More than a year has passed since Oculus released its first headset, the Rift, commercially. And we haven’t seen it fundamentally change the gaming industry – it might be the headset’s price tag (not to mention the price of the computer it needs) to blame for that. Yet the technology is here, and it’s here to stay – and it will become far more accessible to the general public in the coming years. Let’s see in what ways we can expect virtual reality to change our lives considering the most exciting applications already developed.

Virtual Playgrounds

It has already been predicted that virtual reality will change the way we socialize online: in (virtual) person, rather than through social networks and various services. The building of the virtual playgrounds of the future has already begun – Linden Lab, the company behind Second Life, is working on its Project Sansar, a completely immersive virtual world as we speak. Sansar will be a fully fledged virtual world, yet not all virtual playgrounds will be as complex as we expect it to be. Some will be far more specific – like a virtual casino, for example.

The Royal Vegas mobile casino has put Vegas in our pockets half a decade ago – its virtual casino will, in turn, put us inside a fully immersive casino. The future Royal Vegas might be indistinguishable from a real life casino thanks to Microgaming’s breakthrough innovation presented last year. Once released, the new app will allow players to interact with the Royal Vegas’ gaming tables just like they would in a real-life casino, and – why not – meet fellow players, share tables, cheer for each other, and interact with people with similar interests. The future Royal Vegas might become a far more social form of entertainment thanks to virtual reality.

Real estate

Seeing a home that you plan to rent or buy might become far easier in the future thanks to virtual reality. Using VR could be convenient for real estate agents who could save a lot of time they currently spend on traveling between properties and be far more convenient for potential customers. The standard phrase “It doesn’t look like in the pictures” could be completely eliminated once customers could see the pictures surround them in a fully immersive virtual environment. With the development of the technology, interior designs and decorations will also be available for the virtual visit, so that potential customers will be able not only to see the property but imagine how they will furnish and decorate their new home.

One day, customers might be able to buy their dream home – and the furniture to go with it – with a simple gesture in cyberspace.

Business and Education

By changing the way we communicate, virtual reality might change the way we do business and we learn in the coming years.

The classroom as we know it might become obsolete in the future, being replaced by an enhanced form of homeschooling. Here, virtual teachers – bots or real persons – could teach a class of students in a classroom that’s beyond the physical world, and participate in classes and lectures with far richer demonstrations than in any real life classroom. Think being surrounded by marine life when learning about the sea or sitting in the middle of a volcano when learning geology.

Personal and group meetings will no longer require you to leave your office or your home. Collaborating on a design will no longer require cramming the whole team inside a room – they will meet up in a virtual room and work in a more hands-on manner than ever before. Presenting a new product will also become far richer, and more impressive thanks to virtual reality.

Ultimately, a geographical location will become completely irrelevant.