Beyond Gaming—Uses and Developments of Virtual Reality in 2018

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Adoption of virtual reality (VR) technology is taking off in 2018. This is being driven in part by the falling price of VR headsets over the last year, making the technology more affordable for people who were previously priced out of the market.

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Additional developments are also contributing to its popularity, such as creating applications for VR beyond its current gaming niche. While it’s true that many headset manufacturers are still focusing predominantly on the gaming market, others understand that allowing users to immerse themselves in a virtual world creates possibilities far beyond the gaming market.

Particularly in the fields of education and entertainment—and the convergence of the two—VR offers up some exciting uses and future developments, as outlined below.

 

VR Learning

Of course, VR can recreate a traditional classroom environment, but that is just the beginning of VR learning. VR is also used to create different scenarios and test grounds that enable learners to gain new skills, without any of the risks that come with a real-life situation.

Using VR in training for physical skills is a great way to create muscle memory and overcome the fear and paralysis that can often manifest in high-stress situations. For instance, using VR to train for a bear attack could help to save lives.

VR headset maker Ceek also offers the opportunity to apply VR learning in healthcare scenarios. For example, trainee doctors in residence can use it to simulate real-life medical events. Everyday users can also learn critical first-aid skills such as CPR.
 

Virtual Museums and Galleries

Some museums including the Louvre in Paris and US National Museum of Natural History have opened their doors to people all over the world by offering virtual tours. This provides significant opportunities in school education, as students can learn about history without parents having to fund expensive school trips to physical locations.

In April this year, the first VR art gallery was opened in Berlin with an exhibition by Swiss artist Marc Lee. In addition to VR making art accessible to more people, VR art galleries offer vast potential for artists to get their work seen by many more eyes than if it were exhibited in a traditional gallery.

 

Virtual Sports For fitness enthusiasts

Bad weather no longer needs to mean spending hours looking at the wall on a treadmill or stationary bike. Cycling enthusiasts could use a VR helmet and app to recreate a ride through the countryside. Those training for a spring marathon could spend the winter running on a treadmill while using VR to recreate a jog along the beach.

Also, why stop there when you could also create the drama of cycling through an erupting volcano, or running away from zombies? Fantasy fitness aside, VR technology can also be used for virtual training programs, with VR instructors taking the role of a personal trainer.

 

For sports fans

While still in its infancy, it is feasible that sports fans will soon be able to watch live sporting events featuring their favorite teams from anywhere in the world, using VR. Ceek recently announced partnerships with NBA2K teams Kings Guard, and Magic from Orlando.

Currently, the partnership involves the teams using VR in their training, while the company gets the benefits of sponsored content and merchandise. However, Ceek foresees that this will develop into an opportunity for fans to watch along with live games in a fully immersive front-row sporting experience. It could even include going behind the scenes, into virtual locker rooms.

 

Virtual Concerts and Live Shows

Music fans can currently watch their favorite acts performing live, using the Ceek VR headset and smartphone app. “Ceek City” is a virtual environment with venues such as a concert arena and a sports complex. The company has already established partnerships with many big-name music acts including Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and U2.

In 2017, Ceek also partnered with thrash metal band Megadeth on their Dystopia album release. In a pioneering move, the band created a special VR concert of five songs from the album, purchasable in a bundle with a Ceek headset. It was a sell-out success, and the band went on to win a 2017 Grammy Award.

 

Future developments—VR and Blockchain

In a further pioneering move, Ceek is the first VR company to incorporate blockchain into its offerings. The company has recently raised more than 20,000 ETH to fund its development of a “digital metaverse”, that will use VR to bring artists closer to their fans.

The token of the system, called CEEK, will allow artists to sell digital tickets to their VR concerts directly to fans. For some fans who don’t have the budget or the means to attend live shows, it may be the closest they ever get to seeing their idols perform in real life.

 

Unique features

Further, the Ceek system will allow artists to mint their own celebrity-branded cryptocurrency tokens. Fans could use these tokens to purchase digital merchandise, like an album download, that can be “digitally signed” by the artist to create a piece of virtual memorabilia.

With all these developments—and more—in the pipeline, it is easy to see that the immersive world of VR has far-reaching potential beyond just gaming.

 

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