Undoubtedly, the answer is yes. After all, look how greatly our marketing teams have been impacted by other technological advancements. We have evolved to meet the new needs and expectations of our consumers, and, in turn, have made the new technologies work for us. Now, virtual reality is something that we, as marketers, must talk about. This certainly isn’t the first attempt to make this sort of technology work, but problems have arisen in the past that made it fail. Today, though, many of those issues have been addressed and the world appears to be ready to accept VR. Cameras are being released this year that allow stitching of images and video, to create 360 degree viewing capability. Processors are faster and screen resolution is amazing, which means a better experience via VR, and less chance of experiencing motion sickness, which was once a major issue for VR manufacturers. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being pumped into the programs working to perfect VR, and most believe that the investment will be well worth it.
Many talk about the gaming possibilities, but users want more than just that. This technology could definitely prove very useful for those who are trying to improve the customer experience. For instance, one idea that has been discussed is the ability to provide a new retail shopping environment for consumers online. Imagine being able to walk the aisles, see the products in three dimensions, without leaving your home and before committing to buy.
The estimates of how successful VR will be in the near future vary substantially, but even the most modest estimates suggest that it should produce $10 billion in revenues within the next five years. More positive outlooks place the figure closer $50 billion. Regardless, it is clear that there is a great deal of interest, and that could be a very good thing for the innovative, forward-thinking marketer.