Yes, VR training is a thing. People have been using VR devices to either learn engineering, train for a specific sport, or learn to use specific equipment that you don’t have at your home (bow, guns, i.e.).
Let’s start with sports. You can’t really mimic real life with 100% accuracy. But you can simulate it to the point it feels real enough. I’ve been using VR boxing game for some time now, and I’ve got personal experience to share with you in terms of how well it translates into the real world.
The Thrill of The Fight is a VR boxing simulator that many people know as one of the best boxing games there is for VR headsets. It is frequently updated and has been getting some solid visual effects to make it as realistic as possible. You can train your reaction time, your punching technique (if you correct yourself of course), your stamina… all of that makes VR an unbelievable training sim for gamers. You do get tired of holding your hands up, from swinging left and right, from blocking punches even when you don’t have any stamina left. If we combine all the benefits you get from just one app, you already have a solid reason to buy a VR headset.
I have been using it for over 15 hours now, and playing a sports VR game for so long does increase your stamina. I’ve noticed a lot of improvements in my MMA gym regards to reaction time, endurance, and physical health overall.
Things We Are Missing
But, we are not there yet completely. Training, at least for most physical sports, requires movement of all limbs. Right now, VR is only interactive through controllers that are made specifically for your upper hands. Of course, that is extremely helpful due to users having a lot of control through fingers. But, you do need more body tracking for well rounded VR experience. Adding trackers to all the joint locations like elbows, knees, hips, and so on, your body movement will be fully translated to VR, and that will add us a lot of options to create an experience even superior immersion.
Speaking of creating, HTC company has started making specific tracking devices that allow developers to create their own objects that will be tracked in Virtual reality through a thing called Vive tracker.
With Vive tracker you can basically make a custom accessory for a specific game, like a baseball bat. Attach the Vive tracker to a convenient location on the bat so it doesn’t irritate the user, and you are basically ready to simulate almost any real-life scenarios, sports, jobs, as long as it has handles.
We don’t know exactly when it comes out, but it is expected to be released to the public somewhere around April, May, June. So when it comes out, whip out your piggy banks, and be ready to buy all sorts of 3rd party accessories, ranging from weapons to baseball bats. The only issue that comes with it is where the heck will you put all that junk. Gaming has transcended from physical DVD copies to online stores, and now it seems a VR revolution is bringing gaming back to physical stuff. How it affects everything is yet to be seen, but I for one am super excited to welcome this new gaming future.
So, to sum it all up, VR training is already in full motion, and in my opinion, not nearly enough people take advantage of this type of training. Either it’s the issue of cost (which will eventually go down drastically), or they just don’t believe in all this VR hype. But, as we see from people who use it, and from personal experience, you do benefit from Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, whatever you decide to train, teach, or educate yourself on. As long as you have the device, and you keep up with all the training simulators that come out.
VR simulated training will be a thing, especially if some things are either hard to get, or not enough time to get to those things. VR will offer you to do it inside your very home without leaving to school, gym, or work. We just have to make sure we are patient with VR in terms of content, as it is only a beginning. VR headsets will get smaller, will be a lot lighter, a bigger field of view, better display – all of those will contribute to more comfortable VR experience, and in the end, smoother transition to a mainstream audience, as it is still a fraction of what’s coming. All we need is to be patient and use what we have.
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