VR is a technology that, until recently, belonged to gamers. Not anymore. Some of our paramount industries—from healthcare to education—are adopting VR to enhance training, develop knowledge and bring the future forward with a technology that’s made for the next generation of frontline workers.
What does the future look like for construction, retail and office-based industries? Who knows. But read on to get our thoughts and learn what we already know this technology is bringing to these industries.
Virtual Showrooms and Shopping Experiences: We’re seeing this now, but not all brands are seeing the benefits just yet. Clinique, for example, has made a web-based virtual store where consumers can shop in an environment that, if anything, offers a much more engaging journey than any UX-optimized web store ever could.
Nike has created Nikeland, a game embedded within Roblox, where users can dress their avatars in Nike apparel. While it’s no shopping experience, it’s a surefire sign of a major, globally known brand engaging with VR.
The Future: We expect to see more brands adopting virtual reality to enhance retail experiences and tell their stories in a less restrictive, less linear way. And with the parallel rise of AI, prepare yourself for hyper-personalized, VR-based shopping.
Remote Work Enhancement: COVID-19 may have peaked as a global pandemic, but its impact remains. The demand for hybrid working, four-day workweeks and a work-life balance have emerged out of that rough couple of years, and businesses are waking up to the idea that their staff can be equally, if not more, productive when they can also work remotely.
VR gives both businesses and employees the chance to work from anywhere in the world while still enjoying the same level of collaboration, interaction and involvement that showing up, logging on and grinding down does.
The Future: Remote working as a full-time position is on the rise, and companies are recognizing the benefits that breaking down global barriers has for their bottom lines. The benefit VR has is that teams can enjoy the same level of connectivity without ever going into the office.
Safety Training: Anyone who works in construction knows that the training and testing never ends. Regulations are always changing to match modern engineering and evolving building methods. But regardless of innovation, one thing that’s consistent in this industry is VR. VR can provide what no real-world training can: the chance to simulate worst-case scenarios in an environment that mimics any construction site and in a way that’s safe and controlled.
Another advantage of VR in construction is that it allows developers to assess and alter designs in real time, ultimately improving efficiency, reducing errors and ensuring budgets are always met.
The Future: The commercial construction industry is already taking full advantage of VR. Companies that are involved in major-scale developments are, unsurprisingly, more likely to recognize the benefits it has for modifying designs, simulating worst-case scenarios and so on.
We expect, as the benefits of VR technology become more widely recognized, that even small-scale construction companies will be using it, whether the projects are residential or commercial.
Every industry, not just construction, retail and office-based, can grow with VR. Much like we’re seeing the internet evolve into Web 3.0 right now, VR is having its evolution. A lot of business leaders just don’t quite realize it yet.
No one can predict the future. And anyone who says they can is lying. But based on current trends and the development of VR technology, it’s fair to say that VR will become an integral part of these industries and many others in years to come.