EPE Partners understands that immersive technology, the catch-all term for describing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), is now having its moment and after years of development and improvements has finally become mainstream. With major tech brands such as Google, Samsung, HTC, etc. launching their own versions of VR devices, the popularity of these devices and virtual content is sky high. VR has already seen a wide range of applications in different industries and domains.
Although the gaming industry seems to be the key beneficiary of this technology, VR is not limited to a single domain or vertical. Virtual reality has already created a storm in various industry sectors such as healthcare, travel, business, etc. So how can VR have an effect on businesses? In this article, we have listed the main business benefits of virtual reality and what impact it can have.
People often relate VR to gaming and headsets. However, VR is one technology, which has a real business value as well. Today, more and more businesses are coming with newer and innovative techniques to incorporate VR into their routine business processes and are trying to make their operations more productive and efficient. Some of the major business benefits of VR and how it will have an impact on the business are listed here -
Companies will be able to use VR to better visualize and design the product that they are developing like never. This was not possible before, but with the advent of VR the product being developed can be precisely designed, analyzed for its functionality, and can also be modified multiple times if required before it is sent to production. Besides, the company's decision makers and the product's end users will also be able to give some constructive feedback about the product being developed using VR, which can be incorporated into the product in the initial stages of development. Therefore, it serves as a great way to quickly detect design problems and deal with it sooner, avoiding post-production complications.
Any technology which reduces the travel and communication gap will revolutionize businesses. A few years ago having distributed teams was considered to be highly inefficient, due to the costs associated with business travel. But now with advanced technologies and infrastructure, this gap has reduced a lot. Virtual reality will further reduce this gap and help businesses in successfully conducting virtual meetings involving different teams spread across the globe.
Apart from the obvious industry sectors where VR is expected to thrive, such as gaming and movies, e-commerce will be one field in which companies can reap huge business benefits of VR. However, e-commerce has some uncharted regions, which need to be identified by companies to draw maximum benefits from them. This is possible using VR, as it creates a whole new way in which people can shop on e-commerce websites and will also be an important part of the purchasing cycle.
As opposed to a traditional product launch or physically building a new store, businesses can quickly and confidentially create a virtual store, which is much easier as compared to physically setting up a store. While the speed of marketing can be accelerated using this technology, the store can be planned in complete secrecy. This helps businesses to stay ahead of the competition.
With new applications of VR, taking interviews of candidates who have applied for a job will be much easier for the human resources department in the future. They will be able to interview candidates from different locations face-to-face in a virtual conference room, where they will also be able to view the candidate's responses and body language. Large companies can even have remote offices for candidates to use the infrastructure and participate in the interview or discussions.
Through VR companies will be able to invest in extensive research and development to identify various cultural, consumption, and social trends of the customers and will also be able to obtain accurate industry forecasts. Therefore, VR will have a huge effect on the future of retail, as it enables businesses to understand consumer behaviors, trends, and product consumption patterns in different scenarios.
It is difficult to gather all the participants and have meetings for teams which are spread across the globe. Inefficient meetings often lead to a high level of misunderstanding and lack of communication, which can have an adverse effect on the business. But with VR, meetings and conferences will be much more interactive and fun.
Professional business trainers are expected to use VR extensively in the coming decade. The distinct nature of VR allows the participants to look around in the room and interact with those who are online. Apart from the recorded training sessions, trainers will also be able to conduct live training sessions and seminars, which make the usual training bouts more interactive.
VR will prove to be a boon to engineers, architects, and other professionals who are into architectural planning, as it will allow them to clearly visualize the structures they are designing. This will save a lot of time and money, which would otherwise be invested in making smaller models or 2-D renders. Therefore, businesses will be able to achieve massive growth through virtual reality by using immersive 3-dimensional technology to design structures.
One of the biggest uses of virtual reality in business is the ability to provide virtual tours of different locations. This is especially beneficial in the real estate industry where the real estate agent or owner can provide a virtual tour of the property to their clients and help them visualize the architectural plan better to make an informed decision. Using VR the customer can get a 3-dimensional view of the house they are planning to buy or rent
VR is expected to be an important technology in the coming future. It is expected that the VR industry will cross $1 billion by the end of this year and will become a staggering $150 billion market by the year 2025. Almost 80% of the top tech companies have invested in VR and this number will only continue to grow. Gaming industry has been the most popular domain, which uses VR, but the technology is no longer limited to this industry alone. We will see a massive increase in the usage of VR by various other industries, such as real estate, business, marketing, etc.
Many businesses were a bit skeptic in the past considering the high cost of the VR devices, but now with a variety of VR headsets available at affordable rates, businesses will soon enter the virtual world easily. As the number of people using VR will increase, there will be numerous opportunities for businesses to incorporate them into their daily operations and reap the benefits.