The sales presentation is about to start, but you have plenty of time to dawdle. You run over to the living room and grab the remote for later. You chat with your kids about the upcoming soccer season. You make a triple espresso in the kitchen. Then, settling down into your Herman Miller chair, you strap on the Samsung Gear VR goggles and hit a couple of buttons.
The scene unfolds before you. There’s Tim in accounting and Roger from the support team. You glance over at the clock on the wall and notice that someone forgot to change the battery. Then, a lanky millennial walks up to the podium and starts talking about a new security app that could change the known universe. Kind of dull. You take off the headset and flip on the news.
Could this be the future of business? After testing the Samsung Gear VR headset this past week (the $200 device requires the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone), there’s a good chance you could be attending virtual sales demos in the near future. The technology is not quite there yet, but there’s a potential to do more than just let you tap into a meeting.
Live streaming an event is one place to start, though. It requires that anyone who wants to live-stream an event install a special 360-degree camera. And, Samsung hasn’t quite offered an app you can use to tap into a live stream. But imagine the benefits. You can look anywhere you want, so it feels like you are really in attendance. You could record the meeting and watch it later, and if you had a way to speak to the room, you could ask questions.
The opportunities for training are also endless. I know Epson offers a virtual reality headset called the Moverio that lets you see AR overlays. I’ve tested one before and learned how to place virtual components into a physical machine sitting in front of me. But that Moverio doesn’t use the Oculus tech that’s in the Gear VR means it doesn’t quite have that “you are there” feeling.
What about product testing? I’d love to be the fly on the wall for someone who gets an early peek at the Apple Watch, experiencing how it works for myself. It could help with IT planning and budgets, and it could even help me decide if Apple is going to dominate in the wearables sector. I could visit hotels to see if they’d work for a retreat and attend conferences virtually.
There’s proof in the apps and demos that are already available. In one video that you see on the Gear VR, you can attend a Cirque du Soleil performance and look around at the artists on stage. Another lets you swim in the ocean and fraternize with fish (and sharks). I see potential for the device to help in business. Virtual demos, training, dashboards filled with data, interviews -- it’s wide open.
How about you? Post in comments if you think this whole virtual reality fad is not going to last or if it could be as groundbreaking as everyone seems to be saying.
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