Posted on 04/09/2016

Although, VR is still the privilege of high-end tech conference visitors, developers and hardcore gamers, it’s rapidly approaching mainstream acceptance across a variety of fields. We’ll give you a deep dive into what the future of this immersive tech holds for brands, storytellers and You.


 

Although still in its infancy, virtual reality has swept the world of 3D technologies by storm. The experience economy is undergoing unprecedented changes and VR is quickly taking root in organisations such as IKEA, McLaren, NASA and countless others.

However, no matter how much the situation is getting out of hand, with the quality and penetration of handheld devices – and cloud solutions – you’ll soon be able to turn your smartphones and tablets into virtual or augmented reality headsets; enabling a deeper engagement with various content and allowing advertisers to tailor impactful messages to a wide-ranging audience.

But marketing and sales animations are only a small slice of this multifaceted technology; which has already found its way into interactive entertainment, engineering and medicine while having drawn the attention of numerous investors and hardware industry giants. These are some of the fields, which VR holds considerable potentials for:

 

Marketing and Sales: A Revolution

Imagine you could virtually transport your architectural clients to yet unbuilt locations or make hidden details visible in your engineering plan using high-definition head-mounted displays. Picture yourself holding an interactive presentation for thousands of conference attendees remotely, without having to spend on a costly trade show booth.

As consumers increasingly embrace virtual and mixed reality, there’s a whole new world of immersion out there when it comes to pitching business ideas to clients, adjusting the shopping experience and retail environment as well as creating outstanding marketing collateral that provides invaluable metrics and a new stream of customers.

Visiting a car showroom, a clothing store, a new apartment or buying products online will never be the same as VR is becoming a powerful advertising platform and marketing research tool with the help of 3D rendering software, interactive virtual tours, immersive product demos, 360 degree live streaming and intuitive social media integration.

In the future we’ll be able to interact with businesses in more memorable and meaningful ways by following their narratives through unique, self-tailored experiences using cloud services from the convenience of our home as well as exciting gadgets and applications at the points of sale.

 

VR: Redefining Genres

Nevertheless, retailers and businesses are not the only ones getting serious with ‘new realities’ and technologies. Siemens, the NBA and Netflix have already tried their hands at creating immersive experiences with VR, giving evidence and inspiration on how far this technology could branch out; from engineering through sports to home entertainment.

By recognising the plethora of creative possibilities such 3D technologies harbour, we’ll soon be able to visit our favourite festivals digitally, see our favourite movies in 210-degrees in 5K resolution, gear up and explore our future home in full detail while decorating it on-the-go, create and explore garment designs in fascinating ways or even breathe life into modern education.

If you’re still not convinced, imagine you’ll be able to gain live access to the most extravagant of fashion shows from your armchair and witness first-hand the latest trends or even merge your social life with sports and entertainment. Rest assured, there’s an exciting future ahead of us.

 

New Frontiers in Visual Storytelling

Thanks to cutting-edge photogrammetry, interactive visualisation solutions and photorealistic animations we’re being introduced to electrifying new forms of storytelling. Essentially, VR challenges the way journalists, content creators, filmmakers or academics capture and display content with the aim to vividly transport us to remote locations; war-torn regions on our planet or hidden segments outside our solar system.

But will virtual reality be able to take a leap of faith, which is required to allow us to use our other senses and reasonably interact with distant locations? With the increased adoption of the technology across social media, visual arts and business, VR is undoubtedly going to have a strong impact on our news consumption habits and our ever-growing expectation towards modern entertainment.

 

A Future of Social Interactions

It goes without question that social networks and virtual reality will become a powerful combination, especially with major promoters such as Google or Facebook on board.

VR’s spatial audio, live streaming and multiplayer features – best known from video games – should not only allow us to soon go virtual shopping with our best friends but enable us to closely interact with others using unique avatars of our choice; taking on a disguise of any imaginary hero while the technology maps our real life facial emotions.

Moreover, by combining live streaming and motion capture with the complexity of VR, we’re only one step away from the commercial availability of holographic communication and real-time facial re-enactment.

Thus, it’s hardly surprising that VR is going to evoke some deep feelings like empathy among thousands of people on its way to success.

 

Boosting Creative Thinking

For a technology to prove useful for its audience, it has to eventually get consumers used to using it. One of VR’s most addictive characteristics is its ability to ignite creativity and productivity by providing an attractive alternative to desktop tools when it comes to sketching and designing of a product or animating a scene.

The possibility for any artist, developer or content producer to intuitively create 3D visuals, which can be approached from any angle, using simple hand gestures – seems to be appealing enough to drive change in the fashion industry, engineering, contemporary arts, architecture and even the cradle of VR: video game design.

 

Virtually Anything Can Happen

Although, VR and augmented reality are still early-stage technologies, they attract serious attention and can pave the way for remote social interactions, collaboration, the virtual conceptualisation of new products, a fresh stream of unique consumer metrics as well as the exploration of distant or never-before-seen locations.

Likewise, virtual reality now holds the potential to revolutionise industries as varied as travel, architecture or education – becoming ever-so-appealing to brands and marketers – but in order to achieve mass adoption, head-mounted displays and auxiliary devices need to find their way into consumer homes and our wallets.

Even though millions of people have already got their hands on headsets and motion controllers – and worldwide revenues are expected to hit more than $100bn in the next four years – VR is still far from mainstream due to its stiff hardware requirements and price tags on high-end headsets.

The future of VR might be one that is characterised by entirely wireless headsets, experiences that we can feel with our other senses without the side effect of motion sickness and where reality and the virtual world blends in a way that our digital avatars become credible and soulful imprints of our true selves.

 

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