Virtual Reality Fall 2015

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What is Virtual Reality?

What is Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is a computer-generated environment that can be interacted with as if that environment was real. It is a stimulated environment where the user interacts and manipulates with its surrounding by wearing a headset. [1]

What is Augmented reality

What is augmented reality?

Instead of replacing reality, augmented reality adds cues onto the already existing real world. Computer graphics are embedded into the real world. Ideally, the human mind would not be able to tell the difference between computer-generated images and the real world. [1]

What is Hologram?

What is a Hologram?

Holograms are photographic images that are three-dimensional and appear to have depth. [3] It is a photograph of an interference pattern that, when suitably illuminated, produces a three-dimensional image.[1]

Making a hologram at home is not very complicated. From our class presentation, it was evident that holograms are easy to make and instructions are widely available on the internet. If someone is interested in trying it out, here is a Youtube [1] video that is very informative.


Virtual and Augmented reality have been around since a few decades and yet, we have not seen any drastic change in the type of headsets developed. The first headset of VR and AR came out in the 1950s. There are pictures below, which indicate that there is not a drastic difference between the devices that have been created over the years. Most of the devices target a person’s stimuli sensor of sight, smell, hearing and touching. [2]

Virtual Reality History

Time and Name of Innovation Description Image
January 1963 --- TV Glasses By Hugo Gernsback Inventor Hugo Gernsback with his TV glasses, 1963
July 1995 --- Virtual Boy (Nintendo) The Virtual Boy (Originally known as VR-32) is a 32-bit table-top 3D video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was marketed as the first "portable" video game console capable of displaying "true 3D graphics" out of the box. It proved to be a commercial failure and was not released in other regions.

June 2012 --- Oculus Rift Prototype Palmer Luckey developed the idea of creating a new head-mounted display which was both more effective than competing products, and inexpensive for gamers.

Augmented Reality History

Time and Name of Innovation Description Image
December 1968 --- The Sword of Damocles The device was primitive both in terms of user interface and realism, and the graphics comprising the virtual environment were simple wireframe rooms.

April 2012 --- Google Glasses Google Glasses is a type of wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). It was developed by Google with the mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer. Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format.

February 2015 --- DAQRI Smart Helmet Setting a new standard for industrial, professional-grade wearables, DAQRI Smart Helmet realizes the true potential of augmented reality and 4D in the enterprise space.


Headsets of Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift was the first company that resuscitated the concept of virtual reality back in the world of technology. In late 2012 the first developer kit became available and shipping started in 2013. In March 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus Rift for $2billion. This was a substantial moment in the world of Virtual Reality as it will now have enough financial support to conduct new research.[3]

Samsung Gear

Samsung Gear

Samsung Gear has is becoming one of the most talked about virtual reality inventions in the tech world. Gear VR, like other headsets, is used with a smartphone. Gear VR costs $200 and is compatible with the latest Samsung Galaxy phones that are Note 4, Note 5, S5 S6, or S6 edge. [3]

Sony Morpheus

Sony Morpheus

Sony is not far behind in this race either. They are making their own headsets called Sony Morpheus which will be used in PlayStation gaming. This will improve gaming by head tracking and allow movements for input. Project Morpheus includes a screen of 960 x 1080 in each eye, a refresh rate of 120 Hz compared to the 90 Hz of the Rift’s Crescent Bay model. It is expected to release in 2016.[3]

Headsets of Augmented Reality

Google Glass

Google Glass

Google Glass is worn like a pair of eyeglasses. It displays the information in a smartphone but with a hand free format. Google has been running some experiments since some time and they believe that Project Glass was ready to "graduate" from Google X, the experimental phase of the project.[3]

Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens is a smart-glasses headset that is a cordless, self-contained Windows 10 computer. HoloLens has been in development for five years before its announcement in 2015. The listed price of this unit would US$3000 and it will start distribution to developers in the first quarter of 2016.[3]

