Virtual reality has always been considered “the next big thing.” It’s the natural progression after smartphones and video game consoles. India has access to dozens of choices of headsets, from mainstream companies like Oculus to locally-owned startups like GridRaster and Chymera VR. However, despite economists’ predictions that the industry will top the 2017 market value of 122.44 Bn INR in the coming years, the public hasn’t quite grasped VR technology – yet.
One of the reasons for slow growth is that apps and programs made for VR headsets are still just developing. Additionally, the price point is more than many populations can afford, for now. Currently, cell phone gaming is the most common gaming module around the world.
This is simply the result of the availability of cell phones versus other gaming devices that are more expensive, like PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and of course, VR headsets. As the mentioned gaming devices become more widely available across the country, you can expect that the VR headset will also soon make its way into more homes.
If you’re on the fence about investing in a headset, here are the most popular ways VR is being used today.
Gaming on VR Headsets
Gaming is the number one reason most people buy a VR headset. Although not every popular video game is available on a headset, you can play popular games like Half-Life: Alyx, Star Wars: Squadrons, SKYRIM, Minecraft, Tetris, and other big names in gaming. There are also plenty of small-time VR games that are plenty enjoyable, like virtual fishing or space squadron racing. The graphics are incredible, and games created for virtual reality purposes give you the feeling of being incredibly involved in the game. Imagine yourself sitting behind the wheel of the Millennium Falcon, racing through hyperspace.
Or, if that’s not your thing, you can easily find VR games where you can race cars, play sports, and other favourite activities. Casino gaming through a VR headset is also incredible, and although there are only a few apps, they’ve surged in popularity over the last year, when many were in lockdown due to the pandemic. Despite several state bans, new websites continue to surge in popularity on phone apps and virtual reality headsets, according to The Kashmir Pulse. These give you the feeling of standing on a casino floor, looking down at a card table.
With a VR headset, you can sit on a virtual roller coaster, play first-person shooters, gamble, and do pretty much anything else you can think of.
Sports gaming is particularly popular and enjoyable, as it can feel quite realistic to run down a field and kick a ball or swing a cricket bat. There is currently software in the works that would allow anyone in the world to purchase a ticket that would allow them to virtually attend a sports game. Augmented reality could be the new way to watch your favourite cricket or football teams compete.
For those looking to get a new piece of tech but aren’t into games, the ability to “travel” to other countries, visit museums, heritage sites, and other famous places is a wonderful reason to have a VR headset. The educational capabilities are incredible, for adults and for children. Many museums have uploaded virtual tours, so you can see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre or visit NYC’s Metropolitan museum without leaving your house. You can also find historical tours of the most popular tourist sites.
Schools and individuals have made use of VR headsets to allow people to “visit” their childhood homes, or see where their families came from – anywhere in the world. Some sophisticated technology exists that allows people to visit difficult-to-reach places, like islands in the pacific, or extremely cold places like Antarctica that are extremely expensive or require the physical ability to handle the travel. For older individuals who can no longer get on a plane or a boat, this technology is popular. Some senior daycare centres and nursing homes are beginning to see the value this technology can have, as it positively affects the mental state of older people with limited mobility.
Some individuals report using VR technology to plan their trips, and some travel agencies have followed that example, creating the best possible tours and vacations based on actual footage, which is something you can expect to see more often in the future. You can also “visit” space thanks to NASA and other science communities, who have uploaded tours of Mars, space, and the moon, allowing the population at large to experience what astronauts would see.
Shopping and E-Commerce With a Headset
As the retail world moves online, virtual shopping through a VR headset will absolutely replace scrolling through pages and pages of products online. Although not every major retailer has a VR app yet, plenty do. Brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Clarins, Charlotte Tilbury, and American Eagle. These give you the experience of standing in a store, looking through shelves of clothing (or other products), where you can even use the dressing room to see how an item would look on you. This technology is available on many sites but applied through a VR headset, you get a much better idea of what the products look like, allowing you to make more quality purchases.
Shopping using virtual and augmented reality has overall increased across all of Asia, especially in a year that has seen numerous shutdowns. For the brands that have not yet created augmented reality software, they are now rushing to collaborate with developers in order to create software by the next holiday season. You may soon even be able to virtually shop with friends and “try things on” together using VR technology, much like you can now attend a concert or do a film screening with multiple people.
These three are the top activities you’re most likely going to be able to see people doing with their own personal VR headsets. This technology is already being used in universities and hospitals to help teach medical students and train them to perform surgeries as well as other tasks. Children and students with special needs have been shown to respond well to VR technology, and some really high-tech centres and teachers are now using virtual reality to create lessons in language and maths.
Although VR still has a lot of development to undergo, there are already hundreds of activities you can do with your VR headset.