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How Virtual Reality Will Impact Your Business In The Next 5 Years

virtual-reality-810x300The next five to ten years will be decisive for virtual reality. While consumers today feel a bit intimidated by the price of VR gaming, the interest in the industry is far from going flat.

Virtual reality is steadily finding its niche in the market and begin to make an impact on the business world. Robert Bryan and Adam Bullas from Opace, a Birmingham-based digital marketing agency, have recently published detailed research on the possible intersections of VR and the business. Here are the key takeaways:

Virtual Shopping May Soon Become Mainstream

While ecommerce profits have been steadily growing for the past few years, it turns out that 85 percent of consumers still prefer to shop in physical stores and 71 percent prefer to make purchases at the Amazon store rather than the website. Waiting for deliveries and a lack of advice on products are two other major pet peeves of online shoppers.

For online retailers, things aren’t that simple either. The free returns policy costs companies over $1 trillion dollars worldwide and free shipping policies makes it even harder for smaller businesses to compete with larger industry players. Between 12 percent and 20 percent of small ecommerce companies revenues actually go into handling and shipping orders.

As Robert and Adam at Opace both pointed out, virtual reality could have a big impact on ecommerce. It would allow consumers to transform their rooms into actual stores. In fact, Ikea pioneered this idea back in 2013 and offered shoppers the chance to furnish their room using an augmented reality app. They could choose items from the virtual catalog and place them in their homes to get a better idea of how it would look.

Myer, an Australian department store, has recently teamed up with eBay to launch the world’s first VR department store. Once the headset is on, customers can review all the available products – ranging from clothes to home appliances – floating around in three-dimensional clouds with a 360-degree view available. Looking at one product will switch on listening and you can add the item to your cart with one quick glance.

Consumers admit that trying an item and getting a “feel” for it is the experience they look forward to. According to a survey conducted by Walker Sands communication, 63 percent of respondents believe that VR will have a positive impact on their shopping experience and will allow them to make better purchase decisions.

Social Media Will Become More Interactive

Both Facebook and YouTube now support 360-degree videos and consumers can view those using a wide variety of affordable cardboard devices. For marketers and brands, this provides a multitude of new opportunities to manifest customer interactions.

For starters, think shop-able videos. Viewers are between 64-85 percent more likely to buy an item after watching a product video. Online retailers have already begun creating dedicated on-site TV channels, featuring the latest goods to cater the shoppers.

Online Marketing Moving To New Frontiers

Virtual reality empowers brands to take storytelling to a whole new level. According to Bullas, VR can drastically raise the levels of engagement and awareness for branded content because it’s immersive, memorable, impactful and novel compared to other technologies.

Some brands have already started experimenting with VR marketing. McDonalds Sweden, for instance, has released their own Google Cardboard. Consumers could turn the Happy Meal box into a pair of goggles and use those to play a simple VR game, which was launched specifically for the promo.

Think your brand isn’t exciting enough for virtual reality? Take a look at this VR video from Boursin – a soft cheese retailer. The company takes you on an exciting adventure exploring the insides of your fridge. The video was watched over 80,000 times on YouTube and was chosen as the Winner of Masters of Marketing Award in 2015.

According to the team at Opace, the next frontier for virtual after marketing is web design and a shift towards a truly interactive web.

“If businesses could showcase their products, services or stores in virtual reality, why should this feature not simply be pre-built into their existing website or ecommerce design?” said Robert Bryan.

Let’s wait and see how soon this prediction will come true. Until then, make sure your business is prepared for the newest technology before it’s too late.

 

Written by @DiLabrien

Bron: http://tech.co/virtual-reality-impact-business-2016-09#.V-46IU7jjGg.twitter

 

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Goldman Sachs Has Four Charts Showing the Huge Potential in Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality started making fresh headlines in 2014, when Facebook made a $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR. Now Google Inc. has ramped up its “VR” game by focusing Clay Bavor, vice president of product management, solely on virtual reality.

As Wall Street tries to calculate the possible impact on a number of industries, Goldman Sachs Group has put forth some charts laying out its assumptions for what it believes will be an $80 billion market by 2025.

Here’s what caught our eye.

The first chart looks at how the virtual reality and augmented reality business will fare when compared to the adoption process undergone with smartphones and tablets. Goldman believes it will take a while longer to see such adoption, but “as the technology advances, price points decline, and an entire new marketplace of applications (both business and consumer) hit the market, we believe VR/AR has the potential to spawn a multibillion-dollar industry, and possibly be as game changing as the advent of the PC,” the analysts noted.

