- HTC VIVE's virtual reality company announced its new headset of the name Vive Focus, which has aimed at enterprises.
- Although VR has been used mainly for gambling, it's growing rapidly for enterprise use.
- It can be used for business, training and education collaboration, such as teaching medical students for sleep apnea, showing car designers how to repair and car prototype, and hold remote meetings in a virtual 3D space.
As I put a bulky white headset and adapted to fit my head, I found myself in a hospital room. One doctor dropped over a sleeping patient with an air pumping device on his nose, while another was preparing equipment. I felt as if I were on a episode of "Gray Anatomy".
Suddenly, a mobile robot head appeared, explaining that we would learn how to identify and treat sleep apnea. He led me to the patient's nose, and before I knew it, I had jumped inside the front!
This was a simulation by SimforHealth, a French company that creates virtual reality simulations for medical students and pharmaceutical corporations. This simulation is supposed to teach medical students for sleep apnea, leading students inside a virtual wheel to show what happens to patients when they are asleep. On this simulation, the inside of the nose was like a red-colored cave, with long, thin pills coming out of the walls – a nose nose, I suppose.
Although virtual reality is usually associated with users, such as for video games, technology is increasingly being used to use in professional settings. VR is an extra reality projected to grow to $ 162 billion by 2020, and more products target enterprise use.
On Thursday, the VR HTC VIVE company published its Vive Focus, an all-in-one headset that includes storage, built-up speakers and more. It is targeted at businesses and can be used to simulate education and training, including in NASA and hospitals.
What makes this hardware significant is that it is much simpler and more portable for customers to use, says Dan O Brien, General Manager of America at HTC VIVE. Other VR headphones that developers just use may include expensive hardware and users need to stay in one place.
The possibilities for this are endless, says Brien. This could be used for surgical and medical training, such as when medical students can work with each other to perform virtual surgery. This could be even used for automotive design, where prototyping and car designers can be VR, or even learn to install cars. Innoactive, a German VR enterprise company, had worked with Volkswagen to create a training situation for workers to learn to carry together in a factory.
"Operators understand that they can save time and money," said Brien. "All designers do not have to fly to Germany to meet in one room and talk about design. They can go to a VR design room and talk together there."
VR can also be used to collaborate on a code. A primitive, which creates software development videos, has created an app to review the code. When I had experience of this simulation, I was transported into a dark space with laser web-related code tools – a scene almost straight out of "The Matrix."
It showed me how different files of a code were related, and with a laser pointer, I can draw a whole page of the code in front of my eyes. With this application, developers can work together to review the code, circulation of the parts they want to expose and dig through open source projects.
"It was quite interesting because I was not the owner of my own software," said Brien. "It's also about efficiency. When I sat and watched 5 developers got into space with each other, they had an intense chat about the code."
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In addition, VIVE had also launched its own workforce collaboration tool built specifically for an enterprise called the VIVE Sync. This can be used to help employees work together in a virtual area, especially when they work remote. Each employee's avatar can share ideas, show presentations, import images, show videos and more all in a virtual 3D space.
In the coming months, Vive plans to launch developer packs to add to the headset so that developers can create their own VR applications. Although the circle around VR has died down, O Brien believes that there will be a huge growth for VR in the venture place.
"We'll see it grows very quickly," said Brien. "We've seen VR consumers grow at a healthy rate. Now an enterprise is growing faster than consumers."