This is a really exciting time in technology. All the major tech players, including Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft, are amassing armies of engineers to develop their Virtual Reality platforms. A number of smaller companies, notably Magic Leap, are working around the clock to create VR hardware and content. Magic Leap specializes in mixed-reality technology— where fantasy is overlaid upon the real world, resulting in an experience that tricks your body and brain into thinking that you are having a real experience. VR easily calls to mind gaming and entertainment, but what is the application for law firms?
To understand what VR can do for your firm, it is helpful to consider its possible applications in the broadest sense. Right now, we have the Internet—a world of information. If the Internet is information, VR is an experience. The future of tech is curating experiences. Developers are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to give users a gut feeling that what they are experiencing is real. People remember VR experiences as a real experience—it is not like reading something on the Internet and imagining it. The mind treats it as though it actually happened.
One potential application of VR technology to law firms is to meet with prospective clients in a mixed-reality teleconference. Virtual Reality experiences can be better than real experiences, because they can be engineered. If I knew a law firm offered mixed-reality consultations, I would find a reason to do business there. In the future, it seems likely that all meetings will be held in a VR space. The technology isn’t quite where it needs to be for this to happen, but it will get there.
One way to cash in on the Virtual Reality boom now is to create a VR app. This is all about building your law firm’s brand. One of the most commonly used apps is the Oculus App Store. VR enthusiasts scour this market in search of interesting new programs. Just offering an app would get your name in front of a lot of people, and give you VR credit in the future—you were there from the beginning! Right now, Virtual Reality headsets like Google Cardboard are available for around $10. So they are in the hands of many, many people around the world. With a VR app, you could invite your clients to tour your main offices, or even go to a virtual courtroom to prepare them for trial. VR technology is a new frontier, the possibilities are endless.