Despite the benefits of VR for healthcare, real estate, learning, and more, many companies still don’t see VR as a technology that can significantly improve parts of their business. That’s understandable. Much of VR media coverage today focuses on consumer headsets and on VR gaming. We see people play Beat Saber and marvel at the Oculus Quest, but it distracts us from looking at VR as technology that we can use in our company.

someone playing Beat Saber

A great game, but VR can do so much more

On top of not hearing all that much from enterprise VR, we hear even less from the companies effectively using VR. If companies use VR, how do they use it? More importantly, do they see a return on their investment? Some companies might be willing to experiment with new technologies without having to worry about money, but that’s not most companies. Most companies want to see a solid return on their investment (ROI of VR).

That’s what this article is about. It will discuss 5 different companies, across multiple industries, that have seen a significant return from their investment in VR technology. Hopefully, this will inspire you to think about how VR could be used for your company too.

Honeywell

Honeywell is an American multinational conglomerate that operates mostly in the aerospace and automotive industry. In February 2018, the company announced that it had built a VR/AR simulator to bring new industrial workers up to speed quickly. This became necessary as the company had realized that 50% of their industrial plant personnel would retire within the next five years. They needed new technology to deliver fast, effective training.

Honeywell used the Microsoft HoloLens and Mixed Reality headsets to guide new personnel through a variety of scenarios: primary failures and switchovers, cable failures, power supply failures, etc… Their VR/AR simulator improved skill retention up to 100% when compared to traditional training methods. It also reduced the length of technical training by up to 150%. The simulator also allows Honeywell to track training progress and make it part of a formal competency management system, something not too dissimilar to what Walmart is doing. 

SEAT

SEAT is a Spanish automobile manufacturer. VR plays a pivotal role in every stage of designing a SEAT car. It’s used to stage virtual collisions, immerse technicians on the factory floor, and help their customers configure a car on the dealership floor.

Using VR has led to a 30% reduction in prototype production time. It cut the number of physical prototypes required to launch a new model in half. VR allows SEAT to make their cars better, safer, and cheaper.

Paris Saint Joseph Hospital

The Paris Saint Joseph Hospital is a private hospital dedicated to international patients. The emergency care department of the hospital offers its patients a VR simulation as an alternative to traditional pain relief methods like anesthesia. Patients are taken to a far-away VR land while undergoing procedures such as stitches and burn treatments.

Researchers at the hospital already found out that patients have a higher pain tolerance using VR. Other studies confirm these findings; VR seems to suppress acute pain and can be a valuable alternative to traditional medication.

Safran Nacelles

Safran is a French multinational aircraft engine, rocket engine, aerospace-component, and defense company. Safran Nacelles focuses on creating aircraft engines. When Safran was selected to manufacture a new nacelle for Airbus, the Airbus A330neo, they knew they had to do something differently. Instead of the 60 months they’d had to manufacture the A320neo nacelles, they only had 42 months for the A330neo.

As such, they created a life-sized virtual workspace, a virtual reality “cave” to visualize life-sized 3D images of CAD objects and environments. It allowed workers to visualize the tooling required on the production line before ordering the hardware, as well as create optimal working conditions and train those doing the actual assembly work.

Two people looking at a CAD motor in VR

Safran’s VR cave

Safran’s VR cave allowed them to meet Airbus’ 42 months deadline while saving them 10% in their tooling budget. Their VR cave has saved them €300,000 already (link to PDF), and they now intend to roll out VR in many other parts of their business.

Intel

Intel is an American multinational tech company. They started using VR for the regulatory Electrical Safety Recertification training which their employees are obliged to take every year. They used it to reduce the total cost of training while increasing trainee retention and motivation. 

Intel's photorealistic VR simulation

Intel’s photorealistic VR simulation

After a 10-day testing phase, 94% of trainees wanted Intel to make more VR-based course available. The company calculated that the five-year ROI of VR for this one training alone could be as high as 300%. The numbers gave Intel enough confidence to develop a global deployment plan for the training and consider VR for other types of training too.

VR Has Significant ROI

There are many more examples I could quote. The ROI of VR is significant for an increasing number of small and large companies. A 2018 Capgemini report said that 82% of companies implementing VR or AR right now find VR to either match or exceed their expectations

Consider this: companies might not be shouting from the rooftops about the benefits of VR because they consider it too much of a competitive advantage that they want to maintain for  as long as possible. VR has now developed enough that you shouldn’t be asking how much it would cost to implement VR, but how much it’s costing you not using the technology.

If you’re intrigued, but still wondering how VR can benefit your company specifically, we can help. OneBonsai helps companies in a variety of industries fulfil their goals through VR simulations. Contact us if you’d like to find out more.