The Basics of Virtual Reality and What to Expect in the Future

Designing Digitally


The Basics Of VR And What To Expect In The Future

As technology continues to become more widespread – it’s projected to be a $22.4 billion market by 2020 – virtual reality is proving to be an indispensable training tool for everyone from manufacturers to CEOs.

Let’s look at the basics of virtual reality and its influence on corporate training, as well as important statistics, to see how beneficial learning with virtual reality is for an organization.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality gives users the chance to take on dragons in a video game, take a field trip to the other side of the world, travel in time, or try bungee jumping with both feet on the ground.

Wikipedia describes virtual reality as, “computer technologies that use software to generate the realistic images, sounds, and other sensations that replicate a real environment or create an imaginary setting and simulate a user’s physical presence in this environment.”

In terms of corporate training, the idea is to educate staff in areas that would typically involve risks in an environment that’s safe but engaging.

At this point, it’s relevant to take a moment to touch on Augmented Reality or AR.

It’s often spoken about in the same conversations as virtual reality, though there are distinct differences.

While VR immerses a player or learner into a simulated experience, AR superimposes a computer-generated image on the user’s view of the real world.

Our focus is virtual reality and its replicated environments.

Virtual reality’s role in corporate training

The biggest selling-point for utilizing virtual reality in a corporate training environment is the ability of the facilitator to convey substantial amounts of often complicated information in a way that’s visually attractive to the learners using an immersive experience that they can interact with.

Many people learn better and have higher retention rates when they are enjoying the learning experience and when they’re fully engaged.

Virtual reality is ideal for any size company, though it’s especially helpful when a large amount of geographically spread-out employees need training.

Being able to educate them remotely saves a large amount of money in travel costs.

In addition to training, VR can also be useful for interviewing candidates remotely. Interviewing distant prospects in this way allows the interviewer to observe body language and behaviors without having to foot the bill for travel expenses.

What is the future of virtual reality?

As technology, in general, tends to do, VR is growing by leaps and bounds.

Let’s take a look at the areas which are expected to see the most growth in the near future.

  • vSport games. The aim of developers is for virtual reality to be a part of any possible social activity. For example, there are currently several companies that are working on software that will bridge the gap between the “old” way of sports gaming and the “new” way. The new way, of course, being experiences and games that have the same physical and competitive nature of traditional sports and fuse it with the digital immersion that VR provides.
  • Total engagement. The near future will most likely see experiences that are so immersive that they will include elements of touch and smell.
  • Big tech coalitions. Many well-known technology companies are coming together and sharing their expertise because they understand that these strategic alliances are better for all involved.
  • Virtual reality movie theaters. The experience of going to the movies is going to change massively. Think special effects like you’ve never seen before.
  • Developer demand. As VR takes over, the need for developers will explode.
  • New shopping experiences. The possibilities are endless, but the clothing industry in particular stands to profit greatly from the future ability to shop in an immersed environment.
  • Lower costs. Currently, buying a single VR headset won’t set you back too much. The expenses rise when you add in the cost of a PC or laptop that is powerful enough to support VR technology. The good news is that in the next few years, you’ll probably be able to buy an entire system for less than a thousand dollars.

What do the stats say?

Take a moment to consider this statistic:

  • From 2013 to 2018, virtual reality is expected to experience a 200% growth – from $198 million to $407 million and have an estimated 25 million users.

This tells us that VR will be growing across the board – including the corporate world in which employee education will get a much-needed boost.

Get in touch with the Designing Digitally team to see the different ways training with virtual reality can benefit your organization.