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Virtual Reality (VR)

In recent years, we are becoming more familiar with the term VR or Virtual Reality technology. In Thailand, however, this technology is presented mostly in the form of the game, leading to a misconception that VR is a technology solely for gaming purpose. As a matter of fact, VR technology can be used in a variety of applications. As an example, the film industry, education, production, and others have already brought this technology to work.

First, it is important to understand that VR technology creates a virtual world by simulating events and objects from real-world references and customizing them to a virtual world, or creating any virtual place in the world. In order for VR to function, users are required to wear a headset that allows them to experience the virtual world of VR technology through four senses including sight, hearing, smell, and touch. After wearing the device, VR will take the users into the virtual world simulated by this technology.

Nowadays, several companies start to bring this technology into the real work, while other companies have utilized this technology and continuously improved its efficiency for decades. The first example of the adoption of VR technology for various types of work is in the field of education. Pilot simulator with VR technology is used for different types of flight simulation to train pilots in problem-solving and evaluate themselves on their abilities to control the situation. Another example is in a tourism industry such as trade fairs, where this technology is used to promote tourism. This is mostly in the form of a 360-degree virtual tour that provides a 360-degree view of a place without having to be in there. By using VR in tourism promotion, it can attract and stimulate the interests of visitors as well as encourage them to visit a place or an exhibition better than just using plain photos like how we did in the past.

In terms of customer service, there are companies that use VR technology to improve customer satisfaction, such as IKEA. It launched an application called "IKEA PLACE", which allows customers take a photo of a room they wish to furnish, choose from IKEA catalog items that they wish to buy, and virtually place those items in the room to see whether they like it or not. If the customers are happy with their choices, they can make an online purchase right away. Housing estate and condominiums have also used VR technology to facilitate the process of visiting a sample room. For instance, Centro Ratchapruek Project (AP affiliate) adopted VR technology into their application "AP Virtual Home". When the customers wear a device and stand in the pre-defined position, the virtual sample room along with the decoration can be seen as if they are actually standing in an actual sample room. As a result, the pain point of the customers can be identified and fixed accordingly. In the past, VR technology required a fold-out cardboard viewer. A large number of users find it uncomfortable as it gives them a headache. Therefore, newer models are developed to solve this problem, leading to an increase in VR usage in different industries.

Apart from the previous examples, many other industries have utilized VR technology to visualize and simulate objects or places to meet the needs of customers, which is not difficult anymore.