VR helps firms boost competitiveness

Virtual reality will be an important factor in helping UK business develop a competitive edge for the Millennium, according to a landmark report published by Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Peter Mandelson.

UK Business Potential for Virtual Reality is the most comprehensive review into the use and potential of virtual reality produced to date. It shows that VR has become much more widespread in industry since the mid nineties when it was used by only a handful of companies.

Findings from existing users of VR include:

* 63% of companies use VR for practical use rather than simply for evaluation or pilot testing purposes.

* 88% describe their experience of VR as highly or moderately successful.

* 25% consider VR to be ‘essential technology both operationally and competitively to their company and business.

* 79% expect to make more use of VR over the next few years, spending some £30 million on over 300 projects.

Mandelson commented: ‘Before long, virtual reality, in tandem with the Internet, will bring about a fundamental change to the way that all business operates. The predicted increase in the use of VR technology throughout organisations over the next few years presents a substantial business opportunity for UK based suppliers of VR products and services.’