10 Uses of VR Technology Other Than Gaming

Today, Virtual Reality is mostly associated with games, but its scope is not just limited to the aspect of gaming. In fact, Virtual Reality technology is put to best use in various industrial sectors to educate people and train employees for providing them with a unique experience by integrating virtual real world.

Certainly, there are numerous other interesting applications of virtual reality. Here are ten fascinating uses of Virtual Reality other than video games…


VR TV shows

Want to watch your favorite shows in VR? One startup aims to make this happen

When HBO released Game of Thrones season six last April, its Facebook page posted a 360-degree video of the opening scene. But making a single 360-degree teaser isn’t the same as making weekly episodes available in virtual reality format.

It’s possible, though. “That’s what the major networks are doing these days,” said Matthew Collado, co-founder and chief content officer at Littlstar.

So, what are the barriers?

There are too many platforms, unlike the app ecosystem which resolves around iOS and Android. An app developer writes one Android app which is available to users of most Android smartphones. As for VR, the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR all have their own platforms and requirements. This variety of platforms — both in the form of VR hardware and the software behind it — makes content difficult to produce and consume.

This creates a gap in the market that NYC startup Littlstar hopes to fill – by acting like a middleman. Littlstar allows brands to upload 360-degree photos or videos in web, mobile and VR formats, after which it optimizes the content to make it available on VR platforms like Samsung GearVR, Oculus Rift, and Google Cardboard.

The company is also now in the final approval process of signing a partnership with HTC Vive and is launching a presence in Sony PlayStation Store next month, according to Matthew.

Littlstar now has thousands of videos in VR, mobile, and web formats, including content from major networks. The startup bases itself in New York City because of the sheer number of marketing and advertising agencies, as well as TV networks like ABC and HBO, located there.

“I travel in between Los Angeles and New York. New York is more of a business resource hub whereas LA is more for actual production,” Matthew added.


eBay is betting shoppers will embrace virtual reality as much as gamers

Virtual reality could be the next big thing after the mobile shopping boom, and the brands want in.

Not just for gaming, the technology could also support retail and browsing experiences, and eBay is one of the first companies to take the leap.

Partnering with Australian retailer Myer, eBay launched what it called the world’s first virtual reality department store Wednesday. Shoppers can now look through thousands of Myer products without leaving home.

Once the iOS or Android eBay Virtual Reality Department Store app is downloaded, it works with headsets like Samsung’s Gear VR. eBay and Myer are also offering 20,000 free “shopticals” — basically just Google Cardboard headsets — to shoppers.

During a quick trial, the experience worked smoothly with a basic, mind map-style interface.

When you enter the virtual store, several categories of retail items are shown: women’s clothing, electronics and others. Users select areas of interest, and the experience is built around the choices. As you move through, selecting or rejecting items, the store’s algorithm should further adapt to what it thinks users might like.

If you want to take a closer look at a watch or bra, 100 of the top products are viewable in 3D, with the remaining 12,500 in 2D.

Instead of having hand controllers, users select items using only sight. The company has created “eBay Sight Search,” which allows items to be chosen by holding your gaze on them for a number of seconds.

Items can be added to the basket in the same fashion, but to check out, users have to take off the headset and return to the eBay app to put through the payment.


Discover an Immersive Horror Adventure in Edge of Nowhere – Available Now on Rift

Augmented reality startup Blippar has so far been known for using augmented reality and computer vision technology to bring information from the real world through your smartphone camera to your screen.

Edge of Nowhere, the intense, third-person action-adventure title from Insomniac Games and Oculus Studios, is now live on the Oculus Store for Rift! Traverse the mountains of Antarctica as Victor Howard in search of a mysteriously vanished expedition. Edge of Nowhere blends adventure gameplay with elements of Lovecraftian horror where nothing is what it seems.

Check out the video:



Blippar’s app can tell you things about every object around you

Augmented reality startup Blippar has so far been known for using augmented reality and computer vision technology to bring information from the real world through your smartphone camera to your screen.

