Illustration of VR headset, other uses of virtual reality.
August 4, 2021

5 New Uses for Virtual Reality Outside of Gaming

Digital Asset Management

The application of virtual reality had gone beyond just gaming. Forward-thinking companies are leveraging virtual experiences to do more than entertain, expanding the uses for virtual reality into other industries.

Uses for virtual reality now include customizing products, training new users, and so much more. Learn about the application of virtual reality with five virtual reality examples and see what you need to know to get started.

➡️ Accelerate Virtual Reality Development

What Is An Application of Virtual Reality?

To get you up to speed, virtual reality uses software and hardware to immerse a user, and potentially other viewers, in a digital environment. They get to explore and interact with virtual surroundings, and in some cases, also their physical environment.

By the end of 2021, it is projected that 6.1 million virtual reality headsets will be sold, bringing the cumulative total to 16.44 million. As more headsets become available, and more affordable, this number will only grow. This means industries can reach more people with virtual reality.

Virtual Reality Examples

The application of virtual reality is being used in…

  • Sports
  • Retail
  • Automotive
  • Healthcare
  • Education/Training
  • Get Started

Virtual Reality Example: Sports

Sport teams, especially the professionals, are investing in virtual reality to gain a cutting edge. NFL and college football coaches are incorporating VR technology into their practices to prepare and train for games. NASCAR drivers and soccer teams are using VR to retrace their steps to learn from mistakes.

And when it comes to fans, VR is all about creating new experiences. The NBA allows users to see highlights from the player’s perspective.

Virtual Reality Example: Retail

Online shopping is convenient, but it often means we must buy then try. But with VR, you can preview furniture in your own home or try out makeup on your own skin. This helps create a better experience for customers and minimize returns.

By taking VR to the next level, retailers can dive engagement with current and potential customers. They can gather information to market and tailor the shopping experience to each specific user.

Virtual Reality Example: Automotive

Virtual reality in automotive emphasizes experimentation, without a costly prototype. Ford is using VR technology to skip the 2D drawing stage and jump right into a 3D model. This saves time when designing and redesigning exterior and interior components.  

Companies like Audi and Tesla are taking this a step further to their virtual showrooms. Users can sit in a car and explore new features and customizations right from their headset.

Virtual Reality Example: Healthcare

The healthcare industry has been a big adopter of virtual reality technology. It helps their professionals train and prepare for real-world scenarios, including surgery. Teams can plan out complicated procedures. They can even diagnose and treat computer-generated patients.

VR is also being used to explore mental health treatment. It has been used to treat issues including alcohol addiction, claustrophobia, depression, and more. Because people can use headsets in their own homes, it can provide a safe and more cost effective option for many clients.

Virtual Reality Example: Education/Training

The pandemic forced students to learn online. While platforms like Zoom help to facilitate collaboration, they often fall short. Virtual reality can help. It can boost student engagement and help them stay focused.  

But it’s not just academia using VR for education. Retailers, tech companies, and even the military are using tools to help train their workers.

How to Leverage Virtual Reality for Your Industry

From product development to training and marketing, there are a lot of ways to leverage VR for your business. Learn what you need to take advantage of this exponentially growing market.

Game Engines

Game engines are critical to create interactive experiences in real-time. They work in the background to deliver a final compilation of digital assets including video, sound, and more.

Unreal Engine

The game and media standard, Unreal Engine 4 (UE4), is well known for creating virtual reality experiences. Teams can create once and deploy to any platform. Epic continuously releases updates that allow teams to deliver higher-resolution experiences. You c an even quick-start development by using a large library of pre-made assets.

📘 Related Resource: Learn More About Unreal


Known for mobile game development, Unity offers a variety of features for beginners get started quickly. Using the XR Interaction Toolkit, teams can build virtual reality experiences using preconfigured assets, and customize them to make it even more interactive.

📘 Related Resource: Learn More About Unity

Create & Manage Digital Assets

Artists and designers are critical to building out uses for virtual reality. Their tools — like 3ds Max and Maya — can create animations, textures, and effects to make the virtual world, real. Some of these options even allow teams to create motion graphics.

Because making a virtual reality experience involves so many types of digital assets, you need a tool to manage and store iterations, plus bring files together for game engines builds.

No matter your application of virtual reality, version control allows you to manage all of your designs and keep team members off each others' toes. The right system can secure your valuable assets and accelerate builds by storing all your assets together — even large binary files and graphics.

With version control as your foundation, you can integrate all other tools to support every person on your team, allowing for seamless collaboration across your team.

Put Power Behind Virtual Reality

There are endless possibilities and use cases for virtual reality. But you need the right toolset to get there. To get the most out of your game engine, use the tool trusted by 19 of the top 20 game development studios — Helix Core version control.

Why Helix Core for VR?

Helix Core delivers lightning-fast performance to manage all your digital assets. You get a single source of truth for your entire project, streamlining your build process to deliver feedback faster. Helix Core stores binary files, audio files, video files, code, and more all in one spot — and it scales as your project and teams grows.

Have global teams? Perforce Federated Architecture can deliver large files anywhere without the WAN wait. Plus, it’s cloud ready. Helix Core integrates with the tools your teams already use — Unreal Engine, Unity, Maya, 3ds Max, and more. For code, you can customize and automate workflows for branching (Perforce Streams) and code review (Helix Swarm). Everything you create is securely stored to protect your valuable IP.

Ready to Build Big?

No matter your industry, VR development requires a foundation for better collaboration. Helix Core version control is free for up to 5 users.


Use Case: Application of Virtual Reality in Retail

Virtual reality in retail is all about creating dynamic new experiences to engage with customers. inVRsion is leading the charge by recreating virtual showrooms, transforming 3D e-commerce, virtualizing stores, and more.

Michele Antolini, CTO and Product Owner at inVRsion, used his game development experience to break down complex VR projects. They needed to consider not only what user sees in the VR headset, but also how they interact. And as the scope of these projects increased, collaboration became crucial to completion.

But because inVRsion trusted Helix Core, they had a single source of truth for both creatives and coders. Everyone on the team had visibility into each other’s work. It was simple to iterate continuously and manage all the versions to see how the experience evolved. Lightning-fast performance allowed teams to rapidly test ideas and get almost immediate feedback. Customers could quickly see a prototype to help personalize the experience for their users.

Get Virtual Reality Tools for Your Industry

Do you have a great idea for the next application of virtual reality? Ready to transform your industry?

Start with Helix Core. It integrates with everything, including the most popular game engines:

Get the tools trusted by innovative studios, free.