Virtual reality provides a platform to engage with an audience.
This is something that we are leading here at Architecture In Motion and investing in creating new experiences where people feel part of something and to add a new dimension to how our customers communicate and also sell.
From creating environments to walk within iconic historic spaces or be part of a potential new home environment before purchase, the lines between the virtual and actual worlds are now becoming not as distant as they once were.
First of all, lets just make things clear with a definition.
Virtual reality means a way for someone to become completely immersed in a world of artificial movement. As you walk and look around, your view changes, as you would expect in everyday life.
Whilst artificial, it provides a sense of realism. This is controlled via wearing a headset, have a read of an article where we started our Oculus Rift experience.
How can this aid your efforts to build stronger links of communication with your audience? Here are some areas to think about where we are heading.
From walking around a dangerous landscape (have a look at what footwear company Merrell did here), to encouraging customers to immerse themselves within a place they are thinking about for a holiday, heightens the senses like no other medium.
For instance, Thomas Cook are now introducing virtual reality for customers to walk around destinations they are considering for a holiday. During 2015, VR was introduced to 10 retail stores in UK, Belgium and Germany and has resulted in a 180% increase in sales within the first few months of launch.
VR represents an experience that becomes one of ‘those moments’ in your life ie. take yourself back to the first iPhone or the first time you visited a web page.
In the words of author and speaker, Gary Vaynerchuk, “we are currently in the dawn of VR making that kind of impact on our society. And it has me very excited.”
When it comes to education, providing origins and a back-story can become a very powerful tool. We are currently working with the Mary Rose Museum on moving our virtual tour that we produced in 2014 to a stage further. People go back in time and are actually on the Mary Rose via wearing the Oculus Rift headset.
VR presents an opportunity for people to understand deeper meaning and the ability to learn faster by immersing themselves within an environment. The closest thing would be to get into a time machine. Whilst these are simulated environments they present places we have never been to before.
Facebook didn’t buy Oculus Rift in 2014 for $2 billion to provide a new channel for gamers. It was to create an immersive experience that people felt part of and become comfortable within.
Probably the biggest benefit is the ability to build a closer connection with your audience. It is all about creating an individual experience (as highlighted in a recent FT.com article).
What this allows is a conversation to continue after someone has put themselves ‘in the picture.’ It provides a medium to share experiences that were never possible before. If this opens up a dialogue and a role to encourage a discussion, then this presents a new way to encourage communication within a B2B audience. GE, for instance, are now using VR to sell complex and expensive products.
What we are looking to achieve at Architecture In Motion is to plan and implement for the not so distant future.
Whilst it may be a few years until mass adoption, the time is now ripe to take a leap into something (and places) that you have never been to before.
If you would like to come and look at our VR experience, give Sandra a call on 0117 9251050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org