16 Industries in Which Virtual Reality Is Changing the Game
Gaming has always led the charge for VR, creating those initial and powerful consumer experiences of the technology. Gamers always are looking for the next big thing to transform the gaming experience. Sony this month delivered a new VR peripheral for its PlayStation 4 console. However, Sony is not the only one dropping game-changing news: All major game publishers are getting serious about VR”s potential, which will lead to leveraging virtual experiences to get ahead of the competition.
Retail companies interested in virtual technologies should be thinking about how they might want to engage consumers with VR as a part of the shopping and buying experience. There is great opportunity to engage with consumers who will research, interact with and share products in VR before they order items online or make an in-store purchase. In the fashion space alone, designers already are embracing the new tech. During Rebecca Minkoff”s September New York Fashion Week show, the designer streamed the show as a VR video and added an augmented reality element to her store that allowed women to virtually try on the products online and in-store after the collection literally walked the runway.
The real estate industry is set to see one of the largest transformations in response to VR”s adoption. Home buyers are faced with the challenge of not being able to visualize what their homes will look like furnished. This results in a lot of guesswork that goes into house hunting, leading to a long, tedious process for both consumers and real estate agents. VR offers the opportunity to showcase properties in a new, exciting way, in addition to making the process of home buying cheaper and faster.
The shift toward virtual reality has presented banks and other financial service providers with an opportunity to re-evaluate the way in which they engage with younger consumers. Millennials and Gen Z are much more likely to be absorbed in these immersive technologies. These younger generations are showing the biggest desire to experience VR and most likely will be leading the charge on early adoption. Several financial institutions already have taken preliminary steps toward VR adoption—some banks are now experimenting with ideas such as virtual branches that could expedite customer interactions and create a digital platform that allows customers to carry out traditional banking activities from a remote location.
Many brands across various sectors of the travel industry already have started to experiment with producing VR content. While the format is likely to remain a niche attraction until more consumers buy and use their own VR headsets, the opportunity here is endless at all touch points of a customer’s journey. VR can remove the hassle of booking hotels and resort stays based on written reviews and outdated photographs by allowing them to virtually check out a hotel before they book. The technology also will allow travelers to tour the surrounding areas when they’re deciding upon a location. The in-flight experience is getting a face-lift, too, with startups looking to offer VR content for airline’s entertainment systems.
Medicine has been actively testing the limits of learning with VR. Many see the prospective operational use of virtual technology in the forms of education and training. Say farewell to books and video courses—with VR, medical students can be fully immersed in any environment, down to the molecular level, to better understand what they are studying. VR projects within medical training are being used to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical learning. In more recent developments, new VR programs are being developed to emotionally benefit patients in ways that cannot be achieved through medicine alone. Treatment can be considered for a diverse set of patients.