“Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time.” ~Bill Gates
When the Oculus Rift was made available for pre-orders back in January, many were downright skeptical about how mainstream the device would become. Sure, virtual reality sounds cool and diehard gamers with a pretty lump of pocket change would be all in. But for the average everyday gamer, bets were that the hefty price tag of $599 may not be worth the investment. Doubters are held at bay today as the Oculus Rift has been released, the user experience has far exceeded expectations, and the versatility of the device is being explored.
Innovation is a funny thing – you start out creating with a specific vision in mind, but more times than not, the concept explodes into something far beyond your wildest dreams. A perfect example of this phenomenon is Facebook, the social media giant that started in 2004 by college student Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates. The original concept was a more simplistic site designed to connect people around campus. As we know, Facebook is now much, much more!
Similar to the exploding evolution of Facebook, the Oculus Rift and other virtual reality devices are being considered and evaluated for much bigger purposes than the mind-blowing experiences to be had in gaming and other forms of entertainment. Many industries have seen the value these devices can add to business and education.
Industries Exploring Virtual Reality for Business
These 6 industries are among many that are exploring the use of virtual reality for business application.
Imagine your loved one fighting for their life and in need of surgery. The only procedure that could save them is an exploratory surgery done by a world-renowned surgeon in Manhattan. The only problem is that he is unable to fly down to Texas in time to operate himself. Could virtual reality allow this surgeon to direct a surgery from across the nation? While there are sure to be many things to consider and hurdles to jump in using virtual reality in the medical field, we may not be far off from similar applications becoming a reality.
Product Exploration and Development
What if all the key people involved in developing a new product for your company located in several divisions around the world could come together virtually to view a prototype together?
The Oculus Rift is being explored as a possible treatment option for anxiety or phobias. The idea is that the person is exposed to their fear or “stressor” in VR with the opportunity to disengage at any time. This is still under research, but if successful, could become a valuable tool.
Virtual reality headsets give a whole new definition to a “virtual tour” in real estate. Potential buyers could get an amazingly clear picture of the space before ever stepping foot on the property.
In construction, virtual reality can be used to provide a mockup of a building or other project without the cost of actually building it out.
In 2016, more workers are working remotely than ever before. Virtual reality headsets could be used in a variety of ways to boost productivity in a typical business environment.
While virtual reality for business is in the baby stages, the possibilities are endless. And it all started from a college student looking to boost their gaming experience. As technology continues to evolve, we see many companies embracing fun in the workplace environment as a way to inspire innovation. It seems to be working out, don’t you think?