The first use of new technology is usually on the consumer side. Quickly, however, uses in the enterprise are discovered and implemented. That’s always been the case. It’s now truer than ever, since the era of bring your own device (BYOD) has more or less erased the line between home and office.
The adoption of consumer technologies by business will happen even more quickly in virtual reality (VR). It’s very sexy and very useful, which means that both employees and employers will be on board. Last week, Rob Enderle wrote at Datamation about the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Enderle wrote about three potential VR uses: telemedicine, robotics and modeling. These are just the tip of the iceberg, though—VR will be relevant in myriad other areas.
Right now, big companies are lining up to get into the VR sector. Leo King at Forbes discussed reports of a (no longer) secret Google project aimed at helping it catch up in the VR game. Besides discussing what Google has planned, King’s piece shows just how interested the big companies are:
Facebook, which last year bought virtual reality firm Oculus for $2 billion, is many months into its work to develop VR-backed communications. Samsung has also teamed up with Oculus for a mobile version of the tech, and Sony has developed its own Morpheus headset. Elsewhere, Microsoft is well into developing a VR device linking the real world and simulated data.
Unlike older technologies, observers see business use of VR as a co-driver, not a nice follow on. That’s due to both the business-friendly nature of VR and the fact that people now recognize from the outset that what starts with consumers will find its way into business. Gary Auden, writing at No Jitter, addresses the business and educational potential of VR:
VR consumer applications are largely in the gaming and entertainment segments, especially as what a consumer is able to access via the Internet changes. There will be a wide range of applications that will enter the business and education communities as well. In this latter case, the justifications will focus on training, physical security surveillance, technician support, video conferencing, medical diagnoses and surgery, archeology, urban design, construction, product design — the list is endless.
The huge companies with the familiar names are not the only ones aiming at the VR space in general and the enterprise subsector in particular. Taylor Soper at GeekWire wrote about Envelop VR, a Bellevue, Ore.-based startup that is looking to raise $3 million to become a player in the sector focusing on “productivity and enterprise virtual reality software.” Envelop’s subsidiary goal is to set up the Seattle area as the VR hotbed.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at [email protected]nline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.