How Virtual Reality Is Affecting Several Industries

In 2016, virtual reality is expected to generate $5.1 billion in sales with different markets being heavily impacted by the influx of new incredible tools the niche has to offer. Virtual and augmented reality startups are booming. Big brands are already creating separate budgets for VR marketing campaigns. In details, here are the changes VR is bringing onto the plate in 2016.

How VR Is Changing the Advertising Landscape

In November last year, Facebook was the first to introduce 360-degree ads to a selected pool of brands including Coca Cola, HBO and Nestle. YouTube is standing close by with a #360Video channel. With over 2 billion consumers, who already can experience VR for cheap with Cardboard – a Google-backed device, folded into a viewer for your smartphone, it’s just a matter of time when brands can figure out the new ways to convey their messages and persuade people to buy products.

North Face is among the early adopters of VR advertising with a stunning video of mountain climbers jumping off the cliff in Utah, before opening parachutes.  The video was produced specifically for Oculus Rift that should be finally released in first quarter of 2016.

“VR is a way to create intense moments and rich, enveloping experiences that can help bolster a brand’s story,” said Adrian Slobin in The New York Times. “It also accommodates old-fashioned branding, like the big North Face logo that hid Jaunt’s 360-degree camera rig in the video.”

For now most in the advertising niche agree that virtual reality is the new steam to build a highly intimate conversation with buyers. Yet, the brands will have to make their own leap of face into the unknown first.

How VR Is Shaping the Gaming Industry

As 2016 will see the launch of four epic VR systems – Oculus Rift, Valve’s Steam VR, HTC’s Vive and Sony PlayStation VR – the gaming world is getting up to the absolutely new quality level.

Considering the fact that graphic technologies have finally advanced to the desired outcome, unlike the early 90s VR devices, this new generation of gaming tools won’t leave us with neck pain and motion disease, but indeed bring in an out-of-this-world gaming experience.

However, as a user you still need to mind the fact that your desktop frame rate won’t be enough to offer quality VR experience.  For VR to appear smooth you need to have at least 90fps. Thus comes the new generation of PCs to meet the demand for VR with Oculus leading the game (again) and offering a series of VR optimized PCs in the bundle (created in partnership with Asus, Dell and Alienware).

Low poly models are among the other products getting a rise in demand due to the emerging VR gaming. These models been actively used by game developers, seeking to create impeccable 3D immersion experience, while keeping the app performance well optimized. Dalia Lasaite from Cgtrader – a popular marketplace selling models for computer graphics, VR and 3D printing – shared that they have noticed a significant spike in low poly models sales during the last quarter of 2015. Their boldest prediction is that VR devices will become as popular as microwaves in the next 5 years, meaning the demand for the related products will continue to grow exponentially.

VR Will Change the Hospitality Industry

Travel industry will get a massive makeover once the VR technologies make a few steps further. Virtual reality offer tourist companies a brand new opportunity to connect with buyers and seal the deal.

“Before booking a cruise you’ll be able to walk into the cabin and tour the entire ship. You’ll no longer be surprised when you walk into a hotel room because you’ll have already experienced it in a VR setting,” – said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Technology Association, in an interview with Fortune.

In fact, some travel brands have already jumped on the bandwagon.  In September 2015, Marriott Hotels unveiled The Transporter – a makeshift booth, where a person can experience a 360-degree visual immersion into one of the hotel’s best rooms in different corners of the world with Oculus Rift.

We are living in the days when virtual reality is indeed around the corner. Apart from the listed above markets, VR is likely to penetrate and change other industries as well this year and I can’t wait to see that.

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Written by:
Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien
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