Differentiating your brand with XR: 3 trends for enterprises
Fresh talent: it’s the greatest force shaping the future of your business. Today, GenZ is taking the lead role in charting the course of our evolving workplace. However, these younger, talented workers expect more from employers; they want to work for exciting, innovative companies that clearly demonstrate shared ethical values.
A defining feature of this generation: they’re true digital natives. This simple fact is driving greater adoption of digital technologies, and extended reality (XR) is a big part of this. In this article, we’re going to look at 3 of the biggest trends for using XR in the workplace, and see how it can help you grow your business and attract new talent.
First, what is XR?
XR is a broad term that covers a wide range of technologies, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). In a nutshell, XR extends your perceived reality by visually blending virtual and physical elements - so they appear to be present in the same ‘space’. And it’s already everywhere – even if you didn’t realize it. From those fun Snapchat filters and custom backgrounds for video calls, to totally immersive virtual 3D environments, where the only real object is the person presenting.
For much of GenZ, XR is something they use every day to communicate, share, play, and learn. However, the benefits of XR extend to all generations of employees and customers. It enables you to communicate better by offering experiences, instead of merely showing something in a passive way. XR helps to ensure that people lean in instead of lean back when you share your message.
The 3 biggest XR trends for businesses
XR can be used in many ways, but there are 3 huge trends that show how businesses can gain real value from this growing technology. Remember, XR doesn’t strictly need to feature ‘3D content’ – it just needs to combine real and virtual elements. But when it does, it extends your ability to communicate and persuade.
Trend #1: XR for immersive training
Training with XR can be done in many ways, including remote tutorials or on-location training. Learners can use a variety of tools too, like AR glasses, VR goggles, or an immersive room. Even a flat screen on a phone or laptop can be used.
What makes a training ‘immersive’ and ‘XR’ is the gamified learning experience. This allows staff to practice (and perfect) their skills in a virtual setting. And, as you might expect, XR training is especially effective at engaging younger talent from GenZ.
For example, you can welcome new recruits with a virtual tour, followed by an interactive onboarding experience. XR training is especially effective at ‘soft skills’, where the situation and context play a significant role. And staff can be trained in technical skills, using virtual versions of equipment (which is otherwise scarce, easy to break, or expensive to replace).
Trend #2: Accessibility of virtual production technology (Virtual Studio)
According to a report from KPMG, the growing accessibility of XR is a leading trend, enabling more people to create content without specialized skills. Virtual production is a perfect example of this revolution in action, and it’s a massive game changer for businesses. Now it’s also even more accessible for business users, thanks to the Hyro storytelling platform. This software makes it easier to integrate XR technology with digital storytelling and online events, without requiring a large team of specialists to manage your production.
Virtual production uses the core technology behind XR to generate a 360-degree virtual background, seamlessly blended with real objects and people. It’s a huge evolutionary leap from ‘green screen’ technology.
Virtual production is widely used in professional TV and movie production because it creates seamless and stunning results with a fraction of the resources. For example, a Virtual Studio running on Hyro can operate with just a handful of people, with no post-production needed at all. By contrast, old-style studios required building (multiple) sets, hiring large crews of technicians, and many hours of costly post-production editing.
In practice, this empowers businesses to use XR to create and deploy TV or movie studio-level content, entirely in-house. A virtual studio can substantially elevate the quality of Enterprise Broadcasts, and make it easier to create high volumes of more engaging online content, digital stories, ads, tutorials, investor presentations, or any other kind of content.
You’ll wonder why you’ve been using slide decks for so long!
Trend #3: High-impact online product launches and global events
XR lends itself well to large-scale global events like product launches and global town halls. It punches well above its weight; delivering a high impact with a minimum of resources, especially for online events where you’re sharing your message with hundreds, if not thousands, of employees and/or customers.
Without needing to travel, more people will attend these events or watch on-demand later. This is a stark contrast with live-only events where schedules and travel budgets must align perfectly.
As well as saving significant time, XR boosts engagement with more experiential content. Many of the world’s most innovative companies (e.g., Nvidia, Apple, etc.,) already use XR to enhance online events, showing off 3D models of their new products, using Avatars, and blending traditional presentations with different media and digital stories. Excited employees and customers around the world can get to grips with how a new product looks and what it can do, without needing to physically hold it.
Experiencing the difference
The above are just a few of the biggest trends for using XR in an enterprise setting. As we’ve seen, XR delivers distinct benefits in the form of high engagement, better experiences, and a favorable cost-to-benefit ratio.
By embracing XR, your company can demonstrate to GenZ workers that it has an eye on the future, and welcomes innovation. It can inspire and engage difficult-to-reach audiences, and deepen their understanding of your brand by offering them a more immersive experience.
And, there’s a more down-to-earth benefit too: XR can go a long way towards becoming more sustainable. Virtual production can entirely replace the need for building sets, and XR allows you to use virtual prototyping instead of producing physical waste. With first-class online and hybrid events, there’s no need to travel halfway around the world. Instead, participants can engage remotely without sacrificing the quality of experience. All these add up to reduced waste, big savings, and more sustainable practices. Companies are under constant pressure to do more with less - and this is a strong point for XR.
Extended reality will continue to form part of our business landscape and support future growth. The question is how you use it to differentiate your brand with unique and engaging experiences.
What is the most common use case of XR in enterprise?
Probably the most common use of XR in enterprise settings is the use of customized backgrounds for video calls, which is a form of AR. XR is becoming more widely used in other ways too, including training, and enterprise broadcasting.
What is meant by Virtual Production?
Virtual production is an innovative filmmaking technique that combines real-time CGI with physical elements, allowing for dynamic, interactive, and cost-effective storytelling. It uses advanced technology like LED screens and motion capture to create immersive virtual environments, replacing traditional green screens and streamlining the production process.
What’s the biggest XR trend in 2023?
The biggest trend for XR in 2023 is the growing cross-compatibility of devices and XR experiences. Newer headsets and glasses offer experiences that straddle the line between VR and AR, and XR experiences are increasingly supported across ‘regular’ devices like smartphones, as well as across platforms.
How is XR virtual production used in business?
XR virtual production is used in business to elevate the production quality of online and hybrid content and engagements. Offering a best-in-class viewing experience for global audiences. Virtual production technology allows businesses to place presenters in virtual environments.
How can I use XR for Enterprise Broadcasting?
You can use XR for enterprise broadcasting by using a Hyro-powered Virtual Studio. This enables you to easily combine physical and virtual elements, interview remote participants, and transport audiences on a stunning journey through your brand - without a team of experts.