Pushing the Virtual Reality Envelope

Every now and then, a piece of technology takes a leap forward, and changes what we know about it. Last week, we looked at the pioneers who laid down the foundations of virtual reality. This time, we’ll look at those who are pushing the envelope and are taking VR to greater heights.

The Dallas Cowboys

VR has traditionally been linked to gaming. But to use it for sports training? Now that’s innovative. The Dallas Cowboys are turning to VR to help train their quarterbacks. The team hopes that the first-person perspective will aid the playmakers in crucial on-the-fly decision-making.

Call it a glorified video game. Call it a bunch of barbarians outmuscling each other for a yard or two. Whatever you want to call it, it certainly has received a hi-tech upgrade courtesy of virtual reality.

Jaunt, Inc.

The late, great John Lennon may have imagined a lot of things for the betterment of humanity. But even a great mind such as his could never foresee what VR would do for his old buddy, Paul McCartney. The folks over at Jaunt, Inc. have certainly proved that there is more to VR entertainment with their immersive concert experience.

Now we’re waiting for a full concert to be made available in the near future. Hint, hint.

Virtual Reality Medical Center

A person’s mind can determine how he or she perceives reality. With VR, experts can augment and alter the mind to treat it of disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). VR has been used with much success to treat US soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Through visual representations of Middle Eastern settings, soldiers can confront, and ultimately copy with, trauma.

Though the treatment still raises eyebrows from some, many advocates argue its effectivity—especially when used with other traditional psychological and psychiatric treatment.

Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters were some of the worst nuclear-related tragedies in history.  Given the stakes, investing in disaster-prevention and response is of utmost importance.  To help train in emergency response situations, the Los Alamos National Laboratory uses VR to help staff practice on nuclear reactors in a much safer way.

Facebook and GoPro

If you’re on Facebook (and who isn’t these days?), you’ve probably seen Mark Zuckerberg’s video upload last November 13th. In it, we see a full, 360-degree surfing video in Tahiti. With their focus on the immersive aspect of videography, you can be sure that they’re standing right on the edge in terms of virtual reality.

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