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Virtual is the new reality

During times of crisis, companies are forced to rapidly digitalize their services. What opportunities can virtual reality offer today?

Ksenia Avetisova / April 14, 2020

Just a month ago our lives were so hectic, yet it all seemed so normal. It took the world a while to realize the scope of the threat we are facing right now with the COVID-19 pandemic. When that realization came, we were forced to lock our doors in an attempt to navigate it in the best possible way.

Suddenly, not only were large events cancelled, but face-to-face contact became a thing of the past. Travel has since been restricted and the schools are now closed. The change was swift and, for some, brought many unexpected changes to the work environment and set-up - with the majority of communication shifting to different levels of the virtual realm.

In these times of social distancing and self-isolation, people crave human interaction like never before. Technology has become a definitive enabler allowing us to connect with friends, relatives and colleagues. Furthermore, it has pushed companies and public organisations to reinvent their approach to delivering services and connecting with their customers.

While companies are exploring new ways to engage with audiences and colleagues worldwide, let’s take a look at the opportunities in virtual reality that are already creating added value and providing concrete support for businesses. 

  • Virtual events and meet-ups are stepping beyond the boundaries of webinars on the flat screen. Instead, they are taking viewers to a 3D world where interactive avatars provide an unparalleled feeling of presence. The whole concept is taken to a new level by multi-channel participation options. During a time when nearly every conference and event around the globe has been cancelled, some have opted to shift to a virtual environment. Taking your audience into an augmented and virtual collaboration space offers a deeper connection when working on a joint project or communicating your vision. By doing so, experts and users are brought together in a common space to facilitate dynamic and constructive work towards their common goal.

  • Virtual tours offer the possibility to visit different places without having to physically travel there. Consider taking your customers and partners to a production site or an on-going construction project via 360 live streaming or 3D reconstruction. Such an approach is bound to provide an extra layer of safety, security and environmental benefit – think solving challenges via telepresence. One concrete example is Green Mountain, which seeks to attract clients from around the world. Their virtual tour is meant to provide a first impression for potential clients and bring them onboard as well as encourage current partners to speed up their decision-making process. An equally impactful case is the virtual overview of the ecosystem that Metsä Wood has brought to virtual reality with our help.

  • Scaling up operating capacity quickly becomes critical for organisations in times of high uncertainty. A mixed reality training and onboarding process provide a shortcut to the efficient teaching of less experienced members of the workforce. It also ensures continuous performance at to the highest standards, as well as augmented and mixed reality support in learning and solving challenges. Additional value is brought by the fact that new employees can be onboarded more efficiently and safely. For example, we worked with Greiner to create their Next Generation Training in mixed reality 

The current situation has already pushed the world out of its comfort zone, but this is the perfect opportunity to experiment and find new ways of connecting and collaborating. Nothing stops us from taking a few steps and entering the immersive dimension. As Tom Clignez, Business Developer at TietoEVRY pointed out “Luckily, the state of XR technology today is advanced enough to enable easy, fast & affordable access for wide audiences. In crisis situation this provides possibility to leverage its full potential for business and user benefit”. For example, in the healthcare sector, thousands of professionals have been using virtual reality simulation to get the latest insights on patient diagnostics and care connected to the crisis.

There is no doubt that there is no going ‘back to normal’ after the crisis dissolves - our approach to work, learning and life will be reinvented. 

Are you ready to take your experience to the next level with virtual and augmented reality?

Reach out to the TietoEVRY XR team to discuss immediate and long-term opportunities for your business.

During April, our team is offering free consultations to share our experience and the latest insights to help you devise a virtualisation strategy for your business

Ksenia Avetisova
Strategy Development Lead, Innovation Partnerships

Over the years Ksenia has been navigating uncertainty of the digital age by applying innovative ways of working & design thinking methods to enable companies across multiple industries innovate & deliver outstanding results. Having strong background in User Experience and Design, Ksenia is driven by bringing the human perspective to disruptive tech innovation and research & development initiatives.

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