Enterprise businesses are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve their operations and gain a competitive edge. The adoption of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology is one way that businesses are seeking to achieve this.
There are many potential benefits that VR and AR can bring to enterprise businesses, including:
- Increased efficiency
- Improved communication and collaboration
- Enhanced training and simulation with a reduction of cost
However, implementing these technologies can pose a number of challenges for businesses, from a lack of existing infrastructure to security and IT concerns.
In order to successfully implement VR and AR technology into their operations, businesses need to consider a number of factors, including distribution methods, hardware refresh cycles, client training and onboarding, integration and installation, and common challenges and solutions.
One of the first considerations for businesses looking to implement VR and AR technology is how they will distribute the content to their employees.
There are three main options for content distribution:
- Pre Loaded device only distribution (where devices are purchased, and preloaded with content before being sent out to locations or users.)
- Cloud-based MDM software solutions (such as managing remote downloads of experiences)
- On-site or cloud streaming solutions (Avoiding downloads all together by streaming content to devices)
We have not listed MDM solutions in this fact sheet as the list of providers is always changing and updates to hardware are frequent. Please reach out to us for a current list of recommendations.
Each of these options has its own advantages and disadvantages that businesses need to weigh up in order to choose the best solution for their needs. For example, using headset only infrastructure may be the most cost-effective option but it could limit the types of content that can be distributed.
Cloud-based solutions offer greater flexibility but may require a costly subscription fee; and on-site solutions provide the greatest control but can be more expensive to set up.
Hardware Refresh Cycle
Another important consideration for businesses is the refresh cycle of the VR or AR hardware that they use. The majority of VR headsets have a lifespan of around two years before they need to be replaced, while AR headsets have a longer lifespan of around three years.
This means that businesses need to factor in the cost of replacing headsets every two years when budgeting for their VR or AR implementation.
Security & IT Challenges
VR and AR technology also poses some security and IT challenges that businesses need to be aware of. For example, sensitive company data could be accessed by unauthorized individuals if it is stored on VR or AR headsets; VR/AR apps could be used to launch cyber attacks; and employee productivity could suffer if employees spend too much time using VR/AR devices for personal use.
To mitigate these risks, businesses need to put in place appropriate security measures such as data encryption and user authentication. They also need to ensure that their IT team is trained in how to support VR/AR devices and apps.
However these teams need to be trained on the non-traditional cyber threats that are detailed in our cyber security fact sheet.
- Biometric markers such as heart rate, eye tracking etc
- Facial recognition and 3D capture of environments
- Staying secure while in immersive environments
Client Training & Onboarding
Another key consideration for businesses is training and onboarding employees on how to use VR/AR technology. This is important not only for ensuring that employees are able to make full use of the capabilities of the technology but also for safety reasons – avoiding potential accidents such as tripping over cables or walking into walls while wearing a headset.
Development agencies should work to simulasily create documentation and guidance for the client, however in some cases, depending on the scale of the deployment, businesses should work with an experience XR training provider to develop out a full client program
It is recommended that businesses provide both online resources (such as video tutorials) and offline support (such as in-person training sessions) so that employees can learn at their own pace and get help when needed.
Another useful tip is integrating virtual reality experiences into employee orientation programs so new hires can familiarize themselves with company culture and values from day one. Providing adequate training on how to use VR/AR technology will help ensure its successful adoption within your business.
Integration & Installation
Once you have decided on the distribution method and hardware refresh cycle that best suits a project, the next step is to integrate VR and AR technology into your existing infrastructure and systems.
This can be a complex and time-consuming process, and unfortunately there are not many experienced providers who can help with the installation and integration of VR and AR technology.
In m most cases, development agencies should not take on the burden of integration unless it is a relatively straight forward deployment.
Different sectors face different challenge, for example:
- Healthcare – Managing Infection control & outdated systems
- Education – Low budgets and student safety concerns
- Corporates – Internal firewalls, security and data protection
For a full list of recommended integrators you should speak with the membership team who will be able to link you with the most reputable and current