Nearly all sectors will have felt some impact from the Covid-19 pandemic, some more acutely than others.
The virtual reality industry is in a relatively strong position because it offers users certain inherent advantages in these altered circumstances.
Against a backdrop of forced change, virtual reality’s ongoing evolution is revolutionising various areas of business.
But what does the post-pandemic future hold for the VR industry?
Before the coronavirus outbreak, a PwC study estimated that VR training would contribute $294 billion to the global economy by 2030. The pandemic will have upset a lot of predictions, but VR is unlikely to suffer a hugely detrimental impact from lockdown and its aftermath.
Why? Because it is an enabling technology that does not depend on face-to-face contact to deliver value to its users.
As a training tool, VR continues to make significant inroads in health and safety and maintenance simulation training. The widespread adoption of remote working, and working from home, is likely to accelerate this trend.
Businesses and organisations are using VR to drive behavioural change, embedding new behaviours through immersive training experiences.
Improving, or maintaining, employee engagement is a challenge under safe-distancing rules.
However, group VR applications have the potential to overcome these obstacles and add a whole new dimension to collaborative working in the process.
And this is not just about social distancing.
What the pandemic has done is demonstrated to people how they can adapt to technology and develop working processes that maximise its effectiveness.
VR stands to benefit as much, if not more, from this, as remote messaging and conferencing applications have.
Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on the real world with lockdown, safe distancing, self-isolation and quarantine all contributing to circumstances where life – not to mention business – is far from normal.
But people have shown tremendous adaptability as well as resilience.
Businesses and organisations have embraced the opportunities technology presents, and created a new set of norms for people to work with.
This is a logical, evolutionary step, as VR’s true effectiveness is as an advanced tool that you can integrate into working practices, procedures and systems.
Virtual reality is becoming an influential and valuable sales and marketing tool. In an uncertain world, where physical experience is prone to restriction or change, VR offers both continuity and reliability.
It is also enabling customers to experience the try-before-you-buy experience in ways that would simply not be possible in the physical realm. For example, if an engineering firm is designing a product or service for a client, with VR they can present initial concepts in immersive 3D before any kind of physical manufacturing takes place.
This same principle applies at the prototyping stage.
And, with the right VR technology, the client does not need to be on site to experience this.
Similarly, the VR platform enables a profound level of customer engagement, which is highly adaptable regardless of distancing guidelines.
No one knows the long-term outcome for Covid-19, but the key for businesses to survive and grow under these uncertain conditions is adaptability.
VR applications and displays, including long-distance, real time 3D collaboration offer new ways for businesses to adapt.
The post-pandemic future for VR is promising because it can offer vital support to help bolster the health of the wider economy and the people working in it.
For more information about VR applications and technology, please contact us.