Virtual Reality – A hype in which the ghosts divorce.
While those who call a Virtual Reality the “Next Big Thing” and prophesy a golden future, others on Youtube are amused by people crowding huge, bulky VR glasses, tripping over their own cables in their living room, and entire cabinets tear to the ground. Expensive hardware, immature software and complicated handling are the arguments used by VR critics. But what does the future of VR really look like?
A differentiated view of co-impulses should show the possibility spaces:
There are many fields of application – which are worthwhile
First of all, VR technology has to be acknowledged that even though it is still in its infancy, it has already opened up an impressive range of applications. Imagine that in the future you will no longer need to present your products to a sheet of paper, a dusty screen or a 7 inch tablet, but take the customer with them, into a 360 ° world where the product is an intoxicating experience becomes. The ad campaign turns it into a custom, interactive adventure that turns the lengthy onboarding talk into an immersive brand experience world for new employees.
In the virtual world, it is possible for you to transport situations in such a way that the customer can actually understand them. In a 360 ° video you can get a first-hand impression of what it feels like to walk in the middle of a herd of elephants, to fly through a canyon or – a little closer to the application – to make a consultation a real experience, regardless of location. Create experiences that transcend reality by having the customer in the real world drink a cocktail during a consultation in the travel agency and lie comfortably on the beach in the virtual world. In the future, design your seminars as worlds of experience. Make complex content an exciting journey and create a sustainable learning experience.
Opportunities that generate customer enthusiasm and emotional moments,and whose intensity leads to an unprecedented commitment of the customer.
And best of all, these examples are not dreams of the future, but use cases that are already being experimented with or even being used.
The skills we need for the job
The calls for VR experiences have meanwhile become loud. But few companies give their employees the necessary time to familiarize themselves with the new software and hardware. A wrong decision, because the time investment would pay off. The more immersive the experience provided by the technology, the more complex and time-consuming the deployment becomes.
It would be enough to get started by focusing on one framework, one technology, to go into rapid prototyping. Developers who already have experience with the Unity 3D Engine, Unreal Engine or WebVR, for example, basically just need a VR headset kit and time and patience. In an emergency, even a Google Cardboard would be enough to gain initial experience in VR coding and – above all – in testing. For one thing is also essential in the virtual world: a comprehensive test after the coding phase.
To generate relevant content, be aware of the goal you are pursuing with the use of VR. Decide which format you want to use. Do you want to rotate a 360 ° video, develop an application or even create an interactive space? Be creative and simply generate ideas in the first step. Always keep the central question in mind what the customer wants to experience. Then become more concrete and visualize your idea, build a prototype that you introduce to your target group and get feedback.
Functioning business models already exist/span>
First, here is the obvious business of VR games, for which the technology has been used for some time. But aside from the game developers who make us fly like Batman through virtual skyscraper worlds, companies beyond the gaming industry have also discovered VR’s pragmatic application areas.
FinTechs are already beginning to recognize VR’s huge added value and are using the technology to give people insights into otherwise unmanageable complex relationships.
Data visualization is the keyword here.
In the financial sector, both companies and customers depend on understanding and analyzing complex relationships between huge data streams, algorithms and price developments. VR makes it possible to create visualization rooms that go far beyond what can be displayed on a computer screen.
But technology can play a key role not only in the financial sector, but also in education, empowerment, project management and meeting culture, whether through immersive learning programs, location-independent coaching or virtual meeting rooms.
Another field that is already being used by German companies is the use of VR worlds as a product showroom, product configurator or as an accessible VR office.
… and which companies use it in practice?
Although the technology is still young, an almost unimaginable number of companies are already busy with their practical implementation. As so often, the first look leads to San Francisco, USA. Salesforce uses Oculus Rift and has deployed a VR data visualization and analysis solution. Citi experiments with the Microsoft HoloLens in a similar context.
But technology has already arrived in Germany as well. Volkswagen is rolling out a platform for location-independent cooperation with the Volkswagen Digital Reality Hub. The sports and fitness industry is also playing a leading role: Adidas uses VR in World Of Sports VR to visualize concepts and make them accessible. Even IKEA is already promoting a virtual reality kitchen. And the technology has also arrived in the financial sector. In the meantime, some savings banks have been using the artificial reality to make consultations for their customers in the virtual world come alive.
The multitude of companies involved in VR shows the great potential that lies in technology – even if the development costs for creating the immersive experiences are not to be underestimated.
You have to expect costs – as a user and as a company
No question, new “hip” technologies cost money. But this is just the end user still relatively cheap way: While high-quality VR hardware moves between 600 euros and 900 euros, the cost of generating the intense VR experiences are much more expensive. When commissioning a 360 ° immersive short video with a service provider, you quickly start to spend between 15,000 and 30,000 euros on conception, storyboarding, animation, mastering and postproduction. If it’s even about a VR app, a game or a longer movie, the costs grow exponentially. Nevertheless, the employment of VR technology is worthwhile for both users and companies, because the expected market is huge:
The number of virtual reality users is expected to reach 24 million worldwide in 2020. In Germany, sales in 2020 should rise to more than 1 billion.
If you already want to open up this market for yourself, then you have enough time for the development. From the idea to the implemented product, it is a long way, but it is fun to tread on it and in the end it rewards with an impressive result. Virtual reality comes with a huge variety of applications.