Why Your Business Can’t Be Competitive Without VR/AR Technologies

In 1957, Morton Heilig introduced a multimedia device called the Sensorama, which many experts consider to be the first virtual reality or augmented reality system. However, the concept was further expanded by Jaron Lanier, who led teams to explore various VR and AR applications in different industrial and humanitarian fields.

So, how are AR and VR used in business today?

How VR and AR for Business are Changing the World

Today, technological innovation is changing the way we experience the world. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are quickly becoming part of our day-to-day lives as consumers, producers, and entrepreneurs. 

There are many ways VR and AR are currently integrated into a business marketing strategy because of how they affect the company’s growth and increase its revenues

Some people feel confused about the difference between VR and AR or use the terms interchangeably to refer to the same concept. But in a business setting, the difference between the two terms is profound. Just compare:

Virtual Reality refers to a technology that puts the person into a simulated reality created by a computer program. The person using the technology can access this new environment with the help of goggles or a headset. 

Augmented Reality refers to the digital enhancement added to a current scene or environment. For example, lots of photography applications on your smartphone add these digital enhancements or filters to your photos.

In a basic setting, VR and AR are currently widely used in the entertainment industry. So what kind of benefits can they bring to your business? And why is finding a trustworthy VR/AR provider should be on the top of your to-do list? Here are a few reasons. 

  • The Try-Before-You-Buy concept explains an essential application of VR and how it can be made in the business. Customers can use this technology to see how their products actually look once they’re bought or installed, and they can experience the way they work or operate. 
  • AR provides a richer user experience, thus increasing the engagement and loyalty level. It has a massive impact on creating a trustworthy brand image that customers appreciate and value. 
  • People can go on virtual tours to experience new destinations or locations. In addition to providing customers with a novice experience in a safer setting. 
  • AR makes products more accessible, as the person buying the product or service doesn’t have to buy a specific media platform to enjoy the perks of this technology.
  • The cost of hands-on training decreases by integrating VR technology into the equation. People are making mistakes in a virtual setting designed by experts, so they can improve their skills and learn from their mistakes. 

These are only some of the benefits that VR and AR applications can bring to your business, regardless of your industry. This means that without considering one or both of these technologies, it becomes tough to compete in a world that is becoming more digital by the second. 

Impact of VR and AR on Different Industries

So, how do these technologies specifically impact different industries? How can VR be used in business, and how can AR help expand business operations?

Apart from the gaming and entertainment industry, it’s safe to say that VR and AR are currently shaping the future. There are now 171 million VR users in the world today, with more than 78% of Americans familiar with the technology. The number of AR users is a little above 1 billion users and is expected to reach 1.73 billion users in 2024. 

Thanks to the competitive advantage they can give different business ventures, entrepreneurs and producers are able to integrate these two technologies to make marketing efforts more effective and increase their revenues. All you need is a knowledgeable provider to tailor the technology to fit your needs. Here are how different industries use VR and AR technologies.

Automotive Industry

VR is used in the automotive industry to reduce the cost of building prototypes and testing for safety, thus decreasing the whole company’s expenses. At the same time, the technology provides reliable data that designers and engineers use to improve the specifications of their products.

Famous brands like BMW integrate VR early into the production process. Designers create models of their vehicles, and engineers check and tweak the virtual design before the money is spent on a prototype. Engineers edit and redesign different parts before building a prototype, so few adjustments are needed without throwing away an expensive model.

In test drives, VR allows users to test the vehicle in different settings to assess its performance. This technology saves money and time. It was also used to market new vehicles like BMW Vision when it was introduced in 2016. This VR application in business increased brand awareness and sales. 

AR provides users with a seamless experience while they’re driving or parking. It’s also used as a maintenance guide, as drivers can see different car components without actually having to examine it. 

VR in Automotive Industry
VR in Automotive Industry 

Home Improvement

Before buying home improvement products, customers can see how their products will look once installed into their space. Lowe’s Home Improvement introduced this concept in select US markets, where customers can design their perfect room using VR then make all the necessary adjustments before making a purchase. 

