The age of immersive technology is among us. Developments in virtual reality (VR) are taking us away from our screens and putting us in them... (with the right head-gear of course!).
Microsoft's HoloLens is now available to developers with a suite of applications and abilities that act as a diving board for new, imaginative territories. Amongst its many capabilities, the app HoloTour has a particularly interesting approach that focuses on connecting virtual reality with the interests of travel-seekers. If you don't have the savings for a holiday to Peru, this tool will certainly bring you closer to Machu Picchu than Google Earth will! Combining panoramic video, holographic scenery and spatial sound, the HoloLens aims to provide a virtual travel experience with a real sense of presence and depth; and the tour guide function provides an educational component to the piece, which is a real bonus for the National Geographic lovers among us.
Earlier this month, Swedish giant Ikea launched a virtual reality app (Ikea VR Experience) designed to test customers reactions to VR technology and help to make interior design decisions that much easier. The love child of HTC Vive & innovative Ikea minds, the app provides consumers with virtual customisable kitchens (offering up different design finishes) that they can actually walk around in and interact with. Though the app is limited for now and runs until August 2016, but you can see where this technology is headed and believe us - they're not the only ones experimenting with it.
Above are just two of many virtual reality examples making waves. VR is a hot topic in 2016, but what’s really interesting is the myriad commercial applications available; from live streaming experimental surgeries in London using a VR headset to 3D baseball batting cages in the US to help players improve their game. Now companies are being provided with the opportunity to leverage this technology and provide new products and experiences for their consumers to find smarter, faster ways to test and launch them - whether it’s being able to walk through new 3D concepts for retail spaces before they’re built or allowing consumers to interact with virtual prototypes before launching the real thing thus reducing risk and allowing more freedom to make changes before committing to the physical product.