Choosing the Right VR for Your Business and Projects
VR Solutions for Every Project: Which is Best for You?
Your team has an idea for an interactive training solution or marketing experience, but where do you start? What is the best VR solution for your specific project? VR solutions are certainly not one size fits all, but there are some common and effective uses for all the different types. Here are some best use case examples for virtual reality:
VR in the Classroom
Education is one of our fundamental goals as a company. We grew up watching The Magic School Bus and during those early conversations about starting Look On Media it came up over and over: how cool would it be to actually BE ON the magic school bus?
VR makes that possible along with anything you can imagine. Passive pre-rendered VR experiences like a ride through the solar system or a trip through ancient Egypt are extremely compelling and engaging because it actually places you there.
360 video of the amazon rainforest or the surface of mars is amazing. And of course, interactive real time VR museums, chemistry labs, any laboratory for that matter, gyms, dinosaur zoos, space stations, are all made so much more practical and affordable (or even possible). Also you can encourage creativity and experimentation without any of the safety or material concerns, which is excellent for expanding minds. We try to incorporate education and entertainment into all of our VR experiences, but the classroom holds an extra special place to us.
There are many applications of VR being studied right now in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, retirement communities, and therapy clinics that are showing great results.
We personally created VR distraction environments for Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department for children undergoing uncomfortable procedures. These passive 3D pre-rendered VR environments run on standalone headsets and are designed to relax the patient and distract them from the procedure. This same concept can be applied to any medical procedure as well as patient education.
We also created a 360 video of what patients can expect when transferring from another department to the PED with the goal of lowering anxiety about the unknown. VR can be used to train medical staff on proper safety and sanitation protocols. Along these same lines, it can also be used to train for new devices or techniques in a safe and measured environment. Using VR, medical providers can identify behaviors from their staff and patients to make organizational decisions that improve outcomes for everyone.
This is a true game changer.
We’ve heard over and over about the difficulties in training new employees and they mostly boil down to two main categories: how well the trainees learn the tasks (retention), and how to measure how well the trainers teach it (data gathering and standardization). Here’s where compelling and well-designed real time interactive VR comes in. With a VR training simulation, you can utilize what’s called behavioral learning, where the trainee is physically doing the tasks as opposed to just reading or watching a video about them. This act of “doing” actually wires the brain differently and results in a massive increase of retention. The end result is trainees come out with better skills in less time. Because the VR training is standardized, we can also measure and study all of the trainees’ decisions to identify pain points, measure performance, identify emergent behaviors, and compare data sets. With all of this information organizations can make informed operational decisions and improve efficiency, which can save and even generate money. The other added benefit is it only gets better with time as the technology improves and the data sets get larger with more use, which then lets us know how to improve the training scenarios. VR training is effective in any industry; however, it is especially compelling for hazardous industries where safety is paramount and errors can result in physical harm and costly damage.
VR for Sales
This is a pretty broad category that covers pretty much every type of VR there is, but there are some specific use cases that stand out to us because of positive client feedback. One strong suite of VR is its ability to transport the user anywhere, so if you are selling a giant piece of medical equipment that is very difficult and expensive to lug around, VR can replace it in the field.
Not only that, but it can enhance your sales pitch with engaging interactivity which your customers will remember. This holds true for pretty much anything you are trying to sell that requires your customer to do a task. It’s why you see VR popping up at car shows all over the world – driving is a task that customers enjoy and cars are expensive to lug around. For these examples, you would want to use some kind of real time VR, either passive or active depending on the situation.
Another great use of VR for sales that can use pre-rendered VR is concept sales or before/after pitches. We use these to illustrate what something looks like now, and what it could look like with your customers purchase or investment. Home improvements, real estate developments, anything that you want to illustrate a profound change in environment.
You have a tradeshow coming up and want to stand out of the crowd and generate some buzz. Creating a fun and engaging VR experience around your product or service is a proven way to do so. We’ve done these for a variety of different purposes. Sometimes the goal is to educate potential customers about a product or service so we craft a VR experience that showcases the value proposition. Other times the goal is to spice up something that is inherently abstract, like a software platform for example. It’s kind of dry to get into details about what’s going on under the hood, but we can use VR to illustrate the value in a fun way while still educating the customer. No matter what the context is, there’s a good chance VR can add that X factor to your booth and get people talking.
Real Estate VR
A great way to show off and market real estate is to use 360 video (if the property already exists) or pre-rendered 3D models. The user gets the effect of what it’s like to be in that space without having to physically be there, which saves everyone time and money. It’s also an extremely effective and affordable sales tool. You can of course incorporate interactive elements to your VR real estate experience, like the ability to change paint colors or add and position furniture. This will be more costly to develop, but also allows for making intelligent design decisions before the space is even built. This can save huge amounts of time and money overall.
This category ties into real estate VR a bit, however there is definitely a distinct use for this outside of just selling or renting spaces. Want to show off your high-end restaurant to potential customers? Give them a memorable VR tour and let your guests really absorb the ambiance and experience before they get through the door. Same goes for universities with campus tours, businesses with corporate office tours, manufacturing facility tours to showcase your unique process, really the list goes on and on. Again, this is another perfect application for 360 video and can be used both internally as orientation and externally as marketing. It doesn’t require a huge amount of production and can be leveraged across all mediums from mobile to desktop to VR headsets.
One Time Event VR
Weddings, concerts, festivals, art shows, parties, sporting events, or whatever the occasion, VR is an amazing way to capture and broadcast it while it’s happening as well as re-live it again and again once it’s done. This is an excellent use for 360 video, and one we get asked to do all the time. VR offers the unique ability to transport the viewer to a specific place and time as if they were actually there, which is incredibly powerful for those who couldn’t physically be at the actual event. It’s also powerful for those who were there, loved it, and want to experience it again. Another common and effective use for this is to raise sponsorship money for an upcoming event by transporting the sponsors to a previous or similar event in VR. This emotionally connects them to the event, and with a little post production magic you can show them what their logo would look like plastered all over the place which is always a helpful visualization.
Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry VR
One thing we know for sure is traveling is expensive, so people tend to do a lot of research before they commit to a trip. VR is an awesome tool for companies and even governments to showcase exactly why people should visit. Using 360 video you can capture what makes your destination unique and enticing to tourists or potential businesses looking to invest in new communities. Another thing we know for sure is presence creates strong emotional connections in people and no other digital medium can create a sense of presence like VR.
Games are constantly pushing VR technology to its limits, which helps move the industry forward. Our background is in the gaming industry so clearly we are fans of this category. In fact, we use our in-depth knowledge of how to make games fun to inform our design decisions for non-gaming applications. The beauty of interactive VR is you can incorporate, or “gamify”, elements of any experience to enhance engagement and retention. Or if you want a straight up VR game, we’re happy to put that hat back on and deliver something amazing ☺
With all that in mind, there are still countless ways to use all different types of VR to improve your organization – many of which have yet to be discovered! As a cutting edge VR development studio we are always striving for new methods and concepts to leverage VR technology for positive outcomes. Ultimately technology is meaningless without people to benefit from it, which has been our priority from day one. So whatever your VR idea is for your organization, we’d love to hear it and hopefully help bring it to life.
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