Opportunities of Virtual Reality in SMEs

08 Feb 2024. 11:05
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  • SME maturity
    1. Realidad Virtual y Aumentada
    2. Nuevas tecnologías
    Scope to digitize
    1. ICT infrastructure

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Virtual Reality is a disruptive technology that is rapidly positioning itself in the business ecosystem. It brings numerous possibilities and benefits to SMEs, such as new marketing concepts and stock visualization, among others. In this monographic we tell you about the trends that encompass Virtual Reality as well as the necessary steps to start implementing it in your SME.

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Executive summary

Virtual Reality (VR) has evolved from the world of video games to the business environment, being one of the fastest growing disruptive technologies.

Virtual Reality is the creation of a virtual environment that simulates a real one. The person accesses this virtual environment through devices such as glasses or helmets and can be complemented with other accessories such as special suits or gloves. With VR, the brain has the sensation that you are really in a virtual universe and reacts as if you were there.

The applicability in the business field for SMEs is diverse. The main use is commercial, looking for a "wow effect" in marketing, being able to provide a sample of products with real effect, without the need for stock, and to do so in a "virtual showroom" with immersive content. Some examples are showing furniture of all kinds in an environment and testing their combination or showing hotel rooms before a trip. It also highlights its industrial, product improvement and architectural use since it allows testing expensive products and prototypes without the need for manufacturing. In addition, its use in education and internal training, psychotherapy, medicine, tourism, culture, art and entertainment is gaining weight. It is closely connected with the concept of gamification, i.e., showing content in the form of a game.

The benefits of including VR in the SME's plan is to achieve a "wow effect" and differentiation with immersive experiences, boosting product promotion, reduce training costs (as it can be reused), improve efficiency in product design and manufacturing, expand the target audience, and improve decision making, thanks to complex data visualization.

The steps to follow for its implementation, as for any other development, require the collaboration of different professionals at each stage. After defining the type of use for which you want to develop, the following phases are carried out; requirements analysis, to know the desired functions; interface development (UI/UX); development of 3D elements; development of the software itself; quality control (software testing); management of technological change; product launch; advertising phase and ensure its maintenance.

The applicability of VR in the business world is manifold, and that is why major technology firms such as Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, HTC and Meta (Facebook) are investing in it, aware of its possibilities in the professional field. The main devices on the market are from Meta; The Oculus Quest 2, Meta Quest 3, or Meta Quest PRO, from Pico; or Pico NEO 3, or Pico 4, as well as Pimax Crystal QLED, Bigscreen, Apple Vison PRO, Play Station PS VR2 and HTC vive XR also stand out. In turn, there are several platforms to create these immersive worlds: Meta Apple, Engage, Spatial and NAKA (NTT DATA).

In short, this immersive technology produces an effect of amazement in potential customers that makes it possible to achieve a very powerful marketing and, in addition, it is also especially useful for the process of creating products, because of the possibility of realistic testing before manufacturing.

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