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Anything is possible in virtual reality (VR). Just as Niantic, Inc. brought Pokémon to life for users in the real world, a business can now bring to life ideations that were previously unattainable. The potential for business applications with augmented reality (AR) and VR technologies is limitless, especially as engineers continue to improve AR/VR design and usability. In all my years as a tech analyst/junkie, I’ve never been more excited about the potential of technology than I am now about AR and VR in the workplace.
Data from the Dell Future Workforce Global study shows that millennials expect to work in a smart office in the near or immediate future. Today’s workers don’t think the workplace is smart or digitally connected enough and believe this inhibits productivity, collaboration, and efficiency. While only 47 percent of the baby boomer generation reported they were willing to use AR/VR in their professional lives, 77 percent of millennials state they are willing to use these products in the workplace. Even more professionals in developing countries are willing to use AR/VR products–87 percent, to be exact.
When it comes to workplace productivity, 52 percent of millennials believe augmented and virtual reality applications would increase productivity, compared to only 35 percent of baby boomer professionals. Brazil reported the highest belief in AR/VR improving productivity in the workplace at 74 percent, followed by China at 69 percent. On the flip side, India expressed the greatest concern that AR and VR would reduce workplace productivity (22 percent).
Global businesses may have mixed feelings about this technology, but one thing is certain – businesses are seeing returns on workplace AR and VR investments. Market leaders across a variety of industries are seeing positive ROIs from using AR and VR tools to:
Virtual, augmented, and mixed-reality applications have the power to improve business on both the company’s end and the user’s end. There is no cap on the creative ways brands can benefit from AR and VR – from dynamic real-time collaborations on projects to consumers touring virtual retail outlets from the comfort of their homes.
As AR and VR come into their own with technological advances, every industry is coming up with exciting ways to integrate virtual reality using both smartphones and VR headsets. Health care, construction, automotive, aerospace, real estate, entertainment, tourism, and retail industries are all beginning to use AR and VR to transform the workplace. Here’s an overview of some of my favorite ways businesses use AR and VR to improve the workplace and the consumer experience:
AR and VR have the power to streamline the workplace, optimize education and training, and connect people to what matters. From engineering and design to gaming and entertainment, augmented and virtual realities are taking the business world by storm. My advice is to learn as much as you can about AR and VR in your industry, and invest in these technologies ahead of your competition.