2. Market size depends on the uptake

The second chart shows how the analysts get to that $80 billion number for industry revenue. The team at Goldman, led by Heather Bellini, looked at possible uses, their “volume adoption framework” and future pricing. The base case is for $80 billion, while the “accelerated uptake” scenario puts the market at a whopping $182 billion.

3. Virtual reality could be used for these functions

Goldman has nine areas in which virtual and augmented reality can be used, ranging from video games to retail. While video games make up the largest portion, everything from health care to real estate could experience disruption.

4. The price of head-mounted devices (HMDs) is expected to fall

Last, prices typically fall as technology progresses. This is key for hardware adoption, Goldman said, so it looked at how the cost structure might look in the future. “We found that major hardware devices have experienced pricing declines in the range of 5-10 percent annually over the past 20 years,” the team said.

Goldman isn’t the only firm publishing virtual reality research this week, Macquarie Bank also sent out a note to clients about the future of this business.

“We continue to believe that VR/AR is poised to be the next computing platform. And like the transition from desktop to mobile, it will be disruptive. …The first half of 2016 will see the most significant progress on VR/AR ever,” Analyst Ben Schachter wrote in the note, published on Wednesday.

The analyst says he has been sampling some new virtual reality products and has come away even more optimistic on the market. “We have been fortunate to be in the relatively unique position of having tried the latest versions of almost all known devices. And while each has its pros and cons, it is clear that progress is being made,” he said.

 

Written by  julieverhage

Bron: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-13/goldman-sachs-has-four-charts-showing-the-huge-potential-in-virtual-and-augmented-reality

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Virtual reality in 2016: The 10 biggest trends to watch

vrhero

It’s been a decades-long journey for virtual reality, and 2016 will likely be its biggest step forward. This won’t be the year that virtual reality goes mainstream, but you’re sure to hear more about the technology than ever before with big product launches from Oculus/Facebook, HTC/Valve, Sony, and Microsoft (although its HoloLens is technically augmented reality).

Here are 10 trends to keep an eye on as 2016 unfolds.

1. 2016 will be a learning year

First and foremost, 2016 will be an important year for broader audiences learning what virtual reality is in the first place. Some may not have ever heard of it. Some, may have only experienced it briefly, or in the form of Google Cardboard.

“There’s going to be a moment when we collectively realize the value of virtual reality, and that’s something different than we’ve had before,” said Gartner analyst Brian Blau. It’ll be a middle ground between what people have wanted these devices to do and what they can do, and the value of VR — whether good or bad, useful or not— will hopefully be apparent.

To this point, people have only imagined the value of VR in the consumer market. Whether VR will find a killer app or a most-popular use case remains to be seen, but there will be a developing sense of what people prefer to do with VR devices.

2. Mobile-driven VR will introduce many more to VR

2015 saw the beginning of the distribution of low-end virtual reality to the masses. The New York Times, Outside Magazine, and others delivered free Google Cardboard headsets to subscribers—who simply insert their smartphones to turn Cardboard into a head-mounted display. The New York Times alone mailed out 1.2 million Cardboard units. This will likely continue into 2016 in various forms, like the recent Lucasfilm/Verizon/Google partnership in which Star War-themed Cardboard headsets were available for free at Verizon stores.

Getting free VR—even if many would argue that 360 video is not, in fact, virtual reality—into lots of hands could be a positive thing. But, there’s always a “but,” Blau said.

“I’m also concerned too, that there’s a possibility that because it is so low end, that people may not put value on it,” he said. That’s not an uncommon problem in the consumer market. Free too often equates to things people don’t value. Though, having backing from organizations like the Times helps combat that in some sense—it’s just that the Times alone can’t influence how consumers peg the relationship between cost and value.

Still, NextVR’s VR evangelist Helen Situ said Google’s done a good job of getting the minimum viable VR product out there in the form of Cardboard, and it will help give people an idea of what VR is to begin with.

“You have photos [of VR], YouTube videos of it, article after article, but at the end of the day, it’s just something you have to experience to spark your imagination into thinking about how this could change different industries like medicine, entertainment, sports, movies, even events,” Situ said.

Sitting above Cardboard is the Samsung Gear VR. The display is still a Samsung phone or phablet, but it does include sensors in the headset. As one of the first consumer HMDs to hit the market, it comes in at the relatively friendly price point of $99.

Situ said she’s particularly optimistic in the Gear’s ability to attract interest from those more tuned into VR’s uses in casual gaming and entertainment.

3. Get ready for bigger-budget content

Don’t expect VR movies just yet. Though, ABI Research’s Eric Abbruzzese said more money will get thrown at VR content.

