You may remember a time when all the hype was all about flying drones and 3D printers. Well it’s time for them to take a backseat because with the release of new ground-breaking headsets, virtual reality is set to be the digital trend for 2016.
Virtual reality is expected to be worth over £30 million by 2020 and has much bigger plans than just breaking into the gaming industry. People with difficulties moving can look forward to computer assisted therapy which aims to build confidence in patients and drastically improve their mobility. Medically speaking this could be revolutionary and could transform the way in which we approach rehabilitation in the near future.
Samsung have also reported a new direction for virtual reality in that they believe it is the answer to children’s bedtime stories. No more noise and no more stress, apparently. They have said they plan to “combine the latest innovations in virtual reality with the power and importance of traditional storytelling.” This is an ambitious direction but is still only a prototype at the moment as it is being tested with various families around the UK.
Virtual reality is also quickly becoming the new ultimate sales experience for retailer’s consumers. Big names like Northface and Hasbro are already pushing this technology to transform the way we think when it comes to shopping. This form of computerised window shopping will give us a virtual experience of shopping as we know it but without having to leave your home.
Victor Lee, Senior Vice President of Digital Marketing at Hasbro, told Campaign Live:
“You can go into the store, but you can do it from the comfort of your own bed…You can try [clothes] on. Want to go further? Take [an item] out of the box, and when you’re done, drag it into this cart and you’ve bought it. And you didn’t have to put your hands on it. That’s what virtual reality is going to do. It’s going to change retail.”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this year that virtual reality won’t become a digital trend for at least another ten years. Possibly a worthy point as although companies are investing in these new devices there hasn’t been much talk about how many have actually been sold. With that said though, when Microsoft launched the Xbox in 2001 they actually made a £5 billion loss it in first year and it’s now a recognised product worldwide making millions each year.
So, the tracks have been laid and now we are just waiting for the big boom to follow.
Rachael Roberts – Digital Campaign Coordinator, Searchability