5 Exciting Virtual Reality Business Opportunities – How to Use VR In Your Business.
For just over a year, I’ve been plotting and scheming ways companies and events people can answer the question. “What are the practical ways we can start befitting from V.R. right now without splashing a huge wedge of cash”.
In this blog, I’ll lay out my top 5 most compelling answers to that question for the best “out of the box” business V.R. solutions.
The virtual office: Virtual Reality Meeting Rooms.
Workplace Well-being: V.R. Meditation.
Team Building: Virtual Reality Group Experiences .
Corporate Events: Storytelling with Google Earth V.R.
Sales Pitches: 360 VR Video Content.
Below I’ve outlined why you should consider using these and how you can start getting ahead of your competition by making them work for you. There’s no lengthy build process required with these, and are good to go this week if you so choose.
1. Remote Collaboration: Virtual Reality Meetings
Remember those blue-ish holograms communications they had in Star Wars? That is going to be a thing! We’re already getting closer with the upcoming Microsoft Hololens 2. Check out this epic demo: Holoportation Video.
However, it’s not publicly available yet and will cost about £5000 apiece. Augmented reality meeting rooms from Microsoft will be available this year. Until it arrives, V.R. headsets get you close to this level of spatial presence for a fraction of the cost.
“Spatial presence, the fundamental innovation of virtual reality” – Kevin Mack.
V.R. enables you to transport your consciousness from one place to another. Most importantly, you can be in that place with someone else from anywhere in the world. There are a few different kinds of V.R. meeting environments, depending on what you need. From 3D data visualisation to collaborative V.R. animation and creating experiences or just for the.
If you have colleagues around the world and want to host your get together in V.R., you could be hosting it in a more casual fun environment like AltspaceVR.
My favourite, because of its focus on business use cases, is Meetingroom.io. (Full disclosure I do also know some of the team there). Critically, it offers multi-platform access which means even those without a V.R. headset – most people at this point – can still participate. It’s available for free on iOS/ Android/ OculusGO)
Their V.R. meeting rooms are built for businesses. They have already been implemented with some big names like Accenture and Scottish Power.
Also check MeetinVR
How this could help your team
These tools create a persistent meeting environment that stays the way you left it. Returning to a space that’s set up to manage and execute a specific project over a prolonged period. With all the resources that accumulate on hand, is incredibly powerful for brainstorming and decision making across global teams.
These collaborative tools are especially useful when your work orientates around 3D products. Property, cars, product design – can all be manipulated and created collaboratively in V.R.
How much does this cost
The best part is that Meeting.io starts from £0! You just need a £20 V.R. adapter for your android or smartphone. Or up your visual experience with a £200 Oculus Go. Implementing V.R. meeting tools is a service we plan to start offering at Steamed Egg, so please let me know if you’d like to hear more and have us come in to make it work for you.
2.Workplace well-being: V.R. editation
The uptake of personal meditation practice in the U.K. is still climbing to all-time peaks! It seems likely that the method will be with us for the rest of our lives. In the workplaces of the Google and Twitter’s of this world, dedicated rooms aside from their main offices for mindful practice have existed for a few years.
Alright for some. But for the rest of us who do not have luxurious space, we’re left with a challenge. How to offer some escapism for our people. If we accept the calming, focusing superpowers of meditation, then surely we’d be foolish to miss out these powers as a part of our people’s work-life?
Giving this tool to our team could enable them to excel and do their best work. At best, our people will be their most creative, productive selves who are happier and better at helping the company win. The potential rewards measured against the marginal cost are staggering on paper. However, there’s a snag.
The problem with trying to meditate and escape for 15 minutes in most offices is that you are surrounded by people. People have demands on your time, make noise and pulls on your attention.
In a British office, sitting at your desk and shutting your eyes with some headphones to escape is going to be absolute comedy gold for everyone else. It also guarantees that you don’t get a moment of relaxation for fear of becoming the subject of ridicule at your desk and on Slack.
Most offices have private call booths or some small meeting spaces. Usually claustrophobic, with the help of virtual reality, these can be transformed into a vast, oasis for the mind. Think of a personal favourite place escape. Where would you go? A private beach, into the jungle, space? Better still, completely unrelated abstract Psychedelia.
