Currently, there are vast differences between traditional user experiences and immersive experiences. More and more enterprises are adopting immersive experiences to build customer relationships.
Immersive experiences extend across virtual, augmented, mixed, and extended reality (VR/AR/MR/XR). But what exactly are they, and how do they improve performance for the enterprise? Here’s a quick look at the key differences.
What is an Immersive Experience?
XR uses tools to create artificial digital worlds that simulate physical ones. With head-mounted displays, users can detach their senses of sound, sight, and space from their surroundings to fully ‘immerse’ in simulated, computer-generated realities.
Immersive experiences are common in the consumer space, particularly in the world of video gaming, but have become rapidly adopted by enterprises.
Numerous verticals such as healthcare, education, manufacturing, and construction now benefit immensely from XR solutions for their clients and employees.
Here are just a few examples.
Rather than simply selling a product to the customer, VR provides businesses with fully immersive experiences going far beyond simple business transactions.
According to research, companies that successfully engage their B2B customers earn 63 percent lower customer attrition. Meanwhile, another study found that a staggering 53 percent of customers said they were more likely to purchase items from brands that offered them immersive VR experiences.
By establishing a personal connection between the brand and the customer, VR provides a platform where businesses can tell a unique story that separates them from the competition and establishes a unique, long-lasting bond with their target audience.
More Efficient Collaboration
In addition to keeping up with customers’ evolving demands, businesses also need to meet their employees’ expectations.
A recent Dell study found that 67 percent of millennials and 48 percent of baby boomers believed that using XR production for meetings and collaborative products was important.
They felt that, although video conferencing platforms have proved highly valuable for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, evidence shows that remote-based users are already growing tired of communicating in this way. Instead, the demand for immersive experiences which accurately simulate real-world workplaces has been growing every day.
This has been revealed in solutions from many immersive firms seeking to connect employees, no matter where they’re located. Meta’s Horizon Workrooms, NVIDIA’s Omniverse, ENGAGE XR, Autodesk, Arthur, Varjo’s Teleport, HTC VIVE’s VIVERSE, and many others aim to provide this to workers.
Training and Upskilling
Training new staff is fundamental to any onboarding process but is costly, risky, time-consuming, and heavily disruptive to business processes.
However, businesses can place employees in immersive, simulated learning environments with VR that are fully safe and accessible to trainees at any time and place.
VR training also removes the cost of paying for a real-life trainer. Studies have shown immersive VR training environments offer a 75 percent increase in retention rates than traditional training methods.
Solution providers aiming to tackle challenges in training include Meta Platforms, Lenovo, Pico, Microsoft, and many others. These companies provide hardware solutions with their upcoming Meta Quest Pro, ThinkReality VRX, Pico 4 and Pico 3 Neo, and HoloLens 2 headsets, respectively.
Firms such as Accenture are leading the charge in digitally transforming enterprises with immersive technologies. Their Metaverse Continuum Group has outlined strategies for enterprises to adopt XR for training, upskilling, and engaging others.
Organisations such as the XR Association also actively engage governments, enterprises, and communities to boost XR adoption.
Their work with global tech firms has helped to pass critical legislation in the US Congress, leading to funding for their immersive vision.
Future of the ‘Immersive Enterprise’
Despite the hype, the industry is still only standing at the ‘basecamp of Everest’ and so much more is yet to come. According to a recent PwC study, experts found that VR and AR have the potential to boost GDP globally by 2030 by up to $1.5 trillion. This proves that such technologies will have a huge impact on the future of the enterprise.
As this rapid growth continues, immersive XR experiences will likely traverse all industries, redefining the way companies learn, train, collaborate, and perform in currently unfathomable ways.