Is Virtual Reality Finally Becoming Mainstream?

Virtual Reality is an ever-growing phenomenon. Over the course of 2017, there have been numerous, and quite notable, uses of VR. Previously catered for by heavy tech budgets, with Facebook finally launching Oculus Go, this is potentially the first step to making VR more main stream. 

In an increasingly hectic world the idea of escaping the everyday, even for a little while, is very appealing. We are also changing how we interact with humans, with many individuals today preferring minimum face-to-face interactions when possible. In the case of ordering food online, some of us prefer going through the paces of ordering through an app and paying by card, so that the only human contact left is to take the food from the delivery driver. We are reserving our social interactions for those that really count, but we have shied away from verbal interactions in place of texting, emailing and even snapchatting our friends on the other side of the world.

Using Oculus Go, and in the spirit of being more sociable, Facebook has created a product that allows us to interact with our friends through VR as if you were all physically hanging out together, when in fact you are all virtually hanging out through your mobile device.

Mark Zuckerberg is attempting to make it more main stream, stating at the Oculus’ Connect Conference that his goal is to get one billion people into VR – a considerable goal. While it still comes at a hefty price tag of $199, it is substantially cheaper than other products launched in recent years, making it much more accessible to households.

Some great examples of VR campaigns in the entertainment space this year have included:

Jumanji: The VR Adventure

The sequel to the classic 1995 movie, Jumanji, has launched a VR scavenger hunt titled Jumanji: The VR Adventure. VR fits perfectly with this film as the main concept you’ll see from the trailer is the players of Jumanji getting sucked into a games console version of the game; taking on the identity of their avatars. The scavenger hunt allows fans to go through and explore different areas within the film, finding various clues and items to progress through the next level. A truly immersive experience. This is a fantastic use of VR and allows Sony to take engagement with their audience a lot further than when the original movie came out in 1995!  This particular VR content was created with Facebook’s Web VR which allows developers to easily build new WebVR experiences. This means they not only can be consumed on a VR headset but also on mobile phones, desktop and even on Facebook’s newsfeed.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

This collaboration from The Void and ILMxLAB portrays exactly how futuristic the world of VR is. It allows the individual to be fully immersed and lose themselves in a Galaxy far, far away. This amazing advancement enables the individuals to even feel the shots fired at them, with it being described as not painful, but not pleasant, and to smell the surroundings they are experiencing in this virtual world. This takes the VR to a whole new level as it truly does allow you to fully engross yourself into the virtual world and perhaps forget that you’re not actually a storm trooper!

The entertainment industry lends itself incredibly well to using VR, so it will be interesting to see how other brands take it to the next level in 2018.