Nov 16 Closing the Distance Between Virtual and Reality

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the Virtual Reality Strategy conference, hosted in San Francisco. As an individual that has been actively pursuing the broader business applications of virtual reality, I was excited to catch up with other pioneers in the space. Here are my takeaways.

// It’s more than just gaming and entertainment

Organizations are experimenting with virtual reality to tackle a wide variety of challenges. Health care is projected to be one of the largest areas of growth, and ongoing research points to it as a promising tool to address a diverse array of health problems, employee training, and even care delivery. The construction and manufacturing industries have also had early successes and the cost savings to prove it — VR programs have significantly improved site safety through early detection of potential issues that would have been completely missed on paper. Also discussed were the vast implications of VR on retail—ranging from internal processes and collaboration to mixed-reality customer experiences.

// Evolution of storytelling: the user and customer as the center of the narrative

With radio, film, and TV, we’ve long conditioned ourselves to view audiences as passive observers. In VR, the option of allowing viewers to change their perspective has had a significant impact on how stories are told, not to mention additional inputs such as haptic hand controls and environments that respond to behaviors. The traditional rules of storytelling are undergoing an evolution—it points to a future where rigid narratives will feel dated. Given the work we do here at Rêve, we are excited about how this will shift conversations in the future between organizations and their customers.

// The power of immersion

VR headsets have evolved to the point where our minds can be convinced that we’re in another environment. With the right stimulus, people respond in virtual environments similarly to how they would in real life—which can be a powerful way to create and enhance empathy. The level of subconscious information communicated through these experiences far exceeds what is possible with words, images, or videos. Deep research in this space has pushed our understanding of how people process experiences – and how shared perspectives can quickly evolve when we can actually experience things through other people’s eyes.

// Unlearning in order to learn, and testing for success

Organizations (large and small) that are taking initial steps to explore VR are finding that long-held assumptions may no longer work. Similar to the impact that mobile had on the digital ecosystem, virtual and augmented reality will have a transformative impact on entire industries. Consequently, organizations looking to stay competitive will need to hone their testing and learning capabilities. We believe that VR can be used as a powerful tool to help accelerate and compress the strategic decision-making process.

At Rêve, we’re excited about the potential of virtual reality to help inform strategies and shape new experiences in a profound way. As we’re exploring the new frontiers of our business, we’ll be sharing some exciting news soon. If you’re interested in learning more, you can reach me at