- The wonders of why VR is expected to continue its impressive growth are evident.
- The competitive advantages of VR have been made more accessible with the arrival of affordable, consumer-friendly headsets and VR-compatible devices.
- VR is a powerful tool for business - especially in the WFH era.
One of the most talked-about technologies of the decade, virtual reality (VR) – once appreciated predominantly by gamers and developers alike – has finally exploded into all industries. From education, healthcare and engineering, to construction, tourism and marketing; the applications of VR are limitless.
Our imagination only limits the value-added from virtual reality to a business. In other words, great cost efficiencies, quality products, strong teams, and improved operations; which result in a higher return on investment; are all possible with the right VR content and application.
The competitive advantages of VR have been made more accessible with the arrival of affordable, consumer-friendly headsets and VR-compatible devices. More and more businesses are beginning to see the benefits of enabling their customers to free their minds from the shackles of their bodies and enter into immersive and interactive digital worlds.
The wonders of why VR is expected to continue its impressive growth are evident. Within the VR digital realm, users can conjure objects into being just by describing them. They can travel between destinations, rooms and buildings in the blink of an eye. Most importantly, any damage done within virtual reality can be undone with the click of a button.
It’s clear that VR is a powerful tool for business – especially in the Work From Home era. It can be implemented in the process of concept ideation all the way through to execution when the cash is rolling in and metrics can be measured for future projection.
What is VR and how does it work?
Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment or image. It can be interacted with or within in a seemingly real and physical way through senses like sight, hearing and touch. In many ways, an effective VR experience should cause a user to be unaware of their real surroundings as they focus on the existence within the digital environment.
It works using two main components; a source of content and a user device – i.e. software and hardware. As things stand, these include headsets, sensory gloves, multi-direction treadmills, and glasses.
Applications of VR in business
As noted, the possibilities for VR application in business are as numerous as there are businesses. As technology develops, markets continue to change and consumer demand shifts, these applications will become more innovative and sophisticated. Here are a few examples of how VR is applied in the business process from ideation to execution.
Ideation and business planning
Ambitious entrepreneurs, seasoned investors and experienced business leaders will each, at one point or another, sit down to conceptualise their business. Traditionally, this would call for team meetings, putting pen to paper and manually building prototypes as the product design phase ensues.
Using VR, communication processes, collaborative capacity and product design is all more efficient and cost-effective and. In the early stages of a business, most entrepreneurs do not have the time or resources to make mistakes or take too long. Here’s how an investment in VR from the beginning of your journey helps.
1. Communication and collaboration
Gone are the days of presenting business ideas, stats and graphs on PowerPoint presentations, forcing members of your team to commute and congregate under one roof, and playing pass the parcel when it comes to collaborating on a single project, product or service development.
VR technology enables all key players within a team – and others – to meet within a virtual room where they can discuss and collaborate on business ideas remotely. Data can be visualised in 3D, and the need to refer to your PDF print-out of statistics will disappear.
Collaboration is made seamless with VR technology since everyone – no matter where they are – has access to the data, product idea and meeting room. This is particularly convenient for early day startups that probably do not yet have an official physical meeting space.
2. Product development
Within the realm of virtual reality, real-size prototypes of a product in development can be accessed and modified from all angles. Not only does this reduce waste, both in terms of money and time, but it also opens a virtual door to investors and key stakeholders in the early stages of development.
Should changes need to be made, the prototype in VR can be adapted at the click of a button. The security behind this can help win over investors who will soon see the strength in your finished product.
In the same vein, virtual reality product design is a good opportunity to invite your target audience along for the journey. This helps to generate buzz and awareness of your brand early on. It’s also a powerful, cost-effective way to get feedback from potential customers – before final changes are made. Use this opportunity to show your target audience that you are emerging to meet their needs and you’re here to listen to them. The sense of value they feel will contribute to their customer loyalty in the future.
4. Recruitment and Training
Finding, training and keeping the right talent on your team is as crucial as ever. As every business competes for the best in the pool of talent; the days of scouring through hundreds of CVs are over. VR recruitment rooms can offer immersive and engaging experiences to candidates, where they can be faced with a series of tasks, challenges and games. The results can be recorded and used in the recruitment process. All of which can be achieved without foregoing any of the business’ physical resources.
Corporate training using VR is far more efficient and saves costs. One to one mentoring sessions may well be effective in training but it’s timely and expensive. Companies that turn to manuals and textbooks for training do not get the best results. A VR training room or environment allows businesses to create interactive and effective training sessions for their employees. These sessions can, of course, be modified and used again.
When businesses are through with their market research, satisfied with their prototypes and have investors on board, it’s time to execute the business and utilise virtual reality to analyse data and financial figures, get feedback to move forward, and prepare for expansion.
One of the most useful applications of virtual reality in business is its capability to transform mass complex data into visualisations that can be easily understood and used by business decision-makers.
Spotting trends and patterns in 2D data can be time-consuming and often outside the cognitive capabilities of the human brain. Visualising data in 3D allows users to approach, back away from, move and manipulate the data in real-time from all angles.