Customers use special devices to select everything they want to add to their bathroom or kitchen, from flooring to fixtures and appliances. Then they get to see how their 3D objects look in the space of their choice and even walk through this virtual set up to make any adjustments. 

Using a Google Cardboard supplied by Lowe’s, customers can have these designs exported to YouTube 360 and view their designed rooms at home before buying whatever they want. This experience resulted in a higher level of customer satisfaction and lower return rates. 

Moreover, VR was used to help employees understand how different products work. As a result, sales increased by more than 42%. 

Tourism

Going on virtual tours of holiday destinations, hotels, and restaurants is one of the latest applications of VR in tourism. Thomas Cook was a pioneer when it introduced the Try Before You Fly experience, where customers were able to visit their upcoming holiday destinations before actually booking a holiday. 

After going on virtual tours, booking rates increased significantly, as customers knew exactly what to expect. This experience also resulted in a higher level of customer satisfaction because customers knew exactly what to expect. 

Healthcare

The application of VR and AR in the healthcare business has a significant impact on the quality of service provided and the extent of professionalism in challenging settings. Healthcare professionals are trained to help victims by performing virtual surgeries and dealing in virtual emergencies before working on real bodies. 

Younger doctors are able to watch experienced surgeons perform surgeries like they’re taking part, so they get more hands-on training. As a result, doctors and surgeons are more aware of the consequences of their decisions and are more able to come up with an efficient treatment plan. 

The University of New England used VR to incorporate age-related conditions simulation to help physicians understand the impact of specific health issues, teaching them empathy. As a result, doctors became more aware of what they should do to help their elderly patients lead better lives. 

AR and VR are both used to treat several mental and behavioral issues through Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy, which can be used in treating anxiety by analyzing triggers and finding solutions. Medical VR can also be used to relax patients by viewing calming landscapes.

AR is used to create real-life yet digitally enhanced scenarios to help people with behavioral and mental issues better cope with their environment. Immersive treatments have already been used to treat soldiers who suffer from PTSD.

VR and AR in Healthcare
VR and AR in Healthcare

Beauty

Online shopping for makeup products has come a long way since the introduction of AR in business. Brands like MAC offer a unique experience where users can have a chance to test various products on themselves before buying a product. 

The integrated AR component doesn’t require the installation of any software program and works seamlessly when the user switches on the camera on their device. Without having to visit the store, users are able to select new products, resulting in an increase in sales and higher brand loyalty rates.

MAC also installed their AR mirrors at select stores, allowing customers to try on a wide range of products. The mirrors, which are actually free-standing iPads, used facial tracking and 3D video rendering to show how the makeup will look once applied, leading to a more than 30% increase in sales

Real Estate

AR is currently used in the real estate business to help buyers understand the real potential of their property. By looking at an enhanced model, buyers can see what they can do with their space and how to use it efficiently. 

According to industry experts, AR can provide a more immersive experience than real-life viewing. People can view and examine their property of interest by exploring it from all angles; something that they can’t get even when they visit it in real life. 

AR is currently used to build 3D models of properties and form virtual property tours, resulting in a higher sales rate because people better understand what they’re getting for their money

Education and Training

One of the most important uses of VR in business is the ability to experiment and explore in a virtual setting. VR and AR allow students and apprentices to enjoy hands-on training. VR creates an immersive learning experience, where students are allowed to be part of the experience rather than watch it. 

By increasing the level of engagement, students can display a better understanding of different academic topics. AR adds highlights and tags to better understand various objects and concepts. 

In skilled trades, experts use VR applications to train apprentices to better understand different objects and products. By allowing them to experience these tools, they can better understand how they work and become better at using them. 

Conclusion

The importance of VR and AR is always increasing, opening up doors for more valuable applications. By opting for a competent VR and/or AR solution from a trustworthy provider, you’re guaranteeing that your business will always be ahead of competitors. 

Do you want to gain a lasting competitive advantage? Reach us out at hello@wear-studio.com to get a free consultation.

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