Virtual Reality (VR) – the simulation of real-world physical sensations while involved in an activity like playing video games – is a concept that’s been around for decades.
One company that’s made waves in this space is Oculus, with its groundbreaking virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift. Designed to provide a fully immersive virtual experience to gamers, the headset boasts of cutting-edge technology that’s changing the face of gaming, and more.
How does virtual reality tie in with social communication?
Social giants are realising the potential of virtual reality – which Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift in 2014 clearly shows. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most vocal advocates of the Oculus Rift.
“Oculus has the potential to be the most social platform ever,” he says. “Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”
With features to match its futuristic looks, the Oculus Rift has been creating a buzz in the gaming industry since the company unveiled the product. Though still available only in developer versions – it’s slated to be launched for commercial sale in 2016 – the wearable has piqued the interests of individuals and corporations alike.
Not Just A Game Anymore
Customised tracking technology in the headset allows for subtle head movements of the user to create corresponding movements in the game, making it as close to reality as any gaming experience has ever been. The combination of stereoscopic 3-D viewing with wide field view makes it possible for the headset to provide a seamless experience that has the power to evoke real-world emotions in the virtual space.
Though created primarily for taking the gaming experience to the next level, Oculus Rift has the potential to make an impact beyond only gaming. It has already started sharing its technology in development kits with a number of industries for testing and use.
Virtual reality the likes of which Oculus Rift headsets make possible could be used in conducting training via simulation for high-risk industrial jobs, providing more efficient customer service, and even in healthcare. Doctors note how simulation therapy can help trauma patients strengthen and rebuild their neurological pathways. It can also be extremely useful in education – especially for remote learners who don’t always have access to classrooms.
Virtual Reality – Potential game-changer in communication?
Heightened social experiences through virtual reality will change how people interact with technology and the world around them. It can in the very near future become a part of people’s everyday lives.
This also means newer and more exciting opportunities for brands to connect with their audience. Experiential virtual activations with a focus on creating value for the consumer – through innovative and creative storytelling – can strengthen the brand-consumer relationship.
It’s not too early for brands to start evaluating the relevance of VR technology for their communication. Virtual reality may just only have made a serious splash, but it helps to be prepared with a strategy in place for leveraging existing messages through this new and very promising medium.
- Video: Founder Palmer Luckey on the Oculus Rift
- 5 Amazing Non-Gaming Ways People Are Using Oculus Rift
- Virtual Reality Vs. Augmented Reality. Click here
- Examples of brands already using Oculus Rift in their promotions
This post is a part of our monthly People’s Insights brief for April – Part 2: The Mobile & Wearable Web