Virtual Reality (VR) is exploding in the business industry as it is no longer just for the rich. Manufacturers are constantly making the systems more affordable while in the past year businesses have taken advantage of this recent trend, by adapting it to suit their individual markets by capitalising on the potential revenue-generating power of this emerging technology. But how has it transformed the way businesses operate?
What is VR?
So, what is virtual reality? VR alters human perceptions of reality through virtual systems by ultimately ‘tricking’ the brain into seeing virtual as a reality.
VR has been increasingly used in business situations for the purpose of training and engineering for example. According to Tech Research Pro, 48% are implementing VR into their strategy for the next three years.This demonstrates its up and coming significance in the business world.
It is arguable that VR has its biggest impact on HR and training with the technology already being used across a huge range of industries.
For example, VR is helping train up surgeons on new procedures which also allows students to train without having to test their newly learnt skills on real patients.
This demonstrates the ability of VR systems to deliver large amounts of information in a way that is more easily absorbed than a conventional video or book.
Additionally, businesses are also using this new technology as a method of cost effectiveness.
According to a 2014 report from the Association for Talent Development (ATD), businesses with at least 100 employees spent roughly $1,200 on training per employee. Therefore, it is thought that VR lowers the hidden expenses associated with training employees.
Walmart started to use VR to train more than 140,000 employees which included training them for the chaos of black friday where they were able to deal with angry shoppers in an attempt to be prepared for the big shopping event.
VR is also up and coming in recruitment for some industries. For example, the British Army are using the new technology to expose people directly to what it is like to do a job. Nick Terry, of Capita Army Recruitment, says: “Virtual reality helps us bring the British Army experience to life for young people”
Overall, the opportunity for businesses to train and recruit existing and new employees has been a game changer in the business world, by allowing them to reduce costs and decrease the time spent training employees while still remaining effective.
VR has also become a tool used in engineering enabling engineers to view their projects in 3D while gaining a greater understanding of how it works. They are also able to spot any flaws or potential risks before implementation.
VR can also allow design teams to see their project and make alterations if needed for the final project is produced.
Even the travel industry seem to applying VR to closing deals with customers meaning the use of VR is worldwide across many industries who have adapted the systems to suit their needs.
For example, Thomas Cook partnered with Visualise in some stores to offer travellers the chance to experience destinations like Greece, Singapore and New York. Consequently this strategy saw a 40% return on investment as a result.
Companies like Alton Towers have also been using the technology as part of new rides whereby customers are ‘transformed’ into astronauts and plunged into outer space.
While continuing to benefit businesses, VR has been beneficial to a lot of customers too with the technology allowing disabled or senior individuals to ‘experience travelling’ without the need to actually travel.
Consequently, this also helps businesses provide a better service to its customers also adding value to any service they provide.
With just a few of many examples given, VR has changed and is still changing the business world. As VR hardware continues to evolve, becoming simpler and more affordable, these experiences have become increasingly useful for salespeople and different industries.
VR applications also have the potential to transform the connection between buyers and customers because it offers them the ability to experience an engaging and personalised experience.