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Another year, another new iPhone. What’s different this time around? As it turns out, quite a lot. Although Apple’s iPhone 7 looks a lot like the iPhone 6, the device has been internally redesigned, as evidenced by the notable absence of a headphone jack.

A new, 64-bit quad-core processor packs a punch, and blows previous iPhones out of the water in that respect. The new camera produces higher quality images with the new ISP technology, and optical zoom on the 7 Plus.

Obviously, there are some differences between the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus – the latter has a larger display, more RAM, and dual rear cameras for a start. But both are easily superior to previous incarnations of the iPhone. Let’s get into the details.

No Headphone Jack

This is what everyone’s talking about. The iPhone 7 has no headphone jack. So, how do you listen to music with the iPhone 7? There are two ways:

The traditional Apple EarPods are still packaged with the iPhone 7, and they’re exactly the same as the old ones, except that the 3.5 mm connector has been replaced with a male Lightning connection. If you can get used to this single difference, you’ll have no trouble using them.

There’s one obvious disadvantage: you can’t listen to music, or place calls over the earbuds and charge your iPhone at the same time. Fortunately, the iPhone 7 has better battery life than the iPhone 6, but more on that later.

The second way is to use wireless earbuds, and Apple launched a pair with the iPhone 7: AirPods. The AirPods closely resemble EarPods, except for the absence of wires, and have a five hour battery life. That may seem a little short, but with Apple’s compact charging case, the company claims the battery will be good for 24 hours of listening time.

The AirPods are also motion & gesture sensitive, and can be used to interact with Siri, which is a pretty cool option. Sadly, they aren’t bundled with the iPhone 7, and have to be purchased separately.

Apple’s decision to create a smartphone without an 3.5 mm headphone jack has baffled some, but Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller did have an excuse: “Maintaining an ancient, single-purpose, analogue, big connector doesn’t make sense because that space is at a premium.”

As a matter of fact, the headphone jack is over 50 years old, and keeping it around means wasting space that could be used for better purposes. For instance…

The Taptic Engine

The Taptic engine is a newer piece of hardware included in the iPhone 7, and actually takes up a significant amount of space inside the phone. Up until the iPhone 6, Apple used a simple vibrator motor to create vibrations.

The Taptic Engine uses a linear actuator to relay a much broader and stronger range of haptic feedback to the user. It can mimic the feeling of a home button press (the iPhone 7 has a virtual, or solid state home button), a heartbeat, or the sensation of snapping a rubber band.

The Taptic Engine in the iPhone 7 is much more responsive than a the previous version, and won’t lag; this may seem like a small detail, but users report that it makes a big difference. The ‘high resolution’ of the engine will open up a whole new range of options for game and app developers, and iOS 10 allows users to create custom vibrations for ringtones and other system features.

Waterproof

No need to keep bags of rice around the house anymore – the iPhone 7 will easily survive your bathtub, toilet, or accidental slips into the pool. Technically, the phone is not ‘waterproof’ – it’s only rated for up to 1 meter, or about 3 feet of water.

You shouldn’t go swimming with it (duh). But tests show that the phone will survive submersion under a meter of water for at least 30 minutes, and that’s pretty significant considering how commonly iPhones suffer from water damage, which still is not covered under Apple’s 1 year warranty.

A10 Processor

To put it simply, the A10 is huge. Not only is 40% faster than the A9 processor in the iPhone 6S, but it’s a brand new fusion of two chipsets with four 64 bit cores.

Currently, the A10 is the best smartphone processor on the market, and it’s the best by a lot. The A10 even scores slightly higher than the Intel processor in Apple’s Mac Pro. So yes: the iPhone now has a processor as powerful as a high-end, desktop computer.

The advantages are pretty clear: the iPhone 7 is super fast with very high graphical capabilities. It can handle even more complex applications than its predecessors, do video editing, and run highly graphics-intensive games. Thanks to power management features, the A10 should also increase your battery life (in theory).

A new feature called ISP (image signal processor) is built into the A10 chip, and dramatically improves photo-taking. But more on that later.

A Better Battery

Comparing apples with apples (pun totally intended): the iPhone 6S had a 1,715 mAh battery, which is pretty generous. The iPhone 7 has a new 1,960 mAh battery. Meanwhile, the 6S Plus had a 2,750 mAh battery, compared to the 7 Plus’s 2,900 mAh battery.

This means that a charge will last two hours longer for the iPhone 7 compared to the 6S, and an hour longer for the Plus version. Tests show that the battery charges fairly quickly, going from 0 to 100% in under 90 minutes.

