The Best Virtual Reality Innovations of 2017

Virtual reality is already expected to be one of those things that changes humanity forever. While the technology is new, we can expect it to reshape our lives in numerous ways, with everything from online casino poker to football training becoming new and improved.

Here are some of the best virtual reality innovations of 2017:

Stroke rehabilitation

For people recovering from a stroke one of the biggest challenges is usually regaining the use of their affected limbs. Researchers in Spain have completed a pilot study suggesting that virtual reality can help with this.

Patients use a sensor to control a virtual body, and the movements correspond to their own body. When patients are reaching for a virtual object, researchers will enhance the accuracy of that projection without the knowledge of the patient. This tricks their brains into believing that the affected limb is more accurate than it actually is. This makes it more likely that patients will use the weaker limb, creating a circle of recovery.

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PTSD treatment

Some clinics have already been using virtual reality exposure therapy in order to help soldiers who are recovering from PTSD. The virtual reality headset transports them back to a war zone, and they’re met with loud noises, wartime sights, and bomb explosions that reflect their own personal experiences.

When the soldiers are repeatedly exposed to this stimuli, their brains begin to replace the fear they usually feel with familiarity. VR can also be used to help victims of car accidents, sexual violence, assault and other traumatizing events.

Showing a Jury a crime scene

Some forensic researchers are aiming to introduce virtual reality to courtrooms. This would be used to reconstruct crime scenes for jurors. Both sides would be able to have a scene that they show to the jury- an example would be a homicide case where the defendant is pleading self-defense. You can imagine how different the scene would look from both sides.

Online Gaming

Online gaming has recently seen an incredible boost in graphics. Companies are creating additions to the virtual reality experience, by using accessories like weapons and boxing gloves with sensors.  This allows the game to correctly follow the hand motion of the player. The casino industry in particular is using this technology, with virtual reality casinos.

You can play online live casino poker currently, but in the future, you’d be able to play it via virtual reality. The feeling would be as if you’re truly there. Players will be able to bring a realistic casino experience to their living rooms at the touch of a button.

Football training

The Dallas Cowboys have announced a deal with StriVR Labs, which specialises in VR platforms which are used to train sports teams. Quarterbacks will be training with headsets that help them see plays and make snap decisions. Stanford University tested the program, and quarterback Kevin Hogan completed 10% more passes after using the program, which boosted the average score per game from 24 to 38.

Public speaking preparation

40% of Americans are scared of public speaking. Some people consider it to be worse than death. And yet the majority of people will need to speak publicly at some stage during their lifetimes- whether at a wedding or other life event, or at work.

VR programs can help reduce your stage fright. An app by Oculus Rift will put you in a (virtual room) so you can give your speech. The room will be packed with people who are eagerly waiting to hear you speak. You can adjust both the attitude and size of the audience as well.


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