Virtual Reality uses specialist software in order to create an artificial setting that resembles reality so effectively that it makes us feel that it’s, well, real.
This feeling of presence and immersion is extremely powerful, and it allows the user to have an impactful and memorable experience that they simply wouldn’t be able to have with traditional media formats.
As a consequence, Immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (or VR) are opening up an incredible new world of opportunities for businesses. It is no longer a niche product used only by gamers, but a business breakthrough that will touch every area of organisations, in sectors such as manufacturing, retail, financial services, healthcare, emergency services, plumbing and more.
When customers see and interact with your products via VR, they gain a much better understanding of them, not to mention the training possibilities, where employees and pupils can get to grips with new products and services in virtual reality before using or experiencing them in real-life situations.
According to market-research company KZero, by 2018 there will be a total of 171 million regular VR users globally, and of these 114 million will be outside the “gamer” demographic. Plus, a report earlier this year by TechProResearch found that 48% of businesses planned to adopt VR in the workplace within the next three years, or had it on their company’s strategic roadmap.
VR’s incredible business potential
Social media channels are a natural home for VR content, because it’s where audiences go be engaged, entertained and informed in a relaxed and informal way. VR will provide audiences with much more engaging content than the usual picture posts, product videos and status updates. Offline however, there are a multitude of uses also.
To give an example, in retail, VR content can link directly to product sales. Just last year, the fashion label Tommy Hilfiger created an in-store VR experience via the Samsung Gear VR headset, which enabled customers to watch it’s autumn fashion runway show as if they were actually there. Shoppers could then buy the clothes they’d just seen debuted at the show.
Estate agents are also starting to use VR as a sales tool and to improve overall efficiency too, saving time by introducing prospective customers to new properties via VR rather than going from house to house while searching for the ideal home.
VR can entertain, but its ability to inform in an engaging way makes it a top training tool for businesses too. It provides a cost effective and safe way of training staff in areas which involve danger and risky situations. Take, for example, teaching someone how to operate a machine. Using VR to place the person being trained at the machine itself, and walking them through how to operate it in a virtual environment, will mean that the employee is much more familiar with operating procedures when they ultimately use the machinery in real life.
Whatever your budget…
At Captivate we have established relationships with an array of superb developers and producers who have the skills to create what you need, within your budget. With more affordable VR products entering the market and increasingly positive customer uptake, there’s a huge opportunity for businesses to be in customers’ headspace and capitalise of the incredibly exciting benefits that offers.