Using V.R., you should expect all the usual benefits of guided meditation with the added turbo boost effect. The feeling like you was somewhere entirely different from your office for long enough to reset and remove yourself from the stresses of the day. Enough that when you return you are recharged and ready to calmly charge forward with rea positive clarity.
To implement V.R. Meditation.
Setting up the processes, tech training and etiquette around the V.R. will be crucial. Letting your team know that the V.R. Meditation is encouraged and not to be sneered at or treated as time-wasting is going to vital. Especially if you want people to actually use it.
Costs: You’ll need: At least an Oculus G.O.’s for the best experience, the Gala 360 or the Calm Place V.R. app, over-ear Headphones and a designated area.
Sit back and enjoy your newly relaxed, zen, focused conscientious workforce.
On the upper end of the tech scale, you’ll get better graphics and immersion with the Vive Pro, a 1080 GTX laptop and Blortasia. About £2000. (Talk to me if you want help implementing this, we are looking for test partners so won’t be charging initially).
3. Team Building & Group Entertainment
The new generation in our workplace seeks a new dimension to their jobs: “great culture”. “Great” is a keyword. Good isn’t enough to hire and keep top talent. Break it down, and I think, in essence, people are looking for is an environment with an enthusiastic team and colleagues who are passionate about what the company does.
They want, and an environment grows, where they are mentored by real leaders and to top it all off, a fat healthy dollop of socialising. “Socials” are no longer satisfied with weekly trips to the pub. We have to do better now. Our teams expect and deserve headline memories that will come to define their best moments at the company.
So we have to work a little harder to create notable, differentiated experiences that we can be proud to be a part of. The kind we can brag about to our friends and look like legends on Instagram.
How V.R. could help your team
Are you in search of new ideas that don’t come loaded with a hefty price tag? Or a mountain of work to organise? You may want to consider bringing virtual reality to your office.
You’ll be hard pushed to find an activity that ticks so many boxes.
In my experience, 99% of people have yet to try had a group V.R. experience.
The beauty of this is that everyone, regardless of age, drinking preference or physical abilities, can take part.
Most importantly, It is guaranteed to have people in stitches and doing something that lights up the team’s energy.
Lols with a side helping or ROFL.
Laughing with each other as a group has a profound, primal benefit for creating group cohesion: “we are in this together”. I’ll cover this more in later posts.
Still, for now, all we need to know is that giving your team a reason to laugh with each other is going to pay off big time. Especially for the atmosphere in the office for weeks, if not months after.
How to make it happen
1. Work with a company who specialises in delivering virtual reality experiences like us at Steamed Egg. Our events are especially suited for groups of 6 up to 100 and are great for when you want to host a full team V.R. experience.
2. For small teams of less than 6, or if you have super tight budgets, you might prefer to dip your toe in the water with your own mini V.R. team competition.
Grab and a pair of Oculus Go’s and install some great games like Rush (a wingsuit base jumper) or Bait V.R. (a surprisingly addictive V.R. fishing game). Add a crate of beers, plus a leader board point system and you are set for a great time.
How much does it cost?
Our Runny Yolk Team V.R. competitions at Steamed Egg’s start from £420 and which host up to 12 people and increases depending on the number of stations we need. Two Oculus Go headsets plus games are about £450. Still, you can also use them for meditation and other activities and have the headsets for years.
4. Corporate Events: Telling your story with Google Earth V.R.
Picture the scene – you have an upcoming event to organise for partners, customers and prospects. Time to impress. Let’s say your business is global, most are now. You have a presence across the planet. Maybe you’ve helped a customer achieve something remarkable like complete a vast infrastructure project.
How do you tell that story?
In the past, you might have had a keynote speaker tell you what they’ve been up to using a powerpoint presentation. Or perhaps you showcase a movie? Snore!
How V.R. can help you
Using Google Earth V.R., you can take customers literally anywhere on the face of the earth. Including inside your supply chain to on the ground operations. Most major cities are already built up in gorgeous 3D and even those that don’t have 360 photos that people all around the world have loaded onto Google’s platform.
We helped Nando’s take guests at a sustainability event to see the Southern Africa farms. With the help of a voice-over and carefully selected, visually impressive locations, guests got to experience being in the places where Nando’s is supporting farmers.
