Virtual Reality: Coming to a Business Near You

Can you imagine a world where your favorite video game can come alive in front of you, jumping off the TV screen and into your living room? Well, that scenario might be possible sooner than you think. The technology that powers virtual and augmented reality is taking off and could change life as we know it.

Microsoft showed off its Hololens augmented reality headset at the recent E3 2015 event, featuring a Minecraft demo. Fans were awed by this new technology, which combines augmented realty with the real world to create an interactive experience for users.

When you think of VR, videogames such as Minecraft, may be the first thing you think of. However, the truth is that VR is an exciting concept that many different industries are exploring. But while the “cool factor” may be enough of a reason to impliment VR technology in video games, businesses need to figure out how to make VR will make them more efficent and profitable. Here are some examples of businesses across spectrum of industries that are starting to see the ROI of VR.

Healthcare Industry

There are numerous innovative uses of virtual reality technology being utilized in medical care. Organizations throughout the country are discovering its possible uses. Techrepublic reported on several new therapies using VR. At the University of Louisville, doctors are using VR to help patients with phobias face their fears in a safe environment, burn victims are using a VR simulations as a pain killer, and kids with autism are using the technology to learn new social skills. VR could ultimately produce significant changes in patient care.

Automotive Industry

Virtual reality is playing a huge role in the automotive industry, from carrying out safety tests on virtual cars, to providing customers with the ultimate chance to experience a car before they buy it.

Audi is one such brand that is looking to enhance their customer’s purchasing experience. By the end of 2015, the company plans on allowing customers to design their perfect car before it’s built. They will get to see their personalized car in 3D. In addition, the VR headsets they plan to use will have headphones, allowing customers to “hear” their car, including the sound the car doors closing and the car’s sound system.

Education Industry

Studying French? Why not learn it from native speakers? Learning about the American Revolution? Go back in time and experience the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Imagine how much more exciting learning could be if it was more of an experience. Google has launched a new initiative to equip schoolrooms with Google Cardboard, a virtual reality viewer that is just as cheap as it sounds…the headset is made out of mostly cardboard and connects with certain Android phones to immerse students in new worlds.

Time Magazine reported that Google is also partnering with the Planetary Society, the American Museum of Natural History, and other organizations to complete a program called “Expeditions.” This program will be supplied to teachers, who will then be able to provide each child with a cardboard viewer, Android phone and a tablet. The devices will contain pre-installed software that will sync the entire class, giving teachers the ability to guide students through virtual field trips.

Our Role

At Dassault Systèmes we’ve been working hard to give life to traditionally 2D scenarios using the immersive reality technologies found in our 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Our products allow dozens of industries to use new technology to enhance the way they design their products, the way customers interact with their products, and in some cases, change to lives.

The Living Heart Project is one potentially life-changing product. It brings a scientifically-accurate 3D model of the human heart into the virtual world for doctors to study. It allows doctors to analyze their patients’ health and personalize their therapy, and can also be used to test medical devices in a newer and safer ways. View the video below, and also check out what our local CBS nightly news team had to say when they saw the Living Heart in person.

Just as the Living Heart Project is beginning to change the way doctors view and learn about the heart, our Perfect Shelf industry solution experience is changing the way brands and retailers design their consumers’ shopping experience. The program uses 3D VR to allow them to visualize shopping centers and perfect their design. Often times, product placement can play a large role in what consumers choose to buy. Perfect Shelf helps companies optimize their sales by testing customer reactions to certain product placements, without having to actually set up the shelves in real life.

With virtual reality, the sky is the limit. The Living Heart Project and Perfect Shelf are just two of the many VR and immersive reality programs that are part of our 3DEXPERIENCE. Dassault Systèmes has spent the past 30 years constantly exploring new possibilities and pushing the envelope of 3D technology, with the promise of widely-adopted virtual reality always on the horizon. Now that we seem to have reached a tipping-point for virtual reality technology, we can’t wait to see how this exciting technology will be integrated into businesses and society.


Molly Gately

Molly Gately is a passionate writer, who is excited to be a part of Dassault Systemes' North American Public Relations team. Molly has covered a variety different industries in her career, including automotive and tech. She has been published both on the web and in print. Most recently, she wrote for the Milford Daily Newspaper.