With its ability to simulate realistic conditions and create an immersive environment, virtual reality allows users to learn and have experiences in an environment that’s both engaging and safe. While many think of VR primarily in terms of entertainment, the tech is also proving to have benefits for multiple industries. 

Well-crafted VR simulations can provide significant benefits and be leveraged for everything from training to therapy to design—and more. Below, 12 tech experts from Forbes Technology Council share some of the most impressive examples of VR they have encountered and why they’re so impressive.

1. Reminiscence Therapy

VR is an incredible technology for older adults and a powerful reminiscence therapy tool for those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s. When our tech immerses users in a familiar place or activity, they’re able to access long-term memories—something that would otherwise be impossible for them. We’ve seen disengaged, nonverbal people come back to life while using VR. It’s a profoundly emotional and empowering experience. – Kyle Rand, Rendever

2. Boosting Student Engagement

Virtual reality has taken off this year in educational environments. Teachers can take their students on unique, immersive learning journeys, such as VR field trips through the digestive tract. It’s an invaluable asset for educators who have long relied on standard tools. It’s enabling them to engage with their students in a way everyone is excited about—especially in today’s reality of distance learning. – Matthew Zielinski, Lenovo

3. Product Development

We use VR in product development. We build security robots, and while we can design many aspects, it is very different when we set up a virtual environment with real dimensions and put robots in it. We can fix flawed proportions—we even do product reviews this way. VR offers the ability to look at your hardware product from all angles before you start cutting metal, which is especially important if your product interacts with humans. – Mercedes Soria, Knightscope

4. Firefighter Training

I have a customer who is in the firefighter training business. They use virtual reality to train firefighters in a variety of real-world scenarios. In addition to being cost-effective, the firefighters get exposed to varied situations at a much more rapid pace. It has already led to a generation of better-trained firefighters. – Tim Maliyil, AlertBoot

5. Astronaut Training

I saw a demo of VR-based astronaut training at NASA. The underwater training we have all seen footage of only goes so far. Simulating the ISS or Mars environment is what VR is destined for. – David Moise, Decide Consulting

6. Industrial Maintenance Training

The best example of virtual reality I’ve seen has been for training industrial maintenance workers. VR simulations can easily guide these workers through safety checks and how to work on industrial machines as if they were in the real world. The safety benefits are obvious—there’s no need to be around dangerous machinery—and you don’t need to take valuable machines offline or keep spare machines just to perform initial training. – Alexander Hill, Senseye

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7. Virtual Workspaces

The best examples of VR I have seen include virtual workspaces, remote assistance and the onboarding of new technicians/workforce. Covid-19 has made the use of VR—a safe way to keep businesses going—more pervasive and unleashed more innovative uses of the technology. VR is attractive to businesses because it can improve efficiency and drive employee happiness. Going forward, VR will become a way of living. – Gaurav Aggarwal, Avanade Inc.

8. Data Visualization

I love CSynth because it shows us the possibilities of data visualization in virtual reality. VR is often used to teach understandable but impractical things—especially hard-to-reproduce or dangerous conditions. What excites me about CSynth is that it visibly renders many things that simply cannot be understood otherwise. One can imagine using VR to visualize network bottlenecks, supply chain problems and more. – Jeff Rubenstein, Kaltura

9. Digital Twin Capabilities

I just participated in a meeting using VR that took place in a digital twin of our London office. It was truly extraordinary! I could walk around the office and chat and interact with colleagues in the virtual space. It felt very natural. It was a truly immersive experience and eye-opening in terms of VR’s future potential. It was also very nostalgic being back in our office! – Pamela Maynard, Avanade

10. Home And Interior Design 

The use of VR for home and interior design has been gaining immense interest and application. The ability to visualize the end product output and display through VR helps people proceed with construction work with greater confidence. – Nitesh Sinha, Sacumen

11. Building Walkthroughs

The most effective example I’ve seen of virtual reality is the creation of building walkthroughs before a remodel or an office rearrangement. By exploring the virtualized space, it is possible to identify and correct potential problems before they became actual problems. – Saryu Nayyar, Gurucul

12. Virtual Concerts

The best VR example I have recently seen was a VR concert. Using VR goggles attached to my smartphone, I attended a VR concert of my favorite band. It felt as if I was on stage with the band members. I could see the musicians playing close up, and I was able to sing the melodies in concert with the singers and feel the energy from the VR crowd. The experience was amazing! – Bob Fabien Zinga, Directly, Inc./U.S. Navy Reserve