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Tech

5 serious ways to use virtual reality

Virtual and augmented reality extend far beyond entertainment, finding practical applications across various industries and sectors. Here are five unexpected uses of this technology:

  1. Crime Scene Reconstructions: Virtual reality enables juries to immerse themselves in crime scenes or pivotal moments of a crime. This immersive reconstruction aids in answering critical questions in court, such as spatial feasibility of actions or visibility from certain vantage points. Institutions like the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Zurich and Staffordshire University are pioneering interactive crime scene visualization systems, enhancing judicial decision-making.
  2. Building Spacecraft: Aerospace manufacturers like Thales Alenia Space utilize virtual reality for spacecraft assembly. Technicians equipped with augmented reality glasses can visualize component placements directly on the assembly rig, improving precision and efficiency. This advanced approach replaces traditional 2D maps, streamlining workflows and enhancing overall assembly accuracy.
  3. Archaeology: European researchers leverage VR to transform archaeological sites into immersive 3D environments. Utilizing drones, researchers capture detailed images of sites and artifacts, reconstructing them digitally for exploration and interaction. This innovation not only enhances archaeological research capabilities but also provides public accessibility to historical sites otherwise difficult to visit.
  4. Big Data Management: Virtual reality tools are revolutionizing data management and analysis by transforming complex datasets into interactive 3D environments. Users can intuitively navigate and manipulate data objects, facilitating quicker insights and decision-making processes. This dynamic approach enhances user engagement and comprehension compared to traditional screen-based data analysis.
  5. Pain Relief: VR applications are being developed specifically for medical purposes to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with medical treatments. These immersive experiences redirect patients’ focus from their immediate surroundings to virtual environments, potentially reducing perception of pain and anxiety. Initial studies suggest VR’s efficacy in managing chronic pain symptoms, presenting a promising non-pharmacological alternative in pain management.

These diverse applications underscore the transformative potential of virtual and augmented reality beyond conventional uses, offering innovative solutions across scientific, industrial, and healthcare domains.

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