Apps

Innovative Virtual Reality Apps Are Changing the Game

Virtual reality technologies are taking over interactive media as a new and exciting way to experience the word of the creative arts. More than that, VR allows users to travel the world, visit exotic locales, and see your doctor if you get sick. Most users understand VR as a technology best known for its rocky start and surreptitious counterparts that have made the technology somewhat intimidating from the outset. 

Gaming goes immersive

However, thanks to kits like the Oculus Rift and PSVR, more users are able to experience the power of VR at home with friends and family. Even though it centers on gaming, VR can be used on these platforms to visit Mt. Everest or see the Grand Canyon. With VR, users can essentially travel the globe through apps that transport users to those places to hear and see what life is really like across the sea. 

Google Expeditions is an example of one such app that uses the power of VR to allow users to see any number of things around the world in a way that could never be achieved before. Expeditions lets users go to Paris, France or Chichen Itza whenever they please. For a more narrow approach, users may want to use YouVisit VR to visit colleges around the country in a digital VR environment supported by the platform of their choice. 

Streaming is social again

Major networks have joined in on the action as well with apps like Discovery VR by the discovery channel that lets users experience the wonders of the natural world in VR. Additionally, Samsung Milk VR, now simply Samsung VR, is a gargantuan library of VR content that spans a wide range of topics that can educate and entertain a user for a very long time due to the sheer amount of content available. 

Each of these major brands uses its power to enhance the virtual experience and provide users with highly polished experiences that will stay in their memories for a long time after. However, if traveling the globe is not the main draw to VR then you may prefer the social VR apps like vTime and Facebook Spaces that allow users to interact with friends and family in a virtual world. 

Virtual worldbuilding

These apps utilize the latest VR technologies to provide users with fun and exciting experiences that they can share with their loved ones. RecRoom and Project Sansar have shared gaming experiences that allow role-playing and shared simulation in the virtual worlds of your choosing. Each of these apps aims to make VR a more sociable and cooperative experience that can potentially change the way we interact forever. 

Karuna Labs goes a slightly different route by using VR to imbue users with the skills to deal with their pain and make it more manageable on a daily basis. Each of these VR apps seeks to make life actively better for users regardless of their platform. This shows that the mixed reality technologies of today are far more important and impactful than the industry demonstrates as presented.

Finally, healthcare has been affected by VR as well with a number of apps that allow users to work on their pain and see their physician in VR. Apps like HealthVR and Floreo are made specifically to change the way users interact with and treat mental illness and autism. HealthVR specifically concerns itself with providing adequate healthcare to any user that has VR capability. Floreo utilizes VR to its fullest to simulate situations and help people with autism learn to deal with real-world situations. 

Ultimately, VR can be used for whatever purpose that the developers put their minds to and, with the recent innovations in healthcare and travel, VR could be looking at an even brighter future than could have ever been predicted. 

5 Innovative VR Apps that Can Benefit Your Company

Virtual reality has been making a little bit of a comeback in recent years. Gone are the days of clunky and burdensome Virtual Boy. Henceforth, Oculus Rift, PSVR, and HTC Vive. Virtual reality is supercharged and super hot, making the VR industry ripe for innovation and consumption.

While virtual reality is certainly entertaining, the technology can be used for everything from real-time training to in-person meetings. 

The application of technology across these departments makes it more practical than not for a professional business environment. One of the best uses for office VR is training new employees. But, the benefits don’t end there.

Here are 5 innovative applications of VR that can benefit your company:

  1. VR training

Virtual reality provides a unique opportunity to completely immersed oneself in an entirely fabricated world. While this definitely has applications in video games and entertainment, there are also applications in which virtual reality would be very useful for getting acquainted with the new technology, tool, or situation.

Sometimes training can be dangerous or sensitive. When people could get hurt or expensive equipment could be damaged. What’s more, virtual reality can provide students or workers-in-training with a more engaging experience. 

Organizations leverage virtual reality to teach young adults how to drive, medical students to do endoscopic surgeries, and onboard employees to new environments and working 

  1. Social VR

What motivates people to engage with apps? How do people relate to entirely new and foreign technologies? We’re social animals so it stands to reason that social engagement is what truly motivates action.