Sony smart glasses

Sony Smart Glasses

It’s a wearable computer that adds information what the person sees. Typically, this is achieved through an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) or computerized internet-connected glasses with transparent heads-up display. While early models can perform basic tasks, such as just serve as a front end display for a remote system, as in the case of smartglasses utilizing cellular technology or Wi-Fi, modern smart glasses are effectively wearable computers which can run self-contained mobile apps. [3]

Latest Developments

Disney Colouring book

Disney 3D coloring book

Disney has developed an augmented reality coloring book. One good thing about this coloring book is that you don’t have to replace crayons with stylus. However, while colouring someone has to hold the tablet so that someone can color properly.[4]

Hulu and Netflix

Hulu and Netflix both want to adopt Virtual reality. They want users to explore and watch what they want in 3D virtual spaces. Netflix has announced that they will be launching an application with Gear VR.[5]

Star Wars

Star Wars recently introduced a Virtual Reality experience in its movies. This is likely to positively affect the growth of Google Cardboard as it will be used to provide the VR experience.[6]


Another major player Facebook is has considered virtual reality to be an important part of the future. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg himself said that he thinks that augmented reality has good future and that he is working on it with his team.[7]

YouTube adds VR

YouTube was already ahead in the game with their 360 degree videos, however they now want to focus on Virtual Reality to take the experience a step further. YouTube videos will be viewed by cardboard and although there are not that many right now, Youtube is working to create more videos that have a virtual reality component.[8]

Affordable motion sensor suit

Salto has made a full body motion capture suit lined with a sensor design to translate your real world movement in VR action. The suit could have anywhere between 33-132 sensor depending on what a person is spending on it.[9]

Salto sensor motion

ArmKeyboard - NEC

This is designed as a means to give workers a “hands-free” way of working. The company is calling it the ArmKeypad. The NEC (a Japanese company) thinks that it is a better product than voice interfaces, which are difficult to operate in noisy environment. [10]

Watching sports in Virtual reality

Imagine watching an amazing game and not paying $600 for it. Sounds interesting right? Virtual reality has made that possible too. A few weeks ago there was a NBA season and anyone with Samsung VR and a NextVR application could watch it while sitting at home. However, there were a few problems that occurred. Firstly, VR users were not able to see the score properly as they were sitting on the sidelines and watching the action. It was difficult to see the scoreboard that was located at quite a distance. Secondly, sometimes the screen froze until the nextVR application was restarted. Lastly, there weren’t any commercials to watch. When the commercials were going on people would just sit there and watch the players.[11]

Game 8:46

Game 8:46

A Virtual reality experience called [08:46] tried to show the 9/11 disaster through virtual reality. The concept takes you to an office in the WTC’s North Tower which was the first one to be struck. At first, this game was with Oculus but now it appears that [08:46] has been removed from oculus share. [12]

Iphone cases

iPhone cases

Until now we have seen a lot of headsets but we have not seen something that is portable and easy to carry. The Figment VR solves our problem. The Figment VR viewer is a slick-looking, soft touch-coated iPhone case with built-in goggles that flip around from the back. It comes in white or black and works with a number of VR-friendly apps, like Google Cardboard, Jaunt VR, VRSE, or even the 360-degree videos found on YouTube or Facebook. Although it is portable, one would argue that it has no strap like other VR headsets, which would mean that it will be held by the hand as shown in the picture.[13]

20 Years or 5 Years?

Michael Abrash, the scientist of Oculus Rift predicted that it would take around 20 years for Augmented or Virtual reality to fully develop. However, in the entire duration of this course, which was twelve weeks we have seen significant developments in the world. This brings us to the point that twenty years is a very long time to predict because the changes in the world of technology today are very fast-paced. We think that somewhere around 5 years would be a reasonable time.

