Top 5 Industries Using Virtual Reality

Rodney Richerson

A new wave of technology is here: the incorporation of Virtual Reality (VR) beyond the gaming world. VR offers a fully-immersive experience that the flat digital world cannot. By the very nature of the VR hardware, a VR experience offers a new experience that is immersive, impactful, and offers immediate satisfaction.

In addition, it is having a big impact on marketing, consumer habits and how we receive information.  VR is the new wave of technology, with a projected revenue of 4.6 billion dollars in 2017 and 14.6 billion by 2020, with a projected usage of 171 million users by 2018.

Here are the Top 5 Industries that are using VR in creative and impactful ways:

Real Estate
Residential Real Estate agents have been using VR to provide their clients with property tours…now Commercial Real Estate is getting into the game as well. According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, leasing agents have been taking tenants on a virtual tour of new high-rise buildings. Recently we had an opportunity to view new space renovation concepts for Union Bank Tower in Los Angeles.  Ginsler, presented the concepts to us in VR.  It was an entirely unique experience.   We feel that VR will be a valuable tool for brokers who can show tenants what a vacant space could look like in virtual reality.  We feel it will add a whole new dimension to the experience.

Health Care
The healthcare industry is using VR to impact patient’s experience in the doctor’s office. In some cases, it is being used as a medical treatment coupled with conventional methods.  Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles is using VR to reduce anxiety in patients before surgery along with pain reduction .  In other healthcare circles, VR has been tested and proven to reduce PTSD in veterans by up to 56% on the clinician-administered PTSD scale after 6 hours of VR therapy.

The New York Times dove head first into the world of VR by offering a smartphone app which takes the user on a fully-immersive, 360 degree tour of a story that is being reported.  But as journalism usually goes, it is not for the faint of heart. One of their most recent VR experiences documented the battles Iraqi forces endured to retake the city of Falluja from ISIS.

Called “Immersive Fitness”, many gyms and fitness companies have developed an immersive workout program  with the goal for individuals to exercise more and live a healthier lifestyle at a younger age. For example, a spin class where you are biking through the Himalayas, or a Zumba experience that convinces the non-believer of how fun a class can be.

Ford has recently developed the Ford Immersion Lab, a place where consumers can experience all the features and drivability of new cars before they are even out on the market. With this VR experience, Ford is creating a demand for a product or technology before it’s even available; leaving their competitors in the dust before the race has begun.


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Rodney Richerson is the Western Regional President for KBS and the director of the company’s asset management team.  Rodney oversees a portfolio of commercial properties totaling over 9.0 million square feet.