How virtual reality is being used by companies Tech Republic takes note of the emergence of virtual reality into the business world after many years of seeing it tethered to gaming. Companies find ways to use it for job training or for providing new concepts to audiences who have no familiarity with them. Market sectors that include healthcare, automotive, entertainment, tourism, and skilled trades find that VR's innovative outreach improves involvement in products and services by customers, employees, trainers and executives throughout the business world. Managing Pain A pilot study at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles finds that virtual reality therapy produces a reduction in pain among the participants who experienced discomfort at a level greater than 3 on a 10-point scale. Half of the group watched diverting and calming scenes of helicopter rides over Ireland or images of swimming with whales. The reduction in pain amounted to 24 percent after the experience. The other half saw a two-dimensional video of nature with calming background music, and they received some relief from pain but to a lesser degree at 13.2 percent. Researchers concluded from the study results that VR gives medical professionals and patients an alternative to medication for pain management. Similarly, a pilot program that uses virtual reality to alleviate some of the pain of labor and childbirth at the Banner University Medical Center indicates that scenes of beaches can help Phoenix women prepare for the process. Doctors concur that the moms who prefer to avoid epidurals or gases during labor may find some relief by using virtual reality. They use the VR headsets for a short period before giving birth, usually from 10-30 minutes. Research indicates that the experience reduces the need for narcotic medication during childbirth as well as before and after. Doctors acknowledge that the pain still persists, but virtual reality provides a level of distraction that tends to reduce the need for medication. Promoting Tourism Tourists who plan to visit British Columbia can get a realistic idea of the experience with a VR trip on a boat or through the mountains. Anyone who is unfamiliar with the majestic terrain of the area can experience it almost “first-hand” in Destination British Columbia's “The Wild Within.” The promotional video has the potential to promote tourism by engaging the traveler and suggesting reasons that a viewer can enjoy exploring the area. The interactive video provides dramatic views that lets observers immerse themselves in scenes of glacial waterfalls or the coastline. Simulating Injuries For The Jury Lamber Goodnow, a fellow personal injury law firm out of Phoenix has created a new VR tool that allows members of the jury to see the scene of the accident, and simulate what happened to the victim. This is great for members of the jury to see how a car accident happened, etc. Qantas claims the title of the first airline to provide travelers a VR experience by offering it in the company's first cabin and its lounges. The viewing experience lets flyers go on a dive at the Great Barrier Reef, land on Hamilton Island or visit the Sydney/Harbour Bridge without leaving their seats. The interactive video presents a 360° cinematic view that lets the company connect with its customers in a dramatic and innovative way. Influencing the Trades The skill of welding offers challenging and rewarding careers to people who train to do it, but the materials that a student uses in learning the trade are not cheap. The cost of gas, filler metal and other materials limit the amount of time that trade schools can allow students to use actual welding equipment, but virtual welding lets them practice as much as they need without letting costs interfere with effective training. AWS uses portable machines that instructors can set up in workshops, lecture halls or classrooms so that students can learn the trade on a VR welder. The software makes the process of using a welder as close to reality as possible with tests that measure bead accuracy, speed and probe angle. The results help students refine acquired skills to reach a superior level with the guidance of knowledgeable instructors. American Standard has made it easy for homeowners and construction professionals to select a kitchen or bathroom design and everything that goes into it with its Virtual Show Room. The online tool presents pricing information, specifications and drawings that allow users to design a room visually. All products from American Standard comply with building codes and prevent users from choosing anything that is incompatible with a specific building application. The numerous choices that face anyone who plans to remodel an existing home or build a new one can create overwhelming confusion, but the virtual reality application removes much of the uncertainty. One click lets users produce a construction schedule and documentation along with cut sheets and owner presentations at no cost.