Current Applications


Virtual reality has been adopted by the military – including all three services (army, navy, and air force) – where it is used for training purpose and treating purpose. The U.S. military has made significant investments in virtual reality training ranging from combat scenarios to the Trauma Management Therapy program. [14] VR technology is widely used in the U.S. military, enhancing training safety and comprehensiveness for soldiers. This part will introduce three main applications of VR in military: Flight simulation, Military and law enforcement immersive training and Treat PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Flight Stimulation

Flight Simulation

Flight simulators are the most recognizable application. They are used to train pilots across all branches of the forces and to great success. They are used to teach flying skills, how to deal with an emergency and communication with ground control. Flight simulators vary in the type of software they use but their structure remains the same. They take the form of an enclosed unit which is mounted on a hydraulic lift or an electronic system. This unit is able to tilt, move or twist to replicate the movements of an aircraft. The unit also contains force feedback and responds to actions taken by the trainee pilot. The simulator will contain a series of monitors which display images of a virtual landscape. These images are presented in exactly the same way as if viewed through the windows of a real world aircraft which require the trainee pilot to react accordingly. [15]

Treating Patients with PTSD


Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a condition which develops when a person has been placed under extreme stress or suffered a high level of trauma. Approximately 28 percent of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq are diagnosed with clinical distress, according to the U.S. Air Force. A 2010 study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry found that up to 17 percent of U.S. Iraq War veterans may have combat-related PTSD. [1] VR technology can be used to diagnose soldiers who suffer from PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). The affected person wears a pair of virtual reality glasses or head mounted display (HMD). This contains two tiny monitors which display images of the source of their disorder, e.g. a battlefield. The rationale behind this is that exposing someone to the source of their condition combined with relaxation skills will enable them cope and adapt. As they are exposed to this over time the level of threat is removed which then decreases their anxiety levels and feelings of anxiety. [2] Compared with the expense of creating situations in the “real world, virtual reality is cost effective, and it will allow therapists to treat a wider spectrum of people. Decreasing costs for developing software and computer equipment will also help to make VR treatment more accessible. [3]

Immersive Training

Military and Law Enforcement Immersive Training Simulation

Virtual reality is also often used in military training. Soldiers are trained for combat and responding to dangerous situations. For example, VIRTSIM is a motion-capture immersive virtual reality simulation system that allows up to 13 people to train together virtually. The virtual reality system allows trainees to perform law enforcement and military combat exercises and move tactically as they would during a live operation. Any location or tactical scenario can be simulated by the software with incredible realistic details. The 3D AAR then provides playback of all actions and shots from every angle, as well as from each participant's individual perspective for feedback and analysis. The ability to train with this system allows the "reset" time to be cut down, which allows the ability to get more repetitions in a shorter amount of time and the ability to review each mission to enhance the after action review process upon completion of each mission. [4] Compare with traditional physical training, virtual environment training is less costly, and simulations in the virtual world can be rerun and controlled much more easily.


Healthcare is one of the biggest adopters of virtual reality which encompasses surgery simulation, rehabilitate stroke patients, robotic surgery and skills training. One of the advantages of this technology is that it allows healthcare professionals to learn new skills as well as refreshing existing ones in a safe environment. Plus it allows this without causing any danger to the patients.

Rehabilitating Stroke Patients

One of the biggest challenges following a stroke can be regaining the use of any affected limbs. One pilot study from researchers suggests virtual reality can help. Using a Microsoft Kinect sensor, patients control a virtual body whose movements correspond to their own. When the patients reach for a virtual object, researchers enhance the accuracy of the projection without the patient's knowledge. By "tricking" their brains into believing the affected arm is more accurate than it actually is, the VR experience made it more likely patients would actually use their weaker arm. [5]

VR Medical Training

Virtual Reality simulations are increasingly being researched for use as a training tool in medicine. They have the potential to provide a safe, controllable environment for novice doctors to learn, allowing them to make mistakes without consequences to the patient. It is also possible to integrate both anatomy and physiology, which is not possible in an anatomy lab. A wide range of reusable rare conditions and complications can be modelled and presented to user when required. VR training also offers the possibility of providing a standard performance rating for any user which is not possible with traditional teaching methods. Moreover, by assigning tissue properties to the virtual model, and monitoring the user’s actions and forces used, it is possible to objectively rate his/her performance on metrics such us tissue damage. Only through appropriate presentation of this performance feedback can users adjust their behavior to improve performance. VR simulators are now widely thought to offer the potential of providing a new medical training paradigm. [6]


