Businesses have an opportunity hook new clients with the increasing prevalence of virtual reality.

VR is a buzzword in tech, with the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear and HTC Vive making headlines.

When PlayStation VR hits the shelves, the technology will truly go mass market.

But the tech is also driving up business at the likes of office and retail space provider Bruntwood.

Ben Haworth is creative director at Manchester-based animation company Flipbook Studio and says VR offers a fun way for businesses to hook people in.

“It’s a bit different and far more active - and it’s that opportunity of getting to a client in a way that’s more interactive and immersive than just video,” he says.

“They’re more likely to have a look, especially as there’s still a huge amount of curiosity around virtual reality at the moment, but there are actual applications for it too.

“For example training applications, or putting the end-client into a scenario they wouldn’t normally be in.”

For businesses wondering how they can turn this tech into a reality for their own customers, Haworth urges them to give it a go.

Ben Howarth with reporter Katherine

“We like to work with clients to find solutions so that they can dip their toe in and see if it will work,” he says.

Haworth believes that VR is about three years away from being part of the furniture for many industries. He says poor hardware can feel unrealistic and leave the wearer with motion sickness – not a feeling businesses would want to be associated with.

“The headsets are still not cheap either, so I would say headsets and screen resolution are still a slight tipping point at the moment,” he says.

“It makes it feel more gimmicky, whereas on some - the Samsung, for example - it feels good.”

If the downsides are holding you back from giving it a go though, they shouldn't.

“I think people are nervous of tech,” says Haworth.  ”They’re possibly worried it might be another laser disc situation too - where they make virtual reality then it goes nowhere - but this time I don’t think it’s going to disappear.”

An expert at Cheshire-based Virtalis told BusinessCloud that the power of VR can convert even the biggest sceptic into a believer in a matter of minutes as they realise how the technology can improve their bottom line.

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