virtual reality

Can virtual reality help sustainability

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With various VR devices appearing on the market this year, many say that virtual reality is a future of gaming. Can virtual reality also be a future for sustainability?

To answer this question we might first ask another one.


What is a virtual reality?

According to the GreenBiz:


Virtual reality (VR) technology is a phrase coined back in 1938 by a French theater philosopher. The idea is that by donning a cumbersome, head-mounted display someone can immerse himself or herself in an alternate depiction of reality.


Nowadays, people mostly associate virtual reality with VR headsets, which promptly allows players to become part of the game world. For now there are few different headsets available for PC with Playstation VR for Playstation 4 coming out in October 2016th. Additionally, Microsoft is working on HoloLens which also use computer-generated images or holographs but puts it alongside a view of already existing environment. This kind of “reality” is called augmented reality (or AR).

Those headsets let users experience something they didn’t have a chance to experience before:


360-degree-view panoramas from around the world that many of us wouldn’t otherwise be able to visit. These “worlds” could be used as the foundation to help more people visit delicate, far-flung habitats without endangering the ecosystem in the process.


Now, mainly connected to the fun and entertainment, VR and AR give wide range of possibilities in exploring various environments. Those technologies can help with teaching about dangers of unsustainable behaviour by visualizing and placing users in world changed by bad decisions. With many games and application already announced there is a vast range of choices available for users

Both, virtual reality and augmented reality might prove to have more practical use,too.


We can use VR and AR in engineering projects, testing new ideas and eliminating those which won’t be able to work properly in specific environment.

VR and AR is finding their way in also other areas:


AR applications are also creeping their way into the supply chain management world. SAP, for example, has crafted a warehouse operations systems that use smart glasses from Vuzix to provide real-time data about products and materials.


Unfortunately, we might have to wait to see real virtual reality revolution. The headsets are mostly out of reach for normal consumers. It’s also still quite unprofitable for companies to try to incorporate the VR or AR into management and production systems.

But the potential is there. By already seeing the advatages of this techhnology we can brainstorm for even more ideas for its use.


In the future  VR tools might be instrumental to implementing the Sustainability Development Goals.

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