The Camera

As mentioned earlier, the new ISP technology is a big upgrade to the iPhone camera. ISP uses deep learning algorithms to automatically adjust focus, exposure, white balance and other settings.

While automatic adjustment has been included in iPhones for a long time, this is the first time that deep learning has been employed in the process, and the dedicated processor space allows the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to perform 100 billion operations almost instantaneously, meaning you can take a great shot without pausing.

Optical image stabilization (OIS) has been included in all Plus versions of the iPhone, but now it’s available in the regular version as well. This feature should prevent shaking or vibration from ruining pictures, and keep videos more steady.

If you go with the 7 Plus, you’ll get an additional 12 megapixel camera with a telephoto lens, allowing you to actually zoom into subjects without reducing image quality. Coupled with the ISP, the two cameras also allow for genuine depth of field, the coveted effect of having a sharp foreground and a blurred background. In previous iPhones, this effect could only be simulated with a filter.

iOS 10!

iOS 10 has a ton of new features, most of them subtle, or hidden away in the operating system. One of the most significant changes from iOS 9 that Apple isn’t advertising very much is that you can finally – finally! – delete system apps, a feature that used to require jailbreaking.

A few significant changes have been made to iMessage. First, users can now handwrite messages, with a pretty convincing simulated ink-pen. Secondly, you can now carry on conversations from the lock screen by enabling this option in device settings.

There are literally hundreds of new features in iOS 10. It’s worth checking Apple’s website, or Forbe’s feature list to learn more.

In Conclusion

The iPhone 7 is a significant upgrade from the last generation, and while the missing headphone jack is a slight inconvenience, it’s not hard to live with, especially considering the added battery life.

Having the best smartphone processor on the planet is a tempting prospect, and according to many sources, the new camera is also the best among smartphones.

Starting at $649 for the 7, and $769 for the 7 Plus, the new iPhone may be well worth your money.

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Bottom line:
When looking for an unlock solution for iPhone 7 you’re likely to find 3 alternatives – unlock using software, hardware and an IMEI unlock.

Software unlocks straight out don’t work, hardware unlocks are risky and have a high likelihood of destroying your device (and your warranty). If you’re looking for a safe solution that always works, you’re looking for an IMEI-based unlock solutions.

IMEI unlocks mean having your phone’s hardware number (its IMEI) added to Apple’s global whitelisted phone database, meaning your phone is remotely cleared of the lock your provider put on it the next time it connects with Apple servers.

There are quite a few IMEI unlock providers out there, but we did the heavy lifting for you. We’ve reviewed 15 IMEI unlock providers claiming to be able to unlock iPhone 7 and 7 plus remotely, and using a rigorous methodology found the best ones. It turns out that the “best unlock” depends on the location of the provider who your phone is locked to.

If your phone is locked to a mobile provider within the United Kingdom, USA or Canada, we recommend iPhoneIMEI. They provide a quick reliable service, and have great prices, and quick helpful customer support. However, they don’t offer as many unlocks outside of the above-mentioned countries.

If your phone is locked to a mobile provider outside the United Kingdom, USA or Canada, we recommend OfficialiPhoneUnlock. They provide a wide range of unlocks from a ton of mobile operators worldwide. Their prices are very good (only a bit more than iPhoneIMEI), and they have friendly and responsive customer support, and their unlocks happen within a good timeframe.

The full guide to Unlocking iPhone 7 / 7 plus

The iPhone 7 has just been launched, and even though it’s considered the bleeding edge of technology, some issues are no different to its predecessors.

Mobile phone operators charge too much money and give a crappy level of service in return. Not to mention how much they charge when you try to use your phone to roam overseas.

The reason why they can do that to you and all their other customers? They lock your iPhones!
What does locking an iPhone mean? It’s the practice of pairing your iPhone with a singular mobile provider, and blocking any attempt to use a sim card from another provider. This leaves us the consumers with no other choice but to keep using their overpriced services.

However, unlocking iPhone 7 / 7 plus solves those issues by offering you the ability to use whichever mobile provider your little heart wishes. Thus, you can use cheaper, better service providers, and even buy and use a local sim card with cheap call, text and Internet usage rates when you’re overseas (imagine that!).

If you start researching iPhone unlocking online, you’re likely to come across the following three options. However, only one of them works smoothly and reliably.

Method #1 to Unlock iPhone 7 / 7 plus: Software Unlocks (SCAM ALERT! Run away!)

