Oculus VR: What Should Businesses Know about VR Tech?

Hermione at Pangea.ai
Godwin Oluponmile
Published: 11.11.2022

Your business will maintain its lead over its competitors when it leverages competitive advantages like VR (Virtual Reality). The emerging digital ecosystem provides many opportunities for this, and companies such as Meta, Facebook's parent company, are at the forefront of empowering companies with such revolutionary tools.

Virtual Reality has become a hot topic, and it is mostly thanks to the introduction of affordable and consumer-friendly headsets. As businesses are starting to focus on the opportunities that VR tech offers, this article explores how your business can use VR to add value, improve process efficiency, save costs, and win customers.

VR Beyond Entertainment and Gaming

VR and its sister technology, AR (augmented reality), have gained prominence in gaming. Fans are excited to immerse themselves in exciting virtual fantasy worlds, but this doesn't quite reflect their full scope of possibilities.

Imagine delivering the same resources to a distributed team that those at a live location experience; such is the power VR offers. Fields such as business, education, medicine, and science are already seeing cutting-edge use of this technology.

As VR gains steam in business applications, it brings new dimensions to professionals. The digital world only requires you to describe objects to bring them into existence. Besides, anyone can travel anywhere in the twinkle of an eye. If you make a mistake, one press of a button will undo it – neat. These are the features that make VR such a fascinating tool for business.

Enterprise AR/VR Applications

It appears much of the use of AR seems surprising to authorities of virtual and augmented reality. However, VR tech is so adaptable that there's virtually no end to how creative business users may apply it in their enterprise.

Data analytics and data science practitioners now use AR and VR technology to improve their work and accomplish key goals. For instance, data visualisation presents even greater detail as designers have a much more extensive range of physical attributes to consider in 3D objects than in 2D.

Although much of the focus on VR headsets has been on enhancing entertainment experiences, the reality (pun intended) is that they can impact every field of business. Research from Tractica forecasts that VR adoption in businesses will soon outperform its use in technology. For context, VR spending for businesses hit $9.2 billion in 2021.

It's possible to simulate nearly any physical-world business process in VR worlds. For example; customer service, finance, HR, marketing, and production activities have comprehensive virtual representations. These tasks generally belong to two categories: training and practical applications.

Man wearing a VR headset and writing on a whiteboard with a blue marker.

In terms of training, VR enables businesses with the potential to immerse participants in any situation that you simulate on a computer. These photo-realistic visuals create a make-believe scenario, so our brains believe the reality of what we're experiencing to varying extents. We can then monitor and learn from the ensuing interactions.

The perfect example of VR applied in business environment training is Oculus’ VirtualSpeech offering – a comprehensive public speaking training solution.

Practical applications of VR in business are increasingly ubiquitous. One of the main selling points is telepresence – which enables people to perform tasks without being physically present. The other is the ability to model and interact with simulations of real-world objects, which is an absolute impossibility in real life.

Design and Prototyping

Manufacturing and production-driven businesses usually involve complex processes. VR enables adequate simulation and testing of every characteristic of a mechanism, part, or process characteristic.

VR is easier to test and examine performance or reliability under any condition. This approach is cheaper, faster, and safer than traditional methods. It's necessary to note that there are significant platforming and tooling costs at the outset of VR implementations in manufacturing. However, the rise of the VR-as-a-Service business model means this could fast become a thing of the past.

Also, instead of building out full-scale working prototypes that could easily cost millions of dollars, Today, VR provides the environment to explore initial ideas, as we increasingly see in the aircraft industry. Aviation giants, Airbus and Boeing, use VR extensively to simulate digital spaces for designing and testing new features and models.

Architecture is another industry where the use of virtual reality is quickly rising. One can present finished concepts to clients, handing the clients the opportunity to explore their designs before building commences.

Customer Service and VR

Successful businesses continue to explore creative ways to engage with their customers. However, VR is helping them to revise whole aspects of their customer service. Since it combines marketing and customer service functions, it gives them new frontiers to showcase products and services effectively.

However, VR offers companies glimpses into information on customer behaviour. It works because a dizzying amount of data becomes available when you engage someone in a virtual digital world. This information will mainly be about three things:

  • How they act;
  • How they react; and
  • How they interact.

Visiting a physical store is swiftly becoming obsolete. Instead, customers prefer to wear a headset and visit a virtual shop.

Further, they can interact with sales assistants (which may be virtual avatars of real people). Some experts anticipate when AI technology will operate without direct human control.

Young woman wearing a headset and ready to work on a laptop in front of her.

A customer can, therefore, use VR to try out cars, furniture, kitchen utensils, or office equipment. However, it doesn't mean brick-and-mortar showrooms will completely disappear from marketing since many customers still prefer to see and touch a physical product before they buy.

VR has quickly become the preferred choice for early-stage market research and learning about a brand's product range. For example, Ikea, Sweden's furniture behemoth, already offers virtual showrooms, a trend other retailers are starting to follow.

VR-as-a-Service

Despite being an upgrade to traditional, room-based simulations, the upfront expenses of adopting VR remain significant. If your business requires custom simulations and environments to fulfill training needs, these costs are a primary concern.

This development has given rise to businesses offering ready-made virtual reality services. The full spectrum of offerings includes anything from VR suites for hire to world-building tools.

Future relevance in the marketing ecosystem belongs to those marketing agencies with the capacity to create virtual and interactive experiences for other businesses. These services will play a key role in defining the development and deployment trajectory of VR across industry and leisure.

A few examples of VR-as-a-Service include VR entertainment outfits, dating agencies, and therapeutic services disrupting their respective industries.

The Future of VR in Business

There's so much research in the field that VR has become a discipline in its own right. The unifying objective of these efforts is to align virtual worlds as closely as possible with reality.

Eyeball-tracking and similar VR technology are among recent virtual reality research breakthroughs that enable interaction by mere eye focus. In addition, businesses are already looking at leveraging the outcome of experiments on interfacing brainwave activity, where users could alter their environment using thought alone.

As research continues, current limitations in VR may soon be a forgotten reality. For instance, VR applications would be more engaging if they felt less like solitary experiences. In addition, the current generation of VR devices usually requires costly dedicated computers to power them, but the future could be different as standalone headsets become more capable. Then, the default expectation will be for you to prepare to conduct most of your business in virtual reality.

FAQs:

Q1. Can Oculus be used for business?

Yes, Oculus VR is suitable for business applications – it is possible via Oculus for Business, which has evolved into Quest for Business.

Besides being more flexible, Quest for Business ensures that every individual, team, or business can use VR tech to collaborate, train, work remotely, and do much more without switching from their Quest headset.

Q2. How will VR affect businesses?

The most obvious impacts of VR and other immersive technologies on businesses are the dizzying pace of innovation that follows adoption and the competitive advantage it gives businesses. Faster product prototyping will allow companies to iterate and improve products faster. In addition, E-commerce advertising will grow and enable more benefits for companies besides eliminating non essential business travel.

Interviews, meetings, retail, sales, presentations, training, and tours are a few other areas where VR will affect businesses.

Q3. What are some potential uses for VR in entertainment and business?

Potential uses of VR in entertainment include immersive music concerts, movie screenings, and even book readings. Others include virtual games in breathtaking worlds and e-sports.

Business applications cover a massive spectrum, from customer service, technical support, finance, marketing, manufacturing, production, and product launches.

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