If the words immersive multimedia or Virtual Reality (VR) sound familiar to you, that is using technology to create a three-dimensional computer-generated world that a user can interact with and explore, then you’ve most likely heard its reference in the gaming industry. However, it goes well beyond virtual racing and fighting scenarios. Other industries have found new and innovative ways to use this groundbreaking technology to further improve the Customer Experience.
Virtual reality may seem new to the average Joe, but the concept has been around since the mid ‘50s. Morton Heilig, a cinematographer, wanted to find a way to engage his audience by catering to the senses, other than sight and sound.
He developed the Senorama, which is similar to a 3D arcade game, where a player’s smell and touch senses are engaged. It’s this concept that has industries today racing to come up with bigger and better ways to use Virtual Reality.
Technological advances continued over the decades bringing us visual flight simulation, in-visor LCD screens, data gloves and inertia sensors. But the reality is, that was only the beginning!
It’s Like You’re There.
Recently, Ford Motor Company has started using the Oculus Rift headsets in their Immersion lab, allowing customers to experience their new car models without a prototype being developed, which is often costly.
These headsets allow customers to look around the interior of the car and simulate driving experiences they may have while sitting in their car.
The architecture industry is also testing out cost saving methods with their virtual reality. Designers can now virtually display what a space will look like to a client.
For instance, rather than just looking at a computer screen image of a model, clients will be able to experience the space as if it were already built, allowing clients to make changes and improvements as they walk around, virtually of course.
H& R Block began using this technology when they decided to make changes to their offices around the country. Current customers will be able to use Rift headsets and experience what the new space would look and feel like.
Not only will they experience the look of the office, but also how the new processing order will be dealt with, providing feedback when necessary. With this research, Block was able to discover exactly what their customers wanted to experience when they walked into their office doors.
A Healthy Dose of Virtual Reality
The health care industry has always been known for innovation and cutting edge technology, so it’s no surprise they found a new way to use Virtual Reality technology.
The development of compatible software for the Rift headsets has helped individuals who have suffered from a stroke learn how to walk again. Products, like Gloveone, help patients to perceive depth, an important step in learning to walk, through a series of vibrations.
However, Virtual Reality doesn’t stop at the customer. Employee Engagement is another driving force companies are focusing on, specifically employee training.
The health care industry has begun training surgeons with this new technology before they hit the operating table. Doctors and nurses are able to learn at a higher level of recognition with the help of virtual reality, as it transports you into a real-life surgery.
Looking Down the Road, Virtually
Imagine a safer world, where employees feel more confident in training because they can experience situations through another level of comprehension. This would translate into happier, safer employees moving to an overall better customer experience.
We are just now touching the surface with Virtual Reality and the future of Customer Experience and Employee Engagement will forever change because of this technology, opening new doors to better customer experience and opportunities.