Saturday, April 23, 2016

Virtual reality - the next step in entertainment and marketing?

I remember my first experience with a virtual reality environment.  I was six years old, at Disney World, and I remember putting on a heavy set of headgear, almost like a helmet, running around in a pixellated and poorly defined maze, performing some sort of mildly entertaining children's activity, and when it was over, leaving fairly dizzy.  Looking back, I'm sure the computing power behind this experience was massive, housed in multiple racks of equipment.

Yesterday in class, we experienced something much more defined, with crystal clear imagery of real life settings, powered by a phone, a significant leap forward in the technology, but still not to the point where it has become mainstream.

What then, is needed in order to make VR an everyday entertainment medium?

This company is trying to take the next step, building an integrated virtual reality theme park, allowing participants to "live" the experience.  Check out a first look video:

These environments will offer a unique opportunity to marketers and retailers.  As VR merges with social mediums and MMO games, what will users be willing to pay to "furnish" their virtual space with the latest and most stylish items?  With wider adoption, when do companies begin to create virtual advertising and items in order to convert real sales?

No comments: