Benefits Of Building A VR App For Your Employees

Are you trying to improve productivity in your organization and thereby improve your bottom-line? Technology can help, especially Virtual Reality (VR)!

While we all became aware of VR as a result of popular games, the technology has many more use cases. Businesses are increasingly using VR to make their employees more productive and improve employee engagement. You can do so too, however, you first need to understand the benefits of building a VR app your employees, and that’s exactly what I will explain here.

Contents

What is Virtual Reality (VR)?
Examples of popular VR platforms
Consumer-centric VR use cases
The growth trajectory of the global VR market
How can you bring benefits of VR to your employees?
Change management in organizations to drive productivity improvement with VR
Estimating a VR development project
Finding the right developers for a VR development project
Planning a VR app to improve employee productivity?

What is Virtual Reality (VR)?

Let’s first briefly understand VR, which refers to both the technology and the simulated environment it creates for users. The VR technology uses computer software and hardware to create immersive experiences for users, who experience a 3D environment upon putting on the VR headsets.

Users suspend their connection with the real world when they use VR headsets, and they become immersed in the simulated world. VR applications enable users to view 3D images, and these images change as users move around.

VR environments also provide realistic responses to users in real-time. The combination of all these factors creates an immersive world for users. You can read more about VR in “What is Virtual Reality?”.

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:

  • 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. 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.:

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  • 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 in 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 action 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. Read more about this use case in “Take a look at these 7 ways in which virtual reality will change the world”.
  • 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 towards life, thereby improving the 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. Read “How VR advertising is shaping the future of marketing” to learn more about this.
  • Educating kids with disabilities: Children with disabilities, or children diagnosed with autism need focused help with their learning, and education start-ups have already started to use VR to help such kids with their education.
  • Enriched content with VR: National Geographic is already using VR to create content with an immersive experience, and such content is far more engaging for its consumers.
  • Making fitness training more engaging with VR: VR and AR can be combined with traditional fitness training to create a more interactive and engaging experience for fitness enthusiasts.

You can read more examples of consumer-centric VR use cases in “12 creative virtual reality uses businesses should consider”.

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! The following pieces of market intelligence confirm this growth potential:

How can you bring 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 VR use cases:

1. Employee training

Every organization needs to train their 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 hand-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 include 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.

Read more about this in “Companies using virtual reality for employee training”.

VR-based training has significant potential to improve employee productivity in various industries, e.g.:

  • Healthcare and medical;
  • Construction;
  • Retail;
  • Hospitality;
  • Aerospace;
  • 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 it. This helps them to refine the product design.

Read How We Helped a Marketing Company to Build a Back-Office Custom Ads Dashboard

VR can make a key difference here since the technology enables the engineers to create life-size prototypes quickly. Aerospace and Defence manufacturers are already using VR for prototyping their products, and you can read about this in “6 ways VR will change the workplace”.

3. Improving 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 their design centers, and its engineers can now collaborate more easily with the help of 3D models. You can read about how Airbus used VR in its design phase in “Businesses are putting virtual reality to work”.

The company also found that their 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 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 next steps.

Managing such workflows becomes easy with VR. You can read “3 ways VR technology will transform your business meetings” to understand how VR can improve how organizations conduct meetings.

Change management in organizations to drive productivity improvement with 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:

  • Initiation;
  • Investigation;
  • Intention;
  • Introduction;
  • Implementation;

You need to ensure the following for the success of such organizational changes:

  • Complete organizational alignment;
  • Demonstrable commitment on the part of the senior leadership;
  • Appropriate processes, methods, and 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 for 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;
  • js skills for web development;
  • 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 a VR app to improve employee productivity?

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.

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Aran Davies

Blockchain Expert | Developer | Writer | Photographer
I love all things blockchain and related to app development. What time I have when I am not busy writing for the DevTeam.Space blog of over 350 articles, I spend sitting around wondering what the future will look like 50 years from now.
Aran Davies