Virtual reality in small businesses: how to use it and why


Date: 24 June 2024

A student is using virtual reality in a lesson

When you think of virtual reality, the first thing that comes to mind might be the parallel virtual world that becomes the escape route from reality on the brink of chaos in "Ready Player One", Spielberg's famous movie. In reality, the corporate world and virtual reality have a lot in common.

VR and AR spending is growing exponentially, reaching $121 billion last year. A diverse range of companies have already invested in the technology including Hilton, Johnson & Johnson, Ford, DHL, Bank of America, Uconn Health, and Novartis, to name a few.

However, virtual reality is a technology that is not only accessible to large companies. Small and medium-sized businesses can benefit too. In this article, we will find out why it is important to learn about it and make it part of our business reality.

First of all - what is virtual reality?

Virtual reality refers to a technology capable of immersing us, via a headset, in a computer-generated three-dimensional environment. We can move and interact with the elements that make up the environment with the perception of living an almost real experience. This is a tool with allows you to bring to life immersive experiences tailored to your business needs. While it might sound like sci-fi, virtual reality can bring concrete benefits in several fields, so let's look at some of them.


Virtual reality is an ally of AI-powered business development, thanks to its ability to immerse the user in simulated environments and recreate reality-like experiences. This makes it the perfect tool for training employees, customers, or contractors.

In fact, experiential learning (learning by doing) is the best training method as it increases engagement and facilitates information acquisition, making it faster and more fun. With a virtual reality experience, it is possible to learn a limitless range of things from how to perform a complex surgical operation or handle complex machinery or implants to soft skills like how to relate to a client or colleague. This is all while reducing the costs and risks associated with learning.

With VR, people can be trained anywhere in the world, in a completely safe environment, without the need for the physical presence of a trainer. And the experience can be repeated endlessly until the message is fully assimilated. One example is Olympus, an Italian company which has used virtual reality to train medical personnel in surgical procedures, and instrumentalists in machine maintenance.


With virtual reality, it is possible to create brand and product experiences that are exciting and engaging, and which might even be impossible in reality. For example, by exploiting the dynamics of gamification the user can be made active players in a brand game in which they must perform certain actions to achieve a goal - which coincides with the acquisition of corporate messages and values.

A brand experience in virtual reality can be used in multiple contexts: stores, trade shows, brand events, innovative guerrilla marketing campaigns and even at home. In fact, the possibility of uploading the experience to VR stores and making it accessible to anyone with a headset, anywhere in the world, should not be ruled out, especially for those working with international targets.

Design and creativity

Virtual reality is also a great ally in the field of design. Imagine being able to immerse oneself in a 3D file and reviewing designs in a quick, easy and immersive way. You could see yourself inside a building that is still under construction or view a newly designed product as if it were right in front of you – from anywhere in the world.

Virtual reality enabled Anglian Waters to reduce design time and save $25,000 and 4 weeks of work in the creation of a single building. Thanks to the realistic navigation of the design in the virtual environment, the team realised that they could further optimise the building. Clearly, virtual reality proved a very useful tool for architects, engineers, and constructors by giving the design team the ability to do something that was not possible to do before.


Virtual reality is capable of engaging, exciting, and intriguing different age groups in new ways. But that's not all: through the use of gamification, it promotes learning by enabling the transfer of information in very profound ways, making it the perfect tool for education and cultural promotion.

With VR it is possible, for example, to immerse children and adults in an experience that will let them discover the secrets of Egypt, take them back in time to learn how people lived in Ancient Rome, or let them meet a famous poet. We could also transport them inside a painting to discover how it was made and the artistic visions that generated it.

How do we integrate virtual reality into the enterprise?

So far, we have given you a general overview of how virtual reality is, or might be, used in the corporate environment. However, integrating virtual reality into a business takes time and attention. The limitation of implementing virtual reality is no longer the cost of the hardware, its distribution, or the complexity of use; these days a VR headset can cost as little as £200 and can be managed like any other enterprise mobile device.

The limitation is in the usage strategy and in recognising how virtual reality technology - based on its features and language - can solve problems and needs specific to each company or offer new opportunities. By considering where your business is now, where you want to be in one, two and five years' time and what you need to achieve to get there, you can consider how VR can play a part in your business strategy.

Copyright 2024. Guest post.

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