Virtual reality isn’t just for video games anymore. Nowadays anyone with a smartphone and Google cardboard can engage in virtual reality. This has many practical applications for businesses. Do you need to train your staff and a classroom just won’t cut it? Why not try virtual reality? Education can also benefit from virtual reality- even the most boring history lesson can be brought to life through the use of virtual reality.
So what’s the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality? Virtual reality is really a visual medium, while augmented reality adds layers to the environment using haptic feedback and binaural audio.
Augmented reality can also be considerably more interactive than virtual reality. While it sounds like augmented reality is significantly better than virtual reality, VR still has one major advantage- accessibility. Though 95% of people are aware of the existence of virtual reality, only 35% report ever having tried it. That’s likely because there aren’t many real-world applications of it being used.
Virtual reality can be used to improve healthcare and enhance journalism. It can also be used to enhance the home buying experience. We all know someone who moved cross country or to another country and had to buy a house sight unseen so they would have a place to live once they got there. It’s difficult to imagine, but it happens every day. What if you could use your phone and a $30 headset to take a virtual tour of the house you want to buy before making a commitment? Wouldn’t you feel a lot better about it? Even if you’re not buying a house sight-unseen, it could help you to save a lot of time by narrowing down the field before you actually go see the house.
Virtual reality could also help agents make better use of their valuable time. Instead of spending endless hours of endless days taking clients from house to house, you could help them narrow their choices down to a few select properties after supplying them with virtual reality tours.
The added bonus is they will already know the wallpaper in the powder room is hideous and will have made a decision ahead of time about whether that is a deal breaker. It’s hard to find too many surprises when you already have experience in a given environment.
Google Street View is already giving potential buyers the option to check out the neighborhood ahead of time. Now with Google Cardboard being available for around $30, there’s really no reason for virtual reality tours of the inside of a property for sale not to be available.
It will also be possible for home builders to show their clients the inside of a home before it’s built and make any changes to the blueprints before construction begins. Once augmented reality becomes more common you’ll be able to experience the smell of freshly baked cookies and touch surfaces using haptic feedback.
Learn more about the practical applications of virtual reality from this infographic. You might be surprised just how useful a tool it can be!