Virtual Reality (VR) may still seem like a thing of the future, but in fact, it is an available technology with many practical uses. From treating patients with anxiety disorders to bringing university goals closer to home, here are three pragmatic uses for virtual reality.
1. PTSD Treatment
Anxiety-based psychological disorders can be difficult to treat. A part of that difficulty stems from frequently used avoidance coping mechanisms and freeze adrenalin defenses (as in fight, flight, fawn or freeze). These deeply entrenched defenses can make accessing the root of traumatic problems seem impossible at times.
That is why many people are pleasantly surprised to learn that VR is now being used to treat disorders such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and social avoidance. Rey Health, for example, sends clients VR headsets to use in the comfort of their own homes. These headsets help them explore triggering scenarios in safety and with control. With the aid of licensed therapists and health coaches, patients can find relief for what has otherwise been a crippling part of their life.
2. Educational Aids
Certain learning and sensory disabilities can make classrooms and other learning environments over-stimulating and distracting. These are not words any teacher would say describes a conducive learning experience. With VR, however, students with disabilities can have their own spaces that are tailored towards their abilities and goals.
For instance, in England, students diagnosed on the autism spectrum were given VR headsets with a museum tour experience downloaded. The students were able to experience all the educational benefits the museum had to offer without being overwhelmed by fellow visitors or other stimuli. In this way, students with disabilities can learn without the risk of disturbance.
3. University Visits
Picking the right university can be a struggle. With so many schools in faraway locations, it can seem impossible to know which one is the right choice. This challenge is made all the more difficult since there is simply no way to visit all 3,982 colleges in America — let alone the teams of other universities in the English-speaking world. That’s why when it comes to picking a college, virtual reality offers tremendous help.
With the assistance of a VR headset, students can explore campuses, labs and other key features of a prospective school. This technology allows students to make educated choices while saving their money for the actual college experience. Trips to campuses can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. For many, this money is best saved for living expenses and textbooks, not gas and hotel money. Thanks to VR, that is exactly where savings can now go.
Technology has expanded leaps and bounds in only the last few decades. This rapid advancement can make available tech, like virtual reality, seem inaccessible, impractical and, at worst, theoretical. However, VR has become a very real and pragmatic part of mankind’s toolset. Used by teachers, students and patients, virtual reality is the everyday technology that aids people in achieving their dreams. Whether one is working towards inner peace and health or professional accomplishment, VR is available to help along the way.