So far, virtual reality hardware like the Oculus Rift headset hasn't taken off in the enterprise, but that could change soon. A company called Space-Time Insight has developed a new application that uses the Oculus Rift to help make sense of big data from power, oil and gas, logistics, and related industries.
One pilot project alerts users to power outages and uses a utility's data to power a visualization that allows users to drill down to the individual piece of equipment that has failed. They can even interact with the real world device through the virtual interface, either fixing the problem remotely or dispatching a work team.
Space-Time's Steve Ehrlich explained that his company's "software is an in-memory solution, so we take big data from wherever the data is stored. If the data’s in a big data system, if it’s in Hadoop or sits in a Greenplum, or if it’s in HANA, if it’s in a traditional database, those are all different sources of information that we would use to present the data to the user."
Time will tell if this sort of intersection between virtual reality and big data will become commonplace in the enterprise.