Some technologies aren’t mind-blowing, but virtual reality isn’t one of those. It’s cool, it’s exciting and the market has been expanding, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sony, Facebook, HP and HTC have all been devoting energy to VR products and tools. Today we’ll take a look at VR for business purposes, and whether it could be useful for you.
It may seem just like a gimmick or a game, but there’s more to virtual reality than meets the eye. Its potential has received a lot of attention and it might surprise you to know that it even has business applications. But what is it? It can be defined as simulation of an interactive 3D virtual world.
Just a few years ago, the market for VR was only worth $829 million, but now its estimated value by 2023 exceeds four billion dollars. The hardware and software have been improved and appreciation of the technology is growing. There are considerable technical challenges involved in developing the technology but, as these are overcome, the market for VR continues to expand.
VR isn’t going to be something many of us want or need, but as the price has dropped, it’s become affordable for businesses. The business applications that are already apparent include:
What VR does is create a lifelike environment that people can really become immersed in. This means that it has superior potential for training staff in situational awareness. Training can be difficult and time-consuming, as well as using considerable human resources to deliver. VR simulates complex situations and can easily be rolled out for training purposes.
It’s not hard to see how VR could soon become something that a lot of retailers want to make use of. It would allow customers to have a customized shopping experience, without dealing with crowds of fellow shoppers or items being out of stock on the shelves. It even has applications for physical stores, so retailers can ‘heat map’ and decide where products should be placed.
Production costs are high and that might give VR a role in the engineering, manufacturing and realty sectors. VR would allow designers and manufacturers to create virtual demo products, so investors and buyers can sample and examine them, before a physical product is produced. In the realty sector, interior designers and architects can build virtual environments where people can get an almost-real ‘feel’ of a space or building.
VR is still in its infancy in some ways. It may not have any obvious applications for your business, and its utility remains rather narrow at present. What is clear, however, is that it’s no longer a fringe technology, and we can expect to see more of it in the future.
Tell us what you think of virtual reality. Could it help with your operational problems? Do you think it’s just plain gimmicky? Or can you see a future for it in your business? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and visit us again for more information on the world of technology.