Professional services firm PwC has unveiled a virtual reality (VR) experience that it claims can help organisations map out disruption plans.
With the system, companies can explore and visualise the future business benefits offered by emerging technologies, such as drones, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
They can also use the software to consider non-technology trends, such as social and climate change. Like the technologies, these are expected to have a major impact on businesses in the coming years.
Successful beta test
PwC said it designed the experience to “help organisations navigate disruption” and “engage clients in conversations about the future”.
It has just completed the pilot phase of the project. So far, more than 100 clients have tested the experience. They work in a range of industry verticals, including banking, transport, local government, and the public sector.
Participants had to use the VR tool to spot 20 potential disruptions across a future city environment, before rating their credibility and impact.
According to PwC, the beta testers demonstrated that the system can be used as a “storytelling tool for businesses to engage with the future”.
The firm built the technology in its immersive content studio, Rewind.
Jeremy Dalton, VR lead at PwC, said the new system makes it easier for firms across a variety of different industries to tackle business challenges.
“VR is a unique medium to tell the story of disruption, allowing our clients to experience the potential impact first hand and bring their challenges to life in a much more immersive way,” he said. “It enables far more meaningful conversations about the risks faced by each organisation as a result.
“This tool demonstrates there is far more to VR than gaming; it’s a technology with huge potential across a whole host of sectors, including professional services, with its power to engage people in a new way.”
Looking to the future
The system is being managed by PwC’s new disruption consulting team, under partner Leo Johnson. He said the firm will use the tool to help its clients achieve the best possible business outcomes.
“Organisations are facing so many potential disruptions today – not only from technological advances, but from the collision of broader megatrends, from ageing populations to income inequality,” he said.
“We’ve established a new team specialising in disruption to help our clients stay one step ahead of these risks and build future-proofed strategies.”
He added: “The challenge is to map out the potential disruptions an organisation could face, separate the reality from the hype, and then look at strategies to transform risk into opportunity.
“The value of the VR tool is that it brings the future into the present and allows our clients a first-hand glimpse of how exponential technologies will start to transform the business landscape.”
Internet of Business says
VR and augmented reality (AR) have already had an impact on training and education, and in unexpected areas, such as engineering and maintenance. This is especially true in industrial applications, where a number of organisations have been using headsets and smart glasses to train employees on the job in how to use or repair complex machinery.
When these technologies are combined with others, such as digital twins, then a new world of training and education opportunities opens up, allowing employees to learn difficult tasks, look inside complex installations, and repair specialist equipment.
Read all about this in our recent in-depth report.
Here are asome of our other recent reports on AR, VR, and smart glasses:-
Read more: Reuters’ AR & VR visions revealed