VR Gaming

With various manufacturers and hobbyists all building head-mounted displays and body tracking systems, PC games could soon be getting a whole lot more immersive. However, VR gaming is currently in the development stage as most VR games available are limited to demos and VR-supported games. VR-supported games are modifications of normal games, which use third-party software and add-ons to modify the original games’ features and contents such that they can be supported by VR devices. The state of the VR gaming market is not established. There are currently only 30 released game software, including both VR-supported and original VR games for the Oculus Rift. The biggest limitation is immature VR technology resulting in ordinary gameplay, and thus it does not take advantage for what the headset is originally intended for. However, VR gaming is expected to be the biggest application of VR technology for consumers in the short-term.

The Hunger Games

VR Media

VR video is a brand new kind of video that gives you a sense of depth in every direction so you feel like you’re actually there. For example, The Hunger Game published a new trailer which is a VR video. For full effect, you should watch it in a Google Cardboard viewer. With The Hunger Games - Virtual Reality Experience, you could immerse yourself in a 360° narrative that explores key moments from throughout Katniss’ journey, across all four films in the series. Soar through iconic environments and scenes from throughout Panem, encountering your favorite characters and witnessing the global phenomenon from within.

Automobile Industry using VR


Ford Motor Company currently uses virtual reality in its Immersion Lab to help get a sense of how customers experience their cars. They use Oculus Rift headsets, to look at high def renderings of the interiors and exteriors of cars. They've also developed prop-like tools, such as a flashlight, to be used in the VR experience to simulate the experience of looking around a car in the dark. The benefit to all this is that Ford can get a jump on the product develops process without having to wait for a physical prototype of a new model. Similarly, Audi announced this year that they'd be using VR later in the year to give potential car buyers an in-depth look at their cars, as well as the ability to customize not just colors, but electronics systems, inlays, and even the interior leather. This year Toyota used virtual reality as part of its TeenDrive365 campaign to educate teenagers and parents about distracted driving. The distracted driving simulator included sensors that translated what the user was doing with the pedals or steering wheel into the simulation, and included built-in distractions like a ringing cellphone and chatty friends in the backseat. [1]

Training Football Player

The Dallas Cowboys announced a two-year deal with StriVR Labs, a tech company specializing in VR platforms to help train sports teams. The Cowboys' quarterbacks will train with a headset that allows them to watch plays from a first-person perspective and help them make snap decisions. Using footage that's captured by a stationary 360-degree camera, the VR system makes a player feel like they are in their own position on the field where they would be standing and what they would see if they were really out there in real life. The program was tested at Stanford University and partially credited for boosting the team's performance. [2]

Overview of Current Application

Just as I mentioned before, I estimate VR Gaming is going to be the biggest application of VR technology in the short-term, because it is the most suitable for public. Anything that is associated with Entertainment gets popularity very fast. By continuing develop the new VR technology, VR devices will be more affordable. Thus, more people would get chance to enjoy VR Gaming in home. I believe VR Gaming has potential to create huge economic benefit in the short future. Besides VR Gaming, VR Immersive Training is also a valuable application. VR Military Training is cost-effective, and it greatly reduces the risk under traditional training. VR Medical Training could provide more chance to medical students to practice all kinds of medical cases, while it won’t cause any harm to patients. Another significane advantage that VR Training has is that it could provide accurate feedback after each training session, so that trainees could summarize the lessons learned for future improvement.

Future Development

Business Analysis

Gartner Hype Cycle

Gartner Hype Cycle

Gartner Hype Cycle is used to track emerging technologies such as virtual reality and predict statuses of maturity and adoption of those technologies. Gartner Hype Cycle divides the progress of development in a technology in several different stages based on prediction from market expectation and responses. Technologies usually go through five different phases in the cycle.

1.Technology Trigger: A potential technology makes a breakthrough in technology challenge and begins to spread to gather people’s attention.

2.Peak of Inflated Expectations: The technology reaches the height of publicity and many other companies enter the field.

3.Through of Disillusionment: Interest in the technology begins to decrease and there’s a shakeout between industry players. Companies will fail or success in this stage.

