I read an article recently that tried to explain people’s fascination with Virtual Reality (VR). There were many great points made. One that stood out for me was how no other technology allows us to escape from our realities like VR.
Besides escapism, it also feels like we’re at a stage in this digital age where many of the technologies available to us are starting to feel a little “ordinary”.
There are only a few technologies that still amaze us, VR is one of them. Do you feel like going bungee jumping? How about swinging around like Spider-Man? VR allows you to do both (and so much more) from your living room.
Once you put your headset on, you are immediately immersed into a world that not only looks real but can interact with you. That has to be one of the toughest concepts we’d ever have to explain to past generations!
A combination of VR and its close relative Augmented Reality (AR) has been the gaming world’s treasure for decades and finally, other industries are starting to catch on.
The military, medical, and manufacturing fields are just some industries that have fully embraced VR and AR technology.
The Impact of VR & AR
Statista highlights that the projected economic impact of VR/AR Technology by 2020 is 15.6 billion USD while the consumer virtual reality software and hardware market size by 2022 is expected to reach 16.3 billion USD.
These numbers all point to one fact – VR/AR is going to be around for a while and companies need to learn how to take advantage of this innovative technology.
4 Trends Companies Can Take Advantage Of
1. Employee Training
Several companies have already embraced VR training. One of the biggest advantages of this training is the fact that your employees get to practice how to deal with real-world situations without having to physically be in those scenarios. And if anything goes wrong, they can always press the reset switch.
VR training involves putting the trainee in a 3D environment that is relevant to your company or organization. This world comes “alive” through the audio-visual headset that has been specially designed.
Nothing beats on the job training and VR gives your employees that, without the real-life consequences, should something go wrong.
One of the leaders in this space is STRIVR. It is helping companies such as Walmart, Pfizer, and United Rentals train their staff and empower them to handle day-to-day challenges.
2. Virtual Manufacturing
The manufacturing sector has often been at the forefront of embracing new technology in order to come up with innovative developments. It is no surprise then, that VR and AR have been received enthusiastically in this space.
Virtual plants have been the manufacturing industry’s “secret weapon” in visualizing plants before actually creating them.
Whether a new plant is being manufactured or an existing one is being altered, there is bound to be lots of testing, trial, and error. All of which can be quite costly to the company. Virtual plants are, therefore, a much-welcomed alternative.
They can help to test specific new production flows before changes are adopted. Have a look at this Virtual Production Process Planning Video to see how the manufacturing sector is using this technology.
3. Real Estate Virtual Tours and Staging
Being more convenient for consumers is how the real estate industry has approached VR/AR technology.
Over the past few years, real estate agencies have started giving virtual tours of apartments and houses to potential buyers online. This is a great benefit to the potential buyer who wants to get a feel for the home first, before committing to driving out to see the property. This also works for properties that are a little distant or secluded from the potential buyers.
Virtual staging for furniture shopping is also available to consumers. If you’re interested in buying new furniture but you’re undecided about how it would look like in your home or you’re not sure if the dimensions will work for your space, virtually staging the furniture into the desired space will help you visualize everything before you make the purchase.
At the forefront of this consumer technology is the IKEA AR Place app, released in 2017. The app lets customers see exactly how more than 2,000 furniture items would look and fit in their homes. This app saw great success as it was ranked the second most popular free app on Apple’s ARKit.
4. Automobile Virtual Showrooms
The automobile world has introduced virtual showrooms and these are going to change how we shop for cars.
With your headset on and controller in hand, you point to where you want to go and are instantly “transported” there. You get to virtually walk around the car, sit inside it, and even examine the features. This empowers a buyer to know exactly what they’re getting before committing to the purchase.
VR and AR are no longer just about gaming. This innovative technology is slowly finding its way into our everyday lives and judging by some of the above-mentioned apps, consumers are enjoying the engagement. It only makes sense then for companies that are interested in thriving in this digital age to fully embrace this technology and the many benefits it offers.