The advances in VR (virtual reality) technology may seem like science fiction, but they are becoming a reality in the business and marketing world. This new technology is rapidly transforming the way the world of business test-drives products, markets brands, and the interactions between people who are not in the same room but on the same team.
This powerful new technology is poised to become a necessary tool for every business and industry.
And AR (augmented reality) is also on the cusp of becoming a business reality. While VR supplies an environment completely separate from the one you’re actually in, AR uses things like 3D models as an augmentation to reality. The two technologies are on the verge of melding into one another, with products such as Microsoft’s Hololens headset apparatus using powerful processing power so that users can access both AR and VR programs simultaneously.
From doing inventory stock to VR conferences, this new technology’s flexibility is being applied to a host of business aspects. Immersed in an arena that synthesizes a huge core of data, users can archive that data and easily monitor it for trends over a long period of time.
Vr is really a boost for marketing, since it creates strong emotional networks between the brand and targeted consumers.
Says Julie Broad, MBA: “This is an especially effective marketing tool for disrupting an industry. You can have a piece of the product to display in a virtual environment for dozens of people at a time, who are not even in the same room! The eye contact is amazing.”
Adds Wendy Hong of Seltzer Marketing: “Virtual reality is going to become the most amazing marketing tool ever to enhance the customer’s experience and boost customer loyalty. The goal is to immerse consumers in an interactive experience that will increase their brand awareness.”
Experts agree that VR is going to become a valuable tool in training for sensitive and demanding positions as well. For instance, surgeons can use VR to ‘operate’ on a virtual patient to improve their understanding and options when operating on a real live person.
Katy Spengler, co-founder of Arcade VR, says: “The healthcare industry will benefit greatly from the ability to use a virtual operating room to review any number of medical procedures, to make sure they are up to the skill and qualifications needed.”
Right now accessibility and pricing are holding back many companies from diving into the AR and VR world. But companies like Sony and Microsoft are developing much more sophisticated headsets that will be within the budget range of most medium to large companies. The goal is to blend AR and VR on the same platform, at a reasonable price.
Technology consultant Martha Frieberg is certain this new technology will be standard procedure for every type of company and brand in the near future: “Blending the analog/human and digital experience is at our front door” she maintains.
Frieberg says: “The entertainment industry has already fully embraced VR in movie marketing. Real estate and architecture are beginning to use it constantly. It won’t be long before manufacturing and design companies follow suit. And it’s poised to become a huge growth industry in the healthcare field. Educators are also very interested in its possibilities.”
A widespread prediction among experts holds that consumers involved in the VR experience will involve themselves in the process instead of remaining idle bystanders. This is because motion-capturing devices that transfer their real-time movements into virtual reality are becoming standardized in the AR business.
With increased computer power and smaller and lighter equipment, the whole VR and AR experience is getting ready to invade every aspect of the marketing world.
Amy Winfield, of IT&T Laboratories, says “Enhanced image fidelity and better motion detection, along with the use of carbon fiber headsets, makes this technology an aggressive contender in marketing, engineering, and healthcare. And the price point drops are very encouraging.”
Along with the “Internet of Things”, AR and VR should produce radically different landscapes for business within the next year.