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Virtual reality isn't just for games

When we think of virtual reality (VR) our minds might immediately go to gaming, it is after all offering a huge step forward in the way that video and computer game developers can immerse their players into the worlds that they’ve created. 

Virtual reality isn’t just for gaming; in fact, it is used across massively diverse industries in a huge variety of ways. From experiential marketing to project management, the opportunities are metamorphic. As we’ve previously discussed, those working in virtual reality are the creators of virtual worlds and they can apply the technology that they’ve designed to areas stretching from medical science to engineering.

So, what does virtual reality look like in other areas of tech? Here, we’ll discuss how virtual reality is changing the world of technology and how you can get involved. 


man wearing headset looking over his shoulder in front of computer


How virtual reality is used in marketing 

Increasingly, virtual reality is being used to target consumers via marketing and advertising campaigns. As this article points out, by August 2018 75% of the world’s top brands had integrated some form of virtual reality into their content marketing strategies. A year on, that number might very well be higher. 

Virtual reality in marketing means immersive storytelling, which can capture the attention of the individual via their social media channels or via outdoor campaigns – allowing brands to offer an experience that consumers feel they really are a part of. See retail outlets that are creating virtual stores that customers can visit from anywhere in the world, for example, or billboards that encourage anyone passing by to interact with them. For marketers, this opportunity to reach new audiences is incredibly exciting. 


How virtual reality is used in UX design

One of the industries that is being changed dramatically by the advent of virtual reality is user experience (UX). UX is a form of design that focuses on the usability of digital products; something that until recently has meant ease of swiping via a smartphone, or accessibility of websites used on a computer or tablet screen. 

As is noted here, virtual reality requires different skills from those that most designers might have been trained in – which reinforces the need for life-long learning, especially when it comes to technology. Designing an app or other product that incorporates virtual reality is likely to be a challenge but hopefully one that will reap rewards in terms of interaction and brand loyalty. 


How virtual reality is used to promote flexible working 

Stepping away from ideas about design and product, it’s also interesting to consider how virtual reality can impact effectiveness at work. An example here would be how it can improve efficiency and communication between teams. 

An area that has benefited, and will continue to benefit, from virtual reality is within management, where innovations in the area have allowed current trends towards flexibility and remote working to have a real chance of becoming the norm. This article discusses how video-conferencing and instant messaging platforms can act as a form of virtual office allowing employers to communicate effectively from anywhere in the world. 

There are of course huge benefits to not being tied to a desk; flexibility for those travelling, those with family commitments, or those with high-powered jobs who might traditionally have not been able to be “in two places at once”. Now, they can achieve this with ease and furthermore, studies have shown that meetings held via video-conferencing can actually end up being more productive and creating faster decisions than meetings held face-to-face. 


four individuals of different ages wearing VR headsets


So, we’ve discussed how virtual reality can be helpful in business, in planning work within teams or with clients, when designing products, and when marketing those products to audiences across the world.  This is only scratching the surface of what virtual reality can offer and this will only continue to expand. Other areas that have already seen the effects of virtual reality on their processes include construction and architecture, where virtual models can be brought to life whilst projects are still in the planning stage. The most prominent opportunity here being ideas can be visualised from very early on in the process. 


Where will this rapid technological development take us over the next few years? We can only wait and see…