Wondering what the benefits of building a VR app for your employees are?
This is a great market that is growing rapidly.
According to a study done by Business Wire, “The augmented reality & mixed reality market is valued at USD 2.98 billion in 2019, and is expected to reach USD 27.44 billion by 2025.”
Innovating in this industry represents the chance to make some serious money as well as the chance to make a positive impact on people’s quality of life.
What is Virtual Reality (VR)?
Let’s first briefly understand VR technology, which refers to both the technology and the simulated environment it creates for users.
Virtual reality technology uses computer software and hardware to create immersive experiences for users, who experience a 3D environment upon putting on a virtual reality headset.
Users suspend their connection with the real world when they use a VR headset, and they become immersed in the simulated virtual world. VR applications enable users to view 3D images, and these images change as users move around.
Virtual worlds and simulated environments also help provide realistic responses to users in real time. The combination of all these factors creates an immersive world for users.
Examples of Popular VR Platforms
Let’s quickly review a few examples of popular VR platforms that work with PCs and consoles, which are as follows:
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- Oculus: Oculus is a highly popular provider of VR platforms. The company has several VR headsets, e.g., Oculus Go, Oculus Rift S, and Oculus Quest. Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014. Oculus also provides software development kits (SDKs) for VR app development for its platforms.
- VIVE: HTC VIVE is a well-known provider of VR platforms, and its popular products are VIVE Cosmos, VIVE Pro, VIVE, VIVE Focus, etc. VIVE offers SDKs so that developers can create apps that work with its platform.
- PlayStation VR from Sony: Sony, the technology giant offers PlayStation VR, its popular VR platform. It works with its famous PS4 family and works with a PS4 console, PlayStation Camera, etc, to play VR games. Developers can create VR apps that work with PlayStation VR, using the PlayStation VR (PSVR) development kit.
There are also VR platforms that work with mobile devices, e.g.:
- Samsung Gear VR: Samsung and Oculus have collaborated to offer this VR platform, and Samsung Gear VR works with Android devices. Working with Oculus, Samsung also provides SDKs so that developers can build VR apps that work with this platform.
- Google Cardboard: Google Cardboard works with Android and iOS, and the technology giant has priced this platform reasonably. Developers can work its Android, iOS, and Unity SDKs to create apps that are compatible with Cardboard.
Consumer-Centric VR Use Cases
Let’s review the following consumer-centric VR use cases so that we can appreciate the value of this promising technology:
- Gaming: The immersive experience that VR offers can bring a higher level of intensity to computer and video games, and this engages the players more.
- VR movies: VR can give viewers an immersive movie experience where they can explore the movie at their own pace and experience the virtual objects and actions from different angles.
- Visiting places virtually: This use case can give a boost to tourism since potential tourists can virtually visit the place using VR before they travel.
- Improving the quality of life for people with disabilities: People with disabilities have a restricted life, however, VR can help them to experience the outside world virtually. This can improve their outlook on life, thereby improving their overall quality of life.
- View real estate using VR: Thanks to virtual reality, potential buyers of residential or commercial properties can experience that real estate without actually visiting it physically.
- More engaging ads with the help of VR: Consumers of digital content often don’t like ads, and one reason for this is that these ads simply don’t connect to them. VR-powered ads will be far more engaging, and this can make consumers of digital content view ads more favorably.
- Educating kids with disabilities: Children with disabilities, or children diagnosed with autism need focused help with their learning process, and education start-ups have already started to use VR to help such kids with their immersive education.
- Enriched content with VR: National Geographic is already using virtual reality experience. VR creates content with an immersive experience, and such content is far more engaging for its consumers.
- Making fitness training more engaging with VR: Virtual training can be combined with traditional human body training to create a more interactive and engaging experience for fitness enthusiasts.
The Growth Trajectory of the Global VR Market
As you can expect, transformative use cases including the above-mentioned ones are driving the growth of the global VR market, and the growth projections are impressive!
A Market Watch report projects that the financial and infrastructure sectors will invest the most in VR during the 2019-2023 period, and their spending will increase at 133.9% CAGR and 122.8% CAGR respectively during this period.
How Can You Bring the Benefits of VR to Your Employees?
The high-visibility consumer-centric use cases and the impressive growth potential of VR shouldn’t obscure the significant benefits this technology can deliver to the employees in an organization!
Let’s now review the following employee-centric use cases and benefits of VR:
1. Employee training
Every organization needs to train its employees so that they can perform their job effectively. Some jobs are more hands-on by their very nature, therefore, training also needs to be hands-on.
However, that’s not always easy, due to the following reasons:
- It’s hard to find qualified trainers to impart hands-on training for specialized jobs.
- Distributed teams are commonplace in large enterprises, and it’s costly for them to have expert trainers travel to all their operation centers and impart hands-on training.
VR can help here in several ways, e.g.:
- You can use VR to create simple simulations for complex operations for which you want to impart hands-on training to your employees.
