Virtual Reality is an area of scientific research with vast technological application. Many scientists, engineers and marketers from varied fields are testing, improving and visualize applications of Virtual Reality right now in area as diverse from VR entertainment to VR school environment and from VR Art Galleries to VR Space Labs. The industry along with augmented reality in a global scale reached 17 billion in gross sales revenue during 2017 and the projection of the industry is expected to reach the whopping number of 120 billion by 2020 (Industry forecast by Digi-Capital, Augmented/Virtual Reality revenue forecast revised to hit $120 billion by 2020). Furthermore, many industry experts like the CEO Tim Merel predict that the VR/AR industry will disrupt the mobile phone industry during the next decade.
In contrast to this global tendency, most of the consumers haven’t yet formulated an understanding of the potentiality of the field and they have a broad sense that Virtual Reality is futuristic like the STAR TREK’s “Holodeck”, that Virtual Reality is just for gamer or that Virtual Reality is a fancy apparatus for mobile phones.
To contradict and disprove this aforementioned perception of Virtual Reality by the public, we can examine a great application of Virtual Reality that is available today in the area of VR Therapy. The University of Houston (USA) announced that researchers of the Virtual Reality Clinical Research Lab at UH’s Graduate College of Social Work that was established in 2012 have successfully implemented a variation Virtual Reality environments that expose the ex-addicts to a series of situations that can trigger patterns of re-use of cigarettes, alcohol and drug injection. The innovative and immersive nature of Virtual reality recreates realistically these environments and can cultivate greater defenses by the ex-addict in comparison to the traditional approach of the role playing therapy between the ex-addict and the psychologist that took place during sessions inside a clinic room or an office.
“We started to look at heroin because there has been a large influx of heroin from Mexico that really impacts our community in southeast Texas,” says Micki Washburn, a research scientist at the Virtual Reality Clinical Research Lab.”
We expect that similar applications of Virtual Reality will hit the news with an increasing frequency as the industry continues to grow and public awareness is raised about the enormous benefits of this rather futuristic technology that available here and now!