4.Slope of Enlightenment: The real applications of the technology become apparent and widely understood.

5.Plateau of Productivity: The technology begins to go mainstream.

The Gartner Hype Cycle shows virtual reality will be in the end of the stage of disillusionment in five to ten years. That means that many developers and companies have overcome the technical challenges of creating great Virtual Reality systems. People are able to buy virtual reality technology products such as Oculus rift and Google headset, and they can then use those products in day-to-day life. Companies face the biggest challenges in the stage of “Disillusionment” where the goal is to get as many people to try their virtual reality products, and persuade people to adopt and buy those products. [3]

Current Investment

Virtual Reality needs substantial funding to continue making bigger developments. Since companies are now on the cusp of the launching multiple consumer grade virtual reality headsets, investors are turning their attention to different problems, with different amounts of money being thrown into the mix. Besides Facebook buying Oculus to develop virtual reality social networks in March 2014, Google invested $542 million in Magic Leap to create a new high resolution chip which can perfectly insert objects into a person’s eyes, Walt Disney worked with Jaunt to develop a professional camera specifically designed for capturing cinematic virtual reality experience. Greenlight VR which a virtual reality market research firm released a recent industry report that showed that there is a continuous increasing trend in investing VR field. In the past five years, there has been over $765 million invested in VR area by over 166 distinct investors. [4] However, investors will have a long time to wait before they receive a payoff since they are putting money into startups not actually products, but many investors think that virtual reality is an emerging tech area and has not yet disappointed them or shunned their enthusiasm.[5]


As virtual reality improves and becomes more cost effective, individuals from military, automotive, healthcare and other industries are learning to use it as an enabling technology for design, production and manufacturing to great effect. In order to share knowledge of the fast pace development within the virtual reality field and introduce these technologies’ value explicitly to industries, more and more specific virtual reality events are appearing. Following are the introductions to several virtual reality events:

SAE Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) Technologies Symposium: SAE (Society of Automotive Engineer) International is an organization that administers more than 25 international meetings and exhibitions each year covering all aspects of technology related to design, manufacture, automotive, and other related industries. SAE provides a platform to Virtual Reality startups meet industry experts to turn technology challenges into corporate solutions within organizations. [6]

SVVR (Silicon Valley Virtual Reality) Conference & Expo: the annual SVVR Conference & Expo has been hold in 2 years and now is the world’s largest professional event for the virtual reality industry. The SVVR 2015 was attended by over 1400 virtual reality professionals and over 100 VR companies. [7]

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3): E3 is the world’s biggest trade show for computers, video and mobile games and related products. Since now majority of virtual reality technologies are used in gaming, Oculus Rift, Microsoft Hololens and Sony PlayStation released their new products in E3. [8]

Project Sales

Graph of headset Sales

Majority of the customers in the virtual reality world are gamers. There are 1.2 billion gamers worldwide, including nearly 1 billion mobile gamers alone. This creates a direct, addressable market for VR headsets. The graph of “Forecast: Global Virtual Reality Head-Mounted Display Shipments” shows a prediction of virtual reality headset sales, with 26.5 million units will be sold in 2020. That would give it a compound annual growth rate of nearly 100%, in other words, average sales will double every year in the next five years. (Rosoff, 2015) Now, customers have various choices when buying VR products so that they can make more expenditure in high-end Oculus which connects to PC and to more accessible Samsung VR and Google Cardboard. In future, VR headsets will be a fairly low-cost consumer electronics category, and this will help increase adoption. Headsets will be priced similarly to smart watches and also need to complied with another computing device. [9]

Graph of Hardware and Software Total Revenue for Consumer VR Devices

Beyond gaming, virtual reality will be applied in other industries wildly in future. The chart of “Hardware and Software Total Revenue for Consumer VR” shows prediction of consumer virtual reality market will be worth $5.2bn by 2018, and the cumulatively across from 2014 to 2018 of the market to be worth $16.2bn. [10]

Future Application

Gaming & Entertainment

Virtual Reality version of Minecraft

The mainstream of virtual reality technology applications are games that will continue for a while. There are many limitations in virtual reality. Outputting to a headset means the computer is effectively outputting to two screens rather than one, which effectively halves the graphical capabilities of a regular game. [11] Thus, future virtual reality games will be able to match the current graphical quality and become more immersive, allowing the gamer to feel as if the person is really flying a fighter jet, slaying a dragon or saving the world from aliens.

