Although the concept of virtual reality technology has been around for decades, it’s only in recent years that it has become more commonplace with cheaper production and investment. These technologies are about bringing people closer to their action. However, this approach can be unforgiving, as you are able to truly glimpse every angle within your surroundings. On the other hand, this unforgiving nature can add the realism that traditional film can lose. Augmented reality technology provides a seamless blur between the digital world and the real world; a feat companies are using in order to sell.
I looked at some of the creative ways in which different companies are using virtual reality, augmented reality, and 360 video to enhance their brand experience, engage consumers using quality content, and bring people closer to their stories.
IKEA – AR
Catalogue We have all heard of IKEA as being the dominating furniture, appliances and home accessories company. In 2013, IKEA created a free app that’s available to download to iOS and Android, which goes beyond just having measurements of the furniture or household appliances they sell. Using this app on a smartphone or tablet allows customers to visualise how an item would fit into their home, by placing it ‘virtually’ in the space they would like it to be. This augmented reality technology stopped customers from questioning the item prior to purchase, making for an easy buy.
Try it for yourself and download the app: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ikea-catalog/id386592716?mt=8
WWF – Tiger Experience
WWF is a well-known world leading independent conservation organisation, whose mission is to ensure the conservation of the natural world. The number of wild tigers has significantly dropped over the last century. In order to give those interested in helping their cause, WWF created a virtual experience that allows anyone to see what a ranger does whilst tracking a tiger. Rangers go through this difficult task, putting their life in danger, in order to help the campaign in doubling wild tiger numbers. WWF helps to fund the training and equipment for the rangers, and this VR experience shows exactly what the funding provided is being spent on.
Etihad – #Reimagine
Etihad is the second largest airline of the UAE. Since appointing Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman as its brand ambassador last year, Etihad has been on a mission to redefine luxury travel. Now with more than a little help from VR, it’s looking to ‘reimagine’ it, or rather giving potential customers the chance to see what it’s actually like on an Etihad flight. It provides a virtual experience of the flight and treatment you would receive without being there. However, the goal of this advertisement is to create a desire within future travellers for the luxurious flight.
Sony – PSVR: The Future of Play
At the forefront of the VR race is the gaming community. Last month saw the launch of Sony’s PSVR, with a giant VR headset placed in the iconic Kings Cross Station, showcasing demonstrations with a national tour to follow (below). With high quality content from countless developers, their device is set to be a game changer in the VR experience. Look out for the gaming titles Robinson: The Journey, Resident Evil VII and Farpoint.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your headset and jump into a new and exciting new movement.
Carl Holderness, Designer.