Virtual Reality for Enterprises
Like for any innovation, the approach to a new model and technology has to be carefully and strategically planned in Organizations, at top management level. There’s no doubt that Virtual Reality is rapidly moving to hit mainstream markets and by 2020 in will be in every house and office.
Even though we saw the first examples of Virtual Reality setups back in 1964, but in the last 10 to 12 years, having worked deeply in this field, I have seen the creation of an interconnected system of companies, researchers, individuals and since the last 3 years, large brands like Facebook, Oculus, Samsung, HTC Vive, and more, that are the confirmation that it’s time for managers to really understand what Virtual Reality is and acquire the knowledge they need on this complex subject, to be able to adapt and leverage the amazing opportunity every organization has in this new domain of VR.
In order to set a common ground of understand on Virtual Reality, we need to first identify the components that bring virtual reality alive and the difference between often misused terms. Allow me to define a few expressions:
Virtual Reality, the world described in the novel Snowcrash, by Stephenson, as the thing, the future of the Internet, the Metaverse. A synthetic environment that will resemble more and more to our reality and will be based on the future of the Internet architecture, connecting everything and everyone in virtual parallel dimensions. Some called it the Matrix.
Today virtual reality environments are still limited compared to this vision, but exactly in this moment, a number of pioneers are working on bringing alive, what I like to call “online shared virtual reality”. The Metaverse, Internet in 3D, fully scalable, interconnected, interoperable and virtually infinite.
First, disconnect yourself from everything you remember about the Virtual Worlds media bubble and years of Second Life (by the way still alive and kicking in terms of business and virtual marketplace for role-playing communities, as well as used widely by researchers and Universities), and immerse yourself in the fact that Virtual Reality is about to hit you and you better get ready for it. The times of technological constraints and are rapidly turning into times of new possibilities. At our company, Qbit Technologies, we are working with cutting edge technologies that will enable a level of immersion and virtual interaction never seen before. All backup by a secure and structured system architecture that will act as the backbone of a new Internet, fully scalable, interoperable and virtually infinite.
So what should I do today about this?
1. Engage in a conversation with experts in the field of Virtual Reality and understand the basics and first applications of VR.
2. Evaluate to start an R&D pilot project in your Organization, to test application of VR and gain a competitive advantage, without risking large investment.
3. Use your VR pilot project as a marketing tool, to present an innovation initiative done by your Brand or Organization. Gain visibility for lower investments. Use your pilot or experiments, to show the world you are innovating for real.
4. Explore VR projects around Virtual Collaboration, Virtual meetings, 3D e-Commerce and 3D Virtual Training. The basic first verticals of Virtual Reality for Business.
5. Start to imagine you company, your people, in a 3D virtual reality environment, with the possibility of meeting, interacting, modeling and designing together, participate at large virtual events. All this acting tremendously on cutting communication and interactions costs.
6. Use virtual environments to test you stores layouts, rearrange and test new design, placement of new products.
7. Use Virtual Reality to better interact with your customers, from home, bringing the feeling of being in your office of street branch.
8. Develop Virtual Mirror facilities of existing structures, like factories, power plants, production units, buildings, facilities and infrastructures, entire smart cities. Have a real time virtual 3D simulations with real data, showing you what happens and when and with the ability to collect data to simulate future case and prevent risks.
9. In any case don’t just develop a tool, think of a process and procedures around it. Virtual Reality will impact Organizations like few other technologies have. It’s Internet in 3D, it’s the creation of the new dimension of interactions, entertainments and training. Make sure you approach all this with a strategic approach and in due time, to be able to act and acquire the building blocks of this great opportunity.
If you want to explore more on this subject, let me point you to some slidesharepresentation I wrote, that go into more detail on what I mentioned in this quick post.