VR SIGNALS ITS INTENT
Virtual and augmented reality has been around for a long time, but never before as mainstream consumer media. That looks set to change with the launch of exciting new gadgets, some partnered up with current smartphones. With huge investment from the world’s big tech players, it looks like virtual reality (VR) is fast becoming an everyday reality…
The big three
The social networking behemoth has invested a whopping $2 billion to buy Oculus – the company that pioneered the latest VR tech – and is planning to release a consumer VR headset in 2016. You may never see your children's faces again, just heads strapped to a metal and plastic box.
The big 'G' got into the VR consumer market first, although Google Cardboard looks like it’s been cut out from the back of a cornflakes packet. People are used to navigating 360º environments on Google Streetview and the potential for combining Streetview with VR is huge. With YouTube now supporting VR and 360º video, the future has already arrived.
Microsoft's offering is a bit different – it brings web content to life by blending augmented reality with virtual 'holographic' imagery. Hololens users can interact with graphic interfaces, holographic characters or web content in a real-world environment. We think that in a few years this approach will be a real game-changer.
Don't ignore the rest...
Samsung Gear VR
Samsung will soon be joining the party with its own device. Essentially a ‘pimped-up’ Google Cardboard, Gear VR was developed by Oculus and aims to be the first ‘true consumer VR’ product (along with several others!).
SONY PROJECT MORPHEUS
The prediction that VR would only be really embraced by gamers will be tested when Sony releases its own VR product. With a geeky name for a geeky audience, Morpheus will be optimised for the Playstation. This is a market that’s set to explode like a pimple on a schoolboy's face.
HTC & CARL ZEISS
Several slightly less well known tech companies are also joining the VR fray. No doubt each will offer something ‘unique’ but in reality – virtual or otherwise – they may be swallowed whole by the giant techno-monsters mentioned earlier. That said, the Carl Zeiss VR One is set to be priced very competitively, so it may yet give the big boys a run for their money.
Inspiration for application
To see what’s in store, why not tour London’s famous Abbey Road studios with Google's Inside Abbey Road, which works on a desktop screen as well as a VR headset. Now imagine inspiring customers with VR visits to retail stores or engaging employees with VR tours of their new offices. Working in-house and with our specialist partners, we have the capabilities to create 360º interactive video experiences, augmented reality apps, and even interactive video – where the user chooses how a narrative can play out. All this could truly enrich all sorts of content and provide an engaging and inspiring experience. Click here to get in touch or find out more on what theblueballroom can offer your business.