Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are going to reshape our businesses.
They already have at Ford. They now use VR in designing cars. Work associates located on different continents hold meetings in 3D through VR conferences. Ford has cut costs and reduced worker lost work time by using VR technologies to re-engineer the assembly line.
VR is a computer generated 3D environment. I was blown away with VR tech when Ford sat me in a motorized chair linked to their latest VR technology. The VR headset sat on my head covering my eyes with speakers over each ear. This headset placed me in a 3D city sitting in a futurist urban vehicle. Then this autonomous vehicle began flying between office towers. My brain kept telling I was sitting in a chair in Detroit. My senses told me I was flying. My senses won and I got motion sickness.
This might sound like a game. It is not. VR is an unbelievably vibrant new sales door to your customers!
The VR sales revolution
VR technology is about to push the e-commerce revolution into hyper drive. VR tech will move consumers from the flat screen world of today’s smart phones or TVs. VR will allow your customers to experience products in a three dimensional digital world.
The forces that drove mass adoption of smart phones are now driving VR’s mass adoption. The cost of VR technology is falling like a rock. The equipment no longer requires specialized expertise to use.
Entertainment will be VR’s killer app revenue path. Imagine being able to download endless numbers of roller coaster rides. Watching a movie will be revolutionized. VR movies will put the viewer “inside” a 3D environment alongside actors, dinosaurs and zombies. The VR experience will make our big screen TVs and surround sound systems feel like a black and white TV.
Now imagine commercials within VR entertainment. For example, a consumer will be able to sit inside a car and experience its acceleration.
Is your business B2B?
VR will allow your customers a detailed 3D examination of product components. It will allow a prospective B2B customer to “use’ the product in a 3D representation of their shop floor or office.
Steps for using VR to grow sales
The obvious question is how does a business start using futuristic technologies like VR?
The first step is to buy a VR headset. PC Magazine ranks the Sony, HTC and Facebook VR headsets highly.
The next step is to just play with the VR headset.
Let your work associates experience it too.
Have some fun letting your customers experience VR.
Then ask a lot of questions like, what do they like or don’t like about the VR experience? How they could see VR being used in your business? Engaging work associates and customers in VR is crucial to anticipating how they will response when this technology goes mainstream.
Augmented Reality can be a first step for your business
Have you heard of Pokemon Go? It uses a form of VR called augmented reality (AR). In AR you point your smart phone at something and up pops a image. In Pokemon Go, when you point your smart phone camera at your environment, AR images will appear on your smartphone’s screen. The game is to “capture” these images with your smart phone.
What does Pokemon Go have to do with your business? Pokemon Go has a higher usage rate than Instagram!
Imagine your business creating an AR enabled game where a potential customer can win product reward points by capturing images of your product? Or imagine a customer framing your business location in their smart phone camera and receiving a product discount coupon they can capture with their smartphone.
Five ways to use AR and VR in your business
Here are five areas identified by Zdnet where VR and AR could radically impact your business:
Improving sales people’s performance. Today’s sales people have to memorize product features. VR enabled sales people wearing AR glasses will see pop ups with product features and specs or even a sales script.
Training. AR and VR will revolutionize how work associates are trained. It will allow work associates to train inside a 3D representation of your business.
Design acceleration. Ford now designs their cars using VR. It has reduced design costs and increased innovation. What used to take months using clay models now can be done in days.
Improve customer service. Imagine a VR customer service chat room where customers “see” in 3D how to use or repair a product.
Collaboration. VR enable real time, anywhere collaboration. Ford now engages their international design team members located around the world through VR conferencing. Individuals can work together on a 3D car as if they were in the same room working on a real car.
Don’t wait. Get engaged with VR and AR. These technologies are poised to radically change how you win customers and run your business.
About the author
Bill Roth is a clean tech pioneer who led the team that launched the first hydrogen fueled Prius. He is a featured contributor on Triple Pundit and Latin Business Today. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, has been used by thousands of business people to implement proven green best practices that make money and a difference. Bill’s latest book, The Boomer Generation Diet, is his personal story on how to achieve sustained weight loss while still having fun and living more. The book’s ten customizable best practices are the sustainable solutions to our national weight crisis that threatens our health and medical cost bankruptcy.