With potential cost-savings and significant improvements to quality of life, healthcare is expected to be a high-growth market for virtual reality (VR). Projects such as jDome BikeAround – a memory tool for Alzheimer’s patients – is already deployed in 50 care homes in its native Swedish market.
Clear ROI potential gives VR staff training platforms such as Attensi a clear strategy. Spar Norway CEO Ole Christian Fjeldheim states: ‘Stores that use the simulations increase their like-for-like sales growth and customer satisfaction scores.’
Foxtons and RightMove are already trialling remote viewing of properties as a means of driving sales and providing an extra customer service USP. On a commercial level, it allows overseas investors the opportunity to view properties in detail before making a decision.
From primary schools to universities, VR offers engaging new tools for education both remotely and in the classroom. Dr Matthew Nicholls, associate professor in classics at the University of Reading, uses VR and detailed 3D modelling as a teaching aid.
Renault used VR to provide rally driving experiences in 2015, with the campaign’s creator, Manning Gottlieb, telling Marketing Week: ‘Within two to three years this tech will be used to drive day-to-day sales volumes’ – meaning a potential market of 4,900 car dealer franchises in the UK.
Pop-up and experiential marketing
From Airbus and Siemens at trade conferences to Jaguar and Quatar Airlines at Waterloo station, VR is an increasingly common attraction point for stands, with more than 20 agencies specialising in just this. As out-of-the-box solutions and low-cost 360-degree filming become common, VR is quickly becoming a viable tool for SMBs.
Thomas Cook used Samsung’s Gear VR headsets to give customers at their Bluewater outlet a 360-degree tour. Describing the partnership, Samsung’s director of operator sales and B2B, Phil Lander, said: ‘You can actually get a great experience using VR content, so I think that’s an area that will continue to grow.’
The first VR IMAX is to open in LA in collaboration with Starbreeze and Acer. Acer CEO Jason Chen said of the potential market: ‘Premium VR experience… isn’t just our dream, but one of an entire ecosystem that encompasses hardware makers, videogame developers, theatre companies, filmmakers and many others.’
Lockheed Martin utilises VR as a design tool that saves time and cost, explaining their use of a custom VR system ‘to validate, test and understand products and processes early in program development, when the cost, risk and time associated with making modifications are low.’
VR can create a completely controlled environment where factors can be analysed in isolation. This is why the University of Reading’s Neurology Department has been using VR for more than 10 years, and Kantar has its own ‘fast, efficient and cost-effective solution’ for consumer research utilising VR.