You might think of virtual reality (VR) only as it relates to the world of gaming but this unique technology offers promise far outside of saving princesses. VR has huge potential in many other industries. Here are six unexpected ways VR is weaving itself into the fabric of our modern lives.
What is virtual reality?
First, it’s important to understand a little bit about virtual reality before we dive into how it’s changing our modern landscape. VR is an immersive technology that builds out a simulated environment and effectively tricks your brain into believing you’re somewhere you’re not.
It typically features both hardware and software to increase the user’s suspension of disbelief.
3D-simulated environment: An artificial environment is rendered through a medium like a VR display or a headset. The user’s visual perspective changes based on movements occurring in the real world.
Immersion: The environment is realistic enough where you can effectively recreate a realistic, non-physical universe so that a strong suspension-of-disbelief is created.
Sensory engagement: VR can include visual, audio, and haptic cues that help make the immersion more complete and realistic. This is where accessories or input devices such as special gloves, headsets, or hand controls provide the VR system with additional input of movement and sensory data.
Realistic interactivity: The virtual simulation responds to the user’s actions and these responses occur in a logical, realistic manner.
How is virtual reality is revolutionizing different industries?
Virtual reality is proving its mettle in a variety of different industries, from healthcare to on-the-job training.
Virtual reality can help facilitate a better physician-patient relationship in both in-person visits and telehealth interactions that happen over an internet connection. During in-person visits, doctors can more thoroughly explain a diagnosis by examining X-rays and other medical imaging in an engaging manner directly with the patient using virtual reality technology. By leveraging VR tech, physicians can explain a medical issue in an interactive, easier-to-understand manner.
Firefighters, cops, soldiers - these are all workers who regularly face dangerous circumstances and may benefit from VR training to practice routine emergency procedures and learn the dos and don’ts in a consequence-free virtual environment. For example, a firefighter can learn emergency protocols without being in an actual burning building to test his or her knowledge.
Virtual reality provides job trainees with ways to learn in a hands-on way outside of textbook case studies. Research suggests that some people may learn best by doing rather than relying on abstract theory, so virtual reality may speed up the learning process for some trainees as an additional benefit.
And it makes sense why movie-goers and other entertainment-seekers are excited about the future of this technology, VR movies provide an expansive, sensory-filled experience that creates an immersive, more intense event.
Gaming is another area where VR is defying expectations. Virtual reality technology allows gamers to become the avatar instead of just controlling it and pushes the boundaries of the gaming medium itself. VR gaming revenue is expected to reach $19.5 billion by 2025 so gamers will continue to see advances and new VR-enabled gaming experiences.
4. Virtual tourism
New VR software enables users to visit museums and historical sites virtually so, instead of saving up thousands to visit Greece or Morocco, you can do the next best thing: take a virtual tour. It also provides educators with a unique way to explore the world with their students.
If you are actually traveling, virtual reality also offers the opportunity for users to tour hotels during the booking process.
5. Surgeon and medical student training
As mentioned earlier, VR and healthcare are going to be closely intertwined in the future. But another way VR assists health practitioners specifically relates to rare or complex surgeries.
Virtual reality software means that surgeons can hone their surgical skills in a virtual simulation before performing it on an actual patient. Likewise, medical students may benefit from virtual hands-on training that presents no risk or real-life consequences.
You might already be familiar with the concept of virtual window shopping where you simply browse your favorite sites and favorite promising items to revisit later. Well, VR tech is being rolled out which provides even more instant gratification.
VR shopping software allows shoppers to window shop in a much more visceral way than just making virtual wish lists.
With consumer VR, customers can virtually try on clothes, remodel their homes, and “window shop” using VR for a seamless shopping experience.
Does HP offer VR-ready technology?
HP offers the HP HTC Vive with dual OLED displays with 2880 x 1600 resolution so the user can take in a natural field-of-view in their simulated environment. Adjustable and removable headphones with integrated noise-canceling audio deliver natural, crystal-clear sound. It’s the perfect VR device for professional training, designing, and healthcare applications.
In addition, HP offers a wide array of VR-ready laptops for on-the-go, mobile solutions so users won’t be confined to one particular area. Take your VR-ready products wherever your day takes you.
Takeaways: VR is here to stay
As VR technology grows more sophisticated and widespread, it will likely start influencing even more industries. The VR market revenue is expected to swell to over $9 billion by 2025, and HP is leading the way.
