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3 Reasons to Love Virtual Reality

March 14, 2016 by Tim Clark 77

At this point, the momentum behind virtual reality (VR) technology cannot be denied. It’s no longer a question of if it’s going mainstream but when.

Industry pundits predict 2016 will be a pivotal year for VR as more big brands release VR headsets and applications available for mass consumption. And while most of the VR use cases to date involve video games and movies, there’s an untapped potential that VR brings to the business world. Here are three examples you’ll love.

Prescription for Comfort

Doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have tested the impact of VR on about 70 patients. Many test subjects say VR relieves stress and anxiety by taking them away from their often “sterile, uncomfortable and sometimes frightening” surroundings, according to this recent story (and touching video) from NBC News. Here’s more:

“The Cedars-Sinai team thinks virtual reality could also be useful for women enduring long labors and those having to wait for painful procedures. They’re now working to determine if the therapy produces greater health benefits, such as lower blood pressure and reduced pain scores.”

Boardroom of the Future

I’ve written about the “unprecedented business benefits” a boardroom of the future can deliver. Many of the topics touched upon in that story last year are now a (virtual) reality this year. In fact, enterprise software company SAP will be at SXSW Festival this year to show how SAP Digital Boardroom – in an immersive experience using Samsung Gear VR – can help executives run their operations much more effectively, in a real-time environment.

Immersive Advertising

Most of us are accustomed to blocking banner ads and other online pop-up promotions. Variety reports that Immersv, a new video advertising platform for VR apps could help change this behavior. Here’s how it works: If VR users look at Immersv created ads long enough, they’ll be taken to a virtual movie theater to see video ads for other VR games and experiences. Users also have the option to go to the VR platform’s app store to download the advertised app right away, all without ever taking off their headset. Here’s more from Variety:

“Advertising in VR is still in its very nascent stages, but based on the early consumer response to our ad units, it is clear that VR-based video ads work extremely well,” Immersv co-founder and CEO Mihir Shah told Variety. The company has seen completion rates of 80 percent — about double of what you’d see for regular mobile ads, he said.

Based on these three examples, it’s apparent that VR is more than just fun and games and can be used to help businesses run more efficiently. Where do you see the greatest business benefits for VR?

This story originally appeared on SAPVoice on Forbes.

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