10 Media Trends for 2015: Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (or VR) is a concept that has been on the tech horizon for many years now, but with the launch of the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift headset looking probable in 2015, VR is poised to become available and accessible for consumers.
Once released, Oculus Rift has a chance to become a new platform for a number of activities beyond gaming including communications and shopping. 2014 saw brands such as Nissan, Tesco and Topshop test the waters with VR led campaigns, to great success. However, not all VR concepts have to include expensive hardware. Google has Cardboard, a headset that works with a user’s Android phone and the correct folding of… cardboard! In addition to hardware-based VR, augmented reality will continue to be used by brands in innovative ways to engage consumers, including integration with outdoor formats such as Pepsi Max’s takeover of a London bus stop. The future is here!
Status in Australia.
NRMA used Oculus Rift as part of their Crashed Car Showroom activation, to allow people to experience the full effect of what it’s like to be in an accident.
REA has been experimenting with Oculus Rift to virtually allow prospective buyers, particularly those in overseas markets, to immerse themselves in a property.
The Track My Maccas app uses augmented reality to deliver information to consumers on the provenance of the product they are eating, through content unlocked by scanning the packaging.
Implications for brands.
1. Think about the application of VR to products and services. An immersive experience with your brand could add value to a customer’s relationship with you.
2. Beware the hype! VR may make a splash, but creating scale with this platform is a long way off. Entry level costs for development and hardware should determine the appropriate application of this tech.
3. That said… when VR is used, it can be a real crowd pleaser! Think of how to expand a VR demonstration from a one-to-one experience to a wider showcase to drive value.