For modern companies that want to take their businesses into the future, investing in technologies such as 3D, virtual reality (VR), or augmented reality (AR) is a must. User experience-oriented tech is primed to change the way businesses communicate and interact with customers, as well as provide better experiences for users and customers.
We’ve already seen big companies make huge investments in this technology. AR/VR investment reached $1.1 billion earlier this year. Here’s why investing in user experience oriented technology will help your business stay ahead of the curve, and maintain a competitive edge.
Reshape Product Development with VR
One of the best opportunities afforded to the business world by VR is product development and prototyping. Consider Pokémon Go—I’ve been writing for months about how businesses should use this as a prime example of product revision success. What’s old is new, and it’s even better in VR.
Modern companies rely on collaboration from various professionals and departments, and these processes are often bogged down due to physical distance between key decision makers. With VR, distance becomes irrelevant. During the product development process, the hands that touch the product can do so in a virtual environment regardless of physical location.
This is important for both developers and early testers. Early feedback from virtual contact with new products will allow for faster tweaking and a better end product. Additionally, all of the decision-makers can have hands-on contact with a project throughout the entire development process. This limits uncertainty, improves overall operational efficiency, and results in better experiences for end users.
Watch for Telemedicine’s Boom
VR can also positively affect the healthcare industry. Telemedicine has existed in several forms for decades, but now the technology behind it is more affordable and portable than ever. With this technology, patients have consultations with doctors in virtual reality, providing the experience of a face-to-face meeting without actually meeting in person.
Patient quality of life could also be improved with VR. Nursing home residents can take VR vacations and enjoy new experiences from the safety and comfort of their homes. Patients with mental illnesses or trauma can enter safe and healing virtual spaces that allow them to participate in therapy sessions with experts in their conditions, regardless of where they are located.
Improve the Customer Experience
Customer-focused companies are rethinking legacy processes and old ways of doing business in light of emerging technology, and AR and VR are positioned to further enhance customer experiences for a variety of industries. Companies like Sony are already delivering new, more immersive experiences to their customers. The new PlayStation VR headset is one of the most affordable VR packages available today and has already garnered a great deal of interest from game developers. The PlayStation VR is also seeing a great deal of positive feedback from gamers, who are reporting more immersive video game experiences than anything they’ve ever experienced.
Other businesses will deliver better experiences to customers using this technology. Virtual shopping means consumers have “hands-on” time with new products from almost anywhere. Augmented reality technology could even allow customers to see how new clothes will look before purchasing them.
Engage in Virtual Touring and House-hunting
The tourism and real estate industries have a great deal of potential with AR and VR technology. Potential vacationers can check out resorts and hotels using virtual tours, a much more immersive experience than a simple flat image gallery on a website. People shopping for new homes or moving long distances will soon tour potential homes using VR, enabling real estate agents to host open houses and tours with potential buyers from across the country.
Improve Customer Loyalty
For first-time users, the initial interaction with VR technology is a memorable one. Businesses are already looking for new ways to provide customers with more meaningful interactions, and VR shows strong potential in this regard. Some estimates calculate that the VR market will top $150 billion within the next four years. While the market has had its fair share of growing pains, such as Google Glass and other early VR headsets, the technology behind it has become more affordable and feasible than ever.
Customer loyalty is a major concern for just about every customer-focused business. Information travels instantaneously, and customer needs and problems change very quickly as new trends and technologies emerge. Businesses are constantly looking to stay fresh and relevant in their markets, and capitalizing on new, exciting technology can accomplish this.
VR interactions entertain, educate, and delight customers in a way they won’t forget, and it encourages customer engagement. We’ve only just scratched the surface its use. The immersion offered by VR is poised to offer some of the most engaging customer experiences we’ve ever seen. If you haven’t investigated what these technologies can do for your business and your customers, now is the time.