VR has been turning heads in 2016, with businesses worldwide starting to see the power of virtual reality and how they can use it to transform their advertising campaigns, sales process and even training.
With retailers, journalists, tourism, television broadcasters, the music industry, the Metropolitan police and NASA all using it, clearly the sky is not the limit.
Virtual reality has been around on and off since before you or I were born but it’s only now that it’s really beginning to take off, so who is using it and why?
- For The Simpsons 600th episode, they opened the show with its couch scene in VR using google cardboard. This can also be viewed on YouTube and a mobile device instead of having to use google cardboard.
- The BBC have filmed their debut virtual reality film, “The Turning Forest”. Where a young girl embarks on a journey with fantastical creature into a new realm of “folkish dimension and boundless imagination”.
- NBC’s, Syfy channel filmed crime drama series Halcyon with 5 VR episodes.
- Taylor Swift releases her song “Blank Space” with a 360° music video app called “American Express Unstaged – Taylor Swift”. The video app is interactive and as you wander through a large house with Taylor Swift, you can click on different doors and you are taken into another room, as if you are part of the music video.
- Online music broadcasting platform, Boiler Room has announced that they have plans for a virtual reality music venue which will take fans to “raves halfway across the world”. It will be used to film gigs for fans to watch via headsets and the company claims it will be the first of its kind.
- ABBA and Simon Fuller are going into partnership with a virtual reality experience which will enable a new generations of fans to see, hear and feel ABBA in a way previously unimagined, reports. “We are exploring a new technological world, with virtual reality and artificial intelligence at the forefront that will allow us to create new forms of entertainment and content we couldn’t have previously imagined.” Simon Fuller.
The second Fifty Shades movie “Fifty Shades Darker” have re-shot some scenes using virtual reality technology for marketing purposes. James Foley (Director) said “My personal instinct is that cinema is going to move to VR because it’s an extension of the visual language”. The films will not be fully shot in VR at this moment but Foley feels that there is a future in the film industry for VR.
Sony release PlayStation VR on the PS4. It’s reported to be the cheapest headset on the current market at £349.99 and it is the only option to console gamers at present.
Ikea launched an app that placed customers in fully furnished kitchens that allowed customers to change the colours of units and walk around the space. “Virtual reality is developing quickly and in five to ten years it will be an integrated part of people’s lives. We see that virtual reality will play a major role in the future of our customers. For instance, someday, it could be used to enable customers to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them,” says Jesper Brodin, managing director at IKEA of Sweden and Range & Supply Manager at IKEA Group.
Jaguar Land Rover have been redesigning their show rooms and sales process across North America to allow for VR, as they see it as shaping the way of the future. JLR CEO North America said “we will have some VR experiences in our dealerships and I think that will be a big part of the showroom experience, this will allow customers to view cars before they are launched allowthem to choose their spec”.
Estate agents are using 360° footage to allow house buyers a virtual walk through of a property. This means that it could reduce the amount of onsite unnecessary viewings of the wrong type of properties.
Westfield Shopping Centre in London are using VR headsets to show off the latest fashion collections and onsite maps. This is allowing customers to be able to familiarise themselves with the shops before they visit hence adding a more enjoyable shopping experience.
It seems that virtual reality is not just a crazy phase again like it has been in and out over the last 30 years, it really is proving to be a valuable commodity. If you’re interested in how it can help you, your work or product why not talk to Dreamtek and our talented virtual reality team.