Last week I attended Canada’s biggest Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Conference, CVR 2017.
(I’m in the learning world and was curious where it fits into VR/AR.)
To say the conference inspired me would be somewhat of an understatement.
In fact, even though the conference leaned towards the consumer end of the spectrum, I learned VR’s applications go beyond (way beyond) gaming…
…Experts from Boeing, Ford, Delta Airlines, and NASA all shed light on their virtual reality use cases. And, Heidi Buck, from The Office of Naval Research-sponsored Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality (BEMR lab), was also a speaker.
And, I learned where my unique strengths fit.
Now, since I’m just warming up to VR, I won’t get too specific, just yet.
However, I am experiencing that nervous excitement that comes over you as you realize endless possibilities. And so, my friend, here are four possibilities that got my brain percolating:
Possibility #1: Get spatially connected with AR (Augmented Reality)
Being able to see the spatial relationships between different things wires into how our human brains already work, in the real world. In this way, AR gives you a higher level understanding than anything you are forced to abstract from something you see on a flat computer screen.
- Hololens explores a jet engine (Note: Boeing is experimenting with this too.)
- Microsoft HoloLens transforms the way we teach anatomy
- Trimble Visual Intelligence for Connected Mine
Possibility #2: VR can address limitations of your system (and training process.)
NASA’s Lead VR Innovator, Evelyn Miralles, was the keynote speaker. And, Evelyn said that prior to virtual reality (in the 80’s), NASA relied on complex mockups to represent an activity. And, any configuration, or anything that they were going to do cost a lot of money (and was prone to be inefficient or break down.) Every training simulation was done mechanically.
NASA’s VR solution today:
- NASA’s Virtual Reality Laboratory
- Tweet from an astronaut, Ricky Arnold, about his VR training experience: Great training for flying that I never want to do! “Houston, I’ve fallen off station and I can’t get up!”
Possibility #3: VR as the ultimate empathy machine.
How will we relate to each other, when we can walk a mile in another person’s shoes? BeAnotherLab is a small team focused on experiential demos that promote empathy, tolerance, and self-understanding by showing you the world from another person’s perspective.
- The Machine To Be Another – Art investigation A Disclaimer — this video contains brief and mild-nudity.
- A Walk Through Dementia – Puts you in the shoes of someone living with dementia.
An application that came to my mind: Virtual Reality, used to promote empathy, can improve health outcomes for migrants and refugees. (I helped an Australian nonprofit create an interactive training module called, Introduction to Cultural Competence, which helps organizations be culturally responsive to diverse clients.)
Possibility #4: Virtual reality streamlines product development.
You can’t make a car at Ford Motor Company without doing the immersive review. Their product development process includes an immersive virtual reality environment, “FIVE”, (Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment).
What should you conclude from these four possibilities? Give up? Consumers and industry professionals will be shown the virtual reality door sooner than you think.
“I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”
— Morpheus, The Matrix
Me? I’m walking through it…
Now, two questions and one ask:
- Do you work with virtual reality or augmented reality? If so, share one lesson learned in the comments. Or, overall, what did you think?
- If you haven’t worked with virtual reality yet, what about it are you excited (or concerned) about?