Time travel, flying cars and virtual reality – all sounds a bit space-age, right? Wrong. The use of virtual reality (VR) technology has finally become a reality and it’s available to businesses who want to utilise this tech and harness its business-improving potential.
The Oculus Rift is a piece of virtual reality technology in the shape of goggles which allow the viewer to suspend reality and experience a 3D artificial world. Oculus VR, recently bought by Facebook for $2.3 billion, operates out of Silicon Valley, California, but the technology has made it across the pond and has found its way to the Lincolnshire Technology Hubs.
Businesses are quickly discovering how the technology can be used to enable customers to experience the extraordinary without stepping foot out of the door. There are many ways in which VR tech can drastically improve people’s everyday lives: by giving people with health conditions or physical impairments tours of locations that would otherwise be unreachable, for example, or by allowing for complete 3D escapism during gruelling treatments such as chemotherapy.
Elle magazine has used VR tech in its iPad magazine, giving more dimension to a photo spread in the publication, and the company also has plans to livestream a fashion show using the Oculus Rift.
The Marriot Hotels chain has also been using the technology in the #GetTeleported campaign which allowed guests to experience incredible high-rise views without having to leave the comfort of their room. The experiences were shared on social media and, in doing so, helped to raise the profile of the company thanks to the buzz that VR tech creates.
Closer to home, Duckworth Land Rover dealerships in Boston and Market Rasen have also jumped into the world of VR by using the technology to show visitors what up-and-coming models will be like in real life terms. It made the buying process easier as customers could really see, in 3D, what they were getting.
Mortons Media Group, based in Horncastle, has also been singing the praises of the Oculus Rift. The business attends live events, such as Birmingham’s NEC expos, and uses the virtual reality technology to allow visitors to experience pre-filmed material as if they were really there. The business plans to take a more extreme approach in the future by filming thrilling motorbike rides and using the footage to create the illusion of actually being on the bike by using the headsets.
The Lincolnshire Technology Hubs, located in Lincoln, Louth, Horncastle, Boston and Mablethorpe, have their own Oculus Rift headsets and are offering sessions for local business to drop in and see how VR could be used in their business. The future is now.