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Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
Evolution of Business Technology
September 16, 2019
The modern business world is inundated with technologies that didn’t exist even 100 years ago. How did we get here and what does the future hold?
You might think of virtual reality (VR) only as it relates to the world of gaming but this unique technology offers promise far outside of saving princesses. VR has huge potential in many other industries. Here are six unexpected ways VR is weaving itself into the fabric of our modern lives.
What is virtual reality?
First, it’s important to understand a little bit about virtual reality before we dive into how it’s changing our modern landscape. VR is an immersive technology that builds out a simulated environment and effectively tricks your brain into believing you’re somewhere you’re not.
It typically features both hardware and software to increase the user’s suspension of disbelief.
The four elements of virtual reality
There are four different elements characterize virtual reality and separate it from other forms of technology such as mixed reality and augmented reality.
- 3D-simulated environment: An artificial environment is rendered through a medium like a VR display or a headset. The user’s visual perspective changes based on movements occurring in the real world.
- Immersion: The environment is realistic enough where you can effectively recreate a realistic, non-physical universe so that a strong suspension-of-disbelief is created.
- Sensory engagement: VR can include visual, audio, and haptic cues that help make the immersion more complete and realistic. This is where accessories or input devices such as special gloves, headsets, or hand controls provide the VR system with additional input of movement and sensory data.
- Realistic interactivity: The virtual simulation responds to the user’s actions and these responses occur in a logical, realistic manner.
How is virtual reality is revolutionizing different industries?
Virtual reality is proving its mettle in a variety of different industries, from healthcare to on-the-job training.
Virtual reality can help facilitate a better physician-patient relationship in both in-person visits and telehealth interactions that happen over an internet connection. During in-person visits, doctors can more thoroughly explain a diagnosis by examining X-rays and other medical imaging in an engaging manner directly with the patient using virtual reality technology. By leveraging VR tech, physicians can explain a medical issue in an interactive, easier-to-understand manner.
Virtual imaging may also provide more accurate and better patient medical records since they deliver a more holistic picture of medical needs and history to both patients and physicians. VR technology also provides physicians with the potential to see the impact of certain procedures in real-time for better healthcare decisions.
The virtual reality market as it pertains to the healthcare industry is estimated to reach $7 billion by 2026, so you might see VR technology in the near future during a check-up.
2. High-risk job training
Firefighters, cops, soldiers - these are all workers who regularly face dangerous circumstances and may benefit from VR training to practice routine emergency procedures and learn the dos and don’ts in a consequence-free virtual environment. For example, a firefighter can learn emergency protocols without being in an actual burning building to test his or her knowledge.
Virtual reality provides job trainees with ways to learn in a hands-on way outside of textbook case studies. Research suggests that some people may learn best by doing rather than relying on abstract theory, so virtual reality may speed up the learning process for some trainees as an additional benefit.
3. Cinema and entertainment
Virtual reality is changing the entertainment landscape as we know it and producers, engineers, and film studios are noticing. 66% of consumers are interested in VR for TV, movies, and video which shows the potential for commercial VR growth as the technology grows less expensive over time.
And it makes sense why movie-goers and other entertainment-seekers are excited about the future of this technology, VR movies provide an expansive, sensory-filled experience that creates an immersive, more intense event.
Gaming is another area where VR is defying expectations. Virtual reality technology allows gamers to become the avatar instead of just controlling it and pushes the boundaries of the gaming medium itself. VR gaming revenue is expected to reach $19.5 billion by 2025 so gamers will continue to see advances and new VR-enabled gaming experiences.
4. Virtual tourism
New VR software enables users to visit museums and historical sites virtually so, instead of saving up thousands to visit Greece or Morocco, you can do the next best thing: take a virtual tour. It also provides educators with a unique way to explore the world with their students.
If you are actually traveling, virtual reality also offers the opportunity for users to tour hotels during the booking process.
5. Surgeon and medical student training
As mentioned earlier, VR and healthcare are going to be closely intertwined in the future. But another way VR assists health practitioners specifically relates to rare or complex surgeries.
Virtual reality software means that surgeons can hone their surgical skills in a virtual simulation before performing it on an actual patient. Likewise, medical students may benefit from virtual hands-on training that presents no risk or real-life consequences.
You might already be familiar with the concept of virtual window shopping where you simply browse your favorite sites and favorite promising items to revisit later. Well, VR tech is being rolled out which provides even more instant gratification.
VR shopping software allows shoppers to window shop in a much more visceral way than just making virtual wish lists.
With consumer VR, customers can virtually try on clothes, remodel their homes, and “window shop” using VR for a seamless shopping experience.
Does HP offer VR-ready technology?
HP offers the HP HTC Vive with dual OLED displays with 2880 x 1600 resolution so the user can take in a natural field-of-view in their simulated environment. Adjustable and removable headphones with integrated noise-canceling audio deliver natural, crystal-clear sound. It’s the perfect VR device for professional training, designing, and healthcare applications.
In addition, HP offers a wide array of VR-ready laptops for on-the-go, mobile solutions so users won’t be confined to one particular area. Take your VR-ready products wherever your day takes you.
