary VR use case to apply in the field of medicine. They have developed a method to use when a person suffers from various pains while recovering from surgery or an injury. To numb the pain, patients are usually offered opioids that come with a range of side effects, for example, addiction.
With DeepStream VR, the patient puts on a VR headset, an application starts, and the patient forgets about the pain.
After analyses conducted by the University of Tennessee, the proven effectiveness is higher than taking medication, and the harm to the body is less.
Not much has been heard from the company for a number of years and their Google Business Address has permanently shut down, but other companies and universities have continued to study this unique VR use case.
The DeepStream VR website has shut down. For more information, find other media materials.
VR Swimming – SwimVR
People swim for different reasons. Some to stay cool and relax during the summer. Some do it for the competition. Instead of snorkeling in a regular pool, imagine if you could put on a VR headset while underwater and find yourself in a completely different pool of water, for example, the Great Barrier Reef?
This is precisely what SwimVR has done with their creative VR use case. SwimVR is a project that seeks to “bring the ocean to everyone”. Developed by VRCoaster (the German company that also applied VR to actual roller coasters), SwimVR has now grown to 13 franchise locations around the world.
With SwimVR, you can immerse yourself in a wide range of different aquatic environments and you don’t have to travel for it. You simply have to go to a SwimVR franchise location pool in a virtual reality headset to swim together with a range of fish and sharks. You are provided a helmet with software and a scuba tank. The headsets are, of course, waterproof, so that is something you don’t have to worry about.
For more information, visit the SwimVR website.
VR Dating – Flirtual
If you’re looking to meet your special somebody but you’re not quite able to get your personality across with your low quality pictures on existing dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, then this next use case on the list may be just for you.
Dating is now possible in VR and there are a number of alternatives that you can take a look at. Labelled as the very “first VR dating app”, Flirtual, is designed for meeting people in a virtual space – be it a cozy cafe or another environment that you believe is an ideal date location.
“Why not just stick to Tinder?” you may ask.
If you have ever used existing dating apps, you know how long and draining the process can be. A lot of time is spent conversing and setting up a suitable time for meeting agreements. Even if a partner is suitable by correspondence, there is no guarantee that you won’t be disappointed once the IRL meeting happens.
What if you could skip this process and jump straight to meeting the person from the comfort of your own home? Communication in VR is surprisingly good and you can really get a feel for how a person sounds over the microphone. You can also show off your flair and personality by taking your special person wherever you’d like. Fancy a popcorn at the cinema or a stroll on beach? This is already possible in VR.
For more information, visit the Flirtual website.
VR Police Training – VirTra V-300
To effectively protect our streets, the police uses a range of training tools to place themselves at the heat of the moment. Police training simulators, themselves, are not new at all. However, a special VR system called the VirTra V-300 stands out from the rest, at least among U.S. police agencies. Watch the video below to gain a better understanding of how it works:
The VirTra V-300 is used to minimize the use of lethal force instead of maintaining a high enough shooting accuracy in the field. This is a core principle of an effective police force.
The program itself places police officers in various virtual situations, similar to ones encountered IRL, which can be resolved in a variety of ways. It is up to the police officer to find the right way of policing for the situation.
The simulation is possible to customize with at least a dozen different scenarios that can be altered in real time.
The VirTra V-300 system is particularly useful at identifying real-life situations that have been troubling for officers in the field. In this case, police officers gain experience of being in dangerous situations without actually being in them.
For more information, visit the Virtra website.
The Oculus Quest 2 is one of the best ways to get involved with virtual reality. It is currently listed as an Amazon Choice product and is available through an Evolvera-affiliated link here.