You’ve seen those ambitious predictions, haven’t you?

Most experts agree that virtual reality will be everywhere in about two years.

Virtual reality content is going to be such a profound game-changer that companies in every major industry will fall over themselves to adopt it: for training, marketing, sales, product design, you name it!

But if you’re wondering how the advent of virtual reality will affect your industry, all of this isn’t very helpful.

“Will VR content change my industry?”

“It will change every industry!”

See? Not helpful!

That’s why, for today’s article, we set out to answer one simple question: which industries will be affected by virtual reality the most? And more importantly, how?

Let’s dive in a find out if your industry is one of them!

The use of VR content for travel and hospitality

The best way to sell an experience is by giving potential clients a taste of it when they walk in the door. But it’s not exactly easy to paint a vivid picture when your customer is sitting in a cramped travel agent’s office!

Until recently, the travel and hospitality industry had to do it indirectly: through glowing testimonials, photo and video content that would give people an idea of what it’s like to be at their destination, rich descriptions of the sights, amenities, and the service they would receive…

With virtual reality content, conveying an experience of traveling to a faraway destination or staying at a fancy hotel is easy. In a matter of minutes, VR can “transport” you anywhere: a beach, an exotic city, a hotel you really like – you name it.

Moreover, your brain actually believes it – all thanks to the immersion effect. After that, saying yes to a real-life version of that getaway becomes a no-brainer!

Here are some ideas of how a travel/hospitality brand could implement VR content in a low-stakes, high-return kind of way:

  • Marketing an exclusive experience that’s hard to describe. Watching the Northern Lights inside a luxury bungalow with a glass ceiling. Swimming with whales at Borneo. Staying at a hotel fully made of ice. Experiences that have to be lived to be fully understood lend themselves naturally to VR content.
  • Selling a high-end service package. You can hardly justify marketing a $600 all-inclusive trip to Barbados with something so expensive and sophisticated as VR. A $5,000 luxury cruise, however… that promises enough ROI to quickly cover an initial investment in creating virtual reality content to promote it.

Revolutionizing education with virtual reality content

The global education industry has an engagement problem.

Learning is more widely available than it has ever been. Any of us can go online to enroll in a course offered by an Ivy League school, discover in-depth tutorials for mastering any skill, and learn everything there is to know about any subject, no matter how obscure. And believe it or not, that’s a problem.

This abundance makes it harder to engage with and retain knowledge and skills. Just to pick one example: 98% of students who enroll in an online course will never complete it. Just as we need fast learners who change and adapt to the breakneck pace of innovation, we’re actually setting them up for failure.

Virtual reality content has the potential to reinvent the way we learn, making it more interactive and “stickier” than ever before. Here are just a few ways education could benefit from virtual reality technology:

  • By bringing VR to the classroom, schools and universities can make learning a memorable, hands-on experience. It’s one thing to listen to a lecture about a complex subject like the human genome. But what if you could study a three-dimensional rendering of DNA in a virtual reality environment – with the ability to zoom in and out, and access any relevant information right then and there? That would make studies not only memorable but also fun!
  • Virtual reality is useful not only for imparting theoretical knowledge, though! Take a look at this footage from Stanford, where they are using virtual reality content to train football quarterbacks. Normally, this kind of practical, skill-based education and training would demand a lot of time, money, and resources. VR helps to alleviate this burden significantly without compromising the quality of education. This could apply to a lot of professions – and we’ll examine another example later.

Note: In the broader context, any institution delivering any type of training will benefit from virtual reality content. Case in point – this training video by KFC, showing employees the correct way to make fried chicken.

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VR content in healthcare: healing trauma, training surgeons, relieving pain

Out of all the industries that will be transformed by virtual reality content, healthcare stands to benefit the most.

VR affects the human brain in many wonderful, sometimes life-changing ways. There haven’t been many studies on virtual reality and its medical applications yet – but the ones we do have are promising. Here’s how brands in the healthcare industry can benefit from VR content:

