6 Unexpected Uses of Virtual Reality

6 Unexpected Uses of Virtual Reality

Presented by BetterHelp

Maybe you first heard about virtual reality, or VR, because of gaming. But really, in many different niches and areas of life, people are incorporating virtual reality into their practices in unique ways– some of which you might have not even heard of.

Here are some cool and surprising uses of virtual reality. Maybe they aren’t the norm yet, but with time, you might see virtual reality incorporated into your workplace, the doctor’s office, school, and even the art studio!

1. Safe Exposure Therapy

Mental health difficulties like anxiety, phobias, and PTSD can make some people feel fearful of things, people, or situations, even if those situations don’t pose any real threat. One way that many therapists combat this is through a practice called exposure therapy.

With exposure therapy, patients get the chance to slowly and methodically expose themselves to the thing or situation that is scary to them. If you have a phobia of snakes, for example, you might slowly be introduced to images, videos, or (eventually) pet snakes. With each experience, you might realize more and more that nothing hurt you, and you can get to the point where you no longer have the phobia.

Virtual Reality allows people to be exposed to situations that scare them without really being exposed to those situations. Say someone has a fear of flying. Their therapist can instruct them to put on virtual reality glasses and they can virtually live through the experience of boarding and flying on a plane. Each time they do so, they may find that they are less afraid, to the point where they can really board a plane in real life.

This practice helps desensitize people to things that once scared them, and they can do it in a completely safe way with the help of a mental health professional.

If you would like to learn more about how modern therapy is introducing virtual reality to therapy practices, check out this resource from BetterHelp.

2. Education

In the future, your kids might have the chance to put on a pair of virtual reality goggles and step directly into ancient times. Instead of reading about how Egyptians built the pyramids, they can actually watch the Egyptians build the pyramids.

Features like these can ignite a passion for learning and curiosity in students of all ages.

3. Practicing Surgery

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can use virtual reality to practice on patients that are not real through VR. That means that they get invaluable experience, but, at the same time, there is no real risk involved.

4. Training for Dangerous Work

Firefighters, police officers, soldiers, and other people with jobs that might involve a high level of risk can use virtual reality to carry out training scenarios without truly putting themselves in dangerous situations.

5. Learning About Far-Away or Inaccessible Environments

People interested in learning about the moon or the deepest parts of the ocean can use VR for an immersive learning experience without ever leaving the classroom.

6. Training Athletes

Scientific studies suggest that all athletes should employ some level of visualization: that is, picturing yourself doing something in your mind. A baseball player, for instance, might visualize themselves hitting a home run. While this isn’t a magical fix (just thinking about a home run does not guarantee that you will hit a home run) it can help the mind and the body prepare how a certain, repetitive motion will feel in practice. It can be a form of practicing something without having to physically move.

If even just picturing a certain motion, like a ballerina imagining a major lift, can help athletes fine-tune their skills and habits, then think of how valuable it can be to put on a virtual reality headset and completely immerse themselves in the world of that visualization!

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6 Unexpected Uses of Virtual Reality
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