You’ve seen the ads on TV with folks wearing virtual reality headsets and reacting intensely to the three-dimensional environment they are viewing … as real as though they were in the middle of the scene responding to what they see.
The VR (virtual reality) industry is growing at a fast pace with revenues from hardware and software products projected to increase from $90 million in 2014 to $5.2 BILLION IN 2018! By then, it is estimated, that active VR users will reach 171 million people.
VR has many uses throughout multiple venues … and now HVAC contractors are looking hard at how this new technology can benefit them and their customers.
At the recently held Air Conditioning/Heating/Refrigeration Expo in Las Vegas, several manufacturers showed off their VR capabilities in their booths for product demonstrations and explained how it can also be used for training and sales calls.
One way contractors can use this technology is to “walk through a job site model” to spot issues and potential problems. Project managers and field foremen gain the ability to interact with the model in more realistic terms than they can with a “flat” computer model. By identifying problems upfront, contractors can eliminate the risk of on-site issues that are costly and time-consuming to fix in the field. Engineers, contractors, and architects use VR to see and feel how a space or system will look or to virtually walk the owner through a building design. VR helps speed up the preconstruction process and gets teams on the job faster with fewer errors in the field.
VR is proving helpful in the sales process as well. Customers can view a company’s warehouse, offices, inventory, and production plant. It also helps to show prospective customers that companies are on the cutting edge of new technology. Using VR with time lapse can allow us to show customers a full installation of a system in just two minutes. This can be a real differentiator that helps customers make buying decisions.
Virtual Reality applications are still expensive, but costs are expected to come down as the technology finds more and more uses.
Nashoba Air & BoilerWorks has not incorporated this technology into our sales operations. But we are closely following this new trend. Stay tuned at a 3-D theater near you …