February 24, 2016 Vasil Terziev

Virtual Reality reshaping business

This year we will witness Virtual Reality’s (VR) adoption in many aspects of our lives. In January Oculus Rift announced a $599 price with shipments expected to start at the end of the first Quarter. HTC and Sony are not falling behind as their estimated shipment dates are also in the first half of 2016.

Starting at the price of a new high-end smart phone, VR headsets are rather affordable. The research company Juniper estimated a 3 million VR device shipments in 2016 with amount rising up to 30 million by 2020.It not surprising that VR headsets initially became popular due to the groundbreaking gaming experience they provide. However, in this article we would like to look at an even larger sector which will be making use of VR – the enterprise market.

When it comes to VR changing the business world, sky is the limit. Unfortunately there is very little information on how and in which industry this is already happening – perhaps because it is not as interesting as playing the newest Final Fantasy game on your VR device. Lets examine some relevant examples:

Real estate

This industry has always had the reputation of late technology adopter. Now it is about to change – brokers can use VR to speed up sales or leases. Imagine brokers having access to all their offered locations without having to leave their office. Floored INC is a company that offers VR and 3D modeling programs. Its software was used in an Oculus Rift headset to help another company sell a building in Manhattan before it was finished.

Medicine

In this field there have already been advanced simulators for a number of years, however, only now there are affordable VR devices. In January 2016 a group of surgeons were able to perform open heart surgery on a four-month-old baby thanks to VR imaging software and Google Cardboard Viewer. Devices like Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard allow doctors to practice everything from simple day-to-day activities to rare surgical interventions. The technology is also advantageous to patients who can learn about what was performed on them and what to do to properly recover.

Manufacturing

Today product development teams are using VR in order to improve engineering, design, manufacturing and operations. Ford’s Immersive Vehicle Environment Lab has undertaken a significant improvement in productivity and a drop in costs due to it implementing virtual testing and prototyping. Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce a physical prototype, companies can use VR labs where new concepts can be virtually tested.

VR in enterprise is not seeing nearly as much use as we are witnessing in entertainment. However, our prediction is that business-related use will become the leader in the upcoming years as businesses need more time to adapt to it. But for this to be feasible, we also need expansion In enterprise VR software and content. The future holds virtual training and certification for any position anywhere on the globe. The prospects of VR are limitless and we are eager to find out how this technology will reshape business.

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