On today’s episode of the Tech Talk Tuesday podcast, Ryan McQueeney discusses recent progress made in real-world applications of virtual reality, from Macy’s adding the tech to its furniture shopping experience to Alaska Airlines bringing it on board flights and Mozilla developing VR internet browsers.
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The virtual reality industry has progressed remarkably well over the past few years, with hardware options and digital experiences becoming more readily available and affordable to the average person. Moreover, techies have watched VR rapidly expand outside of the gaming and entertainment world and into a variety of new fields.
With this in mind, Ryan decided to highlight a few of his favorite new VR applications, all of which have either launched already or looked poised to debut to the public soon. The first industry Ryan mentions is retail, where stores can save time, space, and money by allowing shoppers to test out furniture and decorations in virtual environments.
Macy’s (M - Free Report) had this exact experience in mind when it rolled out headset-based VR furniture shopping earlier this year, and considering the news that it will expand the service this holiday season, it seems to have resonated with shoppers.
Ryan also discusses how VR can be applied in the travel business to provide comfort and quell anxieties. Tourism and travel has relaxation in mind as the end goal, but getting from one place to another is a notably stressful experience for many people.
Alaska Air (ALK - Free Report) is thinking it might be able to use VR to help with this problem. The domestic airline will test out a new set of VR headsets for select first-class customers soon, and it might just be the next bit of luxury aimed at making the in-flight experience more comfortable.
Elsewhere, companies have realized that traditionally-2D tech experiences will need to feel familiar to users in virtual environments. This is apparent in Mozilla’s new Firefox Reality, which replicates a regular internet browser for headset wearers. This underscores an important next step for the VR industry as it hopes to convince regular folks that the barrier to entry is not so high.
Interested in hearing more about these applications of VR and what they mean for regular people? Make sure to check out the show to hear Ryan’s thoughts!
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