8 Ways to Bring Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality into the Enterprise

Virtual reality and augmented reality have exploded in the last year with new consumer headsets available for consumer use and content providers scrambling to produce titles that compete for user eyeballs.  

Today most of the VR and AR content is focussed on games and entertainment, but in the near future it will be very common to dawn a VR headset to communicate with colleagues, test ideas and diagnose problems in the workplace..  

Very soon virtual reality and augmented reality devices will become commonplace in every boardroom, and enterprise clients are already starting to ask themselves how best to implement VR and AR in the workplace.



1. Collaboration

Virtual Reality is a very effective way to remotely communicate and manage projects with colleagues.  Collaborative VR apps will save the cost of travel and launch environments that will allow workers to get project work done using digital whiteboards and exchanging information with your co-worker avatars.

Startups like Seattle based Pluto VR, are laying the groundwork for enterprises to be able to customize their personalized avatars and bring groups together inside any virtual environment.  As the technology improves, subtle communication cues will become indistinguishable from real life and virtual communication will be almost as impactful as being in the same room.


2. Training and Education

One of the most exciting verticals in enterprise VR is training and education.  Whether you are a firefighter, police officer or construction worker, there will be benefits to simulating scenarios in virtual reality, but in the comfort of the office environment.

Skanska, for example, is exploring ways that construction professionals can do all their safety training using Microsoft’s HoloLens, before ever stepping foot on a job site.  Skanska CIO Kevin Hutchinson believes that creating safe simulations that train and educate workers can save money and lives.


3. Recruitment

Many business, especially technology startups, are competing vigorously to attract and recruit the best talent.  VR video production companies are producing narrated office tours that bring the life and culture of the workplace directly to these highly sought after recruits.

Imagine experiencing company events and parties, group meetings and CEO launch presentations before signing on to your next job.  It is clear that company culture is one of the key determinants in why people decide to sign on to new jobs and virtual reality is great way to get potential employees immersed in the company culture before day one.


4. Sales

Virtual reality sales is a growing and exciting sector.  Real Estate agents can walk their clients through their dream homes virtually, retail sales consultants can place holographic products in front of potential customers and test out colors and design options with a flick of a switch.

In Seattle Studio 216 built a sales center experience for Skanska USA that allowed potential tenants to use HoloLens to see what there office configurations might feel like and understand the most efficient transportation routes to and from work  

These new virtual tools are making it easier for salespeople to visualize products quickly and accelerate sales and leasing.


5. Design

One of the most exciting form of virtual reality prototyping is in the design field.  Architects have been using 3d models for years to test their ideas but they now are able to go deep into their design ideas and walk through their creations.

Immersive technology also allows other design professionals, like structural engineers and interior designers to see and test how their work will complement the larger architectural vision.  Engineers and architects can quickly see if there are any issues that can be solved easily before any concrete is poured.


6. Data Visualization

Here is a case where another big technology sector, Big Data, may merge with virtual and augmented reality to help business visualize complicated data sets.

Being able to visualize live data sets in real time will allow professionals to better understand and analyze complex information.


7. Manufacturing Simulations

Virtual reality and augmented reality technology can help manufacturers get an idea of how their processes are performing.  Simple tweaks can be made easily, tested in virtual reality and then implemented, to quickly develop new procedures.  


8. Diagnostic Problem Solving

How many times have service professionals been in the field under stressful conditions and needed a domain expert to step in and give advice or provide help?  VR and AR technology can empower experts from all over the world to lend a helping hand.

These experts can remotely call in and be able to see what the field professional is seeing through their headset and then make recommendations that may include sketching and notating digitally directly in the view of the user.

Boaz Ashkenazy is co-founder of @Studio216.  Studio216 is a immersive technology agency focused on VR AR MR for the enterprise.  Boaz can be reached at boaz@studio216.com or on twitter @boazashkenazy