No no no, I don’t mean that in an apocalyptic – futuristic- people are not going to communicate with each other- kind of way… I mean it from a marketing point of view. after all, everything around us, In the real world, Is about profit, So do we expect the Virtual world to be any different?
Nowadays, the different VR HMD’s (head mounted displays) that are available for the public are the Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard and on some level- even the Oculus Rift Dev Kit. We can probably agree that it is not very common to find someone that we know who owns one of those devices (Keep in mind that this is a VR forum so we don’t really count). Having said that, the day that every household will own some kind of a VR HMD is not very far (FYI- google cardboard comes in various shapes and materials that are sold for only a few dollars). Little by little we can See commercial companies allowing themselves to use this spectacular tool to promote a product or to excite their consumers, but when VR will be a bit more accessible, it will most definitely become the next big thing in advertising. VR apps will be commercially labeled and branded, VR games will be sponsored by Big companies, Live 360 degrees stream videos will include commercials and no one will be able to escape the capitalistic Virtual Reality world, similar to every other technology we are already co-existing with.
Let’s review our current “real world” – it’s also a 3 dimensional world, we already have video games, we’re familiar with interaction and emergence (Kinect) – So what’s so about the Oculus rift, for example? and why is everyone so excited while and after experiencing even the simplest thing Oculus’s demos have to offer? well, it’s like that: Oculus rift experiences are absolutely amazing. The reason that they are so breathtaking is because no one expects what he/ she is going to feel. that kind of Surprise, in “real life” is very rare, certainly in a positive way. Let’s take the roller-coaster demo for example – most of us experienced going on a real roller coaster before, so why is it so exciting to virtually experience it from our living room? Is it because people are basically lazy? or is it because the experience is actually taking place in our neurological system? I’m not a doctor or a psychologist, so I can’t say for sure (just hint), but I am a creative- technology marketer and my prediction is that the potential of advertising through VR products is about to be crystal clear to every visionary advertiser, real soon.
You Know what? Maybe Virtual Reality won’t change the world as we know it per say, In fact, it will just surround us, up close and personal with things that today are sometimes at least a fair distance away, but it sure will excite us and magnitude us to the content like no commercial has ever done before.