In 1977, the Atari 2600 was released as the world’s first home, commercial video game console. It was bare bones compared to consoles of today, such as Xbox One or PlayStation 4, but in the late 70’s it was mind bending.
The first mass produced electronic TV was barely 30 years old itself and now here was something that let you interact with your television! Sure, the 2600 was simple, consisting little more than a glorified ping pong table. But to children and adults around the world, it changed everything.
That was the beginning of an era that brings us to the aforementioned console systems – and to the new wave of mobile gaming that is making so many so much. Since the beginning, though, there’s been the craving to push gaming further, to make it more realistic – to make a virtual reality.
From popular literature like Snow Crash (by the indomitable Neal Stephenson) to cult classics like Tron and The Matrix, VR has been romanticized, idealized, demonized, loved and reviled. But no one doubted that it would eventually appear.
And today, we’re closer than ever. With new devices like the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, We are quickly approaching an era where virtual reality is an actual reality. And, as we all know, with new technologies comes new opportunities.
With the advent of virtual reality technologies, comes the need for ways to interact with the tech itself; namely, virtual reality apps. As VR proliferates throughout the country, people will need apps that allow them to do things both with the actual device and with the virtual reality.
VR apps aren’t just for gamers, though. VR wide-ranging applications across a variety of fields and industries. While gaming will undoubtedly be one of the biggest players in the industry forever, VR has the potential to disrupt nearly every industry out there. That being said, we have a limited space here, so we will focus on the two biggest VR opportunities out there: Healthcare and Gaming (yes, gaming).
One of the industries that will benefit tremendously from VR is Healthcare and Medicine in general. There are several ways in which VR will likely revolutionize how physicians approach health in the near future:
VR is already used to train medical students (and has since the early 60’s), so we know that it is an effective teaching tool. Modern VR has come along way since the 60’s and is increasingly more useful as the technology improves.
VR can train students in the routine practices and treatments, but more importantly it gives future doctors the chance to operate on a seemingly live subject, without the risk of death or serious injury to a real person.
What is needed are clever applications that utilize VR in new and clever ways. Apps pervade the modern world so we already have a base for what works and what doesn’t. If you think you got a great idea, send us an email and we can help you work through all the particulars.
In particular, VR apps that can connect a VR headset with a force feedback haptic system are extremely useful to help surgeons learn what surgery looks and feels like.
• Clinical Psychology
Programs like Bravemind have also used VR for sometime, this time to treat Vets with PTSD. Additionally, Psychologists are finding more and more that VR is an extremely effective tool in helping people suffering from a wide range of serious psychological ailments. Everything from Alzheimer’s to severe psychosomatic pain can be treated by VR programs.
Full disclosure – I grew up in the Nintendo generation; I was raised on Mario World and Metro. I grew up reading books about VR, watching movies about digital worlds and binary codes. In other words, I am a nerd. So naturally the idea of virtual reality devices that make my fantastical worlds come alive is extremely exciting.
Fortunately for the entrepreneur out there, there are millions who feel the same as me. This means that there are huge opportunities for augmented and virtual app development. Virtual reality developers have already made huge strides in creating VR apps for Android and for iPhones.
Just take Google’s Cardboard apps; these are apps specifically designed for full immersion. You your phone is attached to a cardboard box which shuts out actual reality and experience these apps as if they are your whole world. You’re basically turning your Android phone into a wearable virtual reality device!
That’s just the beginning. Soon, VR gaming will be fully immersive. Soon, you won’t be john or jane doe playing a character – you will become that character. We often discuss in the blog the role observation and opportunity can play in the success of a business – this is opportunity knocking.
Eventually, VR will become indistinguishable for actual reality. We will have VR systems that make Neo and Hiro Protagonist weep with envy – do you really want to wait until then to get a piece of the pie?
SDI has been developing technologies for computers, mobile devices, wearables and more devices for nearly two decades. We’re extremely excited about the recent improvements in VR tech because we truly believe that it’s where the industry is headed. We have the correct developers set up to develop the next big virtual reality project.
If you got an idea for a great VR app (or any other tech project!), give us a call at 408.802.2885. We can get started on your project right away and if you call soon, will give you 30% off your first project. Contact us today with your project description and we will be in touch.