When Will VR Really Make Waves In Business?

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: When Will VR Really Make Waves In Business?.

By Jack McGuire, freelance writer.

Over the last few years, science fiction seems to have been merging with reality. It wasn’t too long ago that the possibility of a virtual world full of avatars controlled by human counterparts was a concept confined to the silver screen.

Now, Mark Zuckerberg’s “Meta” has brought that concept to life – or a virtual life – with VR headsets that can transport the wearer to an entirely virtual landscape.

It has not gone unmentioned in the business world, either, especially with the introduction of the “Meta Horizon Workrooms”, which are made to resemble 3D social offices. According to Zuckerberg, this is the future of remote working, with employees able to work from the comfort of their own homes while simultaneously being in the office environment, surrounded by colleagues.

This was released, however, back in December 2021. It seems, since then, that the office revolution has not quite been integrated as much as Zuckerberg would have hoped. So when will VR really start making waves in business, and what could it offer for your business that a messenger or Zoom call wouldn’t?

The Impact Of VR In Business

At one point in time, VR was focused primarily on the customer experience. The thought was that if a customer could try a product before they actually buy it – and without ever actually placing their hands on it – then they were more likely to make informed decisions and streamline the purchasing process. For B2B companies, particularly, the likelihood of b2b loyalty would be elevated through offering a product outside of reality to all existing customers, giving them a hands-on taste that will encourage the purchase.

But whilst this remains a strong concept – more than 2.64 billion people purchased online last year, without actually trying out the products in question – the possibilities of VR have switched a little to focus on the workplace itself. In theory, the “Meta Office” is supposed to encourage productivity and efficiency for those working remotely. While a message can be ignored, walking a virtual avatar from the desk and towards a colleague cannot. Effectively, it would recreate the office environment – one of the main drawbacks of remote working – and allow for a real-world, real-time working day.

When Will VR Be Felt In Business?

The question is not quite when it will truly be felt but if it will truly be felt. There are some, after all, who have not taken to the concept of a VR office environment, referring to the impact it might have on employee wellbeing. The importance of in-person work operations – as well as in-person meetings with clients – cannot be understated, and moving further into a digital, disassociated world would lead to poor well-being and a lack of employee engagement.

That being said, the world is moving towards innovative inventions such as AI and VR, so it is likely that the concept – in some shape or form – will eventually knuckle its way in. According to recent data, the VR market will reach $1.25 billion by 2025, which is a CAGR jump of around 24.2%. By this point, everyone will be more accustomed to VR as a concept, meaning its implication in everyday life – and office life – will be far more wide-reaching.

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