Virtual Reality allows users to interact with a brand in a unique and immersive way. These experiential interactions engage people in ways other mediums cannot. It is important to understand the problem being solved, what the experience will be, and which device is best for the experience in mind.
So how do businesses use virtual reality technology to extend their brand? Here’s our three steps for evaluating a successful VR project:
Is it appropriate?
While VR is certainly buzz-worthy, you must decide if VR is truly needed to accomplish your brand objectives. If the content, message, or task at hand is very visual or interactive in nature, VR could be a viable solution. The New York Times, for example, released a series of Cardboard experiences that take subscribers to places all over the world like never before. The New York Times leveraged virtual reality to take readers on location and experience the story instead of reading it
Select the right VR solution
You must address whether users will be coming to you or if you will be going to them. High-end VR headsets (such as the the Oculus Rift) require powerful desktops and may involve special equipment and sensors. The consumer market will be slow to adopt high-end viewers due to their complexity and cost. These headsets, when they become available, will best be experienced at tradeshows, training labs, and occasions when users will come to you. Entry-level (such as Google Cardboard) and HMDs (like Samsung Gear VR) are ideal when you plan to take the experience to the user. The lack of cables and extra equipment make these viewers the best option for portability.
The sheer fact that users will be experiencing a virtual space is mind-blowing in itself. Avoid any VR experiences with a lot of inputs or chaotic motion that will only confuse users and potentially discourage them. Use gaze or look based interaction methods for most projects so new users are able to learn quickly and engage with the content. Land’s End, for example, is a beautifully simple puzzle game that can be played entirely hands free. It requires the user to simply look to move and interact with the environment. Land’s End is also currently one of the highest rated VR games to date.
Google announced that more than 5 million Cardboard viewers have been shipped since the platforms release in 2014. Mashable released a blog about Google Cardboard’s current adoption rate, stating that “the software side of the equation is pretty robust as well, with roughly 25 million Google Cardboard apps downloaded by users from the Google Play app store. But the interesting thing about that number is that, according to Google, about 10 million of those downloads occurred between October and December 2015, meaning that new interest in VR is beginning to spike.”
Adoption rates of virtual reality devices and applications are growing exponentially. With several high-end headsets preparing to launch in 2016, now is the time to look at VR as a solution.
Be on the lookout for more VR blogs in the near future.
We have a team of experts ready to take your brand to new heights through the next immersive technology. Contact us today to find out what virtual reality technology can do for your brand.