In the modern world, some technologies are so important that it is necessary to learn as much as possible about them. After all, they define patterns and trends and revolutionize several areas. In this sense, much is said about artificial intelligence, big data and other innovations. However, another one that is causing profound changes is virtual reality (VR).
Virtual reality consists of a simulation of reality. This power to simulate scenarios has led people to incredible possibilities, which were once totally unimaginable. So, of course, companies have found value in this offshoot to sell better and innovate in the market.
If you want to generate disruptive innovation in your company with VR, be sure to follow the following topics.
What is virtual reality?
It is a technology that allows simulating a reality generated by computers. In addition, it allows the user to interact with this scenario and fully immerse themselves, forgetting the real world. It is an innovation that manipulates people’s senses while manipulating objects and environments.
The idea of VR is to provide communication with the senses, from visual, sound and tactile effects. Thus, the virtual experience is confused with the real one, which allows a greater and more realistic use by the user.
The technology is associated with the use of a specific headset. It helps create the simulated sense of reality, from mechanisms that we will explain in detail in the following topic. With this equipment, it is possible to go beyond 3D experiences that already existed.
As much as it really may seem the fruit of our times, VR had been imagined a long time ago.
In 1938, in the book “Le Théâtre et son double”, the writer Antonin Artaud coined the term, describing it as a natural illusion of people and objects. In 1950, cinematographer Morton Heilig conceived a cinema experience that used the mechanics of modern VR to make enjoyment more effective.
In literature and film, the idea of creating simulated worlds and fully immersing themselves in them is very common and has already been explored to exhaustion. Even so, technology may seem too fictional for some managers. However, we will see in this article that this innovation is already impregnated in reality and demonstrates the potential to revolutionize entire sectors.
What is virtual reality for?
Virtual reality came about with the goal of allowing a different perception of reality. When creating simulated scenarios, the idea is to make it difficult for users to dissociate what they are seeing from what is real, in fact. From this, new opportunities are created in various sectors.
Overcoming distances is another purpose of VR. This is, moreover, one of the main purposes of technology in general. This was how all the development that culminated on the Internet and the possibilities of virtual interaction and communication in the network.
The innovation of virtual reality proposes this overcoming from the creations that a computer can make. The advancement of solutions associated with the entertainment industry, such as computer graphics, enables these generations to be powerful and rich in detail. In this way, there are no limits.
In addition, VR is about providing really immersive experiences. By obstructing the sounds and images of the real world, the idea of technology is to insert the user into the virtual world. That way, they can interact and modify, even feeling what’s happening on the screen. The idea of experiencing something gains new meaning and greater depth.
VR allows you to engage people —customers, for example—not only rationally, but in emotional aspects as well. It is possible to generate an effect on their senses and make the experience unforgettable. Therefore, there is enormous potential for the company’s relationship with customers, which we will comment on in more detail later.
Innovation is also enough to generate greater convenience for thepeople. By overcoming barriers such as distance and generating bridges with the possibilities of imagination, this technological tool can be used to make life more practical.
In a way, virtual reality also contributes to the increase of gamification in different activities. That is, it is a support for gamification to invade more contexts and become even more powerful.
With VR, it is possible not only to apply the mechanics of the games, but also the look and the idea of immersion to get interesting results. This gives you more playful activities and can engage people with these resources.
How does virtual reality work?
When we talk about VR, it’s common for us to doubt how you can experience a digital world for a while using just one headset. However, all the technological and scientific logic behind it helps us understand better.
The principle that generates the images is called stereoscopy. It consists of generating specific projections for each eye, in order to produce the necessary sense of depth. After all, the brain supersedes the images and interprets them as one.
However, in addition, there is another great challenge: to capture the user’s movements and enable them to interact with the environment and with objects. VR is not a static image; it generates a simulation that changes entirely depending on the choices of the people who own the headsets.
For this, the technology uses laser pointers, sensors or even LED lights. With this, the movement is captured, a signal is sent to the simulation system, which responds immediately.
The logic is basically the same as that of a video game, in which elements are manipulated from a joystick controller. The difference is that the input information is not a joystick, but movements captured by the sensor.
Headset monitors have long used the CRT (cathode ray tube), because of the good quality they offered. Over time, it evolved to LCD, because of the cheaper price. Initially, LCD technology was not as good as CRT, but then improved and currently has great saturation and resolution quality.
What is the importance of virtual reality?
We will now see three important points to demonstrate the relevance of virtual reality technology in business.