This method was actually available to early generations of iPhones. You could hack into the operating system of the iPhone and remove the locking using a piece of software.
However, guess what? The last iPhone model this worked for was iPhone 3gs! That’s 7 generations of iPhone ago. If someone tries to tell you that you can download some software to your computer and unlock your iPhone with it, they are straight up LYING.

Method #2 to Unlock iPhone 7 / 7 Plus: Hardware unlocks (Will void your AppleCare, dangerous, can destroy your phone and your data)

Some people claim to be able to unlock more recent generations of iPhones by opening the phone up and playing with its insides. Beyond the discomfort of having to give your phone away for a few days until they finish the process, it only works in 30% of cases.

Since they’re working with a welder to change the hardware in your device, the risk of messing something up – from losing your photos and app data to having your phone completely stop working – is high and just not worth it.

And on top of that, Apple can detect the inside of your iPhone has been fiddled with, and your AppleCare warranty will be completely revoked!

So between low success rates, the potential for hardware failures and having your warranty revoked, this is a no-no for most reasonable iPhone owners that have another option. And that option does exist…

Method #3 to Unlock iPhone 7 / 7 plus: IMEI Unlocks (a safe, reliable and permanent unlock)

The first thing to explain when discussing the IMEI unlocking method is what an IMEI is.
IMEI is a unique number identifying your iPhone. Once you activated your iPhone the first time, your device is registered in Apple servers. If it has been locked to the operator, it is registered as such. If you change your database entry so that it says your phone is unlocked, the phone just automatically unlocks!

The process is permanent. Once an iPhone is unlocked, it is unlocked for life. Your phone’s warranty remains valid and in tact. And there are no associated risks with the process – it’s completely safe.

For these reasons, I only recommend IMEI unlocks for anyone looking to unlock their iPhone 7 or 7 plus.

Why should I listen to you?

While there are no degrees out there in unlocking iPhones, I have the only thing that matters in that area – a ton of experience.

I’ve unlocked my first iPhone in 2008.

It was an iPhone 3G locked to AT&T. Like many other AT&T clients, I quickly realized I was being ripped off and wanted out. I found out about software unlocking – which worked back then – and managed to squirm my way out of my locked contract.

Since then, my friends always hit me up about unlocking their iPhones, and I was happy to oblige. I tried hardware unlocking once, it screwed my phone up so much it became unusable. I found out about IMEI unlocks and have been recommending them ever since.

IMEI Unlock comparison process

I decided to use real world data to compare unlock providers. First off, I compiled a list of everyone claiming to do an IMEI unlock for iPhone 7. There were 12.

Following that, I read reviews on various sites dedicated to covering such things, including Trust Pilot and Ripoff Report. This left me with 3 remaining providers to report on in this review.
What I was then left with were 3 services. Next step was the most challenging one – location people who owned a locked iPhone 7 or 7 plus and wanted it unlocked. However, through a few posts on Facebook and using my contacts with a few tech bloggers I ended up with the IMEI number for 12 locked iPhones (7*iPhone 7, 5*iPhone 7 plus). I then just went ahead and tested the various IMEI unlock services with those phones.

The phones came locked to a variety of networks – Three (UK), Vodafone (UK), Rogers (Canada), AT&T (US), Sprint (US), Verizon (US), SFR (France), and Vodafone (Germany).

IMEI Unlock Testing Process

The actual test was pretty straightforward. As I had 12 phones, I paid to buy 4 unlocks from each of the top three providers I figured were legit.

I pretty much just waited from that moment forward for the unlock process to finish. The only other thing I did was to contact the unlock provider’s customer support to see how well it works.

Review metrics

I used 6 different metrics when comparing the various unlock providers.

Metric #1: Unlock success ratio (30% of total score)
Obviously, this is the most important metric. The providers were measured upon completing the unlock process.
I should emphasize that even after getting the confirmation message that the phones were unlocked, each and every unlocked phone was tested with a different SIM card to confirm unlock success.

Metric #2: Number of mobile operators available to unlock (15% of total score)

Since I’m writing this for Internet users worldwide, I have to consider the amount of mobile operators available to unlock an important metric. If someone only has a few small mobile operators in a few small countries, then I’d cross them off my list of recommended services.

Metric #3: Price (20% of total score)

The third metric is how much the actual unlock charges. Unlock providers realize that some people are desperate to unlock their phones they would pay crazy prices. So if someone charged outrageous fees for the unlock, I consider that a no-no.

So, I measured the services which managed to provide a good service on how cheap they provided it for.

