From democratizing the technology to solving common pain points, there are several advantages to Virtual Reality (VR) platforms
Recent interest in virtual reality has translated into many interesting product and service ideas. This interest could be seen at the bellwether Consumer Electronics Show 2023, as well as the latest Y Combinator batches.
While the advantages and possibilities of virtual reality (something my colleague Deiva is writing about in this series) are well-known, it is worth noting that VR is quite tough to utilize! The hardware and software investments, the specialist talent, testing and user adoption are all hurdles to cross. But surely, just like mobile apps before it, the industry will mature, offering everyone economies of scale and shared ideas.
It’s to that end that I’d like to talk about VR platforms.
Simply put, a platform is a specialized cloud computing environment that delivers hardware and software tools over the internet, making it easier to develop, test and scale internet-based ideas. Platforms are all around us – from the ubiquitous YouTube, to niche B2B services from AWS.
While ideas for virtual reality are varied, several of their requirements during the development phase are common. For instance, environment modeling is a prerequisite whether one is developing an immersive FPS game or a B2B training solution. Metrics too stem from the same kinds of user behaviors. If some of these basics are abstracted, they will democratize VR solution creation. In other words, a platform can provide a no-code/low-code way to translate ideas into (virtual!) reality easily.
It provides a standard: One of the reasons the internet is so pervasive is because its techy-sounding protocol, TCP/IP, allows different networks to speak to each other easily. Imagine if different manufacturers/ISPs used different inoperable standards! In fact, Mark Zuckerberg himself said that the success of the metaverse depends on the interoperability of various metaverses. A platform ensures standardization to a certain degree, which brings with it its own benefits of references, benchmarks, modularity, and so on.
Building better functional toolsets: A platform can provide better “building blocks” that can be used by customers in various ways, leading to more optimal outcomes. For example, our own VR platform solution, Brahmarsive, has immersive storytelling tools which are useful for, say, education at various levels. It can be used to demonstrate concepts like plant growth, and show the impact of various parameters. Similarly, Brahmarsive can be used to deliver assessments in an immersive setting, such as understanding the human body through a drag-and-snap game. By having basic tools ready to use out-of-the-box, creators will find it easier to get going. As the industry matures, things stand to get even more exciting as vertical-specific platforms might emerge, solving niche use cases. For example, an education-focused VR platform could have various kinds of assessment environments, and a gaming one might have power-up or streaming features.
Taking care of common requirements like payment gateways: This needs no explanation. It’s akin to how Shopify has made the life of entrepreneurs easier – not just by providing an interface, but by integrating payments, shipping, and even online advertising onto its platform.
The common thread, you will see, is to remove barriers in the way of bringing an idea to life.
You name it! Currently, we believe the advantages of VR can extend to any industry (again, watch out this space for more blogs). From our perspective, we think our solution Brahmarsive can help education in several industries: healthcare, commerce (virtual shops), insurance (training an agent on oil or gas industry-specific scenarios), gaming, and finally, education itself!
Virtual Reality heralds a brave new world. The next few years are going to be exciting as we will see new ideas, apps and experiences come our way – for business and pleasure. As we have seen many times before, the “picks and shovels” underlying any technological shift are going to be as important, and we hope to play a small role in that ourselves!
You can explore Brahmarsive and its benefits for education and skilling here.
This post has been researched by Deivanai Durairaj, Senior Product Manager, Brahmarsive.