For some people, the word immediately takes you to the famous gaming industry but for others, their first thought might be of futuristic worlds. While it holds an overall cool experience but aside from gaming, it has other practical business uses.
For example, in the entertainment industry, imagine a consumer experiencing a travel destination at a sporting event. VR can help them experience it without ever having to leave home.
Other uses for VR in business are in staff training for professionals in healthcare, construction, and real estate industries. Users can be placed in real-world scenarios through VR.
Or, it can be used in other sectors like architecture, real estate, and construction. With the help of VR, businesses can show clients the finished environment.
Well you see, VR holds a lot of promise for businesses but many businesses have still not realized it’s worth it.
According to Goldman Sachs, AR and VR technologies are expected to grow to a whopping $95 billion market by 2025. It is also estimated that these technologies will receive the strongest demand from gaming, live events, video entertainment, and retail.
The strongest demand for AR and VR technology comes from creative industries.
Projected Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality growth, 2016-2025
Breakdown of creative industries:
- Video games
- Live events
- Video entertainment
However, there are also predictions that it will find wider applications in other industries including healthcare, the military, education, and real estate.
The world of VR will grow drastically and businesses must keep us with its pace. So, let’s see what VR can bring to the table and what will it’s future looks like.
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What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality or VR is an artificial environment created with the help of software and presented in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment.
In simple terms, VR is using computer technology to create a simulated environment; unlike traditional user interface, it places the user inside an experience.
Users are completely immersed in the experience because they can interact with 3D worlds. This helps stimulate multiple senses including hearing, vision, smell, and touch to transform the user into an artificial world.
Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality
Augmented reality and Virtual reality technologies stem from the same idea of immersing users into a digital environment. This environment is provided by 3D high definition audio and video experience. But the difference is AR simulates artificial objects in the real environment and VR creates an artificial environment to inhabit.
VR puts the user into isolated reality and AR overlays virtual objects over the real world.
Moreover, VR detects the eye and head movement while AR spots the position of physical objects then it determines the locations of simulated ones.
While these technologies are two sides of the same coin, it’s still a long way for both AR and VR to rise in their full potential; development in technologies is providing businesses opportunities to benefit from.
Impact of Virtual Reality on Business
After years of development and improvements, VR technology has finally become mainstream. Some of the major tech brands such as Google, Samsung, and Facebook are launching their versions of VR devices.
Although this technology looks amazing for the gaming industry, VR also gave a wide range of applications in different industries and domains. VR is one technology that has the potential to provide real business value to businesses in almost every industry.
Today, businesses are adopting VR and coming up with newer and innovative techniques to incorporate it into their business processes. By incorporating VR they are trying to make their operations more productive and efficient.
For instance, in business, VR can perform functions ranging from taking stock of inventory to hosting virtual conferences. It allows users to immerse themselves in an environment with a vast amount of synthesized data which is presented simply and understandably. This data is then stored and archived so that the users can monitor trends over time.
VR is especially effective for marketing as it provides it an opportunity to establish a deeper emotional connection with its target consumers.
Also, VR can be used in highly sensitive fields for the training and development of the employee. This can be done before they undertake important or potentially hazardous tasks.
For example, in the healthcare industry, VR can be used to train surgeons before they operate.
VR offers multiple benefits to the business in 2018. The AR and VR market was valued at around $12 billion and is forecasted to rise to more than $192 billion by 2022. More and more businesses are shifting towards VR as it is offering:
- Enhanced Customer Experience: It allows for a more immersive experience where consumer senses are fully engaged.
- Immersive and Interactive Marketing Strategies: It allows businesses great flexibility by creating an immersive first-hand experience. It can help market products from simply telling a story to allowing consumers to experience it.
- Advanced Business and Consumer Analytics: It allows consumers to evaluate the performance and quality of a product. It also provides businesses the ability to collect information on consumer’s reactions to the products and marketers the ability to analyze data to increase customer loyalty.
How does the Application of Virtual Reality Reshape Business?
- Product Prototyping: Companies will be able to use VR for better visualization and designing of the product. The product can be precisely designed, analyzed for its functionality, and modified multiple times before production.
- Reduced Business Meetings and Businesses Travel: Virtual reality can reduce the between long-distance communication and traveling by helping businesses successfully conduct virtual meetings with meetings across the globe.
- E-Commerce Advertising: E-commerce will see huge business benefits of VR. However, it will need to identify some uncharted regions to draw maximum benefits. This will be possible with the help of VR as it creates a whole new way in which people can shop online.
- Competitive Advantage: Unlike traditional product launch or physical stores, businesses prefer to create a quick virtual store which is much easier than setting up physical stores. This also provides two advantages, increasing the speed of marketing and keeping the plan confidential. This will keep businesses ahead of their competition.
- Ease in interviewing Candidates: In the future, they will be able to interview candidates from different locations in a virtual conference room. This will also give them insights about their candidate’s expressions and body language.
- Better Visualization of Projects: VR will allow more clarity to engineers, architects, and other creators for visualizing the structures they are designing. This will save a lot of time and money helping businesses achieve massive growth by using immersive 3-dimensional technology.
- Provide Virtual Tours: This is one of the biggest advantages; VR in business will give them the ability to provide virtual tours of different locations. This will benefit the real estate industry where agents can directly provide a virtual tour of the property to their clients.
Future of VR in Business
In the coming future, VR is expected to be an important technology. More than 80% of the top technology companies have invested in VR. While the video game industry has been the most popular domain, it is becoming more diverse and is no longer limited to this industry alone.
We will see a massive increase in the usage of VR but many businesses remain a bit skeptical. This might be due to the high cost of devices. But with more companies investing in this tech, a variety of VR headsets are made available at affordable rates.
This is also allowing them to easily enter the virtual world. With the increasing number of people using VR, it is opening up more and more opportunities for businesses.
In the past few years, Virtual reality has grown dramatically. It started with the video gaming industry but now its advantages can be leveraged by any industry.
Initially, the technology was expensive but with more and more tech companies stepping in, there are a variety of devices to choose from. Now, businesses can easily step into the realm of VR.
The adoption of VR in business is opening up more and more opportunities and providing a competitive advantage.
In the future, this technology will help businesses in all industries grow and flourish with increased customer engagement and efficient business administration.
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