While billions of us have been working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic, we have been finding ways to entertain ourselves and our loved ones outside of working hours. Life in lockdown has been challenging for all and virtual reality (VR) seems like the ideal form of escape at such a difficult time.
VR has been growing in popularity over the years, and has been reshaping every aspect of society – from the workplace to the healthcare system. This technology has been further enhanced by the introduction of Playstation VR, Samsung Gear VR and the 2019 release of the Oculus Quest.
VR During Covid-19
As we all know, Covid-19 has forced rapid change across most of society, with digital technology now dominating workforces across the globe, as many of us go virtual. Take one of the leading video conferencing apps, Zoom, for example, which went from 10 million users to a massive 300 million users in just a few months. One of the industries that VR is set to shape the future of is the games design and development industry.
Several businesses and organisations around the world have been taking advantage of VR and its many capabilities during lockdown, giving the technology a whole new meaning, as it is no longer being used primarily in a gaming setting. Many teams have now had the option to collaborate in a virtual setting, using VR to enable them to finish projects on time, and prevent lockdown from getting in the way of producing amazing results.
Using VR as a Remote Collaboration Tool
Many game designers, software developers and android developers in recent months have been using VR to help with games production, project sprints, iterations and workflows to prevent delays with product launches. A handful of companies are now building remote collaboration VR tools to help manage ongoing projects, while providing a unique opportunity to meet, discuss, present and make collective decisions virtually.
Projects are now being managed in the virtual world with VR collaboration tools, creating unique spaces to give team members the chance to meet, work, train, host events, and mind map ideas together. For this, a range of devices is being used including VR headsets, PCs, and mobile devices making remote collaboration both accessible and affordable.
Examples of Recommended VR Tools
Virtual Reality and the Product Development Life Cycle
Virtual reality is revolutionising workflows as we speak. In product development, all traditional workflows are being disrupted. As VR software becomes more accessible, multiple remote teams can work in the same space simultaneously on virtual prototypes and create multiple iterations of 3D models at speed.
This form of remote working has proved useful during the research and development stages of the product life cycle too, providing teams with the opportunity to monitor, evaluate and offer feedback at speed. Many virtual reality platforms have now been tried and tested for providing effective training for the development of technical and highly skilled tasks.
The good thing is, you don’t need to be a tech guru to invest in virtual reality technology for your remote working teams. Using VR is a soft skill that at some point, every employee will need to learn, given how fast society is accelerating in the world of digital technology.
The Future of Virtual Reality Post Covid-19
The VR market is now on the cusp of being the next mainstream platform, not just in a social context, but in the working environment too. With virtual reality taking on a whole new meaning during COVID-19, and being adopted for the purposes of managing remote collaborations between teams and, not just being utilised in the gaming world as a source of entertainment, things are set to change.
With a rise in sales of Oculus VR products during the first quarter of 2020 and confirmation of new VR products in the making including Apple’s recent purchase of NextVR, this virtual technology is kicking off 2020 in style.
The introduction of 5G could further boost the VR take up, with new high-speed networks coming to market, setting other networks apart from the next generation of wireless technology. Chip vendor Qualcomm recently announced a partnership with 15 global operators to bring VR viewers tethered to 5G smartphones to market within a year.
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