How Virtual Reality Is Impacting Modern Businesses
Most people think about gaming when they hear the terms virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). It’s true that these technologies have become popular in the gaming world, however they have grown far beyond the bounds of gaming.
Many major technology companies, such as Google and HTC, have invested heavily in VR and AR in order to better leverage these immersive technologies. As a result, they are now being used to revolutionize operations within businesses across many different industries. In this article we discuss six business areas that have been impacted the most by these immersive technologies.
One of the most impactful uses of VR in business is in product development. When a company creates a new product, they typically build a prototype, which is then used as a base for mass manufacturing. While creating prototypes is useful, it is not efficient, as any desired changes require a new prototype to be created. VR presents an opportunity for businesses to drastically cut costs and other resources associated with the entire product prototyping process. Feedback and experimentation from engineers, decision-makers, and product testing groups can be implemented virtually, without the need for repeated physical prototyping early in the design process. This efficiency during the development stage of products allows businesses to get products to market much faster while avoiding potential post-production errors or recalls.
Marketing and Online Shopping
Businesses are using VR to drastically change the way they market to consumers and how goods and services are sold. Car manufacturers are offering virtual test drives. BMW and Samsung have teamed up to develop a virtual reality tool that gives potential buyers a virtual presentation using the Oculus Rift headset. This headset gives a complete 360-degree view of the vehicle, including stereo sound. IKEA, Amazon, and other retailers are leveraging virtual and augmented reality technology by offering virtual experiences to consumers without the overhead and resources needed for traditional brick and mortar locations. Nike has developed an app that uses augmented reality and geofencing to give consumers the virtual interactive experience of trying on shoes without visiting the store.
Real estate companies are beginning to unlock the potential of VR. Companies like Matterport create virtual tours for potential customers by creating guided visits to locations. Guided and interactive visits give real estate companies opportunities to provide customers with an interactive experience that was previously impossible without an in-person visit. Real estate agents can offer remote guided tours to potential buyers. An interactive visit is more convenient for shoppers, allowing them to move freely throughout properties using clickable areas to navigate.
Microsoft is again at the forefront of technology, just as they were during the personal computer revolution over 50 years ago. Hololens uses the latest in augmented reality by creating a virtual world that comprises sensor interaction, advanced optic technology, and holographic processing, blending these tools with the real world. Within this virtual world, all Microsoft’s business apps and virtually all software tools used on a personal computer are available through Hololens. Microsoft’s Hololens may be the future of the personal computer.
Telemedicine, patient-centric medical home (PCMH), and remote patient monitoring are examples of how the healthcare industry is using virtual and augmented reality to improve the quality of care for patients.
Embodied Labs is one of the leading health information technology companies trailblazing the path of VR in healthcare. Embodied is using augmented and virtual reality to help medical students and healthcare professionals acquire the skills they need to provide quality care. Their system allows users to experience healthcare issues from a first person perspective by simulating the patient’s experience.
Companies like VR Health specialize in creating VR applications to generate a higher quality of care for rehab patients. VR Health has created a suite of games and exercises that allow an accurate measure of the rehab patient’s progress.
Syncthink is a healthcare company that uses VR in ophthalmology and neurology. Syncthink has created a tool called Eye-Sync that can accurately detect potential brain damage due to head injuries. The FDA recognized Syncthink as a breakthrough device manufacturer in 2019.
Augmedix uses AR to leverage the tremendous amount of valuable data available as part of electronic health records. Healthcare professionals can access historical data and other relevant information instantaneously when wearing Google Glass.
Companies in a variety of industries are utilizing VR technology for training. These methods improve employee retention and engagement, provide a safer environment, and make employees more knowledgeable. Corporate businesses use VR to train employees to develop soft skills, such as presentation practicing in front of virtual audiences. VirtualSpeech offers a set of VR-based training solutions that cover valuable skill sets vital to a business’s success. The VirtualSpeech training suite includes soft skills such as sales, networking, public speaking, and negotiation.
Businesses are just now scratching the surface of VR and AR, unlocking the positive impact these tools are poised to have on the modern marketplace. As time progresses immersive technology will become even more integrated with everyday business operations.
At Outsource IT, we are dedicated to helping business organizations get better value for their IT investment. With extensive experience in a variety of niches, our top-notch technical team makes it a point to adhere to our motto “Being Exceptional is the Expectation”.
Contact an Outsource IT account manager to learn more about our managed IT services offerings today.