It is said that 2016 will be the year for Virtual Reality and with Facebook spending $2bn to acquire the Oculus Rift VR headset, founder Mark Zuckerberg obviously believes it too. Virtual reality is no longer a thing of the future and it isn’t surprising that most business sectors are developing various ways of using the technology. North Face, Thomas Cook, Audi and Qantas are just a few of the big name companies that have successfully created campaigns using Virtual Reality.
At JPC, we believe in creating engaging and immersive experiences for brands and we’re always on the lookout for innovative ways of doing so. We realise the potential that Virtual and Augmented Reality could hold for our clients, but many of us had never experienced the technology first hand. So, when we learned about the Inition Demo Studios in Shoreditch we thought a JPC outing was a must.
We hit the showcase where the specialist team at Inition very kindly gave us a tour. We were split into two groups and given demonstrations of interactive installations, 3D printed models and various experiential tech including Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. We were shown how corporations such as Audi have implemented Augmented Reality into their stores to give customers a realistic feel for their products without the need for life-size models to be present. Something which could prove very useful when creating a sense of trust for the consumer.
Many of us also took part in what felt like a very real 21,000-foot jump out of an aeroplane. Strapped horizontally onto a motion platform wearing a 3D headset, the aim of ‘Wingsuit’ was to steer ourselves as we plummeted headfirst through mountains. It was surprising how adrenalin-inducing this virtual skydive really was. However, many of us struggled to steer the platform and found it a little unresponsive. Granted the technology may not have been entirely at fault for this but perhaps it was clear that the technology is still in its early years.
The technology that was most impressive was the HTC Vive headset that transports you into a virtual environment. Guided by voice led instructions the user is given tasks to complete using controllers that mimic your hand movements. As you can imagine, watching our colleagues stumble around as they performed these actions was very funny indeed. For us it was obvious that this Virtual Reality technology was a league ahead of its competitors and a very promising step for VR.
The whole experience left us feeling bewildered at the possibilities of the available technologies and made us realise that with creative talent and ideas to make the technology come alive, the possibilities are endless.