Over the last 20 years, we have witnessed a remarkable evolution of technology, with many forms of modern tech coming, going, and advancing to become essential tools for almost every industry. However, AR and VR applications in business are among the most impressive and engaging, especially when you consider how they benefit such a vast array of sectors.
Immersive technology is rapidly on the rise and continues to provide modern companies with benefits and experiences that simply were not possible before. But how? Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) are the two spectrums of immersive technology but are mainly known for their entertainment applications. However, the potential of AR/VR is no longer restricted to this application. So, what are the AR and VR applications for business?
Video Games & Entertainment
As we mentioned above, AR and VR applications are most commonly associated with gaming and entertainment. While this began with limited titles where the critical appeal was the VR aspect, modern VR gaming consists of many different games with more advanced tech and huge potential to become a top category within an enormous industry.
However, AR took a little bit longer to storm onto the scene, which it did in 2016 with the release of Pokémon Go. The game proved to be a huge success and inspired intrigue from an incredibly varied audience. Gamers and long-time Pokémon fans were drawn to it first, but it filtered through to casual players and those who haven’t picked up a gaming controller in years (or at all). Another great application of this tech is its use in Escape Rooms and larger gaming spaces, where virtual environments such as battlefields, haunted houses, and much more can be achieved.
Gamers are continually demanding more realistic, authentic gaming experiences — and it seems that VR/AR applications are well on the way to making such demands a reality.
Within the real estate sector, AR and VR applications have magnificent potential, and there are many ways in which they can help buyers, real estate agents, and property developers.
For buyers, being able to ‘step into’ a virtual version of the home they intend to buy offers a much more accurate representation than static images. Also, for buyers moving to another area or even another country, AR and VR in real estate allow them to view their potential new home without the need to travel and to real scale.
For real estate agents, using an AR and VR application offers the same benefits, as it provides a more realistic 3D view of a home and massively increases their chances of making a sale. Plus, such technology is a revolutionary moment for the industry. Using it ensures that your firm is recognised as someone at the forefront of the sector and offers a buyer’s journey like no other.
One key aspect of AR and VR applications that few may recognise within real estate is property developers’ benefits. AR and VR allow developers to provide digitised tours of their sites, meaning that they’re not only easy for clients to access, but it’s also much safer than taking a tour of a construction site. Sticking with safety for a moment, VR/AR is also the perfect tool for safety training in an environment that allows workers to experience dangerous scenarios without the danger. Companies who opt to use this type of technology can train their staff in an authentic workplace environment rather than a classroom and improve their safety retention rates. Construction companies worldwide are already looking towards the AR and VR industry.
A virtual home version provides customers with a clear idea of the layout and design, reducing miscommunication between the consumer and designers. Designers now can test aspects of the interior landscape to establish precisely how many materials are required and offer a more accurate quote.
AR is a massive benefit in this regard, while VR helps many create construction plans and adds attractive concept design layers to present to potential clients and investors.
The marketing world is an ever-changing industry that relies heavily on the latest, most effective technology to provide new and exciting ways to market products. AR and VR applications offer a highly immersive and thoroughly engaging experience, so imagine how beneficial it can be to marketing and advertising professionals who want to engage their target audience. These applications allow marketers to get their products better and gain the experience required to market products following a more ‘hands on’ view.
However, the key benefit of marketing is immersing their audience and sparking an emotional connection. Something as simple as a VR experience with a new product could be all a customer needs to commit to purchasing. Take cars, for example. Providing a VR experience of a new car ensures that marketers are very familiar with it and can pitch effectively — but it also provides customers with a realistic experience that allows them to fall in love with the car before they even step foot in or drive the vehicle. If half the job is already done, closing a sale will be easier.
The immersive technology offered by AR and VR applications in business helps the manufacturing industry increase productivity while reducing costs. This is achieved with its benefits to many different areas of the manufacturing process, from research and design to product development and everything in between. AR and VR have the potential to revolutionise every stage of the manufacturing process, quite literally every step. These include:
- Research and design (R&D)
- Quality control
- Safety and risk management
- Expert support
- Hands-on training
- Factory design and layout
- Equipment design
- Product development
Also, as we mentioned in the Real Estate section, AR and VR applications have become vital tools for improving workplace safety. Manufacturing can be a dangerous industry, less so these days due to enhanced safety protocols, but dangerous nonetheless. Immersive technology provides a safe environment where hazards can be considered and tackled without the risk of injury.
Virtual reality is proving to be a phenomenon in the medical world. It’s swiftly emerging as a system that can help enhance medical training for the next generation of medical professionals. More crucially, it enables the performance of procedures using robotic devices (therefore reducing surgical complications and accelerating the process), offers the potential for enhanced health treatments, and helps with pain management (seriously!). Aside from physical issues, VR could be used to diagnose and treat mental health issues such as depression, autism, dementia, and more.
Also, AR facilitates the process that helps patients receive medical consultations without visiting hospitals or clinics, which could prove critical if we face another pandemic with lockdowns. Its other healthcare applications are similar to VR, including augmented medical training, augmented surgery, augmented diagnosis, etc.
VR and AR for retail are gradually making their way into the mainstream for consumers and retailers, and we will see more and more actors from both sides of the checkout dip their toes in the virtual waters. The vital consideration is how much success is found with AR and VR applications in business. As they do, competitors and companies in entirely different sectors will want to replicate the same success.
For customers, a virtual shopping environment is not only a novelty, but it offers a genuinely immersive and personalised retail experience, providing an extension of the brand’s physical spaces they are accustomed to. Plus, being able to shop virtually is significantly less time consuming and allows customers from all over the world to ‘visit’ a store, even if they are on the other side of the world. This technology has made and will continue to make the fashion world more accessible, which has never been more appealing thanks to the restrictions of Covid-19. Immersive technology provides an authentic, personalized, in-store experience from the comfort of your home, which is a massive improvement on the lack of personal touch and interaction of online retail.
Are you a brand that wants to implement AR/VR technology into your daily operations? Or do you simply want to know more about the technology and its potential for your business? Get in touch today with the team of experts at Emperia to find out how to help.