Today Digital Transformation is well and truly a part of our life and we are using the technologies it has proliferated on a day to day basis.
Virtual Reality technology has evolved dramatically in the past few years as the cost of VR devices has gone down. It is all set to hit mainstream markets soon. While gaming applications like Pokemon Go have attracted most of the attention, there are many other use cases that could have a much larger impact on our lives.
Google Cardboard is a super low-cost headset ($15) to which a compatible, VR enabled mobile phone is attached to deliver the VR experience. Another commercial product is Oculus Rift gear, which has become extremely popular in both gaming & business.
Here are some great VR use cases:
1. VR for Tourism: Do you want to sit on your couch and climb up the Eiffel tower? Or walk on the glass horse shoe at grand canyon? Wild Within is a VR app available for experiencing travel through rainforests in Canada, for example. Travelers around the world are able to experience a helicopter flight around New York City or a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty.
2. VR for Education: Over last decade, eLearning has picked up considerably. But until now it could not deliver the hands-on experience which is now possible with VR technology. Technicians can actually learn from real life examples and do their bit to solve the problems on the shop floor. Medical students can actually perform surgeries allowing them to make mistakes without any impact on actual patients.
3. VR for Sales: Traditionally, automakers have the showroom to show the cars to the customers and explain their features, while sometimes a test drive is also possible. But customization of how the interior will look as per their choice was not possible, something that can now be done via VR. Audi is experimenting with this in London, where customers can configure their Audi with accessories as they want and drive virtually in real time.
4. VR in Gaming: Did anyone miss the excitement Pokemon Go created, reaching 50 million users in a record time of 22 days? Using AR/VR technology, games have changed the lives of seniors as well as teens. Game of Thrones recently capitalized on VR and has gone viral in various countries.
5. VR in Design: Product design can be a tedious task and changes to products based on the competition or customization can be time-consuming. This is where VR helps designers. They can now create the products easily, configure all the features and test them out. It is popular in the construction of buildings to see how the interior will look, for example.
6. VR in Marketing: Digital Marketing ads are becoming more intrusive. The best marketing campaigns use VR to create successful campaigns as users get completely immersed into the content, and create memorable experiences. Coca-Cola created a virtual reality sleigh ride. The New York Times releases a number of immersive documentaries on their app. Finnair is showing their Airbus 350 via VR to attract more customers.
7. VR in Sports Coaching: The potential for VR in sports in endless. You get all the benefits of real-world interaction, but in a controlled environment. Showing is so much more effective than explaining, and experiencing something first-hand is that much more powerful again.
Virtual reality technology holds enormous potential to change the future for a number of fields, from medicine, business, and architecture to manufacturing. We are certainly on a roller coaster!