VR for work is the latest talk of the technological town. But what is VR? How does it work? And what does it mean for you? In this post, we scratch the surface of VR and answer some of your burning questions on this topic.
Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer technology where the user is placed at the centre of a simulated environment. Unlike when using computers and mobile phones, VR places the user inside the event. So instead of interacting with a screen on a 2D scape, in VR the user is immersed in the surroundings and is able to interact with 3D objects. This technology leaves less to the imagination by stimulating senses such as vision, hearing and touch.
So how do we access this technology? The most important piece of hardware for VR is the headset. It’s often referred to as head mount display (HMD), they look like a bigger set of googles which go over your eyes. The headsets come in a wide range, starting from cheaper ones where the user can clip their phone to the front of the headset and watch VR videos. As we progress on the range, there are more sophisticated headsets like the Oculus Quest and HP Focus etc, which deliver a higher quality of the VR experience. These headsets are a platform in themselves and do not need your phone to be attached. On these high-end VR devices, you can browse apps, download free/paid applications along with adjusting a variety of settings to customize your experience, much like any laptop or mobile.
VR is often associated with the gaming industry and is referred to as a recreational device. However corporate entities are increasingly adopting VR as a collaboration and meeting medium for different purposes like employee training, brainstorming sessions, client presentations etc. Virtual reality in business is forecasted to grow from $829 Million in 2018 to $4.26 Billion in 2023, according to a study by ARtillery Intelligence. Since the onset of Covid-19, companies have shifted to a virtual model of collaboration through zoom and other video conferencing platforms, a BCG researchhas concluded that even though individual productivity has increased the collaboration effectiveness is low and emotional disconnect is high. The shift to remote work motivated enterprises to find a way to maintain productivity and culture in the company. Thanks to the immersive nature of VR, according to a PWC study, the participants are able to learn more quickly, retain more knowledge and gain a deeper comprehension of the discussion. Other such capabilities are helping companies improve productivity, collaborate better, and maintain team culture.
VR not only bridges the productivity gap in the geographically distributed team setting, but it also has other advantages. One of the key benefits of training in VR is the low risk associated with it. In VR you can accurately reproduce the setting within a controlled environment without worrying about any mishaps. So, as you can already understand, VR has multiple use case scenarios in business. VR does require an upfront investment, but once the company has established its program in virtual office, this solution negates any kind of travel and associated costs. Reducing travel will also positively impact the company’s carbon footprint and will promote sustainability in the company.
VR has come a long way over the last decades, from sci-fi movies to the real world. The technology is being operationalised in multiple industries and professions. It's no more a figment of imagination but rather a tool which is helping enterprises across the world to work better, keep their employees happy while taking conscious steps towards the environment. There are many concrete benefits of VR in the workplace, check out our blog to learn more about VR and how it can enhance your company’s overall performance.