With hundreds of articles published on Virtual Reality- topics ranging from games to consoles to its pure and unfiltered innovation, one question remains: Is VR worth it? The short answer-- absolutely.
Virtual Reality (VR) is not only the latest life-changing headset. There are many use cases in several fields, i.e., education, medical development, manufacturing, and training alike--. Now there are also significant scientific studies that prove its overarching achievements.
VR Helps with Stress
Let's take stress- the emotional and physical tension that the American Institute Of Stress claims 33% of Americans suffer. Stress alters the physiological reactions inside the body. Hormonally, this means that the body is "ready" to take on a situation, which activates the brain and limbic systems.
How does VR help with stress? According to the research by May-Britt in 2014, who would later win the Nobel Prize in Medicine, "Within the brain there are different neurons, the place cells and border cells which are activated when we occupy a certain position in the environment and identify with it." When a VR headset is experienced as an immersive simulation, the body creates an environment that opens to the sense of surprise and escapes its real environment. As the name refers, it transcends into a virtual environment known as "predictive coding."
Let's take a look at Memory- According to Gary Small, a professor and researcher on aging, "40% of people aged 65 or older have age-associated memory impairment, [or loss]." Researchers have shown that immersive/360-degree videos have significantly improved cognitive processes and recall information in any age group.
According to the article "a public debate of Immersive VR Videos and its arousal of head movements and self-reporting measures," there are ways videos and content can awaken autobiographical memory. It allows the processing of information and emotions that can be directed, written, and experienced.
Therefore, from an educational perspective, Virtual Reality is definitely worth the investment, with sound returns and active engagement.
According to Jon Spike, coordinator of instructional technology integration services at the University of Wisconsin, VR's goal in education should drive student engagement. He recommends and sees benefits to Virtual Reality Activities that Engage, Enhance, and Extend Student Learning," in K–12 — education.
The Applications for Virtual Reality, as studies have shown, enable problem-solving in a new enamored way. Perhaps this means exploration, like using Google Education's VR/ AR Expeditions or Virtual Speech, a program that allows individuals to practice their soft skills like an interview process. Low-cost apps and their mid-range headset components complement the latest goals for people of any age and enable you to be your best self.
As we conclude that VR is worth it, we encourage you to take the leap and try it today- It works in any work environment and has psychological and financial return.