Virtual Reality (VR) has come a long way in the last half-decade. In 2015, there were only 2.9 million VR headsets actively used across the world – this number will reach 37 million by the end of 2020. VR is recognised for its ability to deliver immersive, engaging experiences in every industry sector. And this opens up infinite use cases in collaboration and collaboration.
Collaboration is among the top five applications for VR in the next twelve months. 47% of companies said that they are interested in using this technology to communicate with remote workers. 48% want to use it to share real-time feedback.
As WFH continues to be a reality for millions of employees, VR is possibly the most effective way of recreating in-person experiences in a remote, social distancing-friendly environment. Consider apps like MeetinVR or Spatial. They allow employees to put on a headset, enter a virtual meeting space, and interact with a colleague’s avatar in real-time. The avatar responds to gestures and facial expressions, which is as close to physical experiences as we can get.
Technically, VR could change every form of communication – both internal and external. In place of our traditional contact centres, a VR-enabled customer service hub would solve problems faster, empowering agents to communicate even the most complex of workflows. One survey found that 53% of companies are already using VR for customer service “visits.”
Another focus area – particularly for the next few quarters – is VR for education.
The education sector relies hugely on in-person communications, real-time Q&A, and a high degree of engagement that traditional digital technology would find challenging to achieve. With schools and colleges staying closed in most countries, educators are turning to VR.
Fun fact: This has been in the making for a while. Way back in 2016, when just 2% of teachers used VR, 60% were already interested in adoption.
The first is scalability.
There’s no shortage of use cases for VR, but most companies are yet to gain from the economies of scale. Headsets are expensive, the software landscape isn’t mature, and business users may not have the requisite skillsets to use VR correctly.
There’s also the question of connectivity infrastructure. VR – in fact, any form of high-definition content – consumes a lot of bandwidth and computing power. Network coverage is not consistent or powerful enough to support VR communication at scale. Fortunately, the rise of 5G should address this over the next few years.
2020 is a landmark year for VR in businesses. Apart from MeetignVR and Spatial, take a look at Glue, which recently launched a VR collaboration platform for dispersed workforces. In terms of hardware, Facebook is working on a “lite” version of its popular Oculus headset. Former HTC CEO has launched the world’s first 5G compatible headset called XRSpace Mova. And, of course, Apple’s VR headset has long been in the rumour mill.
Watch this space as we bring you the latest updates!