Since its launch to the mainstream market, virtual reality (VR) has been seen by many as simply the latest development in the gaming and entertainment industry. But increasingly, VR is being used in a wide range of different sectors to transform how employees work and how services are delivered.

VR for healthcare

As this article shows, VR is now being used to help doctors and nurses deliver vaccines and other treatments to children which might otherwise be traumatic. The technology plays on VR's gaming and entertainment past but offers a practical solution to the issue in question. In a similar vein, VR is being used to make rehabilitation from physical injury less arduous; it can also be used for meditation to reduce stress and anxiety.

Surgeons can even now practise techniques and work out the most efficient way of carrying out a procedure using 3D models generated from CAT scans and ultrasounds.

VR for education

VR presents a fantastic opportunity to bring many subjects to life by allowing children to visit the great pyramids of Egypt, or to experience the flora and fauna of the rainforest.

A number of museums around the world are already working with developers to bring their exhibitions to life, making them accessible to anyone with a VR headset (in the classroom or elsewhere). Similarly, VR technology is being trialled as a potential way to connect seriously ill children and children with mobility issues to the classroom and school trips.

VR for manufacturing and construction

Much like the surgeons surveying a 3D body, designers, architects and engineers can all benefit from viewing the end product in VR before it is manufactured or constructed.

In the early stages, future users can experience the product or building and provide feedback, allowing the design to be altered. Engineers and construction teams can also view the 3D model, allowing them to spot issues much earlier, before the costly process of creating/constructing the prototype or building itself has been undertaken.

Beyond the gaming sector

When new and novel technologies like VR are developed, we must remain open minded about where their real life applications might reside. With new use cases for VR technology being developed all the time, it won't be too long before interviews are being conducted using the technology, and jurors are reviewing crime scenes in 3D.