10 Fascinating Uses for Virtual-reality Tech
董婷婷 译  

10 Fascinating Uses for Virtual-reality Tech


By Knvul Sheikh


Virtual-reality (VR) headsets are now being used in many industries as a way of training people or providing a new way to experience things. Here are 10 ways virtual-reality technology is being used.





Theater audiences can already enjoy 3D movies, but with apps like Oculus[1] Cinema, users can be even more deeply immersed in their movie experiences. They can watch movies on a huge virtual screen, something like their own personal theater, or even watch as if they were inside the movie itself, surrounded by the imagery and sound effects. And if you are a sports fan, the virtual-reality platform company LiveLike VR has built a virtual stadium so you can have the thrill of game day experiences with your friends, right from the comfort of your couch. Similarly, virtual reality can also transport users to a Cirque du Soleil[2] performance, or a Coldplay concert as shot by the virtual reality filming company Next VR[3], minus all the rowdy fans.


电影观众已经能体验3D电影带来的乐趣,但如果再配合Oculus Cinema 这类应用,使用者将拥有更深入的沉浸式观影体验。观众可以通过VR头显设备投射出的巨大虚拟屏幕观看影片,好似拥有一个个人专享的影院一般,画面、声效萦绕,观众仿佛身临其境。如果你是体育迷,你和朋友舒服地窝在沙发上也能体验到比赛现场的刺激;而这只需要通过LiveLike VR 这款虚拟球场应用便可实现。同理,通过VR 电影拍摄公司Next VR提供的服务,你可以置身其中观看太阳马戏团的表演或酷玩乐队的演唱会,不受喧闹粉丝的干扰。


[1] 〈法语〉加拿大蒙特利尔的一家娱乐公司及表演团体,是与美国迪士尼相媲美的世界级文化品牌。


[2] 虚拟现实技术头戴设备制造商,成立于2012年,于2014年被收购。 


[3] Next VR主要提供大型体育赛事和娱乐盛事的3D流媒体内容,通过专有的3D摄像机拍摄画面制作成虚拟现实影像,其中包括NBA球赛、F1赛车等。 


Even the tourism industry has jumped onboard, with Marriott’s Travel Brilliantly collaboration with Oculus promising to satisfy people’s wanderlust[4]. Using the app, you can be transported virtually to Hawaii in just 90 seconds, according to its website. Say goodbye to those winter blues[5]!


旅游产业也加入了VR技术应用大军:万豪集团旗下的Travel Brilliantly 网站与 Oculus合作,旨在满足人们的旅游癖。其网站介绍,通过这个应用程序,只需90秒便能置身于虚拟的夏威夷,从此告别“冬季忧郁症”。


[4] wanderlust漫游癖;旅行癖。 


[5] winter blue冬季忧郁症,秋冬季节昼间时间变短导致人体生物钟改变而引发的情绪波动现象。


Health care



The health care industry has been a big adopter of virtual-reality tech, with some institutions using the computer-generated images for diagnosis and treatment. Virtual-reality simulations, such as those created by software companies Surgical Theater and Conquer Mobile, use actual diagnostic images from CAT scans or ultrasounds to construct 3D models of a patient’s anatomy. The virtual models help both new and experienced surgeons determine the safest and most efficient way to locate tumors, place surgical incisions or practice difficult procedures ahead of time.


医疗卫生一直以来都是VR技术的主要应用领域,一些机构利用电脑生成的图像进行诊断和治疗。Surgical Theater 和 Conquer Mobile 等软件公司研发的VR仿真模拟软件使用CAT扫描或者超声波诊断图像来生成患者身体构造的3D模型。虚拟模型可以帮助新手或有经验的外科医生找到最安全、最有效的方法来定位肿瘤和手术切口位置,或是提前练习有操作难度的手术流程。


Beyond surgery, virtual reality could also serve as a cost-effective and engaging tool for rehabilitation. Stroke and brain injury victims across Europe can now use an immersive virtual-reality therapy created by MindMaze6 to regain motor and cognitive function faster than with traditional physical therapy, according to the company. The virtual exercises and real-time feedback in MindMaze[6] are made to feel like games, helping to motivate patients to practice everyday activities.


