virtual-reality-is-paving-the-way-for-virtual-videoconferencing-in-businessThe advent of virtual reality (VR) solutions is bringing big changes to videoconferencing. Instead of seeing a rendering of your colleague or client on a 2D screen, what if you could see him or her in 3D—without meeting in person? Clearly, the ramifications of a 3D conferencing experience could change the way all industries conduct business.

Embrace the Future of Conferencing Technology

Videoconferencing solutions are at the top of their game. Bandwidth, software improvements, and hardware upgrades provide users with enhanced AV clarity, remote collaboration, and mobile device capabilities. While it will likely serve a distinctive role in the field of remote communications, VR is quickly expanding as a competitor and/or solution enhancer. For troubleshooting, brainstorming sessions, and deal closings, VR offers distinct benefits over the 2D experience. Some organizations view VR as a competitor to traditional videoconferencing, but VR may simply serve as the next iteration of remote collaboration.

Discover Why Virtual Reality May Take Hold Sooner Than You Think

Companies such Boeing and Tesla are already using Google Glass’s augmented reality to enhance factory troubleshooting, brainstorming, and process optimization. A physician performed an intricate surgery on a baby using Google Cardboard at the end of 2015. Some industry analysts project the VR market will reach a valuation of $150 billion in as few as four years, and Google is not the only industry giant in the field. Apple, Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung are all working on their own VR solutions.

These benefits suggest VR may become a fixture of the business world sooner than expected:

    VR can improve meeting engagement. In a VR environment, attendees don’t have to zone out with a sole focus on the presenter. Instead, they can look around the room and see fellow participants, regardless of who is speaking. Gaining control over your own meeting experience encourages participation. The changes will take the concept of live video to a new level. Imagine holding a marketing event for several potential clients using VR headsets.

    It creates a more realistic interpersonal experience. For training applications, one-on-one meetings, and other collaborative uses, VR provides a lifelike interpersonal experience. In addition to hearing an attendee and seeing him or her on a 2D screen, an individual will also easily see nuanced gestures and details that can change the efficacy and experience of a remote meeting.

    It may overcome existing problems in video conferencing such as poor lighting and sound.
    In a videoconferencing environment, every attendee experiences a different setting and challenges. Individual office and conference room settings may detract from the overall experience. VR environments place all users in a similar environment, where everyone sees and hears the same thing.

    A competitive market is driving innovation. The demand for technology pushes industry growth, but market competition also contributes heavily to the rate of innovation and adoption. Gamers, tech enthusiast consumers, and large consumer-driven corporations will contribute to the optimization of VR technology, allowing businesses to benefit from rapid advancements.

    A feeling of closeness may change a participant’s behaviors. Individuals behave differently in person than they do in remote environments. If companies simulate interpersonal connections, they can improve the outcomes of remote collaboration over traditional forms of communication.

Over the next few years, businesses will start to see competitors investing in VR solutions, but whether the technology will completely replace traditional videoconferencing remains unknown. Videoconferencing may still hold a place as a training tool and an ad hoc meeting facilitator. In all likelihood, the technology will serve as an additional tool in a suite of unified collaboration tools that businesses use to solve specific communication problems.

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