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除了玩游戏,虚拟现实技术还有这10大妙用,包括规划你的度假

Rose Leadem 2016年09月30日

不要以为虚拟现实技术只是让游戏变得更好玩,它有可能在多个领域改变未来。

虚拟现实(VR)不只是给人以神奇的视频游戏体验,这种技术还具有改变医疗、商业、建筑、制造等许多领域未来格局的潜力。

心理学家和其他医学领域的专业人士已经开始使用VR技术来辅助一些传统的医学疗法,同时为创伤后应激障碍(PTSD)、焦虑症和社交障碍等病症寻找有效的治疗方案。一些医生正在使用VR技术训练医学院学生做手术。VR技术甚至还可以缓解病人的痛苦,帮助截瘫患者重新控制身体机能。

在商业领域,很多行业正在受惠于VR技术。借助于VR技术,汽车厂商正在设计更安全的车辆,建筑师正在建造更坚固的建筑,连旅行社都在利用VR技术简化旅游行程规划。

下面就让我们探讨一下VR在游戏领域之外的十个妙用。

1.帮助截痪患者重新控制身体机能

美国杜克大学进行的一项长达一年的研究发现,虚拟现实技术能够为截痪患者带来巨大的福音。

在试验中,截痪病人需要戴着VR头盔,扮演一名在绿茵场上驰骋的足球运动员。通过这种训练,患者能够重新控制部分与腿部移动有关的脑部功能。八名被试者全部恢复了部分身体机能,其中有四名患者甚至从完全截痪恢复至部分截痪。

2.治疗创伤后应激障碍

传统上,医生们每年要使用“暴露疗法”治疗近800万名患有创伤后应激障碍的病人。在治疗过程中,病人要重新讲述并想象他们所经历的创伤,然后向医生解释他们在应激情境下的症状。

VR技术也基本上采取相同的方法:它利用VR头盔营造一个逼真的虚拟世界,其中许多元素是可以定制的(比如在治疗战争老兵时,可以用VR逼真地还原枪弹横飞、直升机和导弹呼啸来袭的画面)。医生随后要求病人讲述具体的症状。

3. 训练医学生

VR技术可以让医学生和牙科学生在安全、受控的环境下练习手术技术和治疗流程。这样一来,就算他们在练习过程中犯了错,也不会对真正的病人产生任何影响。练习中设置了许多意外情境让医学生们去解决。

通过VR技术,医学生们可以“亲手”主刀在一名虚拟病人身上操作手术,从而使他们可以不断锤炼自己的技能,以便日后应用到真实的病人身上。

4.治疗疼痛

在病人接受理疗等治疗的过程中,医生可以借助VR技术,通过“注意力分散疗法”来缓解病人的疼痛。2011年一项针对军队烧伤患者的研究显示,如果病人在治疗过程中玩一款叫《冰雪世界》(SnowWorld)的VR游戏(玩法是由玩家朝企鹅扔雪球),同时听着保罗·西蒙的音乐,那么止痛效果甚至比吗啡还好。

5.治疗焦虑症

美国有超过4000万名成年人患有焦虑症。而VR游戏《深海》(Deep),“数字版腹式呼吸训练”,则能帮助这些人对抗恐惧与焦虑。在游戏过程中,一条腰带会实时监控病人的呼吸情况。这款游戏将病人置身于虚拟的深海环境中,并引导他们进行深度的腹式呼吸,不到五分钟便能使用户冷静下来。

6. 帮助患有孤独症的儿童和青少年培养社交技能

得克萨斯大学达拉斯分校的教授们创立了一个利用VR技术帮助患有孤独症的儿童培养社交技能的项目。他们利用VR技术将儿童、青少年和成人孤独症患者置身于虚拟的社交环境中(如面试或初次约会),让他们学习如何捕捉社交信号并做出适当的回应。

通过监测被试者的脑电波,研究人员发现,与社交理解能力有关的脑部区域明显增强了活动。

7. 商业辅助功能

虚拟现实已经到来了,视频聊天还能独霸多久?如今,许多企业已经开始将VR技术用于各种用途,比如削减成本、减少出差、面试、导游、趋势预测和召开会议等等。

有些企业已经用上了“虚拟会议室”,商务人员由此免除了长途跋涉之苦。他们只需戴上VR头盔,便可以与对方进行会面、面试或召开会议。

有些生产危险品的企业在早期研发阶段,也可以使用VR来测试产品的安全性和功能,从而避免了员工的健康风险。

8. 更好地进行建筑设计

VR技术能帮助建筑师和设计师等更好地进行建筑设计。用户可以在VR世界中进行三维创作,由电脑生成的图像也能取代手工画图,最终将缩短设计和绘图时间,从而有效地降低成本,并提高建筑的安全性。

VR技术将空间设计由二维转变成三维,这不仅能方便设计师进行建筑和空间设计(从照明、地板到地基),还能让设计师在实际构建之前对自己的设计方案进行测试。比如,他们可以几近真实地了解到紧急事件发生时,某人可以多快地通过出口逃出建筑。