Facebook recently announced its intention to host a completely virtual social space, replete with exotic locales, fabricated meeting spots, and group activities.

Other apps have explored watching films together, transporting to places around the world using satellite imaging, and playing virtual games with fully 3D avatars.

While VR seems like isolating technology, it really can be designed to bring people together. Technology that connects us always has a longer shelf-life than the technology that isolated us.

  1. Bonding exercises

Many remote employees find that VR socialization can help to connect with coworkers and make meaningful connections to their businesses. VR social apps are great for bonding exercises between employees as well. Cooperation and bonding are much easier to do with people that you can see, at least digitally. 

The flexibility that VR provides makes iterative development an affordable strategy that yields great results. New innovations in VR are made constantly and before long it will be possible to create a full working environment at home. 

  1. Technical demos

VR makes the process of cooperation simpler which makes the development process much smoother. Creating tech demos can be a very expensive endeavor for companies. 

Using VR environments to create those same tech demos, however, is not only cheaper but safer as well. VR tech demos do not run the same costs as creating physical ones and are easily testable at any time. 

  1. Architecture and design

VR can simplify this process by creating a virtual environment that mirrors a real-life design environment and provides the architect or designer with a completely immersive creative space. 

VR design is also useful for those who want to design ambitious or expensive designs that would need fine-tuning in order to produce safely and securely. 

Even aside from financial alleviation there are the pros of reduced design stress on the employees and more satisfied management. One of the hardest parts of design work can be the intangibility of 2D designs.

VR technologies have gone from pipe dream to reality in only a few decades. However, many businesses still ignore the technology as it is commonly believed to be exclusively used for entertainment. 

As the trend of remote work continues to grow, more and more businesses are beginning to see the advantages that telecommuting brings. 

The social applications of VR are also very useful for those who want to simulate the office environment for the benefit of cooperation. 

However, the VR apps out there today make it more than feasible to simulate the experience and run a remote company without the fear of losing your workforce. VR is a landmark technology that is still only in the early days and already we have seen amazing applications across a wide spectrum of uses. 

Best Apps for Small Businesses in 2020

Small businesses are in a vulnerable position this year. Many businesses have been closed due to the pandemic coupled with stringent social distancing measures. But all hope is not lost. Small businesses that have learned to adapt are still surviving. Surprisingly, some are even thriving amid the crisis. 

Most businesses have moved their businesses online to keep operating. Small business owners need online tools to help them in problem-solving, managing employees, contacting customers, digital marketing, finance management, and the like.

Owners of small businesses are searching for ways to increase productivity as they compete with industry giants, often with fewer resources and workforce.

And despite the pandemic, customers still deserve the best customer experience. The best small business apps can help you achieve this.

The best small business apps help boost productivity and make your life as a small business owner more efficient and comfortable. There is an application for nearly everything these days, including organising ideas to sending invoices to tracking time and creating a job schedule and so much more. 

Here are 7 apps that can help small businesses be productive. 

7 Apps Small Businesses Must Have

 

  • Microsoft 365

There are many various office software solutions, but despite the fierce competition, Microsoft’s Office 365, now known as Microsoft 365, is still the leading suite and must-have for small business and rates as our best small business software.

Microsoft 365 includes three major office software applications that you’ll need: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. OneDrive is also available for cloud-based storage as part of a service that is worth having, mainly if you already use another cloud provider, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Keeping the data safe is essential and there is no harm in several backup options. 

Then there are other software applications included in Microsoft 365, such as Outlook, Publisher, and Access.

  • Connecteam

Trusted by more than 8,000 companies, Connecteam offers a full service to manage your workforce securely in one app. From getting hired to correspondence, to time tracking, task distribution, and operating procedures, Connecteam has everything. Employees are more productive, stay updated, and you’re well aware of what’s happening daily with your team.

It has an employee time clock to track working hours with a GPS time stamp, as well as checklists, forms, workflows, procedures, and schedules that can be accessed online.