In Marketing, there is an ongoing revolution on account of VR. First, as we have already said, it is worth highlighting the importance of creating new experiences for customers.
This means that there will be the possibility of developing more engaging and immersive content, which in turn will become more convincing as well. Users will be able to feel and experience the benefits of the brand, rather than simply thinking about them. therefore You can generate more value, .
An example of this in practice is innovation in the product demonstration. Testing can be done with these simulated scenarios and with the support of the senses. That way, customers will finish the simulation already knowing whether or not they will buy the product.
Then, the dissatisfaction rate decreases, while customer success increases considerably.
In addition, it is possible to rely on live experiences, with greater capacity for interaction and immersion, and gamification to instigate the continuous action of the user. The result is the greater conversion of visiting people into buyers, as well as the increase in the competitive differential of the brand.
The company’s branding and positioning will also gain a boost with VR. The company will be able to present its values and its identity in a practical way, with realistic and imaginative content.
With a focus on customer experience and success, the company positions itself as one that cares about customers and is innovative.
In terms of reputation, the organization will grow a lot too and can make even more courageous leaps. This will all generate greater loyalty of people to the brand, which will allow increased sales, reduced costs in the acquisition of customers, among other issues.
Mobility has always been one of the great goals of companies with technology. Currently, this factor emerges as one of the most relevant as well. With virtual reality, you’ll be able to deliver more compelling and powerful mobile experiences to customers and even employees.
After all, VR does not depend – and tends to rely less and less – on fixed technological devices. Therefore, contact with the simulated experience is allowed through a mobile headset model, which enables use anywhere.
What is the main virtual reality technology?
As we have already commented, the main technology that makes virtual reality possible is the headset, which offers stereoscopic lenses and a sound system. The purpose is to block the natural environment’s sound and vision, allowing the person to connect with the generated scenario fully.
For the future, the trend is for this equipment to become even more portable and powerful. That is, it should enable greater ability to understand the user’s reactions and movements while synchronizing this information with the screen.
Where can virtual reality be applied?
As we talked throughout the article, VR is already common in many sectors.
The main application, no doubt, is in the entertainment industry. The gaming industry has gained a lot from this innovation and contributed a lot to it as well.
With the use of virtual reality, the experiences of the games become more immersive and engaging, as well as more addictive.
After all, the person really feels within the universe of the game, touching and manipulating objects, interacting with characters, being affected by what occurs in the scenario etc. The tendency is that VR becomes even more common and accessible in this market.
Automotive and real estate
In the automotive and real estate sectors, VR has been used to optimize customer satisfaction. Innovation allows users to manipulate and use the elements of an automobile for testing, even if they are not physically present. From the comfort of their homes, they can perform this experiment and understand what is the ideal model for them.
Similarly, visits to houses and apartments are made without leaving home. The experience allows people to have a good idea of space and depth and to be able to make the most of real estate. Thus, they can decide better and feel satisfied with the use strategy.
Another use of VR is for the travel industry. Users manage to go to specific locations and even try typical dishes from these places. That’s without necessarily moving from where you are. This facility can impact tourism and create possibilities for this niche market.
In the industrial chain, professionals make digital copies of the products to test them in a simulated environment. That way, they can break the products or exploit them to the limit, without fearing that it will harm the original model. This technology is called digital twins and is one of the trends for years to come.
The digital twins will be the protagonists of industry 4.0. This new concept already determines the greater use of automation and experimentation to achieve greater operational performance in the work environment.
In the military, the simulated reality is used to imagine scenarios in which combatants practice and train battles, as if they were real.
They can interact directly with the environment, generate actions to create specific effects, and impact. Thus, not only do they experience the storm of war emotions but also learn how to act.
Health and education
It is also worth mentioning the use of VR in health. Professionals in the field will be able to try operations and surgeries to learn how to perform them. That is, it will be very useful for news and students.
In education, in turn, students will be able to make trips to study geography and history in practice. They will learn by doing, with visual strategies and realistic scenarios.
What are the differences between virtual, augmented and mixed reality?
When we talk about virtual reality, it is very common for us to confuse the concept with other similar concepts — augmented and mixed reality. All are part of the same technological revolution and benefit from similar components. However, the operating mechanics differ.
First, let’s recap what is virtual reality: a realistic simulation of a generated world that allows total immersion. The user forgets what is happening around them and fully connects to the simulated scenario. There is no interaction between the real and the virtual environment. The predominance of one eliminates the other.
