Understanding the value of VR in the entertprise
According to the Ecorys report on “Virtual Reality and its potential for Europe”, the market for virtual reality is growing at a phenomenal rate. Although virtual reality technology has been around for much longer than most people realise, Ecorys believe that we’re currently in a period of “acceleration” with this technology, driven by the arrival of new collaboration between countries and business leaders alike.
Grandview Research believes that the market for VR alone will grow at a rate of 2.16% through the years to 2027, and the extended reality market could soon be worth billions.
So, what does the evolution of VR really mean to us? It’s not just an evolution in the way we play games or entertain ourselves. VR could be a critical tool in the transformation of work, particularly in an age after COVID, where digital interactions are becoming essential. Countless companies, from Microsoft, to Facebook, are making investments in the future of VR.
This is how VR is already changing the way we work.
VR offers an exceptional training opportunity for companies that need to prepare their workers for complicated scenarios that are difficult to replicate safely in real life. For instance, medical students have long relied on human bodies to develop their diagnostic and surgical skills. However, with virtual reality, students can go on a journey through a virtual body and develop their techniques that way instead.
Military personnel can rely on virtual reality to experience the stresses of battle conditions and prepare themselves for exposure in the future. Even astronauts are beginning to use VR training to master the operation of spacecrafts without the need for complex simulators. VR has the potential to reduce the costs, and the risks of training any employee.
In 2020, we entered a new era, where face-to-face interactions were no longer possible, and offices shut down almost overnight. Although many companies embraced things like video conferencing and chat to bridge the communication gap, there’s still something missing. To truly collaborate and communicate in a distributed environment, companies need to replicate the presence that people feel in the office.
Virtual reality environments give staff members an environment they can share to discuss and work on projects together in real-time. These environments can come with access to useful information and blueprints that make it easier for manufacturers to work on projects together without wasting expensive resources. VR can even help team members to communicate with customers better and guide them through the onboarding experience in a shared virtual space.
According to the Intel and Dell Workforce study, 66% of employees would like to use AR/VR in their training, while 62% say they believe their jobs would be made easier with artificial intelligence. In an environment shaken by COVID-19, the virtual reality space acts as a valuable and safe solution for intimate personal interactions.
Through VR, we can recreate experiences that simply aren’t accessible in the physical world and provide employees with access to data and guidance in a brand-new way. Companies can use VR to attract new talent and show employees around an office “virtually” when they’re working remotely. Alternatively, marketing and sales teams could take their customers on a virtual tour using VR or assist clients in setting up a service through VR lessons.
The question is no longer whether VR will transform the way we work, but how much more our environment is going to change as VR continues to evolve.