Virtual reality (VR) technology is quickly becoming an essential tool for businesses across various industries. From virtual reality training simulations to immersive marketing experiences, VR has the potential to revolutionise the way companies interact with their customers and employees. However, as with any new technology, the cost of implementing VR can be a significant concern for businesses.
In this blog post, we will explore the various costs involved in setting up a virtual reality application, and offer tips on how to set you up for success.
So, if you are thinking about investing in virtual reality, read on to learn more about the costs involved and how to make the most of your investment.
What is Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that allows users to experience and interact with a simulated or artificially created environment in a way that feels real. By using VR headsets or other devices, the user can enter a virtual world and engage with it as if it were a real place.
The virtual environment feels all-encompassing and immersive, rather than being viewed on a screen from a distance. As a result this can create a sense of presence and realism, especially when the user’s entire body is fully immersed in the experience.
You may be wondering how virtual reality can be used to your advantage. In the following section, we will look into the ways that virtual reality is being used by businesses and organizations.
From marketing and advertising to training and product demonstrations, VR has the potential to revolutionise the way companies interact with their customers and stakeholders.
We will examine some of the most innovative and successful examples of VR in action, and consider the potential for future growth in this exciting field.
Exploring the Many Applications of Virtual Reality for Companies
As businesses continue to learn about the benefits of using virtual reality, the more they find ways to incorporate them in some aspect of it. Investing in virtual reality can be expensive but can be effective when it is used properly.
Let’s look at the applications of virtual reality in the corporate setup.
1. Safety Training for Employees
Virtual reality (VR) can be used in training programs to help employees practice for high-stakes or potentially dangerous situations. This can improve the employee’s learning experience by simulating life-like scenarios through virtual reality applications to improve their performance in critical tasks.
Oil companies such as ExxonMobil and BP use virtual reality training for their employees in real-life work scenarios, such as startup procedures and emergency exits. By simulating these situations through an extended reality system with first-person perspective, employees can learn and practice without the risk of making mistakes in the real world. This virtual reality training can help to reduce the risk of errors when employees encounter similar situations on the job.
Similarly, virtual reality training can be useful for disaster training, allowing employees to safely experience and prepare for emergencies. Additionally, virtual reality training can be used for postal carriers to safely deal with dog attacks, a common hazard of the job.
With the help of extended reality system, where there’s a combination of immersive technologies of virtual reality, augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality, these employees can learn and practice important skills in a controlled setting. This resulted in reducing the risk of accidents or errors when faced with real-life situations.
2. Industrial Design
Virtual reality (VR) can be used in various ways to improve design and decision-making. For example, organizations can use a virtual environment to see the results of different design changes in a product or building. This allows them to make informed decisions and optimise the final design.
Furthermore, virtual reality (VR) can be used by companies to simulate and test new facilities or processes without incurring physical high cost or risks. By creating immersive VR models, companies can make important design decisions and conduct simulations safely.
This can be especially beneficial for determining what design elements will work best and avoiding costly mistakes. As a result, companies can make informed decisions about their facility or product, optimise the final design, and potentially can serve as the most cost effective way in the long run.
3. Sales and Marketing Presentations
Virtual reality (VR) can be a powerful tool for sales demos and marketing presentations, providing a unique and immersive experience that can leave a lasting impression on potential customers. This “wow factor” can be a big advantage for businesses that invest in virtual reality, as it can help them stand out from the competition and potentially drive more sales and revenue.
Whether you’re showcasing a new product, giving a virtual tour of your facility, or demonstrating the benefits of your service through visual data, VR can be a valuable asset in your marketing and sales efforts.
By leveraging virtual reality experience, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and potentially gain a competitive edge in their industry.
But how does virtual reality impact the sales and marketing of a brand? By using a VR application, sales teams allow their clients to feel fully immersed in environments where they can interact with a product.
Case Study Using Virtual Reality App
For instance, Premise LED, an LED manufacturer in Canada, uses VR to demonstrate the before and after effects of lighting in various locations, enabling potential clients to make informed decisions before committing to the service.
Businesses can also use virtual reality app to introduce new products to customers. By creating a single VR application, companies can showcase their products uniquely and memorably during marketing presentations, helping them stand out from the competition.
Zimmer Biomet, a medical device provider, uses an extended reality system to allow customers to experience the effects of their products during surgical or routine dental procedures in an immersive environment.
They were also among the early adopters of Oculus Rift for product demonstrations. They used VR to create immersive tours of simulation lab rooms that were published to the Oculus Rift and were very well received during its product demo.
Is Virtual Reality Within the Budget of Businesses?
Businesses may wonder whether they can afford to invest in VR technology. The cost of implementing VR system will depend on many factors such as the type of equipment and visual content needed.
The following sections below will provide you with many factors that may influence the cost of using virtual reality for your brand.
VR Hardware Cost
Businesses should consider the cost of purchasing VR hardware. The number of expected users and the desired level of quality (high-end or lower-end) will impact the cost and you need to carefully assess your budget and needs to determine the best VR hardware options for your company.
