VR has been a hot topic in the gaming industry for quite some time now. With promises of games that are more ‘immersive’ than ever before, and that really allow you to live the lives of your characters, it has of course generated huge amounts of buzz over the past few years. Indeed, the last quarter of 2017 was a record-breaker for many virtual reality headsets, who recorded more than 1 million shipments.
It’s clear there’s an appetite for it, and many businesses are waking up to its potential- not just in gaming, but all around the market. VR isn’t a gimmick any longer: it’s a serious marketing tool, and one that people are starting to invest properly in. And with the decreasing price of VR headsets, and technology that is breaking new boundaries every single day, it’s well on its way to becoming a much more common sight in businesses around the world.
Its advantages are obvious: you can show users what they’re getting. Though AR (or Alternative Reality) works by superimposing a computer-generated image onto the real world, as viewed through a phone camera- or Google Glass if you’re especially trendy- Virtual Reality plunges you into a completely new, CGI world that users can move through, analyse and get a sense of what they’re seeing as though you’re really there.
Indeed, the uses that it can be put to are rather remarkable. VR’s versatility makes it perfect for pretty much any market, and indeed, it’s being used in industries as different as risk management- where companies are trialling it for training and simulations- indeed, PWC unveiled a new tool that lets participants navigate a virtual city in order to find and neutralise risks to their business- to helping sell a car, simply by letting a user ‘drive’ around, thus increasing their in-store sales. Medical professionals even want to use it to train their surgeons, letting them practice quickly and easily as part of their training.
Though VR currently remains firmly entrenched in the gaming world, it is starting to make the move over to the world of business, too. Though Oculus is one of the industry’s current pioneers, Facebook, Google, Lenovo and Samsung are all battling for control of the market, and Amazon recently announced the creation of Sumeria, which aims to be a browser-based tool that lets users build VR experiences for themselves.
One things for sure: it’s an exciting time for the industry!