Oculus VR and the Chocolate Factory
Come with me, and you’ll see, a land of pure 3D animation…
The broader technological applications of Oculus Rift are still in a world of pure imagination, but it is one closer to home than we think and not nearly as strange. While it might be some time before the phrase ‘virtual reality’ becomes a part of everyday training vocabulary, there are still common professional and industrial fields, which sound more domestically familiar than military applications, that will benefit from these new types of devices and software development projects. I’d like to take you on a tour through our societal imagination and look at fields closer to our everyday lives that we might find virtual reality training to be integrating soon.
The Everlasting Energy Industry
As our society furthers its technological advancement, the entire system of energy production will require more advanced training for harvesting raw fuel sources, and machining the devices and infrastructure for processing and distribution. The upkeep of our energy industry technology has some of the most dangerous situations workers voluntarily put themselves in. One example in the fossil fuel industry is hyperbaric wet-welding jobs for oil rigs. These repairs are not situations easy to train for without actually requiring commercial diving on-site practice. Unfortunately the environmental risks are so dangerous that training can’t be a safely controlled space for practicing without still having the possibility of fatal errors. Oculus Rift and immersive training software could provide a safe and adaptive way to simulate the necessary scenarios. The idea can be expanded to imagine VR training programs for high-power linemen, allowing them to simulate transformer disassembly and assembly with 3D interactive parts, without actually exposing themselves to the consequences of deadly mistakes.
Dangerous Recipes: Electrical and Chemical Engineering
The daily environment for electrical and chemical engineers is not a hands-on dominant job, but the dangers lurk in the implementation of the system designs. It is difficult to model large scale systems and actually understand all the potential consequences, so it is usually not until the factories are actually constructed that they can be tested. With the aid of immersive devices like Oculus Rift, factory engineers can explore their 3D designs as if they were walking through the site itself. Training new engineers on virtual reality construction programs can allow for interactive lessons and easier visualization of complex systems. Interactive problems can be created as 3-dimensionally mapped out factory settings and environments that don’t usually lend themselves to easy training access like micro-processor fabrication plants.
The futuristic horizon of the digital age is growing more and more accessible for society at large as public and private organizations continue to invest in VR technology.