Virtual Reality Initiatives – Where Are You on the Curve?

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In a recent interview with Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator, even Mark Zuckerberg admitted that he was a bit behind the curve when getting into the Virtual Reality space.

“When you do stuff well you shouldn’t have to do big, crazy things,” said Zuckerberg. “We bought the Oculus team for a lot of money… If we’d done a better job of building up some of the expertise to do some of that stuff internally, then maybe we wouldn’t have had to do that… I think as CEO it’s your job to not get into a position where you need to be doing these crazy things.”

Instead of getting into this up-and-coming space organically and ahead of the curve, Facebook spent $2 billion on the acquisition of the best in the business, Oculus, to start their VR journey back in 2014.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are the new transformative mediums and their applications are growing exponentially. Like smart phones and tablets, VR and AR will play a part in everyone’s future to some degree. And the benefits offered to organizations are only limited by the innovations inspired by VR – improved sales, superior product design, enhanced human performance, increased safety, better decision making, and much more.

The question is what is the best way to start a VR Initiative inside your organization?

It doesn’t take a large investment to get started with a VR Initiative. Start small and go from there.

Here are some recommended first steps:

  • Set up VR demonstrations to allow your workforce to experience VR. These demos may not even be applicable to your organization or specific departments, but they will give your teams an idea of what virtual technologies are and do and how they can potentially be applied to your organization.
  • After they have experienced VR, the different departments within your organization can go back and think creatively and strategically about how VR Initiatives could improve the organization in some fashion (productivity, marketing, safety, training, etc.) and submit them to management for consideration.
  • Prioritize the recommendations from each department and select a few of these areas to develop small, 5-10 minute, virtual experience prototypes.
  • Prototypes can be used to conduct a front-end analysis to identify which initiatives have the highest probability for the best return on investment that warrant a larger investment of resources.
  • The results gained from the front-end analysis will provide an informed and focused technology roadmap toward implementing new powerful organizational -enhancing solutions.

By applying these first steps to prioritizing VR initiatives in your organization, you might save yourself from doing some of the “big, crazy things” Mark Zuckerberg was talking about.

As JFK said “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

Where are you on the virtual technologies curve?

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