5 Common Questions about VR
Virtual Reality (VR) has been growing increasingly popular amongst brands across all industries. It is changing the way information is being distributed to consumers and opening more opportunities to attract the interests of potential clients. While most of you may have interests regarding this innovative technology, there may still be burning questions on how to fully integrate VR with your business and product. This is where we at SWI, have the answers to your questions. Here are some of the commonly asked questions regarding VR for you to learn more about this amazing technology:
1) How much does VR cost?
The cost of VR varies differently depending on several factors. The total amount of cost incurred might be higher or lower depending on what you intend to use it for. There are now a few options of VR headsets to choose from that work on different platforms. The price point can begin from as low as $20-30 for a Google Cardboard which works with most smartphones which offer simple VR experiences with apps on mobile phones, up to $799 for a HTC Vive which requires a tether to a PC in order to work. However, what this reflects is the quality of VR you can achieve from different headsets. Depending on what you want your end user to experience through VR, it will determine the headset required to achieve that goal. Simply put, if you are looking to indulge your end users with an immersive experience, then you will need a higher tier VR headset.
Next there will also be the costs for the software required to run your VR project. With the high-end headsets such as HTC Vive, you will need to spend on the creation of a VR program for the particular headsets which will help to deliver the experience to your end users. The development of these highly immersive and interactive VR experiences could even cost you $100,000 and above. The payoff is the experience offered to your end users where your VR demonstration grants them full mobility and interactivity.
Following which, you will have to consider the channels in which your VR demonstration is to be distributed to reach your desired target audience. Depending on the content type, distribution channels could involve uploads on app stores which cost near to nothing, or through social media platforms, and finally events or roadshows.
The latter would be the costliest which will only increase proportionately to the logistics required to set everything up.
2) What does it take to operate VR?
There are several options of headsets to pick from when you’re thinking of using VR. VR headsets such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift require an external PC console to operate VR. There are cheaper alternatