I Experimented with Virtual Reality. Here’s what leaders need to know.

Coming to the Metaverse.

According to Gartner, by 2026 25% of people will spend an hour or more a day in virtual reality, and about a third of businesses will offer products or services for the metaverse. In addition to, Microsoft’s Business Trend Index He predicts that half of Generation Z and Millennials believe they will be doing some of their work in the metaverse in the next few years.

The technology is still in its infancy, but the technology’s exponential rate of growth means the world is just a few advancements away from a snowball of VR applications.

Business leaders need to start paying attention now, tracking progress and envisioning how the metaverse can be integrated into their organizations to improve everything from operational efficiency and culture to customer service.

Virtual Reality Experience

I recently ventured into the world of VR using Microsoft’s HoloLens and Mesh, a beta mixed reality platform. Together with a small team of tech professionals at my company, Centric Consulting, I designed my avatar, tried having conversations, moved objects around the space, and attempted collaboration by accessing and authoring shared files.

Was it great? Undoubtedly. Does the technology still need tweaks to be ready for mass market use? Also, yes. Below, I explore what’s working, what needs further development, and what leaders need to know now.

What’s Working: VR for Communication, Collaboration, and Frontline Workers

VR has the potential to enhance virtual or hybrid work and can become another common modality used for communication and collaboration.

Unlike your standard video meeting, VR keeps users fully engaged, offering a cure for chronic meeting fatigue and multitasking during remote calls. Even if you appear as an avatar, this is true – your avatar simulates you. It talks when you talk, moves as you move, and lets you “see” others in the meeting and interact with virtual objects in the space.

Co-op can also get a big boost in the metaverse. VR whiteboard applications can replicate the experience of in-person collaboration better than anything we currently use on a computer. In Metaverse, participants can do anything you would do when you are physically together, such as writing and drawing on the whiteboard and adding sticky notes.

Along with knowledge work applications, VR will undoubtedly transform maintenance and support, allowing experienced technicians to provide remote assistance easily and efficiently.

For example, say your car is locked in a remote location. By tapping on Metaverse, you can have a mechanic climb under the hood with you, resulting in a faster resolution of the problem than describing it over the phone.

Still needs development: more VR apps, better hardware

While Metaverse will undoubtedly change the way we work, several key developments need to occur before the technology is ready for widespread adoption. Improvements should be made to the following.

  • Apparatus. After using the headphones for a short period of time, my colleagues and I experienced headaches, mild motion sickness, or eye strain. For VR to really take off, the hardware needs to be smaller, more convenient, and integrated into other devices.
  • User interface. We experienced crashes and connection issues during our VR sessions. A less complex and more intuitive user interface is essential.
  • Application development. The software itself needs further development. For example, Mesh is a solid platform with a promising raw infrastructure, but there are currently limited applications available for use on the platform. This currently limits its business applications.
  • Affordability. The cost of VR hardware is a big hurdle. Commercial pricing is needed to enable businesses to explore the technology and its potential use cases. For example, Meta’s Quest Pro headphones currently cost $1,500.

Companies are already taking steps to correct some of these problems. Microsoft recently announced Mesh for Team and Microsoft 365 apps for Meta Quest devices As a mesh platform servicemeans users have more options when it comes to the advanced ability to access the metaverse and create custom integrated spaces and applications.

Preparing for the VR World

If Gartner is right that most of us will be spending some time in the metaverse in just a few years, business leaders should prepare for an explosion of VR applications.

CIOs of manufacturing companies and other organizations with front-line employees need to get started now, conduct pilot studies, and gain a basic understanding of the technology and how it might fit into the organization in a few years.

Leaders of knowledge companies may not yet need to invest in deeper exploration and research, but they should monitor metaverse developments and how technology can solve customer problems.

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