In 2008, Blockchain technology disrupted the financial world and changed the definition of money. But when Satoshi Nakamoto presented his white paper explaining the decentralized ledger’s use case, he could never have imagined all its potential. Blockchain has found use cases across healthcare, art, real estate, media, energy, and even government. It has also found synergies and cross applications with other technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, and Virtual Reality (VR). In this article we’re going to take a deeper look at how VR and blockchain can be used together to create an even stronger technology.
What is VR?
Virtual Reality is a simulated environment created by computers. This simulated environment stimulates the senses — vision and hearing already mainstream, with ongoing development of touch, smell, and taste — creating an “imaginary” world (like the one where Peter Pan never grows old). While best known for its use in the gaming industry, entertainment, medicine, tourism, and commerce have also all used VR with excellent results. In 2020, the VR market was worth $15.81 billion, and experts project it will keep growing year-on-year.
What is blockchain technology?
Blockchain technology — also known as the Blockchain — is a digital ledger that stores information as ‘blocks’ and exists across a network of nodes. A blockchain ledger is immutable, decentralized, and transparent. These properties make it ideal for executing transactions, record keeping, and authentication.
Got it. Now How Do These Technologies Improve Each Other?
Blockchain and VR have undoubtedly been hugely successful independently. While the Blockchain thrives in security and decentralization, VR flourishes in experimentation and creativity. Together, they can strengthen each other and create truly transformational possibilities. The Blockchain can improve ownership and authentication in VR, while the use of virtual reality can make Blockchain less abstract and easier to understand.
An example of VR helping the Blockchain is evident in an innovative tool called the Blockchain 3D Explorer. This is a 3D rendering of the Blockchain that depicts its inner workings in real-time. With this tool, you can identify transactions on the network and watch them move from one node to another. This is an example of VR enhancing the transparency of Blockchain, giving it more reach, influence and trust than before.
In turn, Blockchain has also enhanced the use of VR. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Meetings, Concerts, and Shows
The pandemic may have changed our ability and desire to gather in large crowds forever but thanks to VR, you can simulate attending a live event right in your bedroom. Applications like Glue and MeetinVR help you connect to any meeting virtually with a headset. Companies can use blockchain technology to process headset payments. In this model, the headsets become tokens guaranteeing faster, more transparent transactions.
Victoria VR is a startup that integrates these technologies even further by creating a VR token. Users can stake tokens for extra income and purchase in-game antiques. This creates a strong client community with immense loyalty and client retention over time.
Globally, tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries. People love to experience new places, cultures, and people. The tourism industry accounts for 6.1% of global GDP and forms the bedrock of many economies.
But the pandemic also changed the way we travel. Skyrocketing fees, travel restrictions, and travel bans have turned simple, pleasant trips into nightmares.
One way to combat this is with VR. VR can help users experience a place without leaving their homes. They can also relive their trips through their VR headset for as long as they like.
Startups like Ariva wonderland are merging VR with Blockchain to give users a unique travel experience. Using the Blockchain, the startup keeps accurate records of its transactions and can also distribute collectibles like NFTs.
From 2019–2020, the fashion industry witnessed declining sales, according to The state of fashion reports by McKinsey. When the pandemic came, this decline worsened, and many physical shops had to close their doors. However, digital activities increased by 40–100% during this period.
VR’s introduction to the shopping experience was inevitable. VR enhanced the sterile online shopping space by mimicking the sensory experience of real-life shopping. Once again, people could get a feel of the items they wanted to buy.
A new study has shown that 70% of virtual shoppers had made at least one purchase. Lowes –a home retail company– created a full VR service, Holoroom, to help customers experience using their products before they decide to buy.
Online commerce companies embracing VR can use the Blockchain to accept payments through cryptocurrency, track shipments, and authenticate their offerings. They can also use it to manage customer loyalty programs and create a buzz around their brand.
The cross-pollination of ideas between Blockchain and VR is likely to continue. Together, these discoveries will change the way we shop, travel, play, and live. You can expect that smarter, more innovative ways to merge these technologies will be discovered. And those discoveries will lead us to even more exciting times.