Virtual reality in large organizations can provide significant benefits in areas such as training and over-the-shoulder coaching. Early studies have demonstrated the benefit of these new technologies in an enterprise setting. Although challenges remain, virtual reality promises to offer important capabilities in the enterprise.

Virtual Reality in the Enterprise

Virtual reality is a new technology that is expanding into the enterprise; we see significant take-up of virtual reality and mixed reality in large organizations.

When I talk about virtual reality, the technology that you put on as a headset, it creates an immersive 3-D environment for the end user. We’re seeing things like virtual reality and also an extension of that called mixed reality, which also uses a headset, but now you can see the real world around you, as an overlay of 3-D digital content on top of that.

These are new areas that we’re exploring in the enterprise space. Obviously, there’s a consumer aspect to it but the enterprise is a kind of new, bold area.

So what are the benefits of using this kind of technology? Because it is so immersive, studies around virtual reality indicate it provides additional benefit beyond traditional training and coaching. Let me give you an example.

Miami’s Children Hospital recently did a study where they used virtual reality to train their employees, and they saw a dramatic difference as compared with traditional training. The retention that they saw was around 20% after one week.

With virtual reality, they saw 80% retention after one year, so you can imagine the impact of this new technology in getting people to understand and internalize new concepts and use them going forward.

There’s a lot of use cases to which we can this. You’ve got the training, things like over the shoulder coaching, so you can train on the job with this new capability. So that give you a sense of the types of resources and capacities you can provide.

This technology is getting there, but there are still some challenges. So the first is user adoption and how people are interacting with this. We’re still seeing some challenges with people getting a little bit sick, some of the devices weight a little bit too much, sometimes they’re tethered.

As the technology develops, I think we’re going to see some of those challenges resolved. And then the other piece is around content development. We must have engaging content to create the immersive worlds that companies need to use this as an enterprise capability.