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Virtual reality in the workplace: Fact or fiction

Friday 24 March 2017

According to media partner ITProPortal, virtual reality could be a great fit for your organisation.

In recent years, virtual reality (VR) has captivated our imagination, filling the minds of the masses with potential use cases that seemed straight out of the pages of science fiction films.    

While you may instantly think of gaming and entertainment in association with VR, it has tremendous promise for corporate innovation and the workplace of the future. Virtual Reality technology is steadily becoming one of the most sought after pieces of technology that could change the way we host conference calls, present information and collaborate with each other.   

However, we are only just starting to understand the potential of VR in the workplace of the future. Its applications are vast; so let’s look at how VR can create a smarter and more efficient workplace.  

Virtual Collaboration   

Virtual Reality has the potential to play a crucial role in how business meetings and collaboration occurs in the future.  If the success of VoIP and other internet-based audio- and video conferencing solutions is anything to go by, then the next iteration could be based upon VR too. Naturally, nothing will ever truly beat a face-to-face meeting. But, in those instances where this is not possible, or audio and video based conferencing is not sufficient, then VR offers an excellent alternative. 

Virtual Reality enables a collaborative environment within which a group of people, who are based in different locations, can communicate, work together and share information virtually.  Currently the limitations of working remotely include an inability to express body language, point at things, and to collaborate on shared information. VR can be used to get around these limitations by creating an environment that makes remote collaboration feel more like you are sitting in the room with your colleagues. That’s powerful. 

Of course, VR collaboration is still evolving; but in time, we expect to see more and more unified communications and collaboration providers start to play in this space, as new technologies at both the front and back ends will be required to enable VR collaboration. It truly is exciting.   

Virtual Reality for HR 

Further, another obvious case for VR is around its role in streamlining and improving HR’s functions, particularly in the hiring process. Virtual Reality can be used to provide a prospective employee a taste for their potential role, as well as facilitate virtual company tours.   

Virtual Reality can also be beneficial beyond the interview process, as training and on-boarding can be improved due to the immersive nature of VR. This is especially true in the industries where improper training can be a danger to the employee or those around them.  Virtual Reality offers an immersive training environment that allows trainees to gain hands on experience in a secure environment.   

NASA, for example already uses VR technology to help prepare astronauts for missions by using flight simulators that replicate the space experience. Another company embracing the technology for training staff is Lincoln Electric which uses VR Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) to train welders.   

Read more: ITProPortal

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