Virtual reality is one of the hottest technologies on the market today with cumulative sales numbers well over 2 million. What was once viewed as an impossibly niche market has blossomed into a type of wunderkind in the consumer technology industry. Virtual reality has impacted video games since the early nineties but recently its usefulness in other aspects of business has become a major selling point and has reinforced its allure. Indeed, its use in other realms of business has been shown to create an intense connection to the target consumer.
This connection can then lead to higher numbers of conversions, which in turn leads to business growth across the board. There is nothing more engaging than creating an interactive space for your target audience to lose themselves in. Virtual reality does just that by incorporating many facets of the technology to create experiences that can cement an idea or product into a customer's mind. When a company forms a bond with the consumer it typically leads to repeat business which, as we know, is the key to sustaining long-term growth.
Virtual reality is not just a gimmick, but rather, a way to engage consumers and foster an environment of continued growth. In this article, we will cover the ways VR is being used to revolutionize the realms of business and how it is creating a world of possibilities.
Since its inception, virtual reality has been seen as the key to a new future that bridges the gap between traditional interactions and new ways of doing things. When its first consumer iteration was released under Nintendo's Virtual Boy the response was lukewarm at best. In fact, it was so tepid that they had to scratch the technology altogether. Some, however, saw the potential and knew that the technology just had to catch up with the idea. Alas, the technology did not see the light of day for nearly two decades. Then came a spark of good news from the dormant industry as Oculus rift breathed new life into a device that has the potential to change everything.
Following that we had the innovations of the HTC Vive and the PSVR which helped boost the industry dramatically, surpassing any and all estimates on the device. That being the case, this gives the tech a built-in audience that is willing to experience everything the platform has to offer. It's possible to create an experience and have it pushed to millions immediately. This helps the tech business tremendously as any application built with VR compatibility will automatically increase its consumer base exponentially. This makes targeting consumers easier and gives companies the ability to expand their businesses to incorporate the technology.
Virtual reality allows businesses to take telecommute work to the next level through its immersive user interface. Through the use of a VR headset, an employee in China can join a meeting in Chicago and can have a physical presence rather than just being a voice in a box. The same goes for interactions of all kinds, such as design pitches, workshops and even team retreats. Virtual reality gives us the ability to retain the social presence of teamwork without the need for travel or relocation.
This makes it so much easier to incorporate telecommute work into a business. Being able to craft a 3D object in real time with a team from the inside of a coffee shop completely flips traditional corporate models upside down. Telecommute work has shown to be cost efficient and rewarding for employees. The integration of VR makes the process much more pragmatic and sensible. For businesses, it means that they can eliminate offices, and the expense that comes with them, in favor of digitally focused telecommuting which offers savings and reduces workplace stress. Owners and employees alike enjoy the telecommuting process and VR will cause a massive shift to the practice in the coming years.
On the business side, virtual reality offers an array of functions to save money and boost productivity. For instance, a product design team can use virtual reality to create a digital prototype that can be tested in the digital space instead of producing one via manufacturing. This obviously saves money but finds new usefulness in the flexibility that digitizing provides. No shipping around the country is required as potential investors can be sent a digital mock-up and review it on their own time. This also means that team members do not need to be physically located next to one another, which saves money on office space, travel and time. This same theory can be applied to C-suite executives and team members of all types.
Marketing is where VR really shines, as it connects to the audience on a deep and emotional level. Take, for example, Ikea's virtual application that allows VR owners to design a room using their catalog of furniture and decorations. It is an exquisite piece of advertising that also has a real and useful functionality. This helps to connect the brand to the consumer so that it can help foster longer-lasting business relationships.
Virtual reality can provide a boost to these marketing efforts so that businesses can build deeper relationships with their audiences all over the world. Truly, VR is the next step to an interconnected world free from the bondage of physical location. This technology will change the face of business forever and create a more positive consumer environment for everyone.
If unlocking the commercial potential of augmented and virtual reality is of interest to you, hear from other industry professionals at TechXLR8 2018. TechXLR8 is taking place June 12-14, 2018. To find out more, click here. Book your pass to AR & VR World here.
— Josh Althauser, TechX365 contributor