Virtual and Augment Reality used to be viewed as a gaming and entertainment product only, such as the hit game Pokemon Go. The issue with VR & AR used to be is that the headsets were too expensive and the technology was not as developed as expected. Now with IT playing such a big role in businesses and VR & AR costs becoming affordable, businesses have started to invest in VR & AR. Big companies like Addidas, Walmart, and IKEA have already tried to gain a competitive advantage by using VR & AR as a business application. Addidas used AR technology to sell limited-edition shoes at a convention so that users could point their phone at AR-signs and view shoes that weren’t there physically. Walmart used VR & AR for training new employees before they hit the floors. One example for Walmart was that the VR & AR training experience would prepare new employees for the increased volume of customers on Black Friday before the actual event. IKEA, which I think is using AR in a fantastic way is offering users to view furniture and appliances through their smartphone so that they could visualize how the product would look in their home before they bought it. Flexential, an IT infrastructure company even brought their data center to trade shows to allow customers to walk around their huge data center, that is tens to hundreds of thousands of square feet through VR.
I think VR & AR are going to become a huge part of businesses in the near future. With big companies like Walmart, Addidas, and IKEA investing more into VR & AR, I think it is time for smaller-medium sized companies to start to invest in VR & AR to gain a competitive advantage. Costs have become much cheaper for VR & AR and headsets such as the Oculus Go sell for an affordable price of about $199. Do you think big companies can create a competitive advantage by investing in VR & AR? What about smaller-medium sized companies?