"In the future, the internet will change from a place you visit via your smartphone or computer to a place you visit through VR-glasses."
The above quote comes from Simon Lajboschitz, Co-Founder & CEO of Khora - a production company for virtual reality. He foresees virtual reality becoming the future method of interacting with the Internet. And, he is not alone with that thought. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook bought the virtual reality company, Oculus, for around 14 billion Danish kroner in 2015 and sees virtual reality as the social media of the future. And, in 2016 the Oculus VR- glasses were already on the market along with those produced by HTC, Sony, LG and Google.
Virtual reality changes the internet from information media to experiential media.
"If, for example, you want to learn something about the Great Wall of China, you will normally google information about it. In the future, you will put on a pair of VR-glasses and step onto the Great Wall of China and, instead of reading about it you will experience it. That can be for entertainment or as part of a course on architecture about the Great Wall of China. The point is that you learn about the world in a different way from what you did before. You will experience it and your brain will naturally retain that experience in your memory. Instead of just a piece of text, you will receive an experience directly into your sensory capability", says Simon Lajboschitz.
Walk around inside your new house before building is completed.
The internet becoming an experience-media will change the way we teach and also, for example, the way we train surgeons and buy houses. Simon Lajboschitz gave an interview to Politiken back in 2015, when Khora first opened its doors in which he stated:
"If you want to buy a house, virtual reality can teleport you to the house so you can walk around it before you sign anything. And, if you are being trained to become a surgeon, virtual reality can take you to the middle of the most extreme operation imaginable. And if you are a teacher of physics, you can send your students to the beginning of the universe".
But, before we follow Simon Lajboschitz and exchange our computer and smartphone for a pair of VR-glasses, let's first take a look at how virtual reality and augmented reality are already being used by companies in the year 2018.
From industrial training videos to treatment of spider-phobia.
Training videos are used often in industry, and it is also here that specially augmented reality is used as an additional digital layer on top of reality. This can make it easier to learn how to use new industrial machines or to identify which machine-parts need repairing.
And that is exactly what is already being used by the American company ITW GSE (Illinois Tool Works & Ground Support Equipment). The company produces airport equipment such as power and cooling supply systems for servicing aircraft parked at departure gates, and they have been using instruction videos for many years. Especially augmented reality has potential for training both external and internal technicians before they go out to the airport. This will save time and money for the company as well as for their customers as the operation, maintenance and servicing of machines becomes easier with augmented reality.
The technology is also used in psychiatry. Khora participates in the world's largest clinical project helping people with phobias. For example, the fear of spiders or fear of using public transport. Participants can slowly, and in a strictly controlled environment, be exposed to virtual spiders or a virtual bus-ride through VR- or AR-glasses. And also within the world of hospitals, VR-glasses make it possible to distract children that fear pain prior to receiving an injection. Or helping children with long-term illnesses to visit The Blue Planet. The Blue Planet is Denmark's modernized, improved and highly impressive national aquarium, located in Copenhagen.
Virtual Reality will become a user-need.
According to Simon Lajboschitz, the possibilities are unlimited, and opportunities to receive experiences directly into their sensory organs is something that the marketing and advertizing world would very much like to provide for their customers. Virtual reality and augmented reality can take customers into the stores and away from Amazon and Ebay, but can also take people out of the stores if they can get the shopping experience at home.
"Getting a virtual reality experience as part of the purchasing process is something that the big brands will soon experience as a customer-need", says Lajboschitz.
That can, for example be seen at the Spanish clothing company, Zara, which makes use of augmented reality to attract millennials into the store. With the help of an app for their smart-phones, customers can scan a sensor in the store and see the clothes live on a model via their phone.
But, marketing and facilitating - and, not least, explaining about individual products is also something being studied in the world of museums. There, according to Simon Lajboschitz, being the first to offer a VR-experience can give a real marketing edge.
The Head of Innovation at Denmark's Technical Museum, Signe Skov Hansen, is following the development very closely and can already see great potential within the museum sector.
"We have started a large process at Denmark's Technical Museum, where we are experimenting with both augmented- and virtual reality. For us, it is about using the technologies in a relevant context - for example, in our space exhibition we have a VR-element that contributes greatly to the understanding of space travel. VR makes it possible for everyone to participate; five-year olds as well as 75 year old grandparents", says Signe Skov Hansen, and continues:
"We would like to create added value to the experience of visiting a museum, and that can be before, during and after the visit. For us it is important that the technology facilitates involvement and creates engagement among our guests so they get an enhanced total experience."
Good advice from the VR-expert if you want to get started.
In recent years Khora has held 570 events for companies that wish to see the potential of this technology. Simon Lajboschitz recommends that, if your company wants to get started, you should test the technology, be curious about how it feels, and find out what is happening within your sector regarding virtual and augmented reality.
"And remember that your future customers will expect you to provide extra layers of reality just as naturally as if it were a website, where one can learn about your products", ends Simon Lajboschitz.
A typical Khora project costs between 50,000 and 500,000 DKK.
In the video above you can see a report from the workshop that was held at Khora.