The virtual reality trend is set to sweep the gaming industry, and several companies are taking note. Sony created Project Morpheus and Samsung recently introduced the Gear VR Innovator powered by Oculus. The technology used in these virtual reality headsets is driving innovation by plunging gamers into a 3-dimensional virtual world that feels incredibly lifelike.

It’s not just headsets though. Startup TrinityVR recently debuted its Mangum controller. The two-hand device relies on motion and a camera to provide an input method.

However, these headsets and controllers become irrelevant in the gaming industry without games, so developers are working to introduce games that take advantage of the immersive technology.

A UK-developer created HydraDeck, which has participants ducking and dodging to avoid bullets. The developer created the game by combining the use of the Rift virtual reality headset and the Razer Hydra motion controller.

Tested.com also provides an example of the lifelike virtual world these technologies can create. Here’s a first-hand look at the Oculus Rift development kit:

Whether it’s headsets, controllers or games, the concept of virtual reality goes far beyond the gaming industry.

In Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality, virtual reality is described as something that “dangles in front of our eyes a vision of the media’s future, changes in the ways we communicate, and the way we think about communication. Virtual reality is not a technology; it is a destination.”

Marriott wants to be a part of finding that destination with their Teleporters. The fully-immersive virtual journey can transport you from Washington D.C. to Maui all while standing in the hotel lobby.

Arch Virtual uses virtual reality to live up to its tagline: “anything you can imagine”. The firm deals with real estate, architectural planning, virtual campuses and urban planning. The technology provides a unique experience for architects by allowing them to create structures in a whole new way – even move walls in real time.

Virtual reality is also making a difference in the world of cognitive therapy. The technology allows patients to immerse themselves in various situations in order to overcome their issues in a controlled environment. After their virtual reality experience, the patient can then reflect on it with a mental health professional. Farnando Tarnogol, founder of PsyTech, has been working on a virtual reality platform for anxiety management. Tarnogol has said, “U.S. studies have proved that virtual reality therapy can be as effective as in-vivo exposure – being exposed to real heights, for instance – or imaginary exposure.”

The possibilities for virtual reality applications are endless. Imagine wearing a pair of glasses and consulting with your doctor from the comfort of your own home. How about “sitting” courtside at a basketball game while enjoying popcorn on your couch?

In the end, the future of virtual reality belongs to the makers who will create unique experiences in software. What uses do you see in the future of virtual reality?

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