Virtual and augmented reality are going to play a larger role in your future. TechCrunch predicts that mobile AR will most likely be a $100 billion market within 4 years! It doesn’t matter if you work for a cutting-edge technology company, or in a showroom selling office furniture, your business will benefit in some way by an immersive marketing experience.
What’s the difference between VR and AR?
Virtual reality (VR) is a digital recreation of the environment around the user, while augmented reality (AR) overlays virtual elements in the real world.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at some industries already embracing VR/AR.
This week CNN debuted a dedicated VR journalism unit. This group will cover major news events in 360 video and offer a front row seat to viewers. Can you imagine being on the front lines in a war zone, having a front row seat at the next White House press briefing, or standing in the eye of a hurricane? That is what immersive journalism will bring to the table, allowing us closer to the story than ever before. CNN launched the new unit by publishing a VR video story covering the running of the bulls in Spain.
Over the past year, CNN has experimented with VR, producing more than 50 news stories in high-quality 360 video, giving viewers a deeper understanding of the devastation of Aleppo, a front row view of the U.S. Inauguration and a chance to experience the thrill of skydiving – in total, generating more than 30 million views of 360 content on Facebook alone. Source: CNN
Lowe’s is hedging its bets that VR can disrupt the home improvement industry. They are launching an in-store virtual reality experience designed to give customers a hands-on education for projects like mixing mortar or laying tile. In a trial run Lowe’s reported that customers had a 36% better recall of how to complete the project compared to people who watch a Youtube video.
Lowe’s trends team has found that millennials are forgoing DIY projects because they lack home improvement confidence and the free time for a project. For Lowe’s, virtual reality might be a way to reverse that trend. Source: CNN
From a marketing standpoint, the immersive marketing term is being totally redefined. One can easily start to imagine how many opportunities will be generated for advertising, product placement, and creative ways to showcase a brand. VR solves a lot of problems for marketers. It offers us a way to create an immersive experience that is impactful, memorable, and fun. It just doesn’t get any better than that!
A few more interesting facts for you. Vimeo just added the ability to upload and watch 360-degree videos. This will offer filmmakers and other creatives to showcase and sell 360 content. Let’s not forget about facebook either. To date there have been more than one million 360-degree videos and twenty-five million 360-degree photos posted. There is no reason to think this trend is not going to continue.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the future of VR/AR. How much of an impact do you feel it will have on your industry? Please share!