Whenever someone mentions VR (virtual reality) or AR (augmented reality) to me, the first thing I generally think of is video gaming. Maybe that’s because we are bombarded online and in other media with so many ads for the latest and greatest VR games. It would be easy to simply dismiss AR/VR as something that’s not a part of our everyday lives but, the reality is, both are already a part of our lives.
AR and VR are in widespread use right now by businesses of all types. Retail in particular is an early adopter of AR and VR. Have you been considering new flooring for your home or business? Many retailers have websites that allow you to upload a photo of your current room/flooring and, with a quick click on a product, see what it looks like in your room. There are hair salons that allow you to use your phone to “try out” new hair styles before you come in for the cut. And there are VR experiences that allow you to walk through and experience your new kitchen before you sign on the dotted line.
Beyond retail, you’re seeing AR/VR become more commonplace in industries such as architecture and construction. What a great opportunity to walk through an architect’s design before it’s built, allowing you to provide feedback and make changes.
Manufacturers are finding VR has a lot to offer when it comes to design and prototyping; eliminating the need for expensive, full scale prototypes. And the tourism industry is embracing AR/VR, providing meeting planners with tours of properties thousands of miles away from corporate offices, helping planners decide on facilities and meeting rooms without the obligatory site visit. AR/VR is also making inroads with internal training and education as well as sales.
The point of this is, if you aren’t thinking creatively when it comes to your communication and outreach plans, you might be missing out on new technology that could enhance the effectiveness of what you’re trying to accomplish. What applications for AR/VR do you see in your business or organization? The applications are just about endless.