Blog | Three reasons enterprise VR is the next big thing

By Michael Ngan

Michael Ngan

Virtual reality (VR) promises to be one of the most revolutionary technologies of this century, and its use won’t be limited to gaming and marketing. VR is about to become mainstream, increasing competitiveness in all kinds of businesses.

Analysts predict that Asia Pacific will lead VR market growth at a predicted CAGR of over 80% from 2016 to 2024. The global market could be worth as much as $60 billion globally by 2025.

Technology giants are making huge investments in VR, augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR). Examples include Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR headset and Lenovo’s Explorer MR headset.

With technology maturing and price points plummeting, the case for its adoption becomes more compelling by the day.

VR helps businesses do more at less cost and risk

VR is expected to increase productivity, allowing workers to see and interact with information. Wherever visualization can be applied, VR can improve productivity and effectiveness and reduce cost and risk – whether it’s turning blueprints and technical drawings into more human-friendly 3D renderings or training future medical workers with virtual organs and their diseases.

Such medical, industrial and marketing VR applications are already in use, driving what is predicted to be a 10-fold spike in sales of AR and VR headsets by 2021. In the healthcare space, analysts expect that the global market for VR to reach $3.8 billion by 2020.

In Hong Kong, we already see exciting applications of VR in cognitive rehabilitation training. Through VR simulation of the real-life environments, patients are provided with a safe environment to improve their cognitive functions. What started as a research project by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University is now licensed to a local rehabilitation services firm.

VR helps businesses engage its customers

Consumers today place much more value on overall brand and product experiences. Immersive, interactive “as-if-you-were-there” experiences are an effective way to constantly engage and pique the interest of brand loyalists.

VR-enabled applications are particularly useful for businesses that need customers to visualize the end product. Architects can virtually walk their clients through a building whose foundation has yet to be laid. Retailers can show off fashions and create virtual showrooms. Layer on top of this is the social element that users have sharing experiences and it’s clear that VR will be a hit for consumers.

The Korean tourism ministry is already taking advantage of this by using VR technology to bring to life Korea’s heritage sites and site-seeing locations. This is the start of a major shift in the way tourism boards and tour operators market to and engage travelers.

VR technology is here now

Not long ago, VR was an immature technology seen as a dream for lifestyles of the future and mere toys for today. Immersive technology is quickly advancing, however, and by 2020, both consumers and businesses are expected to have easy and affordable access to quality VR devices, systems, tools and services.

A recent survey found that 37% of organizations surveyed are already using VR. The market currently offers more consumer devices than enterprise-ready ones, but the gap in adoption is predicted to close by 2019.

With immersive technology become progressively richer and more immersive, its use is poised to reshape many industries. Now is the time for businesses to embrace VR, not just to keep pace, but to innovate with it and leap ahead of the competition.

The author is the country general manager of Lenovo Philippines

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