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5 Ways VR is Impacting the Business World

by | May 16, 2017

Virtual reality (VR) has made leaps and bounds the past couple of years and is widely being adopted by gamers. So the natural question is “How can this technology be used in a business environment?”

For those that may be familiar with virtual reality yet, boiled down to it’s simplest form VR is technology that allows you to experience a simulation of a 3D environment.  Those who have tried it are quick to talk about how real it can seem. This environment can even have physical devices to interact with to make it seem even more real. Names such as Oculus, Gear VR and Vive are virtual reality devices that are becoming household names as virtual reality takes a hold on our daily lives.

It may sound like a blast to visit other worlds and environments you may never experience. However, VR promises much more than just a visit. In our reality, virtual reality is poised to change the way we do business around the world. Here are five ways that VR is impacting the business world.

Interactive Training and Employee Education

As a business owner, an entrepreneur or an employee, superb training and employee satisfaction may rank high on your list of important business goals. VR is an amazing technology for interactive training that takes traditional learning to new heights.

In fact, businesses are realizing the need for advanced training programs and employee education now more than ever. A whopping 78% of businesses are more worried about a talent shortage now than in recent years.

The only way to secure talent within your workplace and continue to nurture growth is through training programs and interactive learning. Virtual reality not only offers an interactive training environment, but gives your employees hands- on experience in their field.

For example, educational institutions and hospitals are training doctors and surgeons on new life-saving procedures by allowing them to perform the procedure themselves – in an alternate reality. This gives these individuals a chance to gain real-life experience while staying safe and in an environment where questions can be answered.

Whether you are training doctors, marketers, salespeople, customer advocates or receptionists, VR offers something for all careers.

Advanced Marketing Strategy

Businesses are now using VR to market – and it is making headway. Nowadays, it is truth that consumers want experiences, not necessarily things.

According to a report by American Lifestyles, “over the next five years, total spending will grow by nearly 22%, with the so‐called “non‐essential” categories, including vacations and dining out, expected to see the greatest gains.” Consumers are wanting to experience new things and live beyond their current state. Virtual reality can do this for your business.

For example, the TOMs Shoes company has created a campaign titled, “A Walk in Their Shoes”, that takes the viewer on a journey to meet a child in Colombia. This campaign is the bottom line for this company and what they want to achieve. Not only does the consumer now understand the mission, they are compelled to purchase to feel a part of it.

North Face allows customers to climb Yosemite using VR headsets within their stores. Toyota created a VR app that raises awareness about driving distracted. All of these companies have discovered hands-on marketing thanks to VR, quickly realizing that reality, in fact, sells.

Communication from Anywhere

VR is giving businesses the ability to take their business operations to another level. Technology seems to be trending towards making internal processes simpler and more effective. 

Some companies are beginning to use VR for business meetings and other work related activities. As companies are beginning to see the potential behind remote employees from across the globe, virtual meeting rooms are becoming a need.  This is where vSpatial will step in.  We will be launching a private beta of a conferencing solution in June 2017 that will replace traditional virtual meetings.

VR gives you the ability to share ideas and information in a virtual environment that makes for great discussion and total collaboration. It has the ability to place various people from all over the world in one room together, creating a world of possibility for your business bringing us even closer to virtual collaboration. Talent acquisition can expand, the walls of your business can open and more doors can be created for growth.

Product Testing and Development

Businesses that sell products such as vehicle manufacturers, furniture designers and the like are finding out how VR can be a source of wealth for product testing and development.

Computers are able to help us design and tweak a product on a two-dimensional scale, without truly seeing the product in action. Virtual reality can take the design and allow us to interact with it, test it out and discover the product’s true form in a three-dimensional world.

Some vehicle manufacturers are using VR to design vehicles from the human’s perspective instead of a computer’s perspective. Clothing designers are able to see how the product fits the human body and tailor their product to fit the needs of the consumer.

Since VR is also shareable, we are able to work together on product development while seeing the product in front of us, without having to prototype. VR gives manufacturers a way to effectively see the inner workings of a product, while saving money and time.

Know the Consumer

VR is giving businesses the ability to learn directly from the consumer. Other strategies such as surveys and polls can only go so far when trying to gain feedback from your customers. Virtual reality allows them to be an actual part of the product timeline and process.

For example, a vehicle manufacturer can use VR to give consumers a glimpse into a new concept. They can try it out, test the features and give their feedback on what should change and what should stay the same. What is the product in the end? It is something that your consumers have helped create, therefore something they will ultimately want to purchase.

Virtual reality gives your customer a first-hand look into your business, your strategies and your products. This gives you more insight than you can imagine, without trying to scour the internet for reviews, setting up tedious email surveys and spending hours tracking polls.

This is only the tip of the iceberg as far as virtual reality in business goes.  As products are purchased, technology shifts and new ideas spring forth, VR will continue to rapidly change to become a force to be reckoned with.

How else have you seen, or can you imagine, VR being applied in a business environment?

Leave a comment below or Tweet us @vSpatialVR

We’ve created a full infographic you can use as you educate others on VR in the workplace. Click here to view the full infographic.

 

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Jeff VanDrimmelen

Author: Jeff VanDrimmelen

Jeff is a tech geek that loves trying out anything new and seeing how it can be used to make our lives better. In his perfect world he is a teacher and has started multiple technology related companies. He is the Senior Marketing Director at vSpatial.

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