Well, augmented reality consists of this exchange of information between the virtual and the real scenario. It is not a total simulation, but a complement to what already exists. The user can see the surrounding world plus some virtual elements.
Augmented reality ended up becoming more common and palpable for people than VR. For example, a famous game that uses this technology is Pokémon GO, which has been very successful in Brazil and around the world. It consisted of searching for special components in certain locations to earn rewards.
On social networks, we have another good example: Instagram filters. They allow you to add virtual components over images in real-time, unlike later editing.
In mixed reality, on the other hand, the user remains in the real world while being able to manipulate virtual elements. One dimension is always larger than the other, unlike the balance proposed by augmented reality.
We can have a mixed reality that starts in the real, like a more complex AR, or one that starts in the virtual, as a more worked VR. In both types, there is a clear sense of virtual and real elements, as there is no focus on the overlap between these planes.
What are the main cases of Virtual Reality?
Let’s now study some VR cases to understand how companies are leveraging this technology. This topic will be an add-on to the topic about applications, with real examples.
Walmart decided to better train its team for a high-demand scenario, such as a Black Friday. To this end, they created a virtual reality simulation of an environment full of people and queues, with recurring cases on these promotion days. The purpose is to teach how sellers should act and position themselves in order to generate maximum sales and customer satisfaction.
At OculusVirtualSpeech, speakers began to train lectures and conferences for many people in a computer-generated scenario. In this way, they could experience the sensations of speaking to a crowd and already practice some aspects such as posture, gaze and intonation of speech.
In these simulated presentations, speakers can upload slides, receive real-time performance feedback, and handle distractions and audience dynamics.
Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA)
In this North American hospital, the professionals trained children’s operations in cases of severe trauma. That is, the goal is to prepare doctors for exceptional and extremely challenging situations. When that really happens, they’ll know what to do.
Iris VR has created a model that allows architects to be more efficient. They can show their projects to customers before they finish. In this way, there may be a dialogue with feedback and possible change requests.
Virtualisation, on the other hand, has been able to bring virtual reality and data analytics together: the system allows people to view data and graphics in 3D, in order to gain a greater understanding of what they say. Thus, you can better explore data, collaborate with other employees, and find hidden insights with a broad and absolutely immersive view.
This is a clever mix of Big Data, VR, artificial intelligence, and data visualization methods. With the use of this feature, better decisions are made.
Boeing & Airbus
Boeing and Airbus already apply virtual reality to optimize the construction of their aircraft and equipment. They can observe the making with other eyes, from simulations, and maximize some aspects, such as customer comfort. In this way, they design safer and more efficient models.
Ford has already used mixed reality to perfect its creation and prototyping process. The idea is to automate these tasks and make them more effective. It’s more or less like using digital twins to experiment and test prototypes in a realistic environment.
Floreo, in turn, uses VR in education. The goal is to teach children how to learn natural skills, how to identify and point objects, build social and other relationships. The big advantage is that in the simulated field, everything can be tested and there is a greater tolerance to errors as well.
One Caring Team
The One Caring Team takes seriously the idea of overcoming distances. Focusing on the elderly public affected with serious illnesses, Aloha VR technology aims to improve their quality of life by allowing connection with other people of the same condition.
What are the main trends for the future?
As much as virtual reality is the modern and current technology, there is much to happen in the future. So what are the main trends?
For the next few years, the idea is to prevent the user from needing to be connected to large processing plants, as well as to smaller devices unable to generate immersion. In this case, the big challenge will be to create smaller and more powerful headsets in terms of processing, as we have already commented. The idea is to become even more realistic.
Another trend is the connection of virtual reality with virtual assistants, who benefit from the internet of things. In this way, the driver user, for example, will get visual information about roads and possible problems on the way. The idea is to take automation to a new level.
There is an innovation also linked to data transfer. It is associated with 5G and Edge Computing. The idea is to allow faster transfers to eliminate latency between user actions and response in simulations. This will help make immersion even more effective.
Devices will send information for cloud processing properly equipped data centres. This communication tends to be faster.
Another interesting relationship between technologies is a virtual reality/mixed/augmented with machine learning. Computer vision should be used to enable improvements in mixed reality and augmented reality. Computers will be able to more accurately identify and categorize everyday objects to enable interaction and connection.
As we have seen, virtual reality is already a very interesting trend today. And it will continue to be relevant in the future. It’s important to understand how it impacts your business so that you can take the first steps in applying it to your business. From this, it will be possible to optimize costs and generate innovation.
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