6 industries that will be affected by virtual reality

There is a greater opportunity for organizations to adopt the technology at a wider scale.

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VR going mainstream

2016 has been a defining moment for virtual and augmented reality. From Pokemon GO to Facebook’s newly announced standalone VR headset, the virtual reality market has taken off and we’ve just scratched the surface in terms of innovation. Previously, virtual reality seemed to be a technology that was reserved only for tech enthusiasts and extreme gamers. However, we are now starting to see its mainstream application. As virtual reality becomes more common in business and personal settings, less expensive equipment is becoming available, providing an opportunity for organizations to adopt the technology at a wider scale.

From corporate offices to real estate firms, Pieter Aarts, CEO of the virtual staging application roOomy, discusses the industries that stand to experience the biggest impact from virtual reality.

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Traveling can always be an uneasy process, especially when venturing to new locations you have never experienced before. Often individuals are plagued with questions such as, will the hotel and room really appear as nice in-person as it does online? Virtual reality will put the guesswork to rest – soon, trendy vacation companies like Airbnb will allow users to “tour” a hotel and surrounding areas, prior to embarking on their journey. Customer reviews are rarely reliable, and virtual reality presents an opportunity to remove those risk factors from travel plans.

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When looking at virtual reality’s impact on the retail industry, the phrase “try before you buy” will now be a feasible concept. Imagine shopping for clothing online, and being able to see what the garment will actually look like on you before purchasing! Realistically, we’d be much less likely to abandon our shopping carts if this was the case. Virtual reality will provide retailers (specifically through online channels) with the ability to offer fully-immersive, interactive shopping experiences. This will truly be a game changer for retail, as steep reductions in returns and customer complaints, while increasing buyer’s trust, is key to the bottom line.

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Real estate

The real estate industry possibly stands to see the largest transformation from virtual reality with the technologies adoption and application. For example, if a retired couple and a family with young children are interested in purchasing a two-bedroom condo, the listing agent can virtually stage the space through a virtual staging service. With two completely different but instantaneous design layouts, each is uniquely staged to better appeal to the individual buyer. Additionally, instead of having to physically tour 10 to 15 properties with each prospective buyer, agents now have the capability to present virtual tours, providing the same immersive experience.

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Corporate business

Virtual reality serves as a cost effective solution to streamline a variety of outdated business operations. As the technology becomes more mainstream, small businesses should begin investing to improve processes like employee training and orientation. The technology has the potential to replace expensive and time consuming travel for business meetings or national conferences. For example, many employees from all over the globe could be trained at the same time through an interactive, 3D tutorial.

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Imagine “operating” on a virtualized model? VR and AR technology have become useful tools in training healthcare professionals. Through VR, medical training will undergo a complete transformation. Practitioners will receive instruction on equipment and procedures in a more interactive and realistic environment. Gone are the days of text books and video guides, as the primary learning tools.

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Gamers are always looking for the next big thing to revolutionize the way that they play. Virtual reality already has the ability to take players to another dimension, fully engaging them in an environment that can’t be experienced anywhere else. The primary advancement of virtual reality within the gaming industry lies in working out the kinks. This technology can bring a hefty price tag, somewhat limiting its mainstream adoption currently. As more competing products come online, the expenses are likely to drop allowing every gamer to get in on the action.

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