At the Inbound conference last week in Boston, TrueForm promoted a virtual reality experience that encourages the viewer to answer a series of questions and force them to think critically about their businesses.

Virtual reality was simply icing on the cake. There was nothing added by the virtual reality experience other than an expanded immersive experience of the text and graphics on the screen.

It got me to their booth because I’m a bit obsessed with this. I was looking for a real application for this technology and left disappointed.

Many think that virtual reality is that new shiny toy on the block, but the truth is that virtual reality has been around for over fifty years. Although virtual reality has been around since 1968, there have still been limited practical applications for this technology.

You may have tried some form of virtual reality. Whether it’s those cumbersome Google Cardboard viewers compatible with your phone or the more refined all in one viewers. You probably checked out your house on Google Street View to see what the world sees when they look you up. That’s cool but there has to be more potential for this amazing technology.

Case in point.

We realize that this technology is super cool, yet it’s application remain an enigma.

Currently, the International Baking and Industry Exposition in Las Vegas  is showing several bakery virtual tours offering an otherwise inaccessible tour of these commercial facilities.

Kevin Stevens of Klosterman Baking Co. decided to create a virtual tour offering an inside, behind the scenes view of their production line of the bakery.

For the Klosterman’s virtual reality bakery tour, Mr. Stevens had the cameras ride along with the robotic pan handling system.

“We also put them in the spiral cooler so that you can see donuts turning from inside the cooler, which was kind of fun,” Mr. Stevens said.

If you’re in Las Vegas for this year’s IBIE, don’t miss the Virtual Bakery Tours, which also include experiences of other premier retail bakeries from across the globe.

“Virtual reality creates a completely immersive experience for IBIE attendees, allowing them to explore top bakeries on a national and international level, without having to board a plane,” said Fred Springer, IBIE Technology Task Force Chair.

“Bakery tours have traditionally been highly requested, but understandably, are logistically hard to execute at an event of IBIE’s scale. Thanks to our partnership with iba, this virtual tour allows us to fulfill these requests in an engaging, and interactive way, and with a robust lineup of renowned bakeries and an additional content focused on the industrial sector, this offering will elevate the IBIE experience for all attendees.”

The biggest opportunity for virtual reality is where it allows us to experience life without the limitation of time and place.

You can now tour and purchase an expensive piece or real estate across the globe, get an inside view of a commercial baking facility, tour a hotel, or healthcare facility without leaving the comfort of your home.

Potentially, virtual reality can be deployed in several business settings to completely disrupt even more industries.

One of the biggest challenges I faced as a nursing home administrator was the constant pressure by ownership to keep the beds full. All the time.

It’s becomes increasingly challenging when your potential customers never thought seriously about nursing homes until they fell and had an emergency hip replacement. With just a couple of hours to spare, they need to choose a facility to complete their recovery.

A solid virtual tour presented in virtual reality allows the resident and their decision makers to make an informed decision regarding the next steps in their health journey from the bedside.

The virtual tour digitally recreates the tour experience or driving down to the facility and going through their entire tour process.

Real estate is flooded with all sorts of virtual tours offering a virtual reality experience, however, many of them actually sell the properties.

Here’s why.

Many virtual tours for real estate simply digitally recreate the physical space, but spaces don’t sell. Real estate agents sell. They know how to point out the various facets of the property that will make it the perfect fit for the potential buyer.

A good virtual tour uses virtual reality and 360 photography to digitally recreate the entire open house experience including recreating the real estate agent. The tour uses embedded videos of the agent to sell to the virtual house visitors just as they would in real life.

To the extent that we remember that we are people presenting to people, we can successfully apply today’s and tomorrow’s technology to create the most optimal business results.