When we think of virtual reality, we probably don’t think about using it commercially. As the technology has developed, we’ve seen its success spurred by consumer applications, but the commercial potential is unique and varied.
As the capabilities have expanded, so have the choices of hardware. Which headset is best for your business? Let’s take a look at five, and their commercial applications.
What’s Great: Price
You can actually get the Google Cardboard for free, but you can pay as much as $85 (or more) for one, as well. It acts as a cradle for your smartphone, and using the Cardboard app you can experience basic virtual reality software.
What’s it for: Simplicity
Basic means basic. Because you’re tied down to the Cardboard app, the features are limited. But companies like Lowe’s are taking advantage of the low/no-cost option in their virtual room design programs by allowing customers to share their designs in 360 degrees.
What’s Great: Availability
Another mobile option that presents unique opportunities is Samsung’s Gear headset. Because of its price and compatibility with various phones, the Gear VR is another device that’s perfect for getting used to VR tech, and for unique applications.
What’s it for: Experience
Imagine traveling to a new country, test driving a car, or attending an open house all without leaving your couch. Those are applications currently in use by this relatively simple device, with even more room to grow.
3: Oculus Rift
What’s Great: Innovation
The one that started the race, the Rift was one of the first major VR devices made available. Though it relies on the PC it’s hooked up to to provide the majority of its power, it has some strong capabilities on its own. It’s also seen extensive use in a variety of settings since its release.
What’s it for: Potential
As the low-cost premium option, the Rift presents the entry to the realm of VR possibilities. Currently it’s being used by surgeons at UCLA to test run advanced procedures before attempting them.
4: HTC Vive
What’s Great: Power
The big boss of them all, the Vive is the top-dollar, top-quality machine. With the most advanced hardware and widest array of software, it’s no surprise that the Vive is the gold standard all others are measured by.
What’s it for: Business
HTC is releasing an actual commercial edition of the Vive, with its own unique applications, support system, and pricing. More than the other manufacturers, HTC seem keyed in on wider potential applications.
5: The Future
What’s Great: Mystery
What’s it for: Waiting
Yes, with the rapid expansion of virtual reality technology in the last decade alone, it’s hard to predict where the technology will go next. But we can be certain that the business potential isn’t going anywhere.
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