Virtual Reality is expanding beyond just gaming and is poised as a powerful disruptor of many different industries. As we look toward the future of VR, we’re seeing many commercial applications arising – from virtual storefronts to virtual tours. In this session, we examined how some brands are already using this technology to offer something different and what changes we can expect in the near future.
Why is there a renewed interest in VR?
As with any new technology you see tremendous hype initially and then it wanes. That is exactly what happened to virtual reality. It may be too early to call VR disruptive but the rapid adoption by various industries, such as entertainment, has led others to pay closer attention to it.
Consumers are also expecting more than subpar experiences – VR can help with that and that has led to its resurgence.
How can you tell stories differently with the help of VR?
VR allows the audience to completely control their own story right from the start, thus giving them an illusion of being able to write their own narrative. They can also push the limits of the environment using virtual reality.
How can we bring VR to the masses?
There is an enormous business opportunity when it comes to VR. Hardware companies are coming up with cheaper solutions so that the masses can truly experience an alternate reality.
There are also implementations in the not for profit, fundraising, e-learning and retail space that has exposed the masses to VR’s potential.
VR also encourages empathy. A good example of this is Right To Play’s VR title focused on the largest refugee camp in the world. 100% of the audience that saw the film donated to the project.
How can companies evaluate if VR is right for them?
You can’t underestimate the ability of VR to establish emotional connections and encouraging empathy. If this is what you are trying to achieve, you should definitely consider it.
However, do not introduce VR just for the sake of doing it.
What’s next for VR?
VR will increasingly become more social and assist in creating better experiences. We are also seeing higher quality hardware being produced at lower costs to bring the technology to a wider audience.
There is also the emergence of mixed reality and its successful implementation can already be seen in the entertainment sector.
While VR is being hailed as the next big thing, it is important to remember that there are so many ways to epically fail with it too. Create content with a focus on providing beautifully crafted, immersive experiences.
The cookbooks are still being written on how to be successful with VR and it is definitely an interesting scenario that industries are willing to explore.