Why Virtual Reality Is Good For Business
I am currently learning more about VR (VIrtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality). These three are very different and I will explain as simple as possible this complex systems and their functions and differentiators.
Virtual Reality is the most common talked about. It takes your mind into a complete immersion of a reality that is separate from your current space and changes as you walk around. This usually is a technology that is worn on the head such as Oculus Rift which is owned by Facebook. Virtual Reality has been around since the 90’s and probably much earlier than that. These realities come to life with the help of specialized software, 3-D Audio and sensors in order to give its wearer complete immersion into the specified reality. What sets it apart from the rest is how much it promises. When a VR user looks around, or in advanced headsets where they are allowed to walk around, their view of that reality will adjust in the same way it would in the real world.
Imagine for example Snapchat or a company who takes and advertises via geolocation that shows up on the VR world. Or that when they contact your companies customer service that they believe they are visually talking to someone because the consumer and representatives avatars are in the space. Right now retail is suffering. This is to be expected as online consuming continues to grow especially when people are mostly on their mobile devices every waking hour at this point. Virtual reality could help to solve this issue by having their customers wear the tech in their store and walk around in a preset environment that they choose to shop in.
Augmented reality, or AR, is similar to VR in that it is often delivered through a sensor-packed wearable device. Your typical experience will be underwhelming at first. With that being said there is tremendous upside. For example, you take your child to a restaurant and instead of getting those 3 crayons and a basic coloring page, they can put on a device that allows them to play several games right there in their seat where thay actually have to interact with the environment. The possibilities with this tech is undoubtedly limitless in its application. AR takes your view of the real world and adds digital information and/or data on top of it, and lets you see both synthetic light as well as natural light bouncing off objects in the real world.
Mixed reality is probably the least known and probably the most viable to succeed with the masses. It combines both VR and AR. Mixed reality lets the user see the real world (like AR) while also seeing believable, virtual objects (like VR). What it does is anchors virtual objects into the real space, so they can be treated as real. We got a glimpse of this when Microsoft Hololens presented itself a year or so back at E3.
Some practical applications for business:
- A cost effective way to train employees.
- A way to allow a team in your business from other offices collaborate in real time making adjustments to a product
- Giving a virtual tour of a real estate property.
- Having Virtual Meetings
- When playing video games on the space you can use product placement
- Military Training simulations (Cost cutting for ammunition)
We are about 15 years away from this all becoming mainstream. I think that the future of doing business will definitely shift again on a whole new level as these things become cheaper to manufacture and easier to manipulate the software as it becomes more open sourced. What do you think of what I have mentioned? Did I leave something out? Do you have anything to add? Let me know in the comments below.