Guests can then autonomously fly around the nearby area and explore what it’s like to live and work there, creating empathy with the story. Developing a personal sense of space builds a connection to the story of those the event is about.
The added bonus in 2019 is that you can be sure that almost every guest will never have experienced something like this at an event. Novel experiences last much longer in people’s memories. (More on that in future blogs).
This experience dramatically differentiates you and your company as innovative. It elevates your message visually planning a firm mark in people’s memories. In the events, we’ve used GEVR like this. It has created a tremendous buzz and is a remarkable talking point of the night and long after the event according to our customers.
How to make it happen
Clarify out the story(s) you want to tell.
Pick a maximum of 4 places on earth that support that story to give variety but not too much.
Refine the script in conjunction with the route through Google Earth to make it feel like a connected experience
How much does it cost?
At Steamed Egg we can deliver a project like this, starting from £1000 upwards. Going alone, you can purchase a V.R. headset and laptop that runs Google Earth V.R. for about £1500. G.E. V.R. is free.
If you do it yourself expect to put in about 2-3 full days work to get your head around it all. Quite a wedge but you will have created something extra special. I’ll happily give free advice about you to using GEVR in this way.
5. Sales Pitches: 360 Video Content
Coming from a sales background, I know the importance of clearly articulating a pain point your customer might not even know(admit) that they have. “If only they could just see how much they are losing out and how fantastically my service could change their lives” we salespeople cry.
Enter 360 cameras. Hand in hand with low-cost V.R. headsets, a weapon of mass empathetic construction has entered the arsenal of salespeople and marketers. You can now place your customers inside the before (pain) and after (customer case studies) in a way that allows them to feel present in both scenarios.
How it can help you?
The critical difference between 360VR and 2D video is it takes you through the screen to be close to people and the places of your choosing. Feeling as if you’re there really changes how you feel about your experience of a piece of content.
A study by YnME / Nielsen suggests that there is a boost of 27% in emotional engagement between your customer when compared to 2D Equivalent.
One more time, that’s a whole 3rd better than 2D!
We know customers buy emotionally and rationalise after. Might this extra margin be what’s required to get your prospects to act (or act faster) after that sales meeting you’ve been waiting 6 months to get? Taking 360 Video of Steamed Egg events to my prospecting meetings, I can attest that it elicited excitement and helped my customers “Get it.”
How to make it happen
To make this a part of your sales meeting isn’t too tricky. Primarily if your product physically manifests in the world (Yachts, houses, machinery).
A 5k, 360 Camera for high-resolution capture. (£400)
A good script / Storyboard to paint a before and after narrative.
An Oculus Go or similar to view your edits and take to your customer. (£200).
360 Video editing software (DaVinci Resolve is free but will take a few hours to get used too. We can help).
Time to test out shots and reshoot if necessary.
How much does it cost?
Dip your toe in at first and play with a 360 Camera. I highly recommend InstaPro 360X. Find a tech-savvy member of your sales team and have them play with it so all together with the marketing you can shoot ideas around. If you want to go all-in, hire us to produce a 360 movie with a 3D 360 rig and professional editing.
I can bet that regardless of what you create, the differentiation of having a V.R. headset in your meeting will have you booking more follow-ups and deals.
Bonus Tip: This will be just as powerful for recruiting highly desirable candidates. Film your next few company socials, edit as a V.R. 2 min movie and give it to candidates in the lobby as they wait to be seen. How impressed would you be if you interviewed at a company who placed you inside their culture before your conversation?
There they are. My top 5 ways I think business can start to using virtual reality right now. Today. Without the need for expensive studio production. These out the box packages might have a dramatic impact on the well-being of your team. Your culture, sales and events if appropriately implemented, so approach this with the attitude that this could change things and it just might.
Do these ideas resonate with you? Let me know which was your favourite in the comments below and feel free to email me with questions for support in implementing. Jason@steamedegg.io
PS. If you made it this far, thank you. This first blog has been a long time coming – almost exactly a year since I set up Steamed Egg with the general notion that businesses should and would be using V.R. for much more.
It’s the first of many – subscribe below for monthly summaries of posts that will be about how virtual reality’s practical applications in industry and in events.