Data Analysis and Interpretation Gets a Boost with Virtual Reality
Facebook and other tech giants stand to gain a lot by taking advantage of virtual reality. With this technology they can take online socializing to a whole new level. The implications of the growing presence of VR is going to launch the etch industry to a region far beyond the new breed of chat rooms. A lot of discussions have been had on how virtual reality can affect the way we visualize data in general and naturally includes big data.
Visualization is a very big part of big data projects. While simple charts such as bar charts and pie charts do their job or providing headline figures, today’s Big data projects require a far more granular method of presentation if they are going to tell the full picture. It must be relatively easier for the viewer to identify and pinpoint correlations between the vast amounts of data points which are often performed in real time.
Data Analysis with the Human Eye
There are obvious inherent restrictions to the amount of data that can be absorbed through the human eye from a flat computer screen. We are limited to processing a very small amount of information per second when reading text from a screen according to SAS software architect Michael D Thomas. This is where many people are of the opinion that virtual reality can step in. by immersing the user in a digitally rendered space with a 360 degree view, it should be possible to greatly increase and improve the bandwidth of data to our brains.
A New Method of Data Analysis
This idea, however, is not new, Virtual reality has been around for a while but it is very expensive. Several years ago, Goodyear engineers worked with VR expert Dr. Robert Maples to develop a complete simulation of its racing tires based on its historical data. This simulation allowed the effects of every minor change and variable to be modeled and viewed in real time VR. The aim was to answer the question, why are we losing races and the visualization let them get answers in a very short time. This is an excellent example of how to increase data bandwidth leading to much faster insights.
The fact remains that the display interface we currently use to absorb data visually is outdated and is in need of an overhaul. Screens have reduced in size and weight but they are essentially the same technology as decades ago. While input, processing and storage capabilities have evolved rapidly across several generations of computing architecture, the screen has not.
All of this is changing now with the emergence of affordable VR hardware. Two years ago, Google open sourced the designs for its cardboard VR headset and this allowed anyone who knew how to, to effectively start using the technology for free. And just a month ago, the first wave of consumer headsets hit the shelves. This emergence has spurred the advancement of a growing ecosystem with some already coming out geared for data exploration, mining and experimentation. With VR, we can now have faster and more accurate interpretation of data which is set to be algorithmically processed together with business data.