You might think of virtual reality (VR) only as it relates to the world of gaming. And while it’s true this unique technology is delivering an incredibly immersive experience that pushes the boundaries of the gaming medium itself, VR has huge potential in many other industries. Let’s take a deep dive into the unexpected ways VR is weaving itself into the fabric of our modern lives.
VR gaming revenue for 2014 was $1.26 billion total but is expected to reach $19.5 billion by 2025 
What is virtual reality?
This immersive technology builds out a simulated environment and effectively tricks your brain into believing you’re somewhere you’re not
It typically features both hardware and software to increase the user’s suspension of disbelief
The VR market revenue is expected to swell to over $9 billion by 2025 
The four elements of virtual reality 
An artificial environment typically rendered through a medium like a display or a headset
Visual perspective changes based on movements occurring in the real world
The environment is realistic enough where you can effectively recreate a realistic, non-physical universe
A strong suspension-of-disbelief is created
VR can include visual, audio, and haptic cues that help make the immersion more complete and realistic
This is where accessories or input devices such as special gloves, headsets, or hand controls provide the VR system with additional input of movement and sensory data
The virtual simulation responds to the user’s actions
The responses occur in a logical, realistic manner
Virtual reality is revolutionizing multiple industries
a. The AR/VR in Healthcare Market is estimated to reach $7 Billion by 2026 
b. Virtual reality can help facilitate a better physician-patient relationship. With virtual reality, doctors can more thoroughly explain a diagnosis by examining X-rays and other medical imaging in an engaging manner directly with the patient
c. Virtual imagining may also provide more accurate and better patient medical records since they deliver a more holistic picture of medical needs and history to both patients and physicians
d. VR technology also provides physicians with the potential to see the impact of certain procedures in real-time for better healthcare decisions 
2. High-Risk Job Training
a. Studies have suggested that some people may learn best by doing rather than relying on abstract theory 
b. Firefighters, cops, soldiers - these are all workers who may benefit from VR training to practice routine emergency procedures to learn the dos and don’ts in a consequence-free virtual environment 
3. Cinema and Entertainment
a. 66% of consumers are interested in VR for TV, movies, and video 
b. VR movies provide an expansive, sensory-filled experience to make entertainment more immersive
4. Virtual Tourism
a. VR enables users to visit museums and historical sites virtually
b. Tour hotels during the booking process
5. Surgeon and Medical Student Training
a. Surgeons need to hone their skills before engaging in complicated surgical procedures. VR provides a modern way for surgeons to practice complex surgeries before a real operation on a patient
b. Likewise, medical students may benefit from virtual hands-on training that presents no risk or real-life consequences
a. 66% of consumers are interested in VR shopping experiences 
b. You can virtually try on clothes, remodel your home, and “window shop” using VR for a seamless shopping experience
VR-ready technology by HP
HP is poised to reinvent your reality with our suite of VR-ready technology.
HP Reverb Virtual Reality Headset
Adjustable and removable headphones with integrated spatial audio
Dual mics with smart assistant
Bluetooth capabilities for seamless syncing and controller tracking
Perfect for professional training, designing, and healthcare
HP HTC Vive Pro Full Kit VR System
Integrated noise-canceling feature
Optimized design for maximum user comfort
Dual-OLED displays with 2880x1600 resolution
3D spatial sound
Ideal for gamers, teachers, and entertainment-seekers
Prices, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice. Price protection, price matching or price guarantees do not apply to Intra-day, Daily Deals or limited-time promotions. Quantity limits may apply to orders, including orders for discounted and promotional items. Despite our best efforts, a small number of items may contain pricing, typography, or photography errors. Correct prices and promotions are validated at the time your order is placed. These terms apply only to products sold by HP.com; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by HP.com are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with HP.com terms, conditions, and limitations may be cancelled. Contract and volume customers not eligible.
HP’s MSRP is subject to discount. HP’s MSRP price is shown as either a stand-alone price or as a strike-through price with a discounted or promotional price also listed. Discounted or promotional pricing is indicated by the presence of an additional higher MSRP strike-through price
The following applies to HP systems with Intel 6th Gen and other future-generation processors on systems shipping with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Pro systems downgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1: This version of Windows running with the processor or chipsets used in this system has limited support from Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s support, please see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle FAQ at https://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle
Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.
In-home warranty is available only on select customizable HP desktop PCs. Need for in-home service is determined by HP support representative. Customer may be required to run system self-test programs or correct reported faults by following advice given over phone. On-site services provided only if issue can't be corrected remotely. Service not available holidays and weekends.
Microsoft Windows 10: Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows 10. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows 10 functionality. Windows 10 is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See http://www.microsoft.com.