It’s For More Than Just Games
As soon as the high of using the Vive began to wear off, I started thinking about all the use cases for VR. While I've heard the party line from so many VR companies and evangelists before that VR is for more than just gaming, to be honest, part of me until now thought they were full of it. Facebook's PR for Oculus after they bought them was full of the fact that it was these big ideas that made them buy into VR in a big way.
However, after trying Vive, I have seen the light. There are so many applications for VR outside of gaming, and the immersion level that Vive brings to the table means that these experiences are going to be just as amazing as playing Portal 3. One of the use cases I thought about was using VR for therapeutic purposes. A soldier suffering from PTSD could work with a therapist in VR to relive the experiences that led to their trauma and explore ways to help them heal. Moreover, what do you know, when I was researching for this article I discovered that there is already a start-up called Psious developing ways that therapists can use VR to help their patients.
There are also less live-saving non-gaming uses that can also be imagined for Valve and HTC’s vision of VR: virtual conferences/meetings, virtual tours of real estate, 3D content creation, non-interactive entertainment, and a lot more. After trying the Vive, I could now see why I perhaps would want to look at some potential property in VR. Instead of just being able to view a room in 360-degrees, with the Vive I could actually walk around it and get a much better sense of the space. For content creators, designers and engineers, the Vive could be used to present their work in a much more immersive way. A designer could show off their latest furniture design to a client, who could then walk around it and examine it from multiple angles.
On the non-interactive front, imagine being able to experience your favorite television show by stepping into the scene and becoming an extra in the background. Clearly Valve and HTC are thinking along the same lines, as both HBO and Lions Gate Entertainment were mentioned as partners when the Vive was announced.