7 Unexpected Virtual Reality Use Cases

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7 Unexpected Virtual Reality Use Cases

The tech world is priming itself for the release of the much anticipated Oculus Rift headset in early 2016,  and a number of leading companies such as Samsung, Sony, Google and Microsoft are creating VR based systems but keeping prototypes and release dates close to their chests.

How VR will be used, and the changes that the technology will make to the day-to-day lives of regular people is still a matter of speculation. Gamers are warming up their trigger fingers for a new level of immersive gaming, and the field of entertainment will be transformed by the changes. But use cases in other industries could be just as transformative.

Indeed, some amazing and inventive new ways to use VR technology are already appearing that could dramatically impact people in their daily lives.

Featured image: agsandrew


Crime scene reconstructions

Experts from the University of Zurich state that with Oculus Rift headsets VR technology could be used to explore 3D reconstructions used in criminal trials as an “illustrative aid.” In recent years, crime scene investigators have begun deploying sophisticated technology that captures 3D information about a crime scene. Experts claim that all of this information could be used to create a 3D simulation of a crime scene which would make decisions easier than when the information is presented on paper.

Flickr/wikileakstruck, Wikimedia Commons/Paethon, Laura Bliss


Pain Relief

San Francisco based startup DreamStream VR use early versions of the Oculus Rift headsets to offer users pain relief. The official website states that “over a decade of research and clinical studies have shown that immersive virtual reality can significantly reduce pain, relieve stress, and build resilience.” Experts state that VR is a much safer means of pain relief as traditional methods, which involve narcotics that over time diminish in effectiveness and are extremely addictive.


Immersion Journalism

California based Emblematic Group uses VR to transport users to virtual worlds that offer them new insights into real life social issues. This new form of VR powered “immersion journalism” is used to immerse audiences in stories, be it about human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay, the war in Syria or homelessness in modern day America. The representations allow users to experience situations rather than just reading about them in the newspaper.

Emblematic’s Project Syria shows you what it’s like to be the victim of a bombing


Virtual Workspaces

Reykjavik based startup BreakRoom uses VR to create a virtual office desk and workspace for users.  BreakRoom offers VR headset powered interactive workspaces where people can plug in and turn off the background noise and activity going on around them. On a similar thread, Bloomberg LP has built a prototype of its stock exchange data terminal which can be connected to the Oculus Rift Headset.



UK based Virtalis uses VR to allow manufacturers to give staff a real feel for the new constructions, be it a submarine or an apartment block. Companies such as BAE, Leyland Trucks and Rolls Royce have used its VR system to improve product build quality and reduce errors and levels of rework. “ People can literally drop in and walk through the exact area they are building.” said Dean Brown, BAE SYSTEMS.



Unimersiv offers the largest resource of virtual reality educational content online.Students can enter immersive education classes about anything from physical education to business studies using Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear Headsets. Wandering through a roman coliseum, or exploring the solar system as a passenger on a spaceship, Unimersiv can make even the dullest topics come alive.


Big Data management

Masters of Pie partnered with Lumacode to win this years Big Data VR Challenge with their device which allows users to manipulate big data systems using VR headsets. Researchers can ‘point’ at, grab, move and click on even the smallest piece of geometry in the virtual environment, offering finer control of data interactions.

Image: Masters of Pie