This week, Moonshot is attending the Facebook Oculus Connect conference in San Jose, where Facebook convenes engineers, designers, and creatives to explore the state of the art in virtual reality. And there is much to explore. One very big announcement coming out of the event today was the unveiling of Oculus for Business, a bundled set of Oculus products designed to help businesses build virtual reality applications.
This news is significant. At Moonshot, we believe that for virtual reality to become more mainstream, businesses need to use the technology to create lovable products. Facebook is providing businesses the tools to do so.
Mark Zuckerberg Sets the Stage
As Mark Zuckerberg discussed today, virtual reality is “not about escaping reality – it’s about making it better.” He also said, “The ability to be anywhere, will help people to connect/work everywhere.”
These statements matter. For one thing, they are consistent with Zuckerberg’s vision for making virtual reality a social experience – a way for people to experience the world together and collaborate to build, design, and create. And his comment about using virtual reality to make the world better reflects his broader manifesto about building a global community.
Enter virtual reality.
Launch of Oculus for Business
As Oculus’s Hugo Barra discussed, virtual reality is about much more than making games – it’s about helping solve meet real-world problems. He explained how launch partner Audi is already using Oculus for Business to help customers configure automobiles and experience them in virtual reality showrooms before a purchase is made. The example is telling because Audi is applying virtual reality to improve the way dealerships sell automobiles, a high-consideration purchase.
We’re excited about the rollout of Oculus for Business because of its potential for helping companies create lovable products with real-world applications. A product is lovable when it is useful, accessible, and emotional. Virtual reality delivers on all those attributes when applied effectively.
Virtual reality can help companies train workers, collaborate on the design of products, and manage many other strategic functions in lovable ways.
For example, British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce is using virtual reality to help workers assemble a new and very complicated gearbox for its newest jet engine, going online in 2025. The gearbox requires precision assembly of parts in exactly the correct sequence.
Rolls-Royce employs the virtual reality headset to allow engineers to first assemble the gearbox parts in a virtual environment, where they can test and lean in a more cost-effective way. The training simulator warns workers when their assembled parts are not meshing effectively in the virtual space.
What makes the training product lovable is that it reduces stress for workers and makes training more useful by allowing workers to make mistakes and learn from them in a forgiving environment.
How to Get Started
The key for using a toolkit such as Oculus for Business successfully is to apply the right test-and-learn process to assess the role virtual reality fits in your product development strategy while mitigating the costs of doing so. Our FUEL methodology leverages the techniques of design thinking and lean innovation to create minimum lovable products for your customers and then scale those products for commercial application.
The launch of Oculus for Business is a step in the right direction. Contact Moonshot to get started applying virtual reality to create lovable products.