除了手术,VR同时也可作为一种高性价比康复工具,对病患颇具吸引力。MindMaze公司称,在欧洲,中风及脑损伤患者现在可以使用其研发的沉浸式VR疗法来恢复运动和认知能力,使用这种疗法的恢复速度要比传统的物理治疗更快。MindMaze 的虚拟练习和实时反馈让恢复过程好似玩游戏一般,有助于激励患者完成每天的练习任务。


[6] 瑞士一家神经科学公司,专注于将虚拟现实和运动捕捉跟大脑机器界面结合,帮助病人从创伤中恢复。





Scientists at NASA have a tough mission: to search for life on other planets. That’s why they look to cutting-edge virtual-reality technology to control robots on Mars and to provide astronauts with a way to de-stress. At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, researchers connected the Oculus Rift with motion-sensing equipment from the Kinect 2 sensor and Xbox One game console to control a robotic arm with the operator’s gestures. The setup could one day be used to control rovers[7] or other instruments millions of miles away, according to NASA. By adding a Virtuix Omni treadmill to the setup, researchers were also able to simulate a walk on Mars to prepare astronauts for a potential human landing.


美国航空航天局(NASA)的科学家面临一个艰巨的任务,即搜寻其他星球上的生命。因此,他们希望用前沿的VR技术控制火星上的机器人,并为宇航员提供一种解压方式。在NASA的喷气推进实验室,研究人员把Oculus Rift和Kinect 2传感器上的运动传感设备以及Xbox One游戏主机连接起来,利用操作者的动作控制机械臂。NASA宣称,这套设备未来可能被用来控制火星车或其他几百万英里以外的设备。如果把Virtuix Omni跑步机与这套设备连接,研究者也可以模拟在火星表面行走,为未来人类登陆火星做准备。


[7] rover = Mars rover 火星探测器。





Virtual reality could add a lot of culture to our lives. The technology could instantly transport users to the Louvre in Paris, the Acropolis in Athens and the Guggenheim in New York City, all in one day. In fact, a number of museums have already collaborated with developers to create virtual spaces where people can experience the museums’ physical collections. In 2015, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City made some of its collections virtually accessible through Google Cardboard.




Automotive manufacturing



In Ford Motor’s Immersion Lab in Dearborn, Michigan, employees can don[8] a virtual-reality headset and inspect the interior and exterior of a car, as well as have a seat inside an automobile before it is manufactured. The virtual prototype allows designers and engineers from various departments to closely inspect different elements, such as the engine or upholstery, and spot potential problems before they arise.




[8] don 穿上;戴上。





Toyota is using Oculus headsets as part of its TeenDrive365 campaign, to educate teenagers and parents about distracted driving. By making field trips and simulations of complicated concepts accessible to people of all ages, virtual reality can make cognitive learning faster, more effective and efficient. Unimersiv and Cerevrum are examples of two such apps that offer an immense resource of educational VR content online.


丰田正使用Oculus头盔作为其TeenDrive365活动的一部分,让青少年及其父母了解分心驾驶的危害。通过VR技术,各年龄段的人们可以参与复杂概念的实操和模拟,其认知学习速度会变得更快、更有效。Unimersiv和 Cerevrum是其中具有代表性的两大应用,提供了海量的线上VR教育资源。





Jury members may no longer have to evaluate crime scenes by looking at dull, two-dimensional photographs. Seeing a crime scene in 3D could help jurors visualize how people and objects, such as bullets, move through space. The use of interactive technology made it easier for people to visualize and understand the details of a case and make a decision regarding whether a suspect was guilty or not.




Meditation and mental health



Virtual reality can also act as a therapeutic tool for those who experience debilitating[9] stress, including PTSD, and panic disorders or phobias[10], researchers say. Virtual-reality tech could provide a safe environment for patients to come in contact with the things they fear, while remaining in a safe, controlled environment.




[9] debilitate 使身心衰弱。


[10] phobia(病态的)恐惧。





Many people are already familiar with online shopping websites, but virtual-reality apps like Trillenium could be the next step in how consumers purchase products on the Web. These apps can provide a virtual tour of an entire store, improving on the traditional online shopping experience. Instead of looking through catalogs on a website, shoppers can get a real-time shopping experience and even shop with their friends. Shoppers will soon be able to purchase items from ASOS[11] through the use of their headset as easily as buying something on Amazon.




[11] 创立于2000年的全球性的时尚服饰及美妆产品线上零售商。





The U.S. military often uses virtualreality simulators to train soldiers before they are deployed. Noncommercial versions of games like Virtual Battlespace 2 and Unity 3D are used to prepare troops for combat. The gamelike simulations allow teams to practice working together in realistically replicated environments before they have to use real-world tactical equipment. And this immersive environment is extremely important, because training that captures the attention of the learner is often retained longer and is better understood.


美国军方经常使用VR模拟器训练新兵。虚拟战场2和Unity 3D等游戏的非商业性版本被用于部队备战练习。这种游戏式模拟可以帮助多个团队在复制的现实环境中练习协作,为真实世界的战术装备使用打基础。这种沉浸式环境极其重要,因为能让学员集中注意力,培训效果常常更持久,培训内容也更容易被领会。