Metric #4: Range of payment methods (10% of total score)

Some providers only offered a narrow range of uncomfortable payment options like Western Union transfer or obscure payment methods using crypto currencies like Bitcoin that most of us don’t have available.

If a service accepted Visa, Mastercard and PayPal – the most popular ways to pay on the internet these days – I considered that a plus.

Metric #5: Customer support (10% of total score)
I understand how it can feel to pay a service provider you don’t know, hoping they would complete a service you need without ever having met them.

Good customer service that responds on time, in a polite and helpful manner, and always lets you know where your current project is at, will alleviate that problem.

So, I tested each provider with a few messages to their customer support to see what their standards are in terms of response time and how helpful their support agents were.

Metric #6: Speed (15% of total score)
Usually people unlock their iPhones when they are ready to buy a SIM card on another network or about to go on a trip overseas. In other words, they want to use their phone was a new SIM pretty soon.

For the purposes of this review, I compared the amount of time it took IMEI unlock providers to finish the unlock process. That is – the time between me completing payment until I received word from them the iPhone unlocking process was successfully completed.

Best IMEI Unlock for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

So without further ado, here are the best 3 iPhone 7/ 7+ IMEI unlock companies ranked from best to worst.

#1 – iPhoneIMEI (96% – use in case your phone is locked to a provider within the United Kingdom, USA or Canada)

Without a doubt, I’d recommend iPhoneIMEI as the number 1 choice for unlocking iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 plus.

They have great prices, responsive customer support, tens of thousands of satisfied customers. We purchased an unlock service for 4 iPhones and they’ve managed to unlock all of them. They mostly support unlocking out of mobile providers in the United Kingdom, USA and Canada and they don’t have many options for people in other countries. However, seeing that the majority of the traffic to my site comes from these (English speaking) countries, I decided to place them in first position.

PROS:
The most important metric was success – whether or not all the phones were successfully unlocked. These guys managed to do that for all the phones we sent their way.

But, there’s more. They also had prices that were on average 15% cheaper across 10 mobile operators from the USA, Canada and the UK.

They also provided top-notch customer service. I get in touch on 3 different occasions and have always received prompt, useful and informative support.

In terms of unlock times, they completed the unlock process within 2 days on average (measured from moment of payment). This is an impressive time, and the same as our #2 rated unlock provider.

CONS:
iPhoneIMEI only lost points in the “range of providers” metric. While you can get a phone locked to any USA, UK or Canadian provider unlocked, you might find they don’t have your service provider if you’re from another country.

Bottom line:
Cheap, great customer service and full 4 out of 4 iPhones unlocked makes iPhoneIMEI my top recommended IMEI unlocking service for iPhone 7 and 7 plus – if you’re in the USA, Canada or the United Kingdom.

If you’re in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom and want to unlock iPhone 7 or iPhone 7+ from a local provider, go to iPhoneIMEI.net.

#2 OfficialiPhoneUnlock (91% – use in case your phone is locked to a provider outside of the United Kingdom, USA or Canada)

The top 2 providers were really close. They both received similar scores for customer support, and both unlocked all 4 iPhones quite quickly. Official iPhone Unlock has a wider selection of unlocks outside the US, Canada and UK but ultimately it was about 10% more expensive for the providers they both had in common.

PROs:
I have many good things to say here.

They succeeded to unlock all 4 iPhone 7 / 7 Plus whose IMEI numbers we gave them – and they did it in 48 hours on average. Their customer support was on point – it was speedy, helpful and gave the right information when needed.

They offer the largest selection of unlocks currently available by any IMEI unlock provider. This is not just a small difference, but a huge one – they have dozens of countries more than iPhoneIMEI. If I had to guess, I’d say that if there is a provider out there in some country, you could lock an iPhone 7 from him with these guys.

CONs:
The factor that eventually led to Official iPhone Unlock to get a lower score was that their prices were slightly higher. I compared the providers they both had an IMEI unlock for – American, UK and Canadian ones – and it consistently came up around 10%-15% more expensive.

BOTTOM LINE:
Official iPhone Unlock are pretty great. They have good customer support for their clients, provide quick results and they have the biggest list of mobile operators to unlock anywhere on the web.

Despite the great experience I had with them, they are slightly more expensive than #1 for unlocks they both provide. Since the two offer similar quality of service, I see no reason to pay more.

However, if you’re outside the USA, Canada or the United Kingdom– use their services and get your iPhone 7 unlocked with a clear head.

