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Real Life Applications of VR, AR, CR & MR

by Beth Divine 15 Aug 2018

Virtual, augmented, cinematic and mixed reality – known collectively as X Reality or XR – have all taken the business world by storm, and can be seen in a number of industries at present.

Real estate has leapt on the idea of using virtual reality to permit potential buyers to walk through more homes than they could physically visit. A full scan of the home can be taken and uploaded to the internet and many more customers than otherwise are able to walk through and explore all the salient points of the house. Not only can prospective viewers examine the house in as much detail as they like, they can even tweak the furnishings and décor to see if their preferences look as good as they would like them to.

Car sales have recently cashed in on the virtual reality world, using simulators to show a far wider range of vehicles, interiors, and optional extras than would be possible even in the biggest showroom in the world – which would cost a lot of money and not make any profit as the overheads would be astronomical. By contrast, investing in a high-end platform that feels like an authentic driving experience, loaded with software to emulate any model of car carried by the dealership, and keeping the premises small and overheads low is a great way to maximise profits.

Simulators, too, are making the most out of virtual reality technology. Simulators originally needed to be huge boxy affairs mounted on a number of tilt platforms so that trainee pilots could experience genuine movements and the sensations of the various processes and stresses of flight, especially high-speed reactions and responses. These days, simulators still need to offer the motion responses, but the simulator as a whole can be smaller, with realistic visual impetus. Because of the highly realistic view seen by the pilot, the motions can be smaller and less dramatic – but the brain will perceive them as being accurate. This means that while the pilot will feel the fear and excitement of flying, the risk of injury is much smaller than it would otherwise be. Virtual reality is also very good for recreating accidents, for either investigative or educational purposes. Witnesses and students can see how an accident plays out, how very quickly an innocent-seeming drive can turn into chaos.

Marketing is another industry that has seized joyfully onto XR technologies to boost their products, increase sales and boost profits. Customers are more inclined to splurge on that new kitchen if they have had the chance to ‘see’ the new fittings, that shiny new oven, and how the slimline dishwasher will, after all, fit perfectly into that slightly too-small space next to the sink. Using such technologies can make an imagined dream room into something so close to tangible that it is all but irresistible to customers!