Virtual reality is being used in a number of ways by the business community which include:
- Virtual tours of a business environment
- Training of new employees
- A 360 view of a product
Many businesses have embraced virtual reality as a cost effective way of developing a product or service. For example it enables them to test a prototype without having to develop several versions of this which can be time consuming and expensive.
Plus it is a good way of detecting design problems at an early stage which can then be dealt with sooner rather than later.
For some businesses, fully immersive virtual reality a la CAVE system is the way forward. They like the fact that they can use this to test drive a product in the early stages of development but without any additional costs (or risks) to themselves.
This is particularly useful for companies who produce dangerous or potentially harmful products which need to be evaluated before use. They can test their product within a virtual environment but at no risk to themselves or their employees. And virtual reality technology has advanced to the stage where it has a high degree of realism and efficiency.
Some companies use virtual reality to help with data analysis and forecasting trends in order to gain an edge over their competitors. One example of this is a system developed by researchers at the University of Warwick which is designed to help businesses gain a greater understanding of their data.
Virtual worlds for business
Another use is virtual worlds: there are companies who use virtual worlds as a means of holding meetings with people who are based in various locations. This is often a low cost solution to the problem of communication with large numbers of employees in remote locations.
Virtual environments are also used for training courses and role playing scenarios.