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6 surprising uses for virtual reality technology you didn't even know about

Samantha Menzies
Senior editor – Finance

Virtual reality is taking off in 2018, and not just for gaming.

There are many more potential uses for the innovative technology than Aussies realise – from research and learning through to medical and military training.

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Here are 6 of the more unusual applications:

Courtroom evidence

Instead of looking at photographs, VR could let jury members look at and evaluation
crime scenes and evidence in 3D.

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A team from the University of Zurich has previously used the Oculus Rift to successfully
recreate a shooting, which police officers confirmed was accurate, claiming that by
immersing jurors in a simulation of the crime scene would help them to make better-
informed decisions about what occurred.

Medical & healthcare

The medical and healthcare industries have always been big adopters of the new and
high tech technology, and virtual reality is no exception.

Some institutions use the computer-generated images for diagnostics and treatment,
enabling surgeons to determine the best way undertake surgical procedures by practicing ahead of time.

Aside from surgery, virtual reality can also aid rehabilitation in individuals who have suffered a brain injury by aiding motor and cognitive function.

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Education

Education is another area which has adopted virtual reality for teaching and learning situations –
in anything from astrology to the human body or even driving.

Toyota has created a new app for the Oculus Rift which helps teach users the dangers of
distracted driving using.

Space exploration

Researchers and engineers at NASA and the European Space Agency are using virtual reality
technology to achieve the next breakthroughs in robotics and space exploration.

The aim is that one day the tech can be used to control rovers or other equipment in
space, or help prepare astronauts for a potential space landing.

Military

Virtual reality has already been adopted by the military – army, navy and air force worldwide –
where it is used for training purposes before troops are deployed.

It allows teams to practice working together in realistically replicated environment,
with no risk of serious injury, before they have to use real-world tactical equipment.

Mental health

While severe disorders still require pharmacological intervention, techniques such
as cognitive behavioural therapy and exposure therapy, using virtual reality, are highly effective in conditions such as anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, PTSD and obsessive compulsive.