Current VR games cannot be played simultaneously by multiplayer. Sony Project Morpheus confirmed that they have multiplayer support in a mechanized combat league RIGS E3 event, but it only can be played by up to four people simultaneously. There is a trade-off that the more players the game supports, the lower its graphic quality. Future VR games will be able to support multiplayer with high graphic resolution. [11]

Current VR games are expensive since they provide a fully immersive setup, such as a cave where users are able to interact with objects in an enclosed space. Future VR games can be developed in a semi-immersive setup such as a pair of virtual reality glasses, low cost data glove and games console. Price will decrease due to affordable components and products becoming smaller and more accessible. [12] Minecraft, a popular worldwide game which is owned by Microsoft announced that they are partnering with Oculus to create and release a virtual reality version of the game. The VR version will be applied hologram technology to let players step into its blocky, custom-crafted worlds, look inside of buildings, and zoom in or zoom out by moving fingers. Players can use either Samsung’s “Gear VR” headset which is available now and requires a high-end Samsung phone to function or the Oculus Rift which is planned to launch in an early 2016. The VR version of Minecraft will launch 2016 spring. [13] In future, VR can work with nanotechnology which is a technology that allow us to push beyond the boundaries of the human body and enter into the digital world. That means people would become one with the virtual environment and your brain would be uploaded into a computer system or network which will give you a fully immersive environment. [12]


Picture of Kids learning: 5th grade students from Arlington Science Focus School participate in a Alchemy Learning led demo of their newest VR game

Future education will introduce virtual reality to provide a brand new immersive learning experience to students. Immersive learning is not a traditional format of learning where students often learn and take information directly from textbooks, teachers and other students. Immersive learning is an interactive experience of learning; it provides an environment where people have a realization and those realizations lead to real change in behavior and in habits. [1] The distinguished from traditional learning is that immersive learning is able to simulate realistic scenarios and environments that give learners the opportunity to practice skills and interact with other learners. [2]

Immersive learning is experience learning which means engages all of the senses, and as a result, moves students beyond simply understanding concepts, and allows them to analyze, create and problem solve, increasing fluid intelligence, and sometimes even grey matter. also because immersive learning is a facilitated learning which can make students complete absorption those learning experiences. [1] The Immersive Learning prototype combines two inherently interactive technologies -- the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and a Leap Motion gesture-based controller (similar to Microsoft's Kinect). Once inside the headset, students can view a digital simulation and interact with it in 3D space. Since virtual reality is able to let students access worlds never before possible, students can learn H2O by exploring atoms, molecules and cells at large scale or journey through the entire cardiovascular system to understand how the human body works from the inside out. [1]

Besides complex subject learning, virtual reality also can apply in K-12 education. VR technology can be managed to tackle student’ issues such as students are able to become accepted by their classmates and gain confidence because of their technology skills. Additional evidence shows positive outcomes for individual children from ethnic minorities, or with learning difficulties, or experiencing problems at home. The pedagogies of constructivism and game-based learning show that children learn best by doing or by being. The ability to introduce practical knowledge to the classroom without actually leaving it, makes educational experience invaluable. Rather than listening to lectures, students can put words underneath a headset and get a real experience but in a virtual wrapper. Experience game-based learning is motivating and memorable because it is fun for children. Virtual platforms also inspire creative learning by children that they can build their own park and design their own electricity board. [3]

Holographic technology will be expensive for the next few years to have a place in public K -12 education, and now it main focus on college education which can create a virtual lecture with a virtual image of a professor in virtual classroom. It also will decrease cost of tuition and students can receive equivalent education at remote locations to encourage more students complete their college education. [4]

