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Is it time to invest in virtual reality technology?

Business May 16, 2017

If spending more than a year and a half of your life on Facebook -- as estimated in this Mediakix infographic -- isn’t enough, the company recently announced its Facebook Spaces app allows you to virtually “hang out” with friends.

Using Oculus Rift and controllers, it’s like virtual conferencing with real friends and real data from your Facebook account. You’re interacting with their avatars and can make “objects” out of nothing and then share images from the virtual space to Facebook.

Although this specific development isn’t a business tool, it is a virtual space for meeting and human interaction. Like technologies before it — tablets and home automation, for example — business use often follows in the footsteps of personal applications.

Currently, virtual meeting spaces in the office can feature audio quality that sounds like remote participants are all in the room together. And you can use high-quality video conferencing to see everyone clearly, including their expressions and gestures.

Virtual reality technology takes the virtual meeting to the next level to make these experiences not only look and sound real, but feel real.

Uses for virtual reality technology

You’ve likely heard something about virtual reality, mixed reality or augmented reality, though their meanings are somewhat different. They are technologies that open up a world of possibilities in the enterprise.

Here are some of the ways you can use virtual reality technology in your workplace:

  • Data visualization: With all the data at our fingertips these days, you need ways to analyze and interpret it all. Immersive data visualization with the use of virtual reality technology can let you interact with the data in a way that makes sense to you.

  • Training: Employees can practice difficult and dangerous tasks from the safety of a virtual environment.

  • Product testing: Take products for a virtual test drive to discover bugs and other hazards before letting them loose on your customers. Discovering flaws in a virtual environment saves money on prototypes as well as damage control.

  • Meetings: Staff meetings, client presentations, office tours, and even employee retreats can occur in a virtual environment.

Advantages of virtual reality technology

Technology lovers will likely have no shortage of uses for virtual reality technology, so it’s good to know they carry several advantages to companies. These include:

  • Cost: Virtual reality technologies will only become more affordable, even for small businesses. ABC News reported on an export company that uses virtual reality technology for training and communication with employees and those in the industry and community. When used in place of sending employees to exotic locations with elaborate equipment, virtual reality can cut expenses significantly.

  • Safety: When you need to gather data from dangerous locations, it can save companies not only on travel, but the immeasurable cost of placing employees in harm’s way.

  • Mobility: Virtual reality equipment, like headsets, are conveniently mobile. Unlike many other technologies, virtual reality equipment is relatively easy to use. The point is that it should feel like real life, so users can behave and move around the way they do normally.

Investing in virtual reality now creates opportunities to connect with employees and customers in more intuitive ways. Read this tech article to discover other ways companies are equipping their employees with high-tech mobility solutions.

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