- VR lets you create almost real-life scenarios and includes them in the training courses.
- The immersive environment created by VR engages the trainees optimally, therefore, they learn better.
- You are creating risk-free virtual environments for your employees to learn.
VR training has significant potential to improve employee productivity in various industries, e.g.:
- Healthcare and medical;
- Oil & Gas.
2. Faster product development with the help of VR-powered prototyping
Businesses manufacturing complex products like automobiles or military hardware typically have a long-drawn-out product development cycle. The product development life cycle tends to be more complex for more sophisticated products.
Prototyping is a key step in the product development life cycle, and in modern days, this task starts with a digital drawing.
Subsequently, the engineering division of the company creates physical prototypes, and they gather plenty of data points from them. This helps them to refine the product design.
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VR can make a key difference here since the technology enables engineers to create life-size prototypes quickly. Aerospace and Defence manufacturers are already using VR for prototyping their products.
3. Benefits of VR Improve the flow of work and collaboration
This is another use case that matters more to large enterprises designing and developing complex products.
Take the example of Airbus, where the design process for a helicopter is highly complex. The company often uses its distributed design centers for designing, and engineers in these sites need to collaborate closely.
Airbus now uses VR “Immersion rooms” in its design centers, and its engineers can now collaborate more easily with the help of 3D models.
The company also found that its employees could start writing the maintenance manuals for its passenger jets even before the completion of manufacturing of the first plane. To do this, the employees took advantage of the highly realistic simulations in the VR immersion rooms.
4. Managing meetings better with VR
Organizations can improve how they conduct team meetings with the help of VR, and it’s emerging as a key employee-centric VR use case.
In the modern era, distributed teams and remote employees are everyday realities in an organization. While this enables organizations to tap into a global talent pool and provides much-needed flexibility to employees, conducting team meetings isn’t easy!
We all know that the best way to conduct team meetings is to have the team co-located, however, organizations are increasingly using technology to find the next best way!
VR has a high potential here since team members can experience something very close to being co-located!
Team meetings in organizations often include tasks like modifying data in real-time and jointly reviewing the result of such modifications, before the team can make an informed decision.
In some cases, a team member might modify configurations of systems and show the results to peers in real-time, so that the team can discuss the next steps. Managing such workflows becomes easy with VR.
Change Management in Organizations to Drive Productivity Improvement with the Benefits of VR
The above-mentioned VR use cases can help in improving employee productivity in organizations, however, technology alone isn’t enough. You need to focus on organizational change management along with developing employee-centric VR solutions.
Organizational change management focuses on bringing sustained change in the behavior of employees so that they embrace new ways of working. Such a transformation has the following stages:
You need to ensure the following for the success of such organizational changes:
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- Complete organizational alignment;
- Demonstrable commitment on the part of the senior leadership;
- Appropriate processes, methods, and VR tools.
Read our guide “5 ways agile can help with change management” to learn more about successful organizational transformation.
Estimating a VR Development Project
Before undertaking a VR app development project for improving organizational productivity, you need to estimate it. You need to estimate the following:
- VR development manpower cost;
- IT infrastructure and platform cost;
- The cost of development tools like SDKs, and frameworks;
- Other administrative costs.
Our guide “How much does it cost to build a VR app?” can help you with estimating such a project.
Finding the Right Developers for a VR Development Project
You need to find the right developers for your VR development project, and you should look for the following skills and competencies:
- The knowledge of SDLC models like Waterfall and Agile;
- Familiarity with managed cloud services platforms like AWS EC2 and AWS Elastic Beanstalk;
- Experience with VR SDKs like Amazon Sumerian or Google VR SDK;
- Android and iOS development skills;
- Experience with testing automation frameworks and DevOps tools;
- The ability to collaborate in an empowered team.
You can read our guide “How to hire VR developers – the ultimate checklist” to gain more insights into this.
Planning to Improve Employee Productivity through the Benefits of VR?
A project to create a VR app to improve employee productivity can be complex, therefore, I recommend that you take help from a reputed software development company.
Read our guide “How to find the best software development company?” before you engage one.
If you are still looking for a competent team of software developers to build software based on cutting-edge technologies, DevTeam.Space can help you via its field-expert software developers community.
Write to us your initial project specifications, and one of our account managers will get in touch with you to discuss more on how our experienced developers can help you use the latest technologies in your enterprise software products.
Frequently Asked Questions on Benefits of VR
VR is a computer technology that stands for Virtual Reality. A VR app is any app that, at least in part, uses VR. A VR app might be a 3D game or might be a training application for companies.
VR apps allow companies to undertake cost-effective training as well as low-cost development of 3D models. One VR application, built for a client of DevTeam.Space, allows firemen to train at putting out fires onboard a ship. Real-life training for such a scenario can be extremely dangerous.
Inside Abbey Road, Discovery VR, Google’s Art and Culture, and NYT VR.