Is Virtual Reality a Workplace Fixer-Upper?
With the introduction of low-cost, user-friendly virtual reality headsets, virtual reality has lately entered the mainstream. Businesses have already jumped at the chance to make use of the incredible prospects presented by this wonderful technology. Because of the potential, it opens up for liberating our brains from the physical confines of our bodies and enabling us to “see” into realms that are only accessible via the digital realm; this isn’t a huge surprise.
In the digital realm, the laws are different — items may be created merely by describing them instead of in the physical world. The time it takes to travel between places is measured in milliseconds, not minutes. And any harm that you may have caused may be undone with the push of a single button. All of this combines to make virtual reality and its sister technology, augmented reality, which I will discuss in more detail in a subsequent essay – a potent tool for business. Following is an overview of some of the exciting ways it is currently being utilized, and some peeks of what could be possible in the future.
VR May Touch Every Workplace
In the run-up to the debut of commercial virtual reality headsets last year, most of the excitement revolved around their potential for increasing entertainment experiences. However, according to data by Tractica, the use of virtual reality in business is expected to outstrip the uptake of the technology in leisure in the following years, with investment reaching $9.2 billion by 2021.
Virtual reality (VR) can imitate almost every function that can be carried out in the actual world – and in business, this would include everything from customer service to marketing, finance, human resources, and manufacturing. But, generally speaking, the tasks it can do may be divided into two categories: training and practical application. If we use virtual reality for training purposes, we can immerse ourselves in any setting recreated on a computer. In addition, photo-realistic graphics are increasingly used to “fool” our brain into thinking that what we are seeing is genuine to varying degrees, enabling us to monitor and learn from our interactions with other people. A good example is the public speaking training systems that have been developed employing technology, such as Oculus’s Virtual Speech, which is an excellent example.
There are virtually endless possibilities for practical applications – the potential for enabling humans to carry out tasks without physically being present (telepresence) and the opportunities for modeling and interacting with simulations of real-world objects that would be impossible to model and interact with in real life are two important factors.
Conceptualization & Development
In manufacturing and production-driven organizations, virtual reality (VR) enables the simulation and testing of every attribute of a component, process, or mechanism. As a result, performance or reliability may be evaluated and studied under any scenario, and this can be done far more cost-effectively, promptly, and safely than previously possible. In addition, of course, there are generally up-front expenses associated with plat-forming and tooling. However, the emergence of VR-as-a-service is expected to reduce some of these issues in the future (more on that in a bit). Millions of dollars may be saved by avoiding the requirement to develop full-scale functioning prototypes instead of conducting the early investigation of concepts in virtual reality. Modern aircraft design makes considerable use of simulated digital worlds, with Boeing and Airbus both using them extensively to build and test new features and models for their aircraft. It has already won over architects, who can use the technology to offer finalized ideas to customers and let clients freely explore their designs before a single stone is laid.
Virtual Reality & Clients
Virtual reality provides every organization with the opportunity to rethink how they present themselves to, and connect with, their consumers. Virtual reality (VR) technologies, which may be used for marketing and customer support, give up new opportunities for exhibiting goods and services. However, it is expected to develop into a one-of-a-kind source of knowledge on client behavior in the future. This is since when someone engages with you in a virtual, digital environment, a vast quantity of data transfer about their actions, reactions, and interactions becomes accessible.
Customers who live more digital lives will be able to bypass the need to visit a physical showroom by just putting on a virtual reality headset and appearing in one. Once visitors arrive, they will be able to communicate with sales associates, who may be virtual representations of actual people or, more likely as time goes on, artificial intelligence constructs that operate independently of direct human supervision.
If a consumer wants to test drive your new automobile, furniture, or kitchen gadget, VR will allow them to do so without ever having to leave their homes. Of course, traditional marketing avenues such as showrooms will continue to exist for some time to come. After all, buyers will want to touch and feel the object for many things before making a purchase physically. However, virtual reality (VR) will rapidly become a practical option for early-stage market research and swiftly acquiring an overview of a brand’s product line. Ikea, the Swedish furniture behemoth, already provides virtual showrooms, and it is expected that many more businesses will follow.
Virtual World Training
The most apparent benefit of training in virtual reality is that if anything goes wrong, all you have to do is click the reset button. Surgeons are already using it to teach them to make life-or-death decisions when performing complicated procedures on infants, and it has already found uses in the healthcare field. This simulation goes as far as scanning and producing 3D reconstructions of the real nurses with whom the trainees will be working so that when they enter the actual-life operating room, they will see recognizable faces they are acquainted with.
Using simulation technology in other medical applications allows physicians and surgeons to experiment with new instruments and procedures in a safe virtual environment. In addition, VR provides equipment producers with crucial input due to the close monitoring offered by the technology. For decades, pilots have depended on high-tech simulators to get them into the air. However, the expensive, room-sized simulation systems that cost millions of dollars are being phased out in favor of more cost-effective and portable virtual reality options. The increased availability of cutting-edge flight simulators means that when pilots gain their wings, they will be able to go to the skies with far more simulated flying experience under their belts.
Teachers now have the chance to put their skills to the test in a virtual classroom against a class of disruptive students. In addition to practicing their teaching approaches, teachers are taught to remain on the lookout for disruptive behavior, such as pupils talking on their phones during class. A technology that enables law enforcement personnel in New Jersey, United States, to prepare for situations ranging from routine traffic stops to being shot at is being used by the department. If trainees make a potentially hazardous error, the business that developed this solution has gone so far as to include equipment that delivers an electric shock to them to simulate the anxiety that officers would generally experience in the field as part of their solution. Although this function does not seem to have been triggered in ordinary training,
Virtual Reality as a Service
Although virtual reality (VR) provides a considerable cost reduction compared to conventional, room-based simulations, there might still be significant up-front charges. This is especially true if your training requirements need the development of custom simulations and the creation of whole new training environments. To address this need, we are beginning to witness the appearance of firms that provide ready-made services, ranging from rentable virtual reality suites to world-building tools.
According to industry experts, marketing firms that have developed virtual and interactive experiences for organizations and brands come into this category. As a result, they are expected to play an increasingly significant part in the marketing landscape shortly. Services like these are already playing an essential element in developing and implementing virtual reality (VR) technology throughout industry and leisure, with VR dating agencies, therapeutic services, and entertainment offers aiming to disrupt their respective industries.
What Lies Ahead?
The advancement of virtual reality technology will undoubtedly continue, bringing our experiences in virtual worlds closer to those we have in the real world in the future. Recent technological developments, such as the introduction of eyeball-tracking technology, which allows us to interact with and activate components of a simulation just by gazing at them, have the potential to have a broad influence. In addition, the use of interfacing brainwave activity is already being investigated in the future to possibly enable people to change their surroundings only by thinking about doing so.
There is a good chance that further advancements may alleviate some of VR’s existing limiting features, such as the fact that current apps can sometimes seem like relatively isolated experiences, as well. Pricey, specialized computers now power high-end virtual reality systems, but this is expected to change as standalone headgear grows more competent in the future. It is conceivable that, as time progresses, an increasing proportion of our business life will be done in virtual reality due to all of these developments.