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10 Virtual Reality Trends to Look Out for in 2021 and Beyond

Virtual reality has been used successfully for business applications for a while now. However, we are still witnessing innovations each year that will reflect positively on various industries – and that’s bringing VR to brand new milestones.

2021 is no different since the need for digital solutions is bigger than ever. We are already witnessing the formation of VR trends that will define 2021 and the future of virtual reality as a whole.

So, without further ado, let’s look at the most impactful VR trends that will continue to grow in 2021.

1. VR in Training and Education (Accurate Learning Without Risk)

VR can aid professional development and learning by simulating real situations without the risks involved. One of the most prominent examples of this could be workplace safety.

Take a construction site as an example. Through VR technology, we can produce fantastic simulations that explain, explore, and define the hazards without actually exposing people to any risk.

Education is another very prominent proprietor of VR technology. Through VR technology modern education and especially digital education can gain a very significant boost in interactivity, concentration, comprehension by putting people in educational virtual environments.

The First Attempt at a VR Experience – The Sensorama. In the 1950s, a cinematographer by the name of Morton Heilig came up with a unique concept he later developed, known as the Sensorama. Featuring an arcade-style theater cabinet, the sensorama was aimed at stimulating a person’s senses. It featured a stereoscopic 3D display, fans and smell generators, stereo speakers, as well as a vibrating chair. The idea of the Sensorama was to fully immerse a person into a film-like experience. Heilig also went on to create as much as six short movies for his device.

2. VR-Aided Retail Shopping (Shop Retail at Home)

The world of e-commerce is skyrocketing in popularity, especially during the pandemic. VR is already partly in the e-commerce and retail shopping world, but integrations promise to take this to the next level.

ma wearing a virtual reality headset

We’re already seeing a fair amount of VR use in retail shopping , such as experiencing the dimensions, size, and features of products without actually having them on hand.

3. Entertaining Consumers With Virtual Reality (Experience Reality Remotely)

VR has been used for entertainment from the very start. However, this trend is booming, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since most people are stuck at home with nothing to do, a significant portion of them is looking at alternative ways to spend their time – and “remote reality” seems to be one of the most popular ways to do so.

Through the advent of VR technologies, people can escape into a brand new simulated world, explore all kinds of things, and entertain themselves without ever having to leave the comfort and safety of their own homes.

We cannot name the invention of Virtual Reality to a single person. Many people contributed for the growth of VR technology. The five people who played a significant role are Morton Heilig, Jaron Lanier, Douglas Engelbart, Ivan Sutherland, and Myron Krueger.

4. Online Collaboration (VR Becomes a Social Norm)

Oculus was acquired by Facebook, showing the possibility of integrated VR within the social platform. Since most of the people worldwide have moved from their office into their home, online cooperation has never been quite as important as it is now.

Through VR, we can significantly augment the quality of online interactions both in business and private dealings. VR has become a social norm, making it one of the leading innovations in digital cooperation.

5. Tourism and Travel (Experience Destinations Before Booking)

As most of us are stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are yearning for a vacation or any travel in general. In light of this, the travel industry has quickly adopted new technologies during the pandemic. One of those is VR used for experiencing places before actually booking them.

Exploring places before you book them is one of the best ways to experience them and prepare for what’s to come.

6. Advertising With Virtual Reality (VR Goes Native)

The State of VR in the Early 2000s. After so many capable devices on the market and so many let downs that didn’t truly capture the audience they deserved, virtual reality didn’t see much development in the early 2000s. Virtual Reality was at the background in the development of new technology. It took a step back, letting personal devices, such as computers, laptops, iPods, smartphones and tablets take over, which may very well have been the right step. With the development of new technologies, a new door was opened for virtual reality, because now head-tracking and capable displays were cheaper than ever before. However, it wasn’t before one start-up company mentioned the idea, that Virtual Reality truly took off on the consumer’s market.

VR is soon going to support native advertising along with branded placements. More than a couple of companies have included VR support in their brand innovations, which means that the use of VR technology is on the rise, as is its application in many industries worldwide.

VR makes advertisements more appealing, inviting, and interactive – instantly giving them a lot of value.

7. New Gaming VR Applications (VR Makes Games Better)

Most of the investments in VR come from the gaming industry. This trend will continue in the future – as gaming is one of the biggest use cases for virtual reality at the moment.

New Gaming VR Applications (Virtual Reality Makes Games Better)

Experiencing games in VR brings a brand new dimension to videogames and changes them fundamentally. More possibilities, opportunities, and a virtually unmatched immersion standard become a possibility when you combine the exciting world of gaming and the promising world of VR.

8. VR Reshaping the Automotive Industry (Self-Driving Cars are the Future)

The automotive industry has undergone a seismic shift in the past few years, and most of that is due to the innovation of technology. Aside from decreasing or eliminating carbon emissions, technological developments such as virtual reality have found a foothold in self-driving cars and other innovations in the automotive industry.

The First Time Is Not Easy. Most people who have tried virtual reality once would like to experience it again. However, for most people, the first time is not an easy process as it usually requires some sort of adjustment. Some people say that after their first virtual reality experience, they felt very disjointed. Others complained about motion sickness. However, once they have tried virtual reality for a second time, they adjust well to the experience until they get so used to it.

Self-driving cars will be a standard thing in the future, and VR technology is actively participating in helping these vehicles reach new heights.

9. VR and AI Applications (AI With Vision)

Virtual reality is an exciting technological development, and the only thing that can make it better is AI . The combination of VR and AI applications is crucial for cybersecurity training, precision medicine, accessibility tools, remote collaboration, assistance, and many more things used by businesses daily.

10. Mixed Reality Headsets (AR and VR in One)

VR and AR technology have been working together to bring out the best in both, and one of the best examples of this merger is architecture. In architecture, these technologies are used for 3D visualization, creating interactive, life-like landscapes and designs before they create them. Furthermore, these two technologies go hand-in-hand with many applications.

In Conclusion

Virtual reality technology will change the world as we know it, and while we’ve been seeing some use cases in the past few years, 2021 has already cemented itself as the year of VR. With so many developments, use cases, and applications – VR technology is blooming, and it shows no signs of stopping.

Guest Post

About the Guest Author(s)

Anita Sambol

Anita Sambol
Content Associate | EU Business School |

Tell you something interesting, U.S. government is in love with the VR Technology. NASA makes use of technology to connect engineers with the devices they send into space. Using Oculus and Xbox One gaming console, NASA engineers are developing ways to control a robotic arm with gestures made by operator on Earth.

With years of experience as a content strategist and creator, Anita has a “super-power” of being a clear human voice for brands when talking to their audience. One of the projects she currently enjoys the most is being a content associate to EU Business School, where she's writing about business education, student life, and online learning.
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