Blog-Connecteam

Internal communication tools include flexible messaging options for private or group chats, in-app employee directory, live polling quick channel notifications, surveys, suggestion box, video sharing, pictures and GIFs, and more.

Develop professional courses for quick employee training and onboarding, add policy options for reading & signing, create a searchable library, perform quizzes, and more.

  • Quickbooks Online

QuickBooks can do everything from tax accounting and payroll, profit analysis, and inventory management, depending on the version you pay for.

Whether you have a startup or a thriving company, QuickBooks Online has a version and price point that fits your requirements.

Quickbooks Online

And whatever version you want, you will have access to the QuickBooks mobile accounting application, where you can generate invoices, log miles, and manage expenditures on the go.

  • Wave

Wave is a completely free accounting software system that allows users access to a cloud-based platform for mobile invoicing and receipts. Understand and manage your income and expenses. Track everything and connect to other items like billing, sales, and invoicing. Everything is programmed in a complete package.

wave app

Wave accounting software is great for startup businesses. It provides paid add-ons for payment and payroll that enable you to expand the app’s features as your business is growing.

  • RingCentral Office

RingCentral Office is a cloud-based phone system created for business services that can be used on several browsers and platforms like Windows PC, Apple iPad, or Android smartphone.

Plans start from 2-10 users, which includes call management and phone system administration and phone rental options for conference phones and office desks.

The higher-priced plans are best for businesses, though, because of the comprehensive set of features that are vital to any modern phone service. 

Ringcentral app

To give the enterprise experience for even startups and small businesses, RingCentral can also provide Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

UCaaS is integrating all the various communications channels on a single unified network. Businesses depended on vast hardware in the past, but developments in digital technology led to touchless solutions such as this.

CCaaS allows companies to start a virtual contact center using cloud software. As with other (SaaS) networks, this has revolutionized business telecom companies, as services previously available only to big enterprises are now available to small businesses as well.

  • PayPal

Who does not know PayPal these days? It’s one of today’s safest and most popular cashless payment solutions. Millions of people and businesses use it worldwide. Their Personal program allows sending and receiving money from friends and family. In their Business program, you get paid directly on your website or app, shop, on the go, by email, or via phone. About 19 million stores accept PayPal, so you need to add this as a payment system on your website or app as well.

PayPal

For PayPal’s business plan, you can get paid online or in-person, get electronic invoicing, personalized checkout, or on-the-go card reader purchases. You can handle your regular business needs, including monitoring payments.

  • Expensify

Expensify can be very useful in organizing the finances. They can check receipts and monitor workplace expenditures easily and on-the-go, whether you have an iPhone or an Android smartphone. Additionally, Expensify can work with QuickBooks, Xero, and other small business applications.

Perform one-click receipt scanning to manage expenses efficiently. Users can take a picture of their expenses, and Expensify immediately submits a one-click expense report.

Expensify

The app also has next-day reimbursement where rapid reimbursements can be issued to an employee’s bank account within 24 hours after the approval of reports, using ACH direct deposit.

Automatic approval workflows allow admins to modify expenditure policies and rules so that Expensify will flag expenses requiring further review.

Automatic accounting sync can also synchronize any changes made to Expensify’s accounting system in real-time. It secures that the company’s finances remain transparent, making audits and tax payment light and easy.

Conclusion: Keep Your Business Alive

In this time, where small businesses need all the help they can get, it is vital to have business tools that can help make jobs easier. Tools such as apps can streamline operations to boost the efficiency and profitability of the business.

Since businesses are also migrating online, you need to make sure your business is secured, and data management is also protected. It is your responsibility to keep your consumer’s trust, and the first thing is to keep their data secure from malware attacks and data breaches. 

As Jack Ma of Alibaba says, “for people in business, 2020 is really just a year for staying alive… If you can stay alive, then you would have made a profit already.” 

So, for small businesses, find every way you can to stay afloat and even thrive amid this crisis. As we wait for the coming of the “new normal,” be ready to adjust and adapt to whatever changes are coming. As for now, it is best to start shifting your operations online, so whatever new normal awaits your business, your business will continue to succeed and be profitable. 

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