  • VR immersion therapy. This may be the biggest breakthrough in treating PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) medical science has made to date. Exposing sufferers to virtual reality content and helping them confront their trauma memories actually works – so well that over 60 sites are already offering VR immersion therapy, and further controlled medical studies are being run.
  • Pain management. VR content could prove more effective for alleviating chronic pain than medication. “Distracting” the brain with a virtual reality experience doesn’t just help to reduce pain during the session – the effects last even after the experience is over. Even excruciating pain like that experienced by burn victims can be treated with virtual reality.
  • Medical training. Virtual reality content can be used to train medical professionals – like surgeons, among others – without spending nearly as much money, and endangering flesh-and-blood patients in the process! It’s another example of how we can use a simulated environment to develop real-world, practical skills.
  • As we said before, the impact of virtual reality on healthcare will be the most profound and far-reaching out of all the industries. There’s a lot more VR can do for the medical field than we can cover in a single blog post. For example:
    • rehabilitating those who suffered brain damage
    • developing social cognition skills in children with autism
    • treating phantom limb pain
    • enriching the lives of housebound patients, and patients with disabilities

Virtual reality in architecture, construction, and real estate

If you are a professional working in any of these fields, right now you might be feeling indignant that we’ve lumped them under one category. We apologize! We know all three are different! For our purposes, though, we want to show how VR content will change every step of the process: from designing a building, to constructing it, to selling it.

1. Architecture

For architects, virtual reality content will be a game-changer. Instead of relying on 2D building plans and goofy small-scale models, an architect will be able to examine a three-dimensional model of their creation as if they were physically present there.

They would be able to look and move around the space, examine the spatial relationships and massing, and figure out what changes to make to the building. The closer they can examine and understand a project at this early stage, the better the odds that it will go smoothly!

Here’s another benefit of using VR content in architecture: it will be a hundred times easier for the client and the architect to understand each other! They will be experiencing the same space, in the same simulated environment – so (almost) nothing will be lost in translation. No more wasting away in endless meetings and fighting over minor revisions!

(Plus, client-facing virtual reality presentations will make for some killer marketing content!)

2. Construction

Construction companies are embracing virtual reality for one simple reason: they know it will make doing business easier for them. Here’s how…

For starters, VR content makes it easier for their clients to develop realistic expectations of the project. Rather than dreaming up an idealized version of it in their head, only to be disappointed by the real thing later, they will engage with an accurate representation of what the end result will look like. This leads to higher client satisfaction and more positive interactions in the process.

Besides, virtual reality offers an easy way to make changes to the project long before the actual construction process starts. If a stakeholder wants to voice a concern or introduce a change, they will be able to do so well in advance – because they will have seen what the result looks like in VR. It’s a very different dynamic from when a client tours the building site, sees something they don’t like and makes a last-minute change that derails the entire project!

And finally, because VR content makes it so much easier to customize and fine-tune every detail of the project, it takes less time to move from the design phase to the building phase. Faster project approvals mean that projects can be completed faster – allowing to take on more projects per year and to generate more revenue.

3. Real estate

Most real estate sales hinge on one thing: getting the buyer to imagine their life in their new property, as vividly as possible. That’s exactly the kind of thing virtual reality was made for!

By far the most common – and lowest-tech – form of “real estate VR” is this: 3D models of living spaces you can “tour” in your browser. It’s a neat way to visualize the space space without going on an actual house tour. It’s a huge step above simple photographs – but still not the pinnacle of what VR content can achieve for this industry.

A more sophisticated version would be a virtual reality tour where you put on a headset and explore a property in full immersion. This type of VR content feels like being physically present on the premises, and is much more engaging than a simple 360-degree video in your browser.

Add to that the ability to render everything in eye-popping 4K resolution, and it’s only marginally worse than a real-life property tour!

Finally, one key thing that VR content enables real estate companies to do is to show customers what their new home will look like with their furniture and their interior setup.

Solutions already exist where you can visualize an interior space the way you would decorate it yourself. You basically choose from a massive catalog of furniture and household items, arrange them to your liking, and see what your future home looks like!

This taps into a well-known cognitive bias known as “the IKEA effect.” It causes people to value an object more once they have played a role in creating or customizing it.

The list goes on – and your industry is on it!

No matter what industry you’re in, virtual reality is on track to disrupt it within several years.

Some of those disruptions will occur in the way you do business, like we discussed in those examples above. And some of them will leave your core business model intact… but they will change the way you market your product or services.

Virtual reality content can help you attract more paying customers for your brand, stand out from the competition, and make sure your message is received loud and clear – in 2017 and beyond.

We would love to create a high-converting whiteboard virtual reality video for you.

If you want to learn more about virtual reality animation marketing and how it fits into your business goals, we would love to show you what kind of magic we can work for you in VR!

Contact us today to book a no-cost, risk-free pow wow to discuss your idea!