The birth of immersive technology, such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) happened from the gaming space. However, the benefits of this technology have now shifted into the business arena. AR and VR for business can create life-like simulations in safe and cost-efficient ways. This technology can enhance brand awareness, quickly move buyers along their buyer’s journey, and improve training efficiencies. Here are five applications of VR and AR for business in use right now.
1. Product and Service Testing
Implementing AR and VR for your business allows customers to try your product before buying. Allowing customers to test your product provides one of the most significant enhancements to your business and brand awareness.
Without a doubt, using immersive technology to introduce a potential customer to your product creates an enormous buzz around your offering. Because of this technology plunging consumers inside your product, they can experience it first-hand in the comfort of their home, office, restaurant, or trade shows. With this innovation, your offering meets the consumer wherever they are in the world.
The benefits of leveraging on AR and VR for product testing include:
• Create and amplify the awareness of your product.
• Improve customer engagement.
• Move your customers along their buyer’s journey faster.
• Enhance the communications of your product.
• Attract the largest buying population – Millennials.
Numerous businesses are already leveraging this immersive innovation and gaining a competitive edge within their industries. Here are a couple of examples:
Automotive – Volvo Cars
In the automotive space, Volvo Cars created the XC90 VR viewer that permits users to drive their XC90 SUV through the countryside.
The VR viewer acts as a game and point of reference for consumers.
Volvo had taken its use of immersive technology a step farther by incorporating Mixed Reality to make Volvos safer for the consumer, in conjunction with Varjo.
Also, Volvo has opened two “Downtown Stores” (brand concept stores), one in Milan, Italy and the other in Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan. Inside these two stores, consumers immerse themselves in learning the safety features and experience their benefits.
Hospitality – Marriott Hotels
Marriott Hotels launched the “Teleporter”, a virtual reality app that highlights its services for potential guests. The “Teleporter” transports prospective guests from inside a Marriott hotel in Maui, Hawaii to a nearby beach. Users can also get a real-life view from the hotel’s balcony. Marriott aims to use “Teleporter” to encourage people to travel and stay at their hotels. Plus, Marriott hopes this technology generates interest in various locales.
Using VR for training is fast becoming one of the most vital applications of immersive technology for business. Virtual reality immerses employees into simulated scenarios to prepare them for real-life work situations. Placing employees in a replicated scene creates instant engagement, enhances their memory retention and ability to apply what they learned later on.
VR can also create personalised learning experiences. The Oculus Virtual Speech is a virtual reality headset that helps users practice public speaking. This technology is helpful for salespeople who want to prepare for sales presentations in a quiet environment.
Within the medical industry, medical students and doctors are already using virtual reality to practice surgery techniques that they can’t perform otherwise in a hospital operating theatre.
3. Augmented Reality Business Cards
Businesses use Augmented Reality (AR) to transform their company’s business cards into digital presentations of their products and services. Most of these AR business cards include short descriptions and pictures of their core products and services. Also, these type of business cards allow companies to provide explainer videos and floating information buttons about their products and services. In all, this technology improves their messaging about their products and services.
4. Data Visualization
Data visualization and data storytelling play a vital role in providing organizations with insights and actionable data. However, flat, map-based data models do not offer dynamic interaction via VR, but AR data visualization does. Immersive data visualizations place the user inside the data, instead of above it. This technology’s 3D displays help organizations find insights into their operations and detect possible problems that need addressing.
5. Virtual Reality Heat Map
A VR heat map is an overlay that helps businesses know where consumers focus their attention the most. The map’s color range permits companies to understand customer engagement visually. For instance, retail shops can use a VR heat map to track the eye movement of a shopper. This kind of tracking informs stores how well their displays attract attention. Retailers can use this data to test and adjust their displays, signage, and store layout to enhance the consumer experience and accelerate spending.
The uses of AR and VR for business are limited only by your imagination. Many new users of this technology are on the horizon. When immersive technology enjoins business operations, it can provide an unlimited boost to efficiency and revenue.