We see it everywhere, every day on the news there seems to be a big organisation that announces their XR or immersive strategy. This tells us corporations and bigger names are not afraid of XR, instead they are actively using it and integrating into a bigger business strategy. The reasons are varied and can’t be simplified into “XR is the future” (although you can read people online saying this all the time). In some ways, XR is the future, but not the visionary future most are trying to enforce. XR has substantial applications in the real world. It can bring positive change to the workplace in productivity, satisfaction and safety. These are all aspects that influence employee retention and saving money over time. As we know these are all extremely relevant topics, especially as the workforce evolved after COVID-19 and as the new generations enter the workforce.
Although you might have heard about XR in gaming (VR, for example), the most well-known XR use for businesses and enterprises remains training. This usually entails the creation of a simulation where staff and employees can safely interact with dangerous training or exercises that would be costly if performed in the real world. We mention training often in other articles. However, this doesn’t mean this is the only possible application of XR for businesses. There are other ways to adopt XR in your organisation. Let’s dive in.
Marketing and product showcasing have been taken to a whole new level with the use of immersive technologies like AR (Augmented Reality), one of the umbrella terms within XR. They’re a convenient way to show off a product without actually having to physically be there. For example, let’s say you have a product that’s hard to open or transport, AR can come to the rescue by showcasing a 3D realistic model of it. This gives customers an interactive and engaging experience to better understand the product’s features and design.
Take the IKEA Place app for instance. It lets you see how furniture would look in your room using AR. You can place virtual furniture in the room and check if it fits, making it easier to make a decision.
Real estate has also jumped on the XR bandwagon by giving prospective buyers a virtual tour of properties. They can visualize the space, get a feel for the layout, and understand how the rooms connect with each other without having to physically visit the property. This makes the process more convenient for both buyers and sellers.
Some industries can present challenges in attracting young people, such as construction, engineering, and manufacturing. One approach to promoting these fields and generating interest is to integrate Extended Reality (XR) into the educational experience. This can raise awareness and help modernize perceptions about the industries. By doing so, XR can help to make these fields a more appealing option for young people considering their career paths.
A great example is the project VBEE (part of CONVERT), the biggest immersive project in the construction industry to teach pupils and young people about sustainable construction methods. By interacting with new technologies and engaging content, students and prospective young professionals can understand the impact of their choices at work and within society.
XR has the potential to play a significant role in promoting sustainability awareness, both as an educational tool and as a way to reduce carbon footprint. XR has already been used effectively in various educational settings, such as virtual field trips to remote or otherwise inaccessible locations. This allows students to experience different parts of the world and learn about various environmental and cultural issues, without having to travel physically.
In addition to its use in education, XR can also help to reduce the carbon footprint associated with travel. Rather than traveling to a physical location, XR allows individuals to experience destinations and events remotely, from the comfort of their own home or office. This eliminates the need for transportation, which can have a significant impact on the environment, especially in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. For example, virtual trade shows and conferences have become increasingly popular in recent years, providing attendees with the opportunity to network and learn about new products and services, all without leaving their desks. In this way, XR has the potential to contribute to a more sustainable future, by reducing the environmental impact of travel and promoting environmental awareness.
In recent years, business strategies have placed a strong emphasis on productivity and efficiency, recognising the impact these factors can have on profitability and return on investment (ROI). Companies are constantly looking for new ways to optimise their operations and processes, in order to stay competitive and meet the demands of an ever-changing market. One of the key tactics that businesses have begun to adopt in order to improve productivity is the use of XR technologies.
XR has the potential to revolutionise the way we work, offering a range of benefits that can help to enhance productivity and streamline business processes. For example, XR can be used to create virtual mockups and prototypes, allowing designers and engineers to iterate ideas and make changes in real-time, without the need for physical prototypes. This can greatly reduce the time and costs associated with product development, while also improving the accuracy and quality of the final product.
XR can also be used to train employees in a more interactive and engaging way, helping to reduce the time and costs associated with traditional training methods. In manufacturing and construction, XR can be used to simulate workflows and processes, allowing workers to practice and fine-tune their skills before putting them into practice on the job site. This can help to reduce mistakes and improve the overall efficiency of operations, leading to increased productivity and profitability.
The XR industry moves fast. So fast that at times it seems impossible to find the exact answers to your questions simply by Googling. Our best advice is to ask the practitioners, ask the ones that are currently developing new projects and constantly upskilling themselves in the field. Most companies are very open for chats, especially when it comes to introducing beginners to XR. Some even host a whole range of workshops, find them here.