Extended Reality Applications for Remote Work

A VR headset on a table

Extended reality is the remote work solution that can best help demo products, present building plans, and deliver experiential concepts anywhere in real-time. 

We don’t know when the current coronavirus restrictions will be lifted and it will be safe again to travel and connect in person. This uncertainty can create challenges for businesses but it can also create opportunities for change.

Many major companies, including Google, Slack, and Ford Motor Co. have announced that their employees will continue to work from home until the summer of 2021.

It’s anticipated that in 2022, more than half of all office-based employees will still primarily work remotely and a third of large firms will have cut their spending on office locations by 20% on average.

According to a Gartner, Inc. survey of CFOs and finance leaders in March, 74% of companies plan to permanently shift to more remote work.

With in-person demos and conferences on hold, how can companies best conduct remote work?

With Extended Reality, distance issues can be virtually eliminated, bringing people together in more collaborative and expansive environments than was possible even in reality. 

What is Extended Reality?

Extended Reality (XR) combines virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality to create “the next best thing” to physical reality. In fact, in many respects — from cost, to convenience, to safety — these technologies are able to provide experiences that are actually superior to their “in real life” counterparts. 

Critical to the delivery of those experiences has been the steady progress of XR technology itself across a range of use cases and applications, from industrial training to tourism and hospitality.

With XR, customers, clients, prospects and other users can navigate fully immersive and interactive, photorealistic 3D environments almost eerily similar to the real world, all without going anywhere, (or having to quarantine upon “returning”.)

Motion tracking technology senses and adjusts to users’ movements. This improves both the input of the user and the model of human movement the user experiences through XR. This, in turn, enhances the user’s experience, either by blending virtual environments with the real world or by immersing the user into a fully virtual one. The software simulates real-world reactions to every action the user makes.

Simultaneously, advances in bioanalytic data capture can be leveraged to collect and analyze key data points at the user level to assess an individual’s capabilities and comfort levels in an experience, making for a richer understanding of how people interact within the simulation, and suggesting opportunities for improvement.

The result is a self-informing loop of ever-improving simulations that would never be possible (or properly trackable) in real life. 

How is Extended Reality Making Remote Work Easier?

Because XR creates such a natural experience between the user and technology, it is increasingly becoming a unique and timely solution to remote-work challenges that have mounted due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

According to management consultancy Accenture, 80% of executives believe it’s important to leverage XR solutions to close the gap of physical distance when engaging employees remotely.

XR is the solution that can best help demo products, present building plans, and deliver experiential concepts anywhere in real time, (among countless other uses). 

In the third quarter of 2019, 96% of XR professionals surveyed worldwide, identified that they use XR for product design and prototyping themselves.

Demo products

The possibilities for allowing consumers to try products are practically endless with XR, creating more effective sales techniques. 

Businesses can use virtual showrooms without the expense of needing access to a physical space. 

Product prototypes are also going virtual, which saves expenses on physical materials, time, and shipping and logistics concerns. 

Customers can access virtual products from anywhere in the world to learn about them before purchase. 

From selling couches, to cars, to machinery, XR product demos make products more accessible in a safe, affordable, and convenient way.

Present building plans

In construction, or for businesses planning to build a new office, factory, or other physical installation, XR can present the new building plans in a 3D virtual world, at scale.

Users can walk around the building plans and interact with them and each other in ways that reach far beyond what is possible in 2D. Adjustments can be made to building plans and functionality can be tested in real-time before physically building anything or even visiting the construction site.

Deliver experiential concepts

Whether it’s for training, selling products, or selling an experience, XR allows for advanced delivery of experiential concepts, remotely. With XR, users can actively engage with concepts that otherwise could only be described in the abstract or experienced on location.

Experiential marketing allows consumers to interact with brands through memorable experiences. To continue to reach consumers during the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are now hosting these events virtually.

For training purposes, XR allows service technicians and manufacturing employees to learn about machinery, interact with it, and learn how best to service it virtually, before having to apply their skills in the field.

In healthcare, XR is being used to train doctors and nurses virtually, from working one-on-one with patients, to specific surgical tasks. This reduces costs and risks and allows training to be done from any location.

And those examples are really just scratching the surface. With XR, “matter doesn’t matter”, and anything that can be thought of and designed can then be virtualized — for any purpose.

Distribute and Manage XR Content with PIXO Apex

To get the most out of XR content, businesses need a system for accessing, distributing, and managing it remotely. Otherwise, their XR content investment can’t be used by all the people who need it.

PIXO Apex is a first-of-its-kind XR content distribution, management, and analytics platform designed to make XR, VR, AR, and MR applications easier than ever for businesses to deploy, use, and scale.

Using content that is either custom created for a business or licensed through an “off-the-shelf” content library, PIXO Apex provides simplicity, flexibility, and ease of use to get the technology into the right hands, all with one cloud-based system. 

With no need for sideloading, content can be provisioned quickly to a wide variety of popular XR headsets, including models from HP, Oculus, HTC, and Pico, as well as non-XR digital devices. As employees begin to use the technology, PIXO Apex will help businesses track engagement and performance related to the XR content they’re using.

In short, it’s an end-to-end solution for remote work needs that will only increase in coming days, months, and years.

Transform your training with virtual reality!

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Photo by Christine Sandu on Unsplash

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