More and more industries are joining the bandwagon and embracing the opportunities made possible through virtual reality (VR) technologies. The benefits of VR can be enjoyed in a diverse number of areas including: education and training, business, sport, entertainment, travel, and surprisingly, the mental health field – in particular, the treatment of overcoming post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD).

Gaming and entertainment remain the sector that enjoys the most use of VR technology. The development of social gaming is possibly the main contributor to the increased interest in virtual entertainment, such as the ever-popularvirtual reality experience in London. But the future looks set to change this as more sectors use VR to take their areas of practise to the next level.

Overview of the uses of VR technology

Sports

Both professional athletes and sports enthusiasts can use VR and simulated environments to improve their game or try out new active pursuits. One sporting code where the technology can be used to great effect is motor racing: racing drivers can manipulate motion and manual gears among other conditions to try out different scenarios.

Architecture

From building modelling to exterior design, VR has been used to improve the quality of architectural design.

Education and training

Creating a real-like simulated environment is one of the biggest attractions of VR in the field of education and training. Every subject from languages to history and geography can use VR to deliver academic material to students in an engaging way. These immersive journeys produce highly desirable pay offs such as increased motivation for learning, creativity and curiosity.

In the professional world, training simulators can be used to maximum advantage in dangerous and extreme environments such as fire safety, to train employees safely.

Therapy and mental wellbeing

The interest in using VR in mental health treatments for disorders such as PTSD is just beginning to take off with initial trials showing promising results. A trial conducted by Cardiff University in partnership with the Vale University Health Board (CVUHB) investigated how VR could be used to treat military veterans suffering from PTSD and who received this treatment in comparison to the use of conventional therapy methods. Some patients involved in the trial reported inspiring a40 per cent improvement in the alleviation of their symptoms. The VR treatment used to overcome PTSD saw patients viewing projected images that reflected their traumatic experience while walking on a treadmill. Despite being transported back to the traumatic incident, one patient said that the treatment had the biggest positive impact on his condition.

In looking after one’s mental health,Mental Health UK offers a handy ‘how to’ guide to protecting mental wellbeing. Among the usual entries like, talking about one’s feelings, eating well and asking for help, are some less-practised tips including taking a break often, keeping active and doing something you are good at. The London Virtual Reality Experience can go a long way to help in practising the last three items.

Why not give virtual reality experience a try? Patrons can expect the VR experience to augment their cognitive abilities, help burn calories and reduce stress.

Katie
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