Architecture & Real Estate

Reports show that majority designers and architects believe that they will soon design using VR tools. They believe that they will be sending clients virtual models of their projects so that clients can walk through them wearing a 3D headset in few years. Survey on architects who have tried VR tools think virtual architecture is similar and about 90 percent convincing as real architecture. [1]
Visualisation showing how Gravity Sketch can be used to make 3D models from a 2D drawing
Picture: kitchen, real (left) and virtual (right)

Reports show that majority designers and architects believe that they will soon design using VR tools. They believe that they will be sending clients virtual models of their projects so that clients can walk through them wearing a 3D headset in few years. Survey on architects who have tried VR tools think virtual architecture is similar and about 90 percent convincing as real architecture. [2]

A simple virtual 3D real time interactive model can be built in the Gravity Sketch, which is a tool for creative quick sketch out ideas in 3D space. The drawing is displayed via a virtual reality headset like Oculus Rift or an augmented reality device Google Glass. Drawings can be rotated and approached from any angle and other people can view and edit them via their own headsets. [3] However, most architects think that they will always use a pen for the first sketches to quickly bring ideas to life, but they believe that the next generation of designers will use VR tools to design their ideas. Architects also need to create a series of walk through movies of the house, which help customers understand the virtual model.[2]

Development in VR architecture will change the software we are using now. It is known as 3DS MAX/V-RAY , and it is a 3D modeling, animation and rendering software that you can use to tweak and try different options in your 3D model. The software will be replaced by 3DS MAX/Real-Time Rendering. It will be cheaper for architecture practices as they won’t have to wait for rendering images or animation. A VR architecture application will be able to detect flaws or issues in architecture that people could not realize based on plans. For example, architects can open the doors and turn on the lights, instantly change materials for the walls, the floor, and the position of lights. Future architecture application can also be a virtual empty room in the house equipped with positional tracking dedicated to VR in every architecture practice and test for new designs. [2]

Moreover, these future virtual reality technologies can change the way people experience architecture and design. Real estate agents don’t need to physically visit the house. Architects can send files to clients and they are able to take virtual walk around. you probably have an empty room in your future house dedicated to VR so that you could choose a different interior every day. [2]

Business Meeting

business meeting

Nowadays, people tend to continue to work in home also working time are flexible as well. Virtual Reality will build a better relationship between employees working remotely and their managers or working groups. Employees will be able to work from home, but working from virtual offices and surrounded by their virtual peers. Sometimes, it can be instrumental to make your boss more confident that you actually are working and not just goofing off at home. Compared to current video conferencing such as FaceTime and Skype, virtual business meeting will have a larger capacity of simultaneous users, or in some day, an employee can use an avatar that they even don’t need change their dress.[1]

Future business meeting applications will be able to make the virtual meeting like the actual face-to face meeting that employees feel they face-to-face with colleagues or clients, while they actually sit in their office at the same time. Thus, it will reduce cost in business travel and decrease the amount of workers are outside the office and unavailable. It would be more productive for workers that they could have more meeting each day without travel. [1]

HR departments can conduct virtual interviews with people, face to face in a virtual conference room. Large companies can set up remote offices which similar to teleconferencing today, for candidates to visit and use VR headset for interview. Benefit can be interviewers are able to seeing reactions to questions through body languages of candidates. [2]

Product Sales

Product sales

Researchers state that if a person is interested in comparing two different types of smartphones before buying one, testing them both out via virtual reality would be the perfect solution. Similar situation would be advisable to people looking to buy new cars, a new boat or even a house. It is common that customers will take longer time to decide to buy expensive products. Salespeople can help their potential customers to virtually try to persuade them make expenditures. [1]

VR also allows customers make orders quicker that customers only need to click the button of interface in those application instead of in-store or online shopping.[1]


