In my last article, I introduced you to the VR visionary handbook Ready Player One and concluded that it has successfully predicted what is unfolding in the current VR industry. Contrary to some skeptical commentaries, the VR story lives on. Now, we are going to see how VR has disrupted many industries.
First of all, VR is a new medium/channel to communicate information. Some experts call it the ultimate empathy machine. Empathy is a process of living in someone else´s shoes. In writings, radio, films and paintings etc. they all try to communicate some kind of information so you can imagine what the story is about. VR is the ultimate empathy machine because it intends to give you a first person experience so you are living in the information rather than just receiving it. Here are examples of VR adding value to some industries.
Currently, the game industry has the hottest VR applications because it is fun and people can understand easily why VR adds value to their experience. Traditional games are usually played through a third person perspective where you control a character to act in the way you wish. For example, League Of Legends is a strategic online game that allows you to control a character and fight other characters in a virtual world. The ability to make your character do things that are impossible in the real world is exciting for many gamers. This is why it is one of the most popular games in the world.
However, VR can bring these impossible things to life so it seems almost like reality. It puts you into a first person perspective, therefore you become the character itself. For example, Brookhaven Experiment is a popular zombie shooting game. I still flip out at how realistic it is every time I play and I know it is only going to get better. Another, great VR game is Job Simulator. Their success comes from their colloquial concept of placing you into a virtual workplace working for robots. Who in the right mind loves going back to work during off time. Well, apparently around 100000 people does as the creator of the game Owlchemy Labs made $3 million in sales. Maybe work is fun after all! Overall, VR is providing gamers an out of the world experience that has been unimaginable in the past.
The education industry has started to embrace VR for teaching students. For example, Schools would invest into Google Cardboard (VR Headset), give it to students in classes and experience the Google Expedition app on Android/IOS. This app allows students to go on field trips from Galapagos to the International Space Station. It makes learning more interesting because it is more likely that they will remember what they have experienced rather than just from reading a book.
However, Google Cardboard is unlikely to takeover the education industry because it is very low quality and students are merely watching a 360 degree content. On the other hand, high quality headsets such as the Oculus Rift has a potential to takeover the classroom. This is because Rift is one of the highest quality headset available with room-scale movement and a slick controller. The video above shows you how I was immersed and moved around a high quality experience that can’t be replaced by any other medium. In the end, not everyday a student gets to become an astronaut. The only problem with the Oculus Rift is the price. Overall, I imagine one day students would be travelling to many interesting places in the Virtual World.
As the advertising space becomes more and more congested with competition, VR has opened up a new space for brands to communicate to their customers. For example, Audi´s Sandbox experience which uses real-time trackers, an Oculus Rift, a driving seat and a sandbox to create a unique experience. The idea is that you can create a real track in the sandbox that is referenced in VR where you drive an Audi. The value to the customers is that they are enjoying an experience which is more memorable rather than being sold something on a screen. Also, the value to Audi is that they don´t have to physically place a car for customers to drive. Overall, it is optimising the value for customers whilst saving cost for the brand, it is a win-win situation.
Earlier this Summer, I discovered Matterport which is a company dedicated to spatial virtual tours. I immediately knew it was a Real Estate disruptor because of its special camera and software system. The camera can capture each high quality 3D space within seconds and when the whole place is captured, the software immediately puts it together into a 3D model onto the cloud. The whole process of making a Virtual tour of a mansion takes around 2–3 days. In addition, the camera only cost $3600 and the software $49–149 a month. The speed, price and ease of doing this makes this a real disruptor in the industry.
On the customers perspective, virtual tours have a valuable advantage. For example, a buyer in China may want to buy a house in France. Virtual tours allow the Chinese buyer to view the house quite thoroughly without every physically going to France. This will save time and money of the buyer. Overall, VR is a big disruptor in the real estate industry.
These are only a few industries I have picked out from many more. However, we can clearly see there is a future in VR within different parts of our lives. The most important thing is for us to recognise it and start embracing it to do many goods for the world
Next article, I am going to dwell into the details of VR within the sports and music industry. This is because I can foresee VR breaking barriers for fans to get closer to their dream role models. I want to show you what exists already and how I think it will become within the next 5 years.
Visit our page to enjoy some exciting 360/VR project that are coming soon: www.gazvr.com
Thanks for reading!
(Polo Lam, Global Marketing Assistant @GAZ VR)