Virtual Reality is a fad to some while others perceives it as a game-changer. Many analysts believe that Virtual Reality will become a mainstream phenomenon due to the present level of consumer interest, technology, and timing.
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Virtual Reality has gained favor amongst consumers due to attributes such as optical transmission, user-experience, social integration, interactivity and the ability to garner feedback. Let us examine the impact that virtual reality has in some key sectors.
While online shopping provides consumers with the advantage of having products delivered to their doorsteps, it does not allow them the experience of going to a store and selecting items. Virtual reality is set to change this aspect. Virtual reality is changing the way people shop, and in 2016, Alibaba launched Buy+. This virtual reality headset allows customers to wander the store and pick-out products virtually. According to Vice, 30,000 Buy+ headsets had been sold within an hour of its launch. Further, companies such as Amazon and Ikea are creating virtual shopping platforms to increase revenues.
Education is a sector that has readily accepted virtual reality platforms. Through virtual reality, students can interact with each other as significant groups within 3-D environments. Further, it allows students to interact with objects and experience concepts such as the solar system enabling a better understanding of abstract notions. According to the Telegraph, the launch of the Google cardboard headset and Oculus Rift has made this technology accessible to schools. Virtual reality is still nascent and may be cost-prohibitive for some institutions. However, educators are increasingly adopting virtual reality in a bid to enable students from learning to feeling the content.
Online casino sites are taking over from their land based cousins, however, even though players like the convenience of online they like the appeal of brick and mortar. When it comes to the application of Virtual Reality the casino industry was one of the early adapters. Many online casino’s now offer live casino with the ability to play using VR. For the moment VR is more prevalent for roulette, card games and table games but it will eventually make its way to slots and other casino classics.
Advertising companies are increasingly exploring avenues to reach out to consumers using virtual reality. Recently, Mountain Dew initiated a promotional event called “Dew VR Snow” wherein users owning the Samsung Gear VR could heli-ski in Utah with professional snowboarders virtually. The campaign was immensely successful with millions of views for the video. While advertising is incorporating various facets of virtual reality, it is treading a fine line. Virtual reality provides an immersive experience for viewers which may be hindered by commercials. Advertising using virtual reality is evolving, and it will find its "sweet-spot" with this new technology in time.
Movie makers in Hollywood are using virtual reality in film production. Noted film-makers such as Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, etc. are relying on virtual reality for their upcoming projects. At film festivals such as Sundance and Tribeca, a host of virtual reality-based short films have already been screened. The use of this technology provides an engaging experience for moviegoers. However, it takes control out of the director's hands. The use of virtual reality in movies is a new phenomenon, and it needs to be seen how effective it will be in this sector.