Unless you are quite young, virtual reality has been an idea of the future for the majority of your life. Aside from some novelty experiences, most people had only experienced virtual reality as a concept in movies like Tron, The Matrix, and Ready Player One until the last few years. Now, 60 years after the creation of the first virtual reality device, this technology is finally starting to achieve its true potential.
When people think about virtual reality devices, most people probably picture playing a virtual reality video game. While gaming has been at the forefront of the virtual reality revolution, this technology is far more diverse. Virtual reality is being adapted for a variety of uses, and businesses are beginning to look to this technology in many ways.
Virtual reality video games are gradually growing in popularity. The biggest hindrance to the growth of these games is that the price tag is often still quite high. However, as these devices continue to become more affordable, the growth rate should rapidly escalate. While virtual reality gaming is where the largest exposure to this technology is currently occurring, it is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are a few virtual reality companies, like Panda MR, that have chosen a different target audience for this technology. Instead of focusing on appealing to gamers, they have instead decided to aim their focus at the business world.
Unlike the cost problem for video game enthusiasts, a higher price tag isn’t going to be nearly as big of an obstacle when selling products using this technology to large corporations. This is especially true because this technology has the potential to save companies a lot of money in the long run.
The pandemic helped many technologies take a step forward in the world of business. With people having to work from a distance, the use of video conferencing and affiliated things like screen sharing has boomed greatly. Companies that worked with clients or partners overseas or across the country have been utilizing these technologies to some degree for years. However, it was not used anywhere near this scale until now.
These technologies have helped to save companies dramatically on travel costs. While people still want to do some business face to face, the number of people comfortable with making deals over a video call is far higher than those willing to do so over the phone.
This is one area in which virtual reality engineers are looking to take another step forward. The hope is to completely tear down the obstacles imposed by distance and put two people from opposite sides of the planet into the same room, at the same time, through a virtual reality simulation. While there is still a way to go until this virtual space will be imperceptible from reality, things are certainly moving in that direction.
Beyond simple business meetings, larger virtual spaces are being created. Large virtual event centers are available where attendees can move around and attend different virtual meetings and presentations.
As the virtual world grows, the need for a physical space shrinks. Many businesses realized during the coronavirus pandemic that they could save a lot of money going forward, by having employees work from home. It was a move brought about by necessity, but one which many employers are continuing beyond restrictions due to practicality.
With employees working from home, companies are realizing that they can rent out a much smaller office space and save a lot of overhead costs. There is also the potential to move to more of a prime location and still save money overall. Being able to hold meetings in a virtual space can potentially eliminate the need for any physical workspace.
If employees all work within the virtual space, they can be “at the office” without ever leaving their homes. The cost of supplying employees with virtual reality sets could be far outweighed by the money saved on rent.
The same idea holds true for virtual events. Instead of renting out a large venue and paying for travel costs and all the money that goes into throwing a large corporate event, everyone can attend a virtual event remotely.
Virtual reality technology will continue to improve in the coming decades and will likely become a common experience in many people’s lives. While it is mainly used by gamers and for activities such as flight simulation, it is growing into other fields.
The potential for this technology is limitless. Virtual reality environments will be used by businesses in the ways mentioned, and they will also be used in training. Employees will be able to practice in a risk-free virtual environment. These environments will be especially helpful for jobs where lives are at risk. Doctors will be able to simulate surgeries on virtual patients without the potential for disaster.
Virtual reality is changing the world while at the same time creating a whole other world on top of the one we know.