9. 测试汽车安全性、促进销量

VR技术使汽车工程师在实际制造汽车之前,便能在虚拟环境中测试车辆的安全性。除了制造流程以外,包括福特、沃尔沃和现代在内的一些大型车企都将VR运用到了销售环节,并鼓励潜在客户通过VR试驾车辆。

10.规划度假

过不了多久,你就可以通过VR技术“试游”下一个度假目的地了。在订机票、酒店之前,游客可以提前通过VR技术“观察”目标景点、酒店或城市,看它值不值得一去。比如,在英国一家商场购物时,你就可以戴上VR头盔,体验坐直升飞机鸟瞰纽约或坐船环绕自由女神像的情境。(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

审校:任文科

Virtual reality technology holds enormous potential to change the future for a number of fields, from medicine, business, architecture to manufacturing.

Psychologists and other medical professionals are using VR to heighten traditional therapy methods and find effective solutions for treatments of PTSD, anxiety and social disorders. Doctors are employing VR to train medical students in surgery, treat patients’ pains and even help paraplegics regain body functions.

In business, a variety of industries are benefiting from VR. Carmakers are creating safer vehicles, architects are constructing stronger buildings and even travel agencies are using it to simplify vacation planning.

Check out these 10 amazing uses of VR.

To Help Paraplegics Regain Body Functions.

A year-long study conducted by Duke University discovered huge benefits of virtual reality technology for paraplegics.

Patients wearing VR headsets tasked to move through a stadium as a soccer player were able to regain some brain functions associated with moving their legs. Of the eight patients tested, each regained some control and four were upgraded from full paraplegics to partial paraplegics.

To Treat PTSD

Traditionally, doctors use “exposure therapy” to treat the nearly 8 million adults who suffer from PTSD a year. Exposure therapy pushes patients to recount their traumas, visualize it in their imaginations and explain to the doctor what is happening as they experience the stressful scenario.

Virtual reality essentially employs the same method, while utilizing headsets to create a virtual world with custom elements (for example, helicopters, machine guns and missiles may be used to customize the experience for a war veteran). The patient is then asked to narrate what is happening.

To Train Medical Students.

Virtual reality provides medical and dental students a safe and controlled environment to practice surgeries and procedures, allowing them to make mistakes without having any impact on an actual patient, and prepare for any unexpected situations.

Performing a “hands-on” procedure and being able to interact with a virtual patient lets students develop their skills, which they can later apply to the real world.

To Treat Pain.

Doctors are using “distraction therapy” through virtual reality to help people handle pain while they undergo treatments such as physical therapy. A 2011 study on military burn victims revealed that SnowWorld — a VR game that allows users to throw snowballs at penguins while listening to Paul Simon — has proven more effective than morphine in pain management.

To Treat Anxiety Attacks.

More than 40 million adults in the U.S. experience anxiety. The virtual reality game Deep — “a digital version of a diaphragmatic exercise” — looks to help those individuals deal with fear and anxiety with the use of a belt that monitors breathing. The game puts the user into a natural setting and guides them through deep belly breathing exercises — calming users in about five minutes.

To Help Children And Teens With Autism Develop Social Skills.

Professors at the University of Texas in Dallas have created a program that uses virtual reality to help children with autism develop social skills. Putting kids, teens and young adults in social scenarios such as job interviews or blind dates with avatars, they learn how to pick up on social cues and respond appropriately.

By monitoring brain waves throughout the program, professors noticed increased activity in areas connected to social understanding.

To Help In Business.

Look out video chat, virtual reality is here. Businessesare beginning to employ VR in a number of ways: to reduce costs, lessen business travel, conduct interviews, give tours, forecast trends and hold meetings.

Rather than traveling for a conference or meeting, or interviewing a candidate “face to face,” companies are using virtual conference rooms.

Businesses that have dangerous products or are in the early stages are using VR to test safety and functionality without risking the health of employees.

To Better Model Architects’ Designs.

Virtual reality will benefit key players in the construction space such as architects and designers. The tool allows a user to virtually inhabit spaces in three dimensions. Computer-generated images will replace hand-drawn renderings — ultimately reducing time spent reworking layouts and drawings, effectively reducing costs and increasing safety.

Simulating the real world will not only allow designers to more easily create buildings and spaces — from lighting to flooring to foundations — but it will also let designers test out environments before actually building them. For example, they can realistically understand how quickly someone is able to exit the building in the case of an emergency.

To Test Car Safety And Drive Sales.

VR gives cars engineers the ability to test the safety of vehicles in a virtual setting before actually manufacturing them. Aside from the building process, large car companies such as Ford, Volvo and Hyundai use virtual reality in sales as well by having potential customers use a VR headset to test drive vehicles.

To Plan Your Next Vacation.

You’ll soon be able to “try before you fly” destinations through virtual reality. Travelers looking to book their next trip can observe a destination, hotel or city to see what it has to offer. For example, patrons in a U.K. mall were able to experience a helicopter flight around New York City or a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty.

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