Virtual reality is pretty neat, and many of today’s applications include it as one of their headlining features. With major companies like Facebook, Sony, HTC, and HP buying into virtual reality, one has to question what VR can offer in a business setting.
Some folks believe that VR is nothing more than a gimmick, but there are many applications in development that could provide value for businesses. VR can be used to simulate interactive, three-dimensional virtual worlds for a variety of purposes. In 2018, the VR market was valued at $829 million, but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, VR in business is projected to exceed $4.2 billion by 2023. This growth comes about as a result of advances in hardware, software, and more exposure for the technology. This kind of growth is surprising and impressive, especially considering how difficult the software is to develop.
At first glance it doesn't appear VR is practical for business, but since the price has dropped considerably, there are three specific reasons you might consider it.
Virtual reality might be ideal for organizations that could use a revamp to their training procedures. If organizations can immerse their employees in a lifelike environment and train them on specific processes and procedures, they are more likely to walk away from the experience with the ability to recall them at a later time.
VR can also help in the retail sector by providing an online shopping experience customized to the consumers’ needs without having to set foot in a store. VR is currently being used to show heat map traffic in stores, too, just to determine where specific products should be placed. It’s just one way that organizations are trying to find a practical use for VR.
Production costs are quite high these days, so one particular use for VR might be in manufacturing and realty industries. Product designers are building VR applications for board members and buyers to sample and demo products before viewing the real product. Architects and interior designers are using VR to create virtual environments of living spaces, offices, convention centers, and more, all to show off their big ideas to their clients.
While virtual reality is a far cry from solving all operational problems, it might show some promise as a resolution to specific issues that plague many organizations. What do you think? Do you have any ideas for how you might implement VR for your business? Let us know in the comments.
Seán is the Managing Director at Aniar IT Services and has been working in IT for over 20 years
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