For example, if you aimed your camera to a movie poster adorned with Blippar’s “B” logo, it would serve up information about that movie on your phone.

But, as announced a few months ago, the company has a greater goal in mind: it wants its app to btell apart any object you point your camera to, and offer you information on it. The company presents it as a “Wikipedia for the physical world,” but it’s closer to a visual Google.

Today the UK-based startup announced the technology behind this concept, called Blipparsphere, is live. It’s based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, which help it identify everyday objects. The app then brings up relevant subjects in the form of circles with each one containing information in text form and linking to further sources.

Blippar’s app is available for iOS and Android. While it’s still early days, it’s capable of recognizing common objects without much trouble. Point the camera at something, and the app starts cycling through keywords that it thinks are relevant to it before settling on what it is.

It managed to identify my computer monitor, my coffee mug, and my coffeemaker and served up various bits of info on them. For my monitor, for example, it showed information on aspect ratios, the HDMI format, etc. It had a bit more difficulty recognizing my toaster, thinking it was a washing machine, but like I said, early days.


VR Brush

Google Tilt Brush: Impossible now a reality?

Artists, put down your brushes. It’s time to step into the world of virtual reality.

Google has unveiled Tilt Brush, its new app set to revolutionize the definition of painting and push the boundaries of what it can represent.
With the swipe of a digital brush users wearing a connected HTC Vive headset can paint life-sized, three dimensional strokes of just about anything — even drawing with impossible materials such as fire, snow and stars.


Watch video!

Virtual reality is about to go mainstream, but a lack of content threatens to hold it back

Technology is surrounding us; its surface is becoming more complex, pliable and familiar to the eye. Virtual reality is no longer creeping into the mainstream: It’s leaping.

Just last month, secretive VR startup Magic Leap received more than $793 million in new funding through Google, Qualcomm and others, quickening its progress toward creating seamless experiences in which digital and physical worlds collide.

When MIT Technology Review editor Rachel Metz visited Magic Leap’s headquarters, she discovered a world where crisp virtual characters were already roaming the halls, waiting for a device to be perfected that will bring them into the public eye.

Not to be outdone, Microsoft revealed its plans to release a sleek-looking augmented reality headset this year, too. HoloLens will allow users to interact with holographic surroundings and characters, and Microsoft partners Volvo, NASA and Trimble are already testing it in the business world.

Though the industry is giddy with the potential of VR, the consumer is still a step away from being able to enjoy a virtual experience while riding the bus.


VR Fear

Samsung VR Headsets Help Millennials Overcome Their Fears in Persuasive New Ads

Terrified of heights? Try tricking yourself into thinking you’re on the roof of a skyscraper, using virtual reality technology—and maybe, with practice, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the real thing.
Samsung ran just that test recently, turning people into guinea pigs to demonstrate the potential of its VR headgear. Agency Cheil Worldwide brought the “Be Fearless” message to life with 27 participants from countries like Germany, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

They underwent four weeks of VR training to combat their fears—of heights (acrophobia) or of public speaking (glossophobia)—before facing real-life applications of their new skills, like speaking in front of a packed lecture hall.


Cloud Over Syria VR

Clouds Over Sidra Wins Sheffield Doc/Fest Award

Over the last six days Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015 has been taking place all over the UK city. The event is a celebration of documentaries of all kinds, hosting rare screenings, exclusive talks and more. The first few days even saw an impressive virtual reality (VR) ‘Arcade’ put on display, with nine unique experiences for attendees to try out. The event concludes with an awards ceremony which this year has recognised one of the stand out VR experiences of that VR Arcade, Clouds Over Sidra.

The short documentary, created by Chris Milk and Gabo Arora, has been awarded the prize in the Interactive category of this year’s show. It follows Sidra, a twelve year old girl that has fled her home in Syria due to the ongoing crisis and found herself in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp. It provides a brief glimpse at the day-to-day life that these refugees endure with narration from Sidra herself. Viewers are taken closer to the situation than a standard screen could ever convey, joining children at school and families as they gather round to eat.