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Mobile VR Marketing and Education
The purpose of this article is to show that VR, in particular, Mobile VR’s uptake is growing at a rapid rate. We also have a few controversial comments in regards to what is VR 🙂
At AustechVR we speak with a lot of people and we also read a lot of stories online regarding the current state of Virtual Reality (VR) and the rise of Augmented Reality (AR). We find that there is always some hand-wringing from many that think VR is not being picked up fast enough or that AR is going to completely blow VR out of the water.
Prior to the recent Apple iPhone 8 and X release, many industry insiders were predicting that AR would crush VR and that would be that. This opinion has all but evaporated recently due to the iPhone not being nearly as AR ready as some may have wished.
All of a sudden there is a lot of chatter regarding VR which is great.
Now, VR is a big landscape. Proper VR if you would call it that is most commonly run on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, these two platforms are in a price war at the moment. These headsets are “True” VR, they provide 6 degrees of Freedom (6DoF) which means that you can walk around the Virtual Environment and interact with different objects in that environment.
This allows for some pretty amazing games and apps such as the Tilt Brush and also allows for some pretty realistic on the job training for anyone from Mechanics to Surgeons.
There is only one problem – That is that the Vive and Oculus Rift has had a small take up of users due to the price of the headset and the fact that you need a very beefy computer with a high end graphics card to run it.
What is Virtual Reality?
Let’s talk about Mobile VR. Some VR enthusiasts get upset when we use the term VR for phones because they say it is not technically VR. They say to have Virtual Reality you need 6DoF, anything else is just 360-Degree technology.
What does Wikipedia say Virtual Reality is?
Virtual reality (VR) is a computer technology that uses Virtual Reality Headsets or multi-projected environments, sometimes in combination with physical spaces, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment.
So I read that and would have to say that Mobile VR is actually Virtual Reality. It simulates a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment.
360-Degree ticks the box on this, when you see a person put on a Google Cardboard Headset for the first time and experience 360-Degree video inside that device they are blown away. That simple 360 footage experienced from inside a Cardboard Headset can feel very immersive, particularly if you add to that some headphones!
Marketing and VR.
A lot of people would say that games are a massive driver of Virtual Reality. I would certainly agree with that, they have pushed us to where we are now particularly with the higher end headsets and a lot of the new stand alone headsets that will be coming out late 2017 including the Vive Focus. http://phandroid.com/2017/09/18/standalone-vr-headset-htc-vive-focus/
What we are seeing from our viewpoint in Australia is a massive push by Marketing companies to provide immersive 360-Degree experiences the Google Cardboard. A few points here, nearly everyone has a smartphone that is capable of running Google Cardboard VR Apps starting with Youtube.
Businesses have twigged that Immersive Media not only shows people something but allows them to experience something! The potential customer have not just seen it, they have been there.
Coupled with some snappy branding on Google Cardboard Headsets you have a clear winner on how to have people actually remember and enjoy their interaction with your Brand or Cause.
In this day and age where people are so much more in tune with advertising this is something that really stands out and at the same time feels completely intuitive and natural.
Another area we are seeing a lot of growth is in the education sector. Education institutions ranging from State Schools through to Universities are utilising Mobile VR at an ever-increasing rate.
Putting students into an immersive environment flicks the switch for a lot of kids, they are fully immersed in an environment and loving the experience as opposed to staring out the window whilst they watch another dry Video or read from a book.
As we know, not all kids learn the same way and Mobile VR really engages with most providing a good chance that most students will learn. We have seen Language Apps, Googles own Expeditions as some VR Apps being utilised with an ever growing list.