Although primarily used in the entertainment, social media, and gaming industries, the benefits of VR in business are becoming more and more prominent. It facilitates remote collaboration, training and education, product design and visualization, marketing, and more.
This article highlights virtual reality's current applications and benefits in business. Keep reading to find out how it can transform your business operations.
Table of Contents
What Is VR Technology?
VR (virtual reality) is a computer-generated 3D simulation experienced through VR equipment, engaging sight, sound, and touch. Let’s look at some of the components of VR technology:
- VR headset with screens, lenses, and sensors for head tracking.
- Some systems have handheld controllers or motion-tracking devices for interaction.
- Specialized input devices like gloves or body suits provide tactile feedback for immersion.
- VR applications use programming languages and frameworks designed for VR, enabling realistic visuals, spatial audio, and interactive elements responding to user inputs.
VR technology is advancing, becoming more accessible, affordable, and capable of delivering immersive experiences. It's transforming industries, impacting how businesses operate, train employees, engage customers, and design products.
Benefits of Virtual Reality in Business
Let’s look at some of the advantages of virtual reality in business:
- Enhance the Customer Experience
- Ensure a Safe Work Environment
- Build Strong Marketing Campaigns
- Improve Training
- Easier Collaboration
- Increased Employee Engagement and Motivation
- Streamlined Product Design and Prototyping
- Enhanced Data Visualization and Analytics
- Real Estate and Architecture Visualization
- Remote Maintenance and Support
1. Enhance the Customer Experience
The "try before you buy" strategy is a sought-after benefit of VR in business. It allows retailers to digitize products and let customers test them before purchase.
This enhances customer experience for brick-and-mortar stores and builds trust and engagement for online retailers.
VR applications like these increases sales, especially as more companies enter the metaverse.
2. Ensure a Safe Work Environment
Minesafe International Conference found that VR training reduces workplace injuries by 43%. It allows employees to learn in a safe and controlled environment. Instead of physical, companies can provide virtual tours to increase safety and reduce incidents.
Massive risk reduction helps companies save money, avoid causing damage to brand image, and increase employee satisfaction.
3. Build Strong Marketing Campaigns
VR technology improves marketing campaigns by building immersive and next-level ad experiences that offer the target audience more value and increase engagement.
For example, companies can weave compelling stories using 360-degree videos instead of traditional content marketing. This helps companies provide valuable insight into who they are as a brand.
Building strong marketing campaigns goes hand in hand with enhancing customer experience to provide one of the best benefits of virtual reality in business: increased sales.
4. Improve Training
Poor training can result in low morale and costly errors. Virtual reality in business mitigates these problems, allowing new hires to learn quickly in a risk-free setting. Through VR, employees can hone soft skills, navigate complex tasks and get ready for emergencies.
5. Easier Collaboration
VR improves employee communication and collaboration, especially in remote or distributed teams. It allows for virtual meetings, brainstorming sessions, and team-building activities, fostering a sense of presence and connection.
Joining team members in a virtual environment results in increased efficiency and productivity. Any arising issues can also be resolved promptly without spending time traveling.
6. Increased Employee Engagement and Motivation
VR-based training and education increase employee engagement and motivation.
The combination of realistic simulations, hands-on practice, a safe learning environment, personalized learning experiences, and immediate performance evaluation creates highly engaging and interactive training.
This approach captures employees' attention, boosts retention of information, promotes active participation, and enhances skill development, resulting in improved learning outcomes and increased motivation.
7. Streamlined Product Design and Prototyping
VR enables businesses to create virtual prototypes and test product designs in a simulated environment, leading to efficient and cost-effective product development.
The Siemens and NVIDIA collaboration building Industrial Metaverse showcases this technology in prototyping. Siemens uses virtual replicas of physical products with real-time data to simulate and test designs before building physical prototypes.
NVIDIA's advanced GPU technology enhances immersive virtual environments, enabling engineers and designers to interact with digital twins and improve their designs. This approach saves time, reduces costs, and accelerates the product development process.
8. Enhanced Data Visualization and Analytics
By using VR, businesses create 3D visualizations with data points as objects in a virtual space, surpassing traditional charts and graphs. Visualizations range from simple representations to interactive environments, tailored to the data's needs.
This deeper understanding reveals patterns and trends, simplifying the analysis of complex relationships. Informed decisions and actionable steps are then taken based on these insights.
9. Real Estate and Architecture Visualization
VR technology particularly benefits industries like real estate and architecture.
It allows clients to virtually tour properties, visualize architectural designs, and make informed decisions based on realistic representations of spaces. More engaging and immersive customer experience leads to improved satisfaction and higher confidence in decision-making.
For businesses, VR saves time and resources by reducing the need for physical site visits, accelerating the design process, and minimizing potential design changes later.
10. Remote Maintenance and Support
IT maintenance companies are quickly adopting VR technology to elevate their remote support offerings. VR technology facilitates remote maintenance and support by allowing experts to guide technicians or customers through complex procedures in real-time.
With interactive step-by-step instructions and visual cues within the virtual environment, VR reduces downtime, improves efficiency, and eliminates the need for physical presence, resulting in cost savings and enhanced support capabilities.
Benefits of VR: Which Industries Benefit from It?
The application and benefits of VR in businesses are still at a rudimentary stage. We’ve yet to see the impact of VR in businesses when it has been fully realized. However, with massive adoption and rapid technological advancements, many industries have reaped the benefits of VR. Here are some of the most note-worthy ones:
Virtual reality is making great strides in healthcare. For example, a VR system called EaseVRx employs cognitive behavioral therapy, interoceptive awareness, and other behavioral principles to alleviate pain.
VR can also be used to treat anxiety, phobias, and PTSD through the use of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy.
Virtual reality has changed our shopping habits by creating more engaging experiences in both physical and online stores. With body-scanning technology, consumers can try on clothes virtually or purchase clothes that actually fit.
Lest we forget, eBay also partnered with Australia’s largest retailer, Myer, to launch the world’s first VR department store in 2016.
When the pandemic hit, tourism around the world took a massive hit as well. However, with the developments of VR, travelers can now try a holiday before booking it. Imagine taking a glimpse of the Harry Potter tour of Edinburgh from the comfort of your home!
The aviation industry harnesses VR for enhanced pilot training, improved in-flight entertainment, and showcasing cabin designs to passengers. Airbus has adopted VR to help technicians and pilots get acquainted with new aircraft models, ensuring a smoother transition and optimized safety procedures.
VR is enhancing the manufacturing sector by enabling quicker product prototyping, safer training, and efficient assembly guidance. For example, Ford's technicians soon will be trained how to service and maintain the all-electric Mustang Mach-E without the need to access a physical model – thanks to a new VR training tool from Ford and Bosch.
VR provides immersive training scenarios for agents, simulating challenging service interactions and honing their skills in a risk-free environment. A notable example is Talespin, a customizable VR customer service training platform. Talespin provides a highly realistic and interactive environment that allows customer service professionals to practice their skills and gain confidence in real-world situations.
Benefits of VR in Business: Key Takeaways
The future of virtual reality is bright. We have yet to see more of the benefits of virtual reality in business, and the possibilities are mind-boggling. From shopping to training employees, there’s a use for VR in just about every aspect of a business.
If you want to gain more insight into how your business can benefit from virtual reality agencies and technology, reach out to a VR/AR company. An experienced agency can talk you through the development process and show you how this technology can help your business reach new heights.