Though virtual reality (VR) is still only being used by early adopters, this technology has amazing applications for all industries. Indeed, VR is so versatile and limitless that it’s already being used in some surprising ways, such as to support environmentalism. This technology is helping us improve our planet in these four ways.
Taking People to New Places
Image via Flickr by Ray in Manila
VR has incredible potential as an educational tool. In fact, it’s already been proven that VR experiences impact people even though they’re just simulations. This technology is especially impactful when taking people to real places around the world, and it’s a great tool for demonstrating how the environment is changing and affecting places that many people only hear about on the news. For example, a video talking about things such as the melting ice caps and threats to animal habitats can show people exactly what changes are taking place.
Demonstrating the Long-Term Effects of Climate Change
VR offers an incredibly personal experience, especially when coupled with a powerful message. Again, this tool is excellent for educating the public about the climate change. Experiences that have viewers cutting down trees, for example, or walking the floors of a factory farm to learn about animal welfare are unforgettable and moving.
VR is also uniquely capable of showing the damages of events such as ocean acidification and how carbon dioxide levels are threatening the Great Barrier Reef. These damages have been taking place over decades, but VR can accelerate the process to show viewers in a few minutes how carbon levels have affected the planet.
Safer Scissor Lift Training
Tech company Serious Labs, Inc. and heavy machine manufacturer Skyjack are working together on a VR and hardware system that simulates how scissor lifts operate. This innovation is appealing to companies who will no longer have to risk putting workers with no experience into a real scissor lift for training. The program can even simulate challenges or emergencies that operators may encounter, which is a type of training that’s impossible to fully simulate in the real world.
Companies also won’t have to use their actual machinery for a variety of training scenarios. This will reduce the human resources and fuel needed to operate heavy equipment for purely educational purposes. Plus, VR can help get employees up to speed quickly so that they can use scissor lifts for one of their most important environmental purposes: trimming trees and preventing the spread of arboreal diseases.
Designing More Efficient Buildings
Both VR and augmented reality will revolutionize construction and architecture, where designers are now able to interact with true 3D spaces instead of paper or computer screens to create blueprints and plans. These technologies will also help designers create more environmentally friendly spaces. For example, architects can use VR to optimize their buildings to take advantage of natural sunlight.
VR is an impressive technology, and even though it won’t be common in people’s homes for a few more years, it’s shaping up to change life as we know it. As people discover more ways to apply this innovation to environmental conservation, we can rest assured that VR will help us nurture our planet.