A new wave of technology will be affecting almost every industry in the months to come: virtual reality. In just three years, an entirely new digital and media ecosystem has come into being based on VR goggles with applications not only in the area of gaming and entertainment, but also in industrial environments. Concrete applications have been tested in various industries over the past few months in the areas of product marketing, training, product design, business presentations and trade fairs.
Dr. Michael Gerards, Executive Director at present4D
present4D is a leader in the field of multi-media services, software and consulting with a focus on the implementation of virtual reality applications in industrial and non-gaming settings.
The topic of virtual reality has given rise to a whole new digital and media ecosystem with so-called VR goggles in the past three years with applications not only in the area of gaming and entertainment, but also in industrial settings as well as product marketing and design. Initial applications have been tested in the past few months not only for company presentations or trade fairs, but also as sales and training tools or for recruiting in the automotive, engineering, communication, advertising, television and film industries.
After all, virtual reality puts you right in the middle of the action.
Complex products and training content can be presented in an even more vivid and tangible way using this technology as compared to conventional presentations at events, fairs or in discussions with customers.
High resolution displays, extremely sensitive motion sensors and the rapid development of computing power in recent years have made way for a new generation of VR goggles, which viewers with an extremely strong sense of presence in the virtual world by tricking the brain’s orientation system so that they truly believe they are actually in another location. The viewer feels that they are being teleported into another world.
With their first commercial VR goggles, companies like Oculus, Sony, HTC and Samsung are addressing the mass markets such as the gaming or entertainment industries. However, this technology can also be used in non-gaming settings to quickly and efficiently generate added value.
The first steps
The travel industry, for example, is currently testing the extent to which it is possible to make a customer’s decision-making process easier and more exciting before making travel reservations in a travel agency or through an online travel portal.
The same concept is also being used as a marketing tool to tour real estate that hasn’t yet been built, or even as a property configuration tool for architects or real estate agents. Being able to take a tour of one’s future property and even adding furnishings before buying creates the best possible experience for potential buyers or investors. The automotive and aviation industries are currently testing precisely this technology as a sales and marketing tool and as a method for rapid prototyping and product design. The goal here consists of making work processes faster and more efficient.
Products are emotionalized
Unimagined possibilities are also arising in the area of engineering. Many early adopters present their large projects or their product portfolios at trade fairs or on site at their customers in virtual worlds and showrooms to provide potential buyers with a way to experience the project or product. This serves to emotionalize the presented products or services.
Impressive trade fair presentations
The Korean company Doosan is already successfully deploying virtual reality.
Together with present4D, Doosan can now provide its customers with impressions of ten power plants around the world. A plethora of information and videos can be viewed directly in 360-degree panoramas. This is very intuitive using VR goggles. And customers can truly emerge themselves in the peace and quiet of the product world even in hectic trade fair environments.
Employer branding and recruiting at trade fairs
Employees often lack a connection to a production site or research area. Virtual tours can provide these employees with a way to experience the complexity and quality of production and research in their own company. When it comes to recruiting, potential employees can take a tour of the working environments and be impressed by the company’s innovative strength.
First steps in the world of VR
Even with relatively little effort and expense, it is possible to generate impressive VR worlds and integrate existing content, such as photos, videos, PowerPoint slides, graphics and animations. The attractive thing about VR is the fact that most VR applications can be constructed in a modular and scalable way. At the end of the day, the investment has to generate added value by increasing sales, making processes more efficient, reducing costs and enhancing the image of the company.
One of the biggest challenges for users consists of familiarizing themselves with this new technology and identifying the use cases relevant to the respective industry. This can only be achieved by way of professional consulting, strategy workshops and first VR projects. present4D provides an integrated range of services including its professional VR-Suite software, which can be used to create one’s own VR worlds – even for fascinating trade fair presentations – without programming knowledge.