If you’re outside of the United Kingdom, USA or Canada and want to unlock iPhone 7 or iPhone 7+ from a local provider, we recommend Official iPhone Unlock.

#3 Keys2iPhone (40% – not recommended)

Keys2iPhone only made it to this list because they actually did unlock 2 out of 4 iPhones we tested them with. However, we had a bad experience. They asked us for extra money in order to complete the unlock in 3 out of 4 cases (including one case they didn’t actually manage to unlock!).

PROS:
The one thing is that, for the 2 phones they actually did manage to unlock – the unlock is complete, safe and permanent. Like in all our tests, we’ve tested it with a different SIM card then the phone was locked to, and it worked. But that’s just what an IMEI unlock always is.

CONs:
I’ve had such bad experiences with these guys.

First off – they only unlocked half of the phones we paid for (!!!)

Even then, it took over a week to do (8 days, 10 days). They asked for more money claiming their costs just went up – I feel this is just a scam, because in one of those occasions they didn’t even unlock the phone! We did pay in all 3 cases, so I guess shame on me.

Finally, you can imagine throughout all of this, I was upset and wrote customer support quite a lot. There was no response on their end. Eventually we asked our credit card company to refund us for the 2 phones that they didn’t unlock. Disgraceful.

Bottom line:
Keys2iPhone managed to unlock 2 phones out of 4 we purchased. They didn’t refund us of their own volition and didn’t communicate with us at all throughout the process. Everything from their timeframe to completion to customer support was just bad. Avoid.

Final Verdict

I’ll reiterate the main points of this article here.

There are 3 ways you’ll find online to unlock your iPhone – software, hardware and IMEI. Software unlocks haven’t worked for the last 7 generations of iPhones (the last one they worked for was iPhone 3gs). Hardware unlocks is risky and will nullify your iPhone’s warranty.

IMEI unlocks are the only reliable and secure method for unlocking iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus.
After a broad research of 15 different IMEI unlock companies, I tested the top 3 services by buying 4 unlock services from each (12 iPhones in total).

I recommend a different unlock solution depending on which country the mobile operator you want to unlock your phone from is located (for example, AT&T is located in the US).

In case your iPhone is locked to a mobile provider within USA, Canada or the United Kingdom, I recommend using iPhoneIMEI. They are the experts in unlocking phones from those parts of the world, have the best price, great customer service. The unlocks are completed in a speedy manner. If your phone is locked to a provider from another country, go for our second option below, otherwise use them without hesitation – we’ve had nothing but good unlocking experiences with them.

In case your iPhone is locked to a mobile provider outside of the USA, Canada or the United Kingdom, I recommend using Official iPhone Unlock. This company also have great customer service, good prices and a real wide range of providers from all over the world. If you’re living outside of the US, Canada and the UK, they are much more likely to be able to unlock your iPhone from your mobile provider.

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Like many tech ideas, Virtual Reality was a concept born before its time. Back when computers still filled rooms, thinkers like Stanley G. Weinbaum speculated about the possibility for fiction to take on a life of its own, and through the decades, futurists dreamed of creating virtual worlds of sights and sound using the wonders of technology.

The 1990s came, and behold – computers no longer filled rooms, and what was once an impossible dream was suddenly a reality. Companies like Sega seized the opportunity to develop Virtual Reality with audio/video headsets, allowing gamers to play video games in a virtual space that felt real. Except…it didn’t feel very real. Unwieldy head-pieces coupled with blocky graphics and poor motion tracking rendered early versions of Virtual Reality a commercial flop.

Two decades later, and Virtual Reality is back in style. As graphics processing technology has advanced, big projects like the Oculus Rift and the PlayStation VR have finally delivered on the promises of the dream, allowing users to have impossible experiences like flight, and exploring fantasy worlds in high resolution with realistic motion tracking. Two years ago, Oculus was acquired by Facebook for over $2 billion dollars, demonstrating once and for all that VR is finally a viable commercial opportunity.

Here are 7 ways that Virtual Reality is changing the world as we know it:

(Virtual) Space Missions

Everybody wants to go to space. Unfortunately, it may be a pretty long time before you get the chance to do that, and even then, it’s not going to be cheap. But never fear! Thanks to 3D imaging technology on recent NASA probes, it’s possible to construct a photorealistic, virtual version of planets like Mars that can safely be explored using Microsoft’s Hololens, and soon on other platforms including the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, and HTC Vive.

