Not too long ago, the closest any of us had come to a virtual reality experience was a View-Master. Back then, most would have believed that any technology capable of providing a more realistic experience could only exist in science fiction or the far-off future.
Welcome to the future. Virtual reality is… a reality.
Tech powerhouses — including Facebook, Samsung, HTC and Google — are working to not only make VR more immersive and life-life, but more accessible. VR headsets are now readily available at a range of price points — from hi-tech hardware resembling scuba masks to origami-style cardboard goggles that transform your smartphone into a surprisingly high-quality VR experience.
“You’re getting a level of simulation quality that might’ve been possible only in a $1 million system just 20 or even 10 years ago.” Nick DiCarlo, Samsung’s GM of immersive products and VR.
Using VR for business
At its current trajectory, VR is only going to become more commonplace and it can offer endless opportunities beyond the entertainment industry. In fact, a wide variety of businesses have already started to experiment with VR — and it’s proving to be an excellent marketing and communications tool!
Panoramic property tours have been around for years, but they don’t come close to the immersive power of modern VR technology. Agents will now be able to give buyers the opportunity to view properties in detail from the comfort of their own sofa. And they could even present various architecture and interior design options using 3D modelling!
Hotels and holiday resorts can also advertise their facilities in much the same way.
Retail and manufacturing
It’s not always easy to make a purchase decision based on a flat image displayed on a website or brochure. Virtual reality provides a completely different buying experience. It allows retailers and manufacturers to showcase their products more effectively and allows consumers to get a real feel for items before they commit.
A standard video increases purchase intent by 97%. Just imagine what VR could do.
Virtual reality has already been proven as a powerful educational tool in schools. Evidence suggests that VR-aided education increases attention by 92% and test scores by 35%. There’s no reason why businesses couldn’t adopt similar techniques to provide more effective training to employees.
Virtual reality will soon be widely used to enjoy live events — sports, concerts, theatre performances and more — and there are plenty of useful applications for live streaming VR in the workplace too. VR could transport you to conferences and seminars, allow you to meet effortlessly with colleagues around the world and enable you to effortlessly interview job candidates.
Making your own virtual reality
These virtual reality opportunities aren’t limited to large corporations with limitless budgets. Just about anyone can create a virtual reality experience!
If you’re looking to create a high-quality VR experience, it might be worth speaking to a video production company. That way, you don’t have to worry about a lack of technical ability or purchasing costly equipment! Even if you have a limited budget, a good video production company will find creative ways to keep costs low without affecting the overall quality.
If you do fancy having a go yourself, there are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube — but here are three basic points to get you started!
Choosing the right equipment
As VR is becoming more popular, 360° cameras are becoming cheaper and more readily available. There are a number of different options — or you can use 16 GoPros attached to a rig. If you’re planning on making a lot of 360° videos, it might be worth buying your own. If not, renting is always an option.
The main thing to consider is picture quality. Higher quality cameras will provide you with a higher resolution and, therefore, a more realistic and immersive VR experience.
Editing and post-production
The ease of editing your 360° video partially depends on the camera you choose. Using multiple GoPros attached to a rig will improve the quality of your video, but you will give you more work to do in post-production. The footage captured by each camera will have to be aligned and stitched together. If you’re not confident in your video editing abilities, this might not be a viable option!
Planning your shots
Unlike traditional filmmaking, you won’t be able to control where your viewer is looking. You might be tempted to fill the entire space with exciting props and action, but this can be distracting and, in some cases, a little nauseating! Plan your shots carefully and try to keep action concentrated in one or two-quarters of your 360° space.
If you’d like to learn more about using virtual reality for business, don’t hesitate to get in contact!