Already major motion pictures like Insurgent, Jurassic World, The Martian, and Star Wars have created VR experiences to supplement their marketing efforts.

DigiCapital estimates that the VR market will be about $30 billion by 2020.

“We might not see a big budget game specifically targeting VR, but we’ll definitely see support for it. Then late 2016, early 2017, I think we’ll start seeing a lot of targeted VR games… We’re just now starting to see what the hardware can do to support that content,” he said.

4. There will be more hype

Abbruzzese talked about the role of the media in the perception of VR’s success.

“If the media embraces it as positively as I’m imagining, I think people are going to think it’s a lot bigger than it is,” he said.

Still, the tethered devices will be very expensive. He equated it to OLED TVs right now— the reviews are great, but only a limited number of people have them because of the price.

But, that won’t stop lots of companies and organizations feeling as though they have to jump on the bandwagon.

5. There will also be backlash

Backlash is just the way of the world. Abbruzzese said one source might be recent converts— “people who weren’t familiar with VR a month ago and now they are, and they’re expecting too much of it, and they say, ‘Wait, what do you mean I can’t plug the Oculus Rift into my iPhone and play Candy Crush?'”

And if not a full-on backlash, then at least something of a calming.

“We had this build up to this great introduction to these new products, and then after a while, it’ll die off a little bit, and people will get bored with it, and we’re back to some stasis which is somewhere in between where we were before and where we’ll be in 2016,” said Tom Furness, who is considered to be the grandfather of virtual reality. He’s currently the director of the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington.

6. Interactivity will be increasingly important

Right now, 360 video largely gets billed as virtual reality. Eventually, though, audiences will learn to not only distinguish, but expect not to be passive observers of the medium as they are in television or movies. They’ll want to move around (literally, too, as seated experiences could fall in popularity) and interact with their surroundings. Karl Krantz, founder of the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference, used the example of Oculus’ VR animation Henry. The titular Henry is a little hedgehog.

“He’s sitting there, and he’s complaining about having no friends and being all alone, and I’m like, hey, I’m right here in the room with you! And he’s completely ignoring me… I’m in the room and I feel like I’m in the room,” Krantz said. That means at some point, Henry will have to stop ignoring him.

Also relating to interactivity is the issue of controllers. When Oculus ships, it will ship with the Xbox One controller. The HTC Vive, on the other hand, will have hand controllers natively built for VR.

“Once you get hands in VR, you never want to go back,” he said.

7. Diversity will improve, but will continue to be an issue

The video game industry has a rocky relationship with diversity. Gamergate took the cake for scuzziness on the Internet. Because, by nature, virtual reality has an overlap with the video game industry, it will have to contend with some of the same problems, including how to figure how to attract more women and minorities, not only as consumers but content creators.

There is a conversation happening. Industry publications like VRScout and Upload VR have addressed the gender gap. At the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality conference this year, an audience member asked a panel including Oculus founder Palmer Luckey about efforts to get more minorities interested in creating VR, if only for the ability to produce better content, appealing to a broader swath of people. Luckey reiterated that most talent will come from the gaming industry. Yes, they’re mostly white males, and that’s just the way it is, he said.

Krantz has been watching the imbalance somewhat closely at SVVR meetings, and watching who joins the mailing list. He sees more women joining, though not exactly in droves.

“[The gender imbalance] was apparent so fast as the VR community exploded into being. I always see VR as a chance where we can start over from scratch in a whole new field, and hopefully improve from what we’ve learned in the past,” he said.

8. Units will sell out, BUT…

When the Gear VR came out in November, the big story was that it sold out, even from Amazon. That’s a great headline to have after a product launch, but what’s unknown still, is how many units Samsung produced.

“It’s going to look like they can’t make them fast enough,” Krantz said. The operative word there is look.

9. Adoption will still be dominated by early adopters

Blau said not to expect a mass market response just yet. Rather, expect purchases from those interested and willing to spend their money on a technology that’s not necessarily a sure thing. They may have already tried VR, they may even have devices. They’re curious and they don’t mind experimenting. That extends to businesses, too, whether it’s big brands or not. Regardless, it’ll be companies with divisions—such as PR, marketing, and product development—that don’t mind being early adopters.

“Part of the issue is it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation because brands want to get in front of lots of users and they’ll have a more efficient spend once they have access to users, but in the beginning year, we’re talking small numbers relative to the mass market,” Blau said.

10. Don’t expect anything from Apple or Nintendo

Just don’t.

By | December 11, 2015, 10:01 AM PST

Bron: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/virtual-reality-in-2016-the-10-biggest-trends-to-watch/

 

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