NASA has also been using Virtual Reality to train astronauts for work on the International Space Station. In the past, training for work in space has been tricky – Astronauts have used huge swimming pools to simulate the difficulties of operating in a zero gravity environment. But thanks to VR, complicated situations can be accurately recreated so Astronauts know what to expect once they get off a Shuttle.

In the future, NASA may also use VR to give Astronauts a break from a long journey to Mars, letting them experience a virtual Earth while stuck in small Space Capsules.Testing Cars before Manufacture

Building a car is expensive. Sticking a dummy inside a car and crashing it into a wall to see if it’s safe is also expensive. Manufacturing cars and failing to notice a design flaw that leads to death and massive recalls is extremely expensive.

The Ford Motor Company noticed this, and thought – “hey, how about crashing virtual cars into virtual walls first? That would probably be safer, and cheaper.” And they were right – since December of 2013, Ford has been using Virtual Reality to test cars as soon as they are designed to determine their safety, how smoothly they drive, and whether they will actually be an enjoyable experience for consumers.

The same technology also gives people a chance to virtually drive cars before buying them. Ford, Hyundai and Volvo have all started using virtual showrooms to help customers feel better about laying down a $20,000 check for a brand new car.

Learn About History (by actually being there)

History doesn’t have to be boring. There’s a reason that movies about ancient Rome tend to be box office hits. But Virtual Reality may take historical education a step further – Timelooper is using VR to recreate important historical events in countries around the world. Launched in London, right now Timelooper’s catalogue mainly contains important events that took place in the city, including the Great Fire of London in 1666, and the Blitz of WWII. A few months ago, the app also expanded to New York City, and will soon recreate historical events in China, Germany, Spain and Washington D.C.

VR history isn’t limited to recreation, however. Google has been capturing 3D images of important historical sites like Pompeii, for instance, which can be virtually explored using Google Cardboard. Virtual Heritage not only gives people living in the present a chance to explore the past, but will give future generations an opportunity to experience the present by preserving our world in Virtual Reality.

Architects can explore the buildings they design

In the past, building design was not a very hands on experience. You used your drawing paper and pencils to create detailed floor plans, and at best, you’d get a small scale model before spending millions of dollars to create a high-rise skyscraper.

Virtual Reality will change this forever. In 2015, visualization artist Olivier Demangel announced that VR would let designers “change the world like a god”. True to his predictions, since then, tools like VRTisan have been released which not only allow architects to design buildings, but to explore and modify them in real time using PlayStation VR.

vr-building

Immersion Journalism

Modern photojournalism is flawed. Photographs offer a limited perspective of world events, don’t tell the whole story, and are often manipulated as propaganda. During the Great Depression, The Farm Security Administration hired photographers to show the effects of the Dust Bowl, and since then, many have suggested that they deliberately made things seem much worse than they actually were.

Virtual Reality may help to revolutionize journalism, and give people a much better understanding of major events happening in the world. In 2014, Project Syria was debuted at the World Economic Forum, giving viewers a chance to explore the scene of a bombing in Syria, and virtually experience a refugee camp.

Doctors can train on virtual patients

Everybody needs doctors, but nobody wants to be a lab rat. Thanks to VR, instead of experimenting with cadavers and expensive silicon dummies, medical students now have the opportunity of practicing their medicine on virtual students.

At Idaho State University, VR headsets are being used in conjunction with haptic feedback (gloves that simulate physical sensation) to simulate procedures like catheter insertion and environment sterilization. The technology is also being used by surgeons and dentists to safely practice complicated and dangerous operations without cutting open a human being.

Go to work without leaving your home

As the rate of telecommuting climbs in the U.S, people are spending more time away from the office, and more time at home. As nice as it may be to make money in your pajamas, working at home takes away the chance for face to face interaction with co-workers, and water cooler banter.

Virtual Reality may give telecommuters the chance to occupy a virtual office and attend meetings with coworkers without the gas (or plane ticket) it takes to get to work. That’s the mission of AltspaceVR, which uses robotic avatars in a real workplace to stream the environment to a telecommuter wearing a VR headset.

This technology may eventually be used in colleges, schools, and even social venues, creating a new dimension of ‘long distance friendship’.

Summary

It’s pretty clear that Virtual Reality isn’t just for games. Many industries are taking advantage of the possibilities created by VR, and developers have been pushing high-level concepts that could revolutionize the way we live, work, learn and communicate with one another; and we’ve only touched on immediate possibilities presented by VR. As time goes on and technologies continues to advance, VR may wind up changing the world much like computers, smartphones and Internet did in the past.