Takeaways: VR is here to stay
As VR technology grows more sophisticated and widespread, it will likely start influencing even more industries. The VR market revenue is expected to swell to over $9 billion by 2025, and HP is leading the way.
1981: IBM introduces the first personal computer (PC)
Revolutionizes the face of business-computing
1983: Microsoft announces its first desktop operating system; Windows 1.0
- Terminal application
- File manager
- Windows Write
- Windows Paint
1990s - 2000s
1991: Apple announces PowerBook laptop
Introducing portability to the digital sphere
1993: Intel’s Pentium microprocessor hits the market
The Pentium heightened
- Program speeds
- Supported graphics, music, and multi-tasking
2001: The Microsoft Tablet PC is announced
First in its class to feature a detachable keyboard
2007: Apple releases the world’s smallest and smartest computer; the iPhone
Selling 700,000 units on the first weekend, over 10 million in first year
2010s - Beyond
2011: Apple introduces Siri
Integrating artificial intelligence into our daily lives
2016: The first reprogrammable quantum computer is created
Capable of performing more calculations in an instant than there are atoms in the universe
2021: Frontier to become the world’s fastest supercomputer
Computing in exaFLOPS, Frontier will be able to process a quintillion calculations per second
1983: Charles Hull creates the first 3D printer; the SLA-1s
Previously referred to as a “rapid prototyping” machine
1984: HP creates the first LaserJet laser printer
The first printer to create images using laser beams
1988: HP introduces the first mass-marketed consumer DeskJet inkjet printer
1990 - 2000s
1992: Canon’s CJ-10 becomes the first desktop printer with scanning and fax capabilities
2003: Wireless printers enter the consumer market
2008: The first 3D printed prosthetic limb presents major breakthrough
2008: Zink debuts inkless printing
2009: Z Corporation introduces the first monochrome 3-D printer
2010s - Beyond
2011: Kor Ecologic unveils the first 3D printed car
2013: HP unveils the world’s fastest color printer (HP Officejet Pro X Series)
Capable of 70 pages per minute 
2019: The Vulcan II creates a 3D printed home in 48 hours
2020: Relativity aims to launch the world’s first 3D printed rocket into space
1985: The first dot-com domain name is registered on March 15
1990s - 2000s
1991: The World Wide Web is launched to the public on August 6, 1991
1997: WiFi is invented
1998: Google search engine is born
Changing the way we think and acquire information
2000: More than 50% of American households have internet access
2004: Facebook launches
Opening the door to a world of social media networking
2008: Businesses dive into social media
Tapping into lucrative advertising and marketing possibilities
2010’s - Beyond
2010: Instagram takes the world by storm
2014: The internet becomes home to 1 billion websites
2019: The internet reaches 4.39 billion internet users
More than 50% of the global population
2030: SpaceX aims to bring the internet to Mars
How the Evolution of Business Tech Has Transformed the Work World
The workplace has been better streamlined for effective and efficient communication through technological innovations. These methods include:
- Video conferences
- Online newsletters
- Instant messages
The modern business’ ability to build, execute, pivot, and grow has been wholly aided by tech advances. How are businesses improving?
- Customer service chatbots
- Digital organization
- Data-crunching software
- Virtual collaboration
Reduce operating costs
Increasing profit margins while reducing operating costs is made more possible than ever with modern internet services, printers, and computers
- CRM software
- Cloud storage
- Automated manufacturing
- 3D printed materials
 IBM; The IBM PC's debut
 Computer History Museum; Timeline of Computer History
 Time Magazine; It Took Microsoft 3 Tries Before Windows Was Successful
 TechRadar; Mac in Time: 35 Years of Apple's Legendary Macintosh
 Intel; Microprocessor Quick Reference Guide
 ComputerWorld; Microsoft Released its First Tablet 10 Years Ago. So Why did Apple Win with the iPad?
 USA Today; Up to 700,000 iPhones have sold
 ARSTechnica; Apple Officially Surpasses 10 Million iPhones Sold in 2008
 LiveScience; First Reprogrammable Quantum Computer Created
 3D Systems; Our Story
 Kansas University; Hewlett-Packard: DeskJet Printer Supply Chain
 LDProducts; Famous Dates in Printer History
 Digital Trends; The Brief but Building History of 3D Printing
 CNN; Print Green On-The-Go
 3D Systems; Z Corporation Introduces First Automated, Monochrome 3D Printer
 BBC News; Urbee 3D Printed Car Goes on Display in Canada
 HP; World’s Fastest Desktop Printer
 Business Insider; These 3D-printed Homes Can Be Built for Less Than $4,000 in Just 24 Hours
 The Verge; Aerospace startup making 3D-printed rockets now has a launch site at America’s busiest spaceport
 EDN Network; 1st .com Domain Name is Registered, March 15, 1985
 History Channel; The World’s First Web Site
 Purple; The History of WiFi
 Time Magazine; Google Used to Be the Company That Did 'Nothing But Search'
 U.S. Government Census; Home Computers and Internet Use in the United States: August 2000
 Time Magazine; Happy Birthday, Facebook
 Time Magazine; A Brief History of Instagram's Fateful First Day
 Tech Times; The Internet Now Has More Than 1 Billion Websites
 DataReportal; Digital 2019 Global Digital Overview
 NASA; NASA’s Journey to Mar