Food hacking

Virtual reality also can be developed to change your food experience. You might already know the way your food looks and smells, but you might not have realized to what degree you, your hunger and your taste buds can actually be tricked. Japanese scientists used VR technology to change the appearance of food to see what it does to the way we eat. The Scientists are first able to make that cookie bigger or smaller. Results of research showed that food that is virtually enlarged to be 50 percent bigger can lead to 10 percent less consumption, while food that is virtually shrunk to 30 percent its size makes people eat 15 percent more. Then, a more complicated experiment was conducted when researchers changed the appearance of cookie with pumping a corresponding fragrance. For example, a plain cookie becomes a lemon cookie, and the experimenter felt it much sweeter when he ate lemon cookie but he ate a plain cookie actually. [1]

Scientists found that a gadget based on a prototype could also be used to make smells and tastes from a TV show come alive, or to make hospital food taste better. In future, a similar gadget could be developed and allow us to feel delicious when we eat boring healthy food and have them taste like something much more sumptuous. People also can use the technology to lose weight by eating less, address health issues such as diabetes and high cholesterols by eating healthier. The technology can be used by astronauts or other people who miss their home dishes. [1]

Risks and Challenges

Risks and Challenges: Prank video

Physical Risks

The current VR headsets’ head tracking is not perfect. If the user wearing the device moves his or her head, that motion might not adjust as accurately or quickly as necessary inside the virtual environment. Any discrepancy between what the users see and feel could lead to motion sickness. In addition, according to the Oculus VR’s warning in its terms and conditions policy, “some individuals may also experience severe dizziness, epileptic seizures or blackouts when exposed to certain flashing lights or patterns.” It indicates these other physical risks associated with VR.[1]

Security Risks

People find themselves so immersed in social media and video games that they lose touch with reality. Technology like VR that immerses players even deeper into the virtual world will likely increase this trend of excessive gaming and video game addiction.2 Privacy Risks: Every single behavior in a virtual environment can be tracked; every element of a virtual environment can be manipulated: making it hard to keep your privacy rights, this could potentially lead to huge leak of private information.[2]

Privacy Risks

Every single behavior in a virtual environment can be tracked; every element of a virtual environment can be manipulated: making it hard to keep your privacy rights, this could potentially lead to huge leak of private information.[1]

Behavioral Risks

Virtual reality environments offer the potential for rudeness, harassment and stalking as any other communication channel while also making the interaction seem even more real and personal.[1]

Risk of Wasting Money

Risk of Wasting Money

Most companies will not be spending $2 billion on virtual reality projects like Facebook did, but price tags for custom virtual environments can easily climb into the six digits and higher. [1] The costs to develop VR are high; the prices for high-end VR gears are high --- it is risky to invest in VR technology. It is hard to sell VR products since they are not standardized.

Technical Complexity

The first challenge is to develop better VR tracking systems; finding a better way to allow users to interact within a virtual environment and decreasing the duration it takes to build virtual spaces. It is hard since it could take a team of programmers more than a year to duplicate a real room accurately in virtual space. It takes a large amount of time and money to do this.[3] Another challenge is creating a system that avoids bad ergonomics. [3] We need better quality images and less discrepancy to avoid motion sickness.


Virtual reality seems like a very new concept but it can actually trace back to 1960s. With the technology developments, we are able to put some of the concepts into reality. We can see that Virtual Reality has already existed in various industries including video games, military, education, healthcare, and automotive, etc. In the meantime, there are more virtual reality products or services in their developing phases, such as immersive learning, real estate uses, hologram meeting, and food industry, etc. Many industry giants have entered the competition and many technology professionals have made their predictions. Our next predictions would be in terms of gaming industry which will take a huge leap in a year or two. Gaming companies will entirely start embracing VR in their gaming products which will attract huge numbers in their audiences as it will provide a unique experience for consumer. There is no doubt that VR can be revolutionary. We are looking forward to see the technology develop, shine, and make a positive impact in our life.


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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Korolov, M. (2014, October 1). The Real Risks of Virtual Reality. Retrieved Dec 4, 2014, from Risk Management:
  2. Henry, T. (2014, October 2). The Dangers of Giving in to Virtual Reality. Retrieved Dec 4, 2014, from Reporter:
  3. 3.0 3.1 Strickland, J. (2015). How virtual reality works. Retrieved Dec 4, 2015, from Tech:
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