Virtual reality is changing from an experiment into a product that is increasingly going beyond entertainment and video games, and starts being applied in architecture or medicine. We have checked the potential of virtual reality.

Virtual reality is a digital way of presenting reality, which is perceived with special glasses and computer programs or applications. It is an online-generated space which we can get acquainted with not only through sight, but also other senses, thanks to the rapid technological development.

Simulators, games, and video

Virtual reality is not limited to games, although this segment is definitely the market leader. Together with the development of virtual reality, especially the technology of gloves which allowed you to experience VR not only with your sight but also touch, as well as manipulate objects in digital reality, a whole range of simulators has been developed. Thanks to that, VR is currently used in aeronautics, as well as military and civil aviation, where it helps train pilots. Kraków Airport is currently testing this technology in order to use it to train aircraft marshallers – the project KRK Marshaller Demo allows to practice crisis scenarios in virtual reality. In medicine, VR simulators make it possible to train, e.g. surgeons and help with rehabilitation or even treatment of some mental problems.
Virtual reality allows, for example, to treat phobias; and is used in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).One of the most interesting examples of VR in commerce is Topshop’s virtual fitting room and IKEA application created in collaboration with Apple, which allows to digitally adjust furniture to your space. Whereas in real estate, thanks to virtual reality, you can view home or apartment models as well as go for a virtual walk to get acquainted with real estate offers. Other interesting examples are 360 degree videos that use VR to further engage the recipient and can be used in both entertainment and education.

Forecasts for VR market in 2017

According to Deloitte Digital’s experts, last year, over 2.5 million VR devices were sold, which brought one billion dollar profit to the industry. Even market giants like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google got engaged in production of VR glasses and development of this technology, while types of VR products even now range from simple, available for a few Polish zloty, constructions (e.g. Google Cardboard) to a few thousand złoty professional sets (e.g.  Oculus Rift, HTC Vive). Deloitte’s experts agree that the development of VR will affect services in commerce by e.g. make it possible to present products in a more interesting and engaging way. On the other hand, Goldman Sachs presented research results stating that until the year 2025,
VR industry will strengthen its position not only in video game industry, but also in trade, education and medical industries where VR will be presented during various entertaining events. Polish business also focuses on the development of VR industry – as many as 35 local companies develop their products and services based on this technology. These projects concern, among others, advertisements, tourism and hotel industry (Destinations VR), filmmaking and presentations. The first Polish VR cinema was created in Złote Tarasy in Warszawa. Enthusiasm in VR adoption in so many sectors indicates that this technology has tremendous prospects and an interesting future.