Virtual reality has been around for a long time. It’s been used commercially by large aerospace and automotive organizations in CAVEs and powerwalls for over 30 years. Now, as VR is becoming more accessible and reliable, it is being rapidly adopted across a whole range of industries, from architecture to tourism.
In the current climate of constant technological advancement and economic uncertainty, organizations need to find new ways to drive efficiency. VR is working – it is already revolutionizing workflows and saving businesses money by improving processes.
So, it’s no surprise that there are some healthy predictions out there for the growth of VR and enterprise. Tractica forecasts that worldwide enterprise VR hardware and software revenue will increase from $1.0 billion in 2018 to $12.6 billion annually by 2025. Tractica also projects that enterprise spending on VR/AR will be roughly 35 percent greater than consumer spending on VR/AR entertainment by 2020, not including hardware-related revenues.
At CES, HTC revealed “an evolution in the enterprise VR space” – the Vive Pro Eye. As detailed during the HTC keynote, Vive Pro Eye integrates eye tracking natively and will give users “greater accessibility, gaze-oriented menu navigation.” This, in turn, removes the need for controllers to be used for navigating the user-interface. This new eye-tracking technology will enable businesses to create better training simulations, as well as improve how computing resources are used. It’s another proof point that VR is changing the face of enterprise.
What industries are already using VR? Here’s ten to get you started:
Brands like Ford, Audi, Volvo, Jaguar, and Hyundai have been using VR for many years and have since changed processes for design, safety, sales, and purchasing.
The early marketing VR experiences were often gimmicks. Brands jumped on the bandwagon to claim a coveted ‘world first’ for press and publicity. Now, brands and marketers are seeing the real value of the medium and using it to engage new audiences, launch products in innovative ways and tell more immersive stories.
From training the doctors of the future to creating powerful simulations to ease psychological difficulties, VR has a multitude of applications for health and healthcare. By 2020, the global market could be worth more than $3.8 billion.
The transportative nature of VR is perfect for travel and hospitality firms. It allows them to showcase destinations and accommodations so guests can virtually explore them before booking. For example, Thomas Cook and Samsung Gear VR partnered to provide realistic views of Thomas Cook’s locations around the world, delivering a 40 percent return on investment within the first three months.
VR is reshaping the aerospace industry. The technology is being used for design and manufacturing, passenger entertainment, and maintenance assistance. It’s also being used as a learning tool for engineers and to aid training.
While 3D tools have been mainstream for architects and visualization artists for some time, VR offers new ways for them to experience and communicate unbuilt designs, leading to increased use and interest. A report from Chaos Group in 2017 found that 62% of large architecture firms were currently using VR, and more than half of those had already used VR on five or more projects.
Virtual reality is bringing vivid experiences to the classroom, to inspire and engage and ultimately boost learning outcomes. VR also has the potential to democratize education by bringing travel and educational opportunities to those who otherwise couldn’t access them.
Across the globe, stores are offering VR experiences to augment the usual shopping experience but also drive sales. For example, Macy’s has revitalized its department store chain with new technology initiatives, including VR. In pilot stores, the company found that a VR tool which virtually placed Macy’s furniture into photos of shoppers’ homes increased the overall basket size by more than 60 percent versus non-VR furniture sales.
For many financial companies, visualizing data in VR can reveal valuable insights. There are millions to be made if you’re able to utilize data effectively, and analyzing complex data in a virtual environment makes it easier to identify the key trends and patterns. In addition, virtual offices allow financial traders to interact with each other in the same space, thus improving the speed and quality of communication.
From virtual instructors to immersive fitness experiences, tech companies are constantly pushing the boundaries. One such company is Holodia – the Swiss business builds VR worlds for gyms that players can enjoy at the same time as using cycling or rowing machines. VR could be the future of fitness.
- Originally posted on Forbes