While the focus of virtual reality has largely been on gaming and consumer use, it doesn’t mean that the medium can’t be used for business. Virtual reality has the potential to become a useful tool for training new employees, taking an in-depth look at 3D models, like those for engineering and architecture, and even as an alternative to conference calls.
Forget 3D printers and visualize your models in a whole new way with virtual reality. Engineers, architects, and others can work on their projects in a virtual-reality environment. From car manufacturers to building planners, virtual reality allows them to prototype their products in a less time-consuming and cost-efficient manner.
Finished with a prototype for a product? Why not have people test it in virtual reality before sending the orders out to the factory? Getting that immediate feedback allows creators to identify problems and issues early in the design process, before they go into production.
When your final design is finished, you don’t have to wait for real products to come in before training your employees. The sales team, marketing team, and even tech support can start becoming familiar with the product in virtual reality before it is released to the public. Need a consultation from overseas? You can eliminate physical limitations by meeting them in the virtual world. Share a virtual work space through the Internet and have them interact with the product while you explain the benefits of your product. They can provide immediate feedback and even make edits to your product in virtual reality and look at the revised product.
Virtual reality is still evolving, so there are not many options when it comes to business-oriented VR headsets. HTC is one of the few manufacturers that offers a business edition (Vive BE) of its Vive VR Headset. HTC has stated that using the consumer edition HTC Vive VR Headset for commercial use violates the company's terms and conditions and would void the warranty. The Vive BE headset comes with a professional use license, a warranty for commercial deployment and a dedicated phone support line, the HTC Deluxe Audio Strap, and a 16-foot headset cable extension kit (for a total cable length of 32 feet).
If you want a true “wireless” experience, you may consider the HP Z VR Backpack G1 Workstation. With hot-swappable batteries, the HP Z VR Backpack G1 keeps you untethered from the power outlet and allows you to switch them out without shutting down the computer. This allows you to take full advantage of the maximum 15 x 15' area of the Vive. The HP Z VR Backpack G1 also only weighs 10 pounds, so it’s not too taxing on your back. While other backpack VR computers focus on gaming with NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards, the HP Z VR Backpack G1 features one notable difference, which is the NVIDIA Quadro P5200 graphics card with 16GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This workstation graphics card is capable of handling high-end workloads and complex designs. The HP Z VR Backpack G1 can also be used as a traditional workstation, thanks to the HP Z VR Dock. Connect the dock to external 4K displays and you’ll be able to edit or see the work you did while in virtual reality.
Virtual reality isn’t perfect. The technology is still evolving, as well as the software, but there is a lot of potential. Virtual reality can link people from all over the world for an immersive collaborative experience. Have you tried using virtual reality for business purposes?