Here’s something we’ve noticed; there is a misconception that all virtual reality technology (VR) requires special glasses or a headset. When you search the term online, virtually (pun intended) all the images are of people wearing an apparatus! So, we understand how confusing it can be.
The term “virtually reality” has lots of definitions and some are quite long and complicated. Because VR is quickly developing, the search algorithms tend to lump them into the virtual reality umbrella. In summary there are currently three types of reality technologies:
Virtual Reality (VR) is a digital environment created by a computer, photography or video. Consider gaming and Google Street View.
Augmented Reality (AR) is the overlay of digital content on the real-world environment. Consider Pokemon Go or the graphics overlaid on a football field when you are watching a football game on TV.
Mixed Reality (MR) is a real-world environment plus virtual objects you can interact with. This is the category that does require a headset because you are seeing and interacting with a completely virtual environment overlaid on the real world around you. A headset needs to track the real world and adjust the virtual environment accordingly. Consider sci-fi stuff!
As cited above, Google Street View and football games on your TV are examples of reality technologies. Did you need a headset to see Google’s 360 views on your phone, or the football graphics overlaid on your television set? No, of course not. Did you need a headset to experience Pokemon Go on your smartphone? No, but you could have also viewed it with a device like Google Glass and saw the same digital overlays. While some headsets block out the real world completely to let the user move their head around to look at a scene, it is not always required.
An example of what we do, is to provide 360-degree photography which is omnidirectional and, therefore, immersive; and considered by many a form of virtual reality. This technology easily replaces traditional photography which has a limited field of view and is not interactive. It helps businesses reach out to their audiences, with or without a headset, through a customized, immersive and engaging marketing campaign. Marketers can tell their brand story and help people get a feel for their location or product. This leads to more bookings, reservations, sales, etc. Bottom line, it can increase revenue.
So the key here is to not dismiss virtually reality as a digital marketing tool because you think your end-user needs a headset to experience your content. They don’t! With big companies like Apple, Facebook and Microsoft heavily investing in reality technologies; all this will be mainstream before you know it.
By the way, where are you on the innovation curve? The array of reality technologies is referred to as “Extended Reality” and is represented in a linear graph called the Reality-Virtuality Continuum.
We hope this helps you better understand the wild, wild west of virtual reality! VRProPix is here to help.
“We help brands tell their story with an immersive digital experience that will make you look brilliant.”