“VR and AR will eventually converge, and smart glasses will take over our digital interactions” – Carlos López (Founder @ Oarsis)
Business has been one of the driving forces of society for as long as there has been civilization. It is usually at the forefront for all new technology and virtual reality is not likely to be any different. Although still in its infancy VR offers a huge range of opportunities to take advantage of.
Virtual Reality Hardware
Major manufacturers continue to corner the development of VR hardware. With the infrastructure in place to reduce cost by mass production for a global market, companies like HTC are unlikely to lose their seat at the top table and will play a huge role in making VR a household name. Smaller companies like Contact CI will have to drive for the sharp edge of the new technology, for example developing HAPTIC gloves that will allow for even closer human interaction with the virtual world. For other advances in VR hardware see our other article.
Virtual Reality Software
Software is a much more open commercial enterprise in the VR community. It has seen a huge rise in filmmakers and indie developers. Using their creativity these small teams can push the boundaries of your experiences in VR. Content is essential for VR’s success, many sources point towards the need for “killer apps” to kick start consumerism. These “killer apps” will be as important as the invention of email for the PC. Software develops much more fluidly, a factor that is helping VR achieve a rapid rise in profile. It also has its own ecosystems and has much more potential for continued ROI with the increase in microtransactions. Our article on current software development explores this further.
Virtual Reality Software Platforms
The platforms that run your VR experience like Steam and Springboard offer a continued revenue stream that scales by the success of both software and hardware. Location based VR benefits greatly from the hundreds of visitors a day, making for a lucrative market niche. For more information see our article on Software Platforms.
Virtual Reality and Marketing
Business has its own internal uses for VR which are developing at quite a lick. Marketing departments across the world are jumping at the chance to offer customers something unique. Firms like Ikea and Macys are already showing that with large products in need of context and floor-space, VR is perfect, making life easier for the customer and retailer. The potential benefits could reduce product costs, increase profits and stock turnover. With less physical space needed by the retailer it would save on a premium business cost.
Virtual Reality and Communications
International businesses can be helped in major ways by VR communication platforms. Flying representatives around the globe costs a huge amount of money. The ability to witness a product or space virtually ensures a real time visual perspective, instant feedback and faster development. Within large companies walking across a facility takes time, being able to drop into engineering, troubleshoot a problem and jump to the next task could be a huge asset for busy management.
Virtual Reality Design and Prototyping
Design and prototyping is another great area in which VR is set to improve things. Using VR in this way saves the cost on physical materials, the time of production for a temporary product and adds the ability to make changes instantly. These designs can also be downloaded by clients at distance and garner instant feedback.
Virtual Reality Training
One final area VR can help businesses improve is training. Sending a team of staff paintballing can be time consuming and expensive. You can easily install or hire in Equipment that can simulate these experiences. Staff can then benefit from these team building exercises with ease. Training staff to deal with difficult, dangerous or rare occurrences can be another headache for businesses. Simulated situations in VR have many benefits, they can be paused, re-run easily and evaluated from many angles. These benefits offer unparalleled immersion and feedback greatly improving the learning uptake.
This is a very brief look at some of the many innovations, click through the links within the article for deeper looks into the topic you find interesting.