1. VR Headset Cost
There are a variety of VR headsets available that businesses can choose from. Let’s look at each of them.
High-end virtual reality headsets
Valve Index ($999)
HTC Vive Pro 2 ($1,399)
Affordable and popular VR Headsets
Oculus Meta ($299)
Sony PlayStation VR ($299)
Other VR Headsets Option
HP Reverb G2 ($599)
Microsoft Hololens 2 ($3,500)
Google Cardboard (Basic, $15 up to $30)
It’s important to note that the cost listed above is for a single VR headset. To effectively develop VR content, businesses may need to purchase several headsets for their development team to use, which includes the management team to monitor the progress of the VR program.
Virtual reality set-up
When selecting hardware for a VR solution, businesses will also need to consider the type of VR set-up they will use. These include head-mounted displays (HMDs), hand controllers, and other VR equipment. It’s important to know the specific equipment requirements for the VR platform being used, as certain platforms may require additional hardware.
For example, the Oculus headset requires a dedicated graphics card with at least 4GB of graphics memory. Different headsets may also be better suited for certain types of simulations, such as gaming or medical applications. This is why it’s important to consider these factors when selecting hardware for a virtual reality project.
2. Development Cost
The cost of developing a virtual reality application can vary depending on the complexity and type of application. Simple virtual reality apps, such as a virtual tour of a facility, can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. More complex VR applications, such as a VR training simulation, can cost upwards of $100,000.
Virtual Reality Software Cost
Virtual reality (VR) software is an essential component of VR development and can have a significant impact on the cost involved. Let’s explore the different platforms available in the market and their associated costs, with a focus on how the final price may affect businesses.
Unity is a popular platform for creating interactive content, like video games and virtual reality experiences. It is used in various industries, such as automotive, transportation, media and entertainment, manufacturing, engineering, and construction. Unity offers several pricing plans for individuals and businesses.
Theye have a free plan for students while the Plus plan is $399 per year and the Pro plan is $2,040 per year. The Enterprise plan is customised to meet the specific needs of a VR project and the final cost is determined on a case-by-case basis.
2. Amazon Sumerian
Amazon Sumerian is a virtual reality (VR) software that can be used by businesses for various applications, such as employee education, VR training, field service productivity, virtual concierge services, retail, and sales. Amazon Sumerian offers a free tier for existing Amazon customers, allowing them to create up to 50MB of published scene content that receives up to 100 views per month, or 5GB of content, in the first year.
3. Unreal Engine 4 (UE4)
Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) is a comprehensive set of virtual reality (VR) development tools that are compatible with a range of VR platforms, including Oculus Quest, Sony, Android, iOS, Samsung Gear VR, and Google VR. UE4 is open-source and free to use.
Maya is a VR software development tool from Autodesk that allows users to create 3D animations, VFX software, and motion graphics. Maya offers a Standard subscription plan that is priced according to the State you’re in. Customers can upgrade to the Premium plan for an additional $300 per year, per eligible product subscription.
In addition to its product subscriptions, Autodesk offers a Technology Impact Program for non-profits, entrepreneurs, and startups that are using design for environmental or social good. Through this program, eligible organizations can apply for free software.
The Costs of Creating Virtual Reality Content
Creating high-quality virtual reality content can be a significant expense for developers and creators. The more sophisticated and immersive the content, the pricier it becomes to produce. This is because developing VR content often requires hiring of specialised professionals, such as developers, artists, and designers, the price of specialised VR equipment and software.
In addition, the time and resources needed to conduct market research and test VR content can add to the final cost. All these factors must be considered when budgeting for the development of VR content.
Here are options you can try in developing your VR content.
1. Use pre-made asset tools from online marketplaces and libraries
One way to save money in creating VR content is to use pre-made assets and tools, rather than creating everything from scratch. Many online marketplaces and libraries offer a wide range of pre-made 3D models, textures, sounds, and other assets that can be used in your VR project. These assets can save developers time and money, as they do not need to create everything from scratch.
Additionally using tools such as game engines and 3D modelling software can help to reduce the cost and complexity of creating VR content. However, it is essential to ensure that any pre-made assets or tools used are of high quality and fit the needs of the VR project being developed.
2. Outsource to an animation production company
Another option for VR content development is to outsource the production to a professional studio. By contacting a reliable animation production company and requesting a quote, it may be possible to have the entire production process handled by professionals, from researching and conceptualising to storyboarding and visual development.
Creating VR Content that Suits your Business Needs
If you’re a business in need of virtual reality content, you should consider checking out the wide range of portfolios available from Superpixel. Superpixel has a wealth of experience creating video animation, motion graphics, and interactive content in 2D and 3D formats.
Our team is ready to work with you to develop a tailored VR content that meets your needs. We believe in exceeding our client’s expectations and are committed to helping your business achieve its goals. Click here!