Just two decades previously, virtual reality was a thing of science fiction. Some of the most laughably bad pop culture of the ‘90s speculated on what fresh horrors the technology would wreak upon society — films like The Lawnmower Man limply tried to scare us with poor CGI. Today, it’s one of the most sought-after technologies on the market, particularly after the COVID pandemic provided a good reason for workers to meet in a virtual space. By the end of 2022, VR expects to surpass $30.7 billion in market value.
Here are some ways VR can give your business a leg up in competition.
Better Training and More Efficiency
Webinars and e-learning are helpful tools, but there’s a passive quality to them — they lack any kind of social engagement. VR training can put your employees in real-world situations, monitoring how effective they are. Companies such as Walmart have switched to 15-minute immersive learning courses that have replaced day-long training programs in-store. Nationwide Insurance, which used to flood a basement during its training sessions, switched as well.
Overly paranoid science fiction of the past got one thing right: virtual reality does have the power to drastically change the world. That won’t mean, along the way, we won’t find some entertaining uses for it. Take Progressive’s VR Lake Dash Experience, which was brought to 20 trade shows in the U.S. The user would be given an Oculus headset, a steering wheel, and a throttle to virtually drive through checkpoints on a lake.
VR can also help shed light on more pressing issues. The New York Times’ 360-degree perspective documentary Displaced — about the effects of war on children — uses the technology to appeal to people’s sense of empathy and compassion.
E-Commerce in VR
Anyone who’s ordered anything online has probably had a negative experience at least once; the order was incorrect, the size or colour was wrong, or an item was missing. That’s why car companies such as Audi and Porsche have begun offering test drives using both augmented reality and virtual reality. Since COVID, 62 per cent of vehicle owners now say they’d rather make the entire experience virtual rather than having to go to a showroom.
The New Job Interview
Job interviews can be harrowing, particularly now that they often require two to three callbacks and several evaluations. The stress can be a lot to take, and the interviewer may well have already dismissed you out of personal bias. VR has a better alternative: a Day in the Life experience, which can even measure the emotional intelligence of the interviewee.
Better Understand Risk
If you’re trepidatious about doing some costly renovations on the office or opening up a new wing, VR offers you the opportunity to play out those scenarios before spending hard cash. Furthermore, AR and VR technology can offer infrared and thermographic photography, which can prevent workplace accidents.
Kenny Hedges | Contributing Writer