A couple of years back in October 2016, I was fortunate enough to be present in a festival regarded as the Future of Storytelling. An event organized to cater for storytellers from around the globe to shed light on their innovative storytelling particularly dealing with augmented reality and virtual reality. I was intrigued to know how VR was becoming an essential tool for artists and storytellers and how it will shape the entire industry.
There are many fascinating things that make augmented and virtual reality so constructive and how they include different senses in between the action. During the entire three-day festival, I encountered the death of many famous personalities, experienced art in different forms and flew on the coastal areas of New Zealand.
Providing a unique experience to the customers has been a daunting task. Many brands are anticipating that VR promotes an entertaining, unique, and mesmerizing experience. But while this may look like a platform for providing unlimited opportunities to the people, this is not entirely the case. Let us dig a little deeper to understand what VR can do and what it cannot for the brand.
1) TRANSFER THE AUDIENCES
Let’s consider that we are taking a small break from a snowy day in Toronto to inspect a tropical island through virtual reality, and we find ourselves in a position to book a holiday for the future. As someone who previously purchased tickets while enjoying Italian cuisine, I was probably the best contender for VR enhanced travelling.
Keeping that in mind, Marriott’s Teleporter technology is willing to make this reality possible by sending all the virtual reality users to the top of the towers located in London or at a black sand beach on Maui, Hawaii – providing people with the benefits of a vacation and how mesmerizing their experience could be.
Similarly, Qantas also has a VR program providing the travellers to experience the exotic places of Australia before they plan to book the flight. These VR programs have been an effective marketing tool for their businesses, and they are indeed doing wonders for them.
Instead of using augmented reality to fit new products into your life, VR enabled tour programs provide audiences with a feel of how their trip could be taking them somewhere else for a small period of time.
2) PRODUCT SAMPLING
Augmented reality allows the customers to sample their products without the need of travelling to the store and dealing with the inconvenience which is regarded as brick-and-mortar shopping. The place application of IKEA authorizes the customers to view the furniture through VR before they plan to purchase.
The iOS application of Sephora is also revolutionizing the VR game by assisting the users to brace the makeup and how it will look on the faces of their customers before they purchase their favourite colour. This could be best explained with a Snapchat filter but with actual products.
Having said that, the statistics have revealed that smartphones accumulate about 41 per cent of purchases online. The brands are well aware of this fact and have already started introducing AR sampling to lure more customers towards their business, however as digital shopping is surpassing all the trends and technology, this type of testing will become more relevant in the days to come.
WHAT VR CANNOT DO:
Conquer Technological Problems:
As of now, a majority of the opportunities for AR-based brands demand additional downloads. An application called Annie provides us with an insight into how an average customer only uses nine apps per day, while the most current research by the eMarketer suggested that almost 92 per cent of the respondents stopped using a couple of apps that were having technical problems.
As far as AR and VR are concerned, their ability to reach their full potential would demand the customers to own a new VR headset.