New Realities: How VR Technology Is Changing the Business World

Monday, September 18, 2017

How VR Technology Is Changing the Business World

While once thought of as little more than an entertainment novelty, virtual reality (VR) has risen to the point of distinguishing itself as the next “big thing” in computer technology. VR systems as far back as the 1980’s were seen as the pinnacle in video game and visual entertainment, but as the technology has developed over the past five years, its potential uses in commercial markets have significantly expanded.

Just as augmented reality glasses found their staying power in customer service, manufacturing, and other industrial and business settings, so too is virtual reality changing the business world.

Virtual Training

Because of its ability to simulate complex environments, VR is an invaluable tool for training employees. One of the clearest examples of this is within the world of medicine. It’s difficult for surgeons and other medical professionals to get hands-on training, since it requires working directly with patients in need of skilled care that untrained doctors and nurses simply can’t provide. VR provides a viable workaround to this catch-22. The U.K has already adopted VR training for combat medics who must perform their jobs in difficult situations that can’t be effectively simulated in the classroom.

Likewise, since using live subjects isn’t ethically possible, VR allows surgeons to test experimental or high-risk procedures in a completely safe environment. As VR simulations of human anatomy continue to improve, this test data will become increasingly accurate, allowing the medical community to depend less on real-world trials and animal testing.

Healthcare isn’t the only field to adopt VR training. Trade jobs like welding, plumbing, and so on once presented a problem as training required apprentices to work with expensive materials to learn proper techniques over time. Thanks to VR, trade workers can hone their skills and, after finishing a session, simply reset the simulation with no material cost.

Try Before You Buy

While e-commerce sites like Amazon leave ample room for customer reviews, these sources lack the immersive quality customers desire before making a purchase. As more and more of our transactions move to online shopping, it may seem no longer practical, or even feasible for that matter, for customers to have the same hands-on experience shopping from a brick-and-mortar location. However, VR is rapidly being adopted by companies that wish to provide the immersive, try-before-you-buy experience customers crave when shopping.

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Nowhere is this truer than in the world of home improvement. Whether remodeling your kitchen or adding a hot tub to your property, it can be difficult for homeowners to visualize the end result of their project, even when seeing these fixtures in person. VR offers a unique opportunity to experience their potential purchase in 3-D before investing—there’s even virtual reality in retail. Virtual reality spas allow potential customers to explore and customize a fully realized simulation of their home hydrotherapy and relaxation setup. Similarly, Lowe’s Holoroom experience allows customers to visualize DYI projects, even allowing them to practice skills like tiling a bathroom.

The tourism industry is also finding ways to utilize VR. Customers can get a 360 degree view of a prospective hotel room or take virtual tours of museums and other sites they may be interested in visiting. Many travel agencies have adopted this technology as a way of pulling customers from self-booking websites popular with the current generation of travelers.

Future Applications

While there’s no predicting what role VR will play in the world of business five years from now, but there are some tantalizing speculations. Researching are actively working towards mixing smell and VR , thus rolling another one of the senses into the experience. As simulations become more realistic, the training and education potential of VR will mean businesses have quicker and better access to qualified staff. Whatever form it takes, it’s clear that VR will continue to the change the business world for the better, whether for customers, retailers, or manufacturers.

By  Dixie SomersEmbed

Author Bio - Dixie is a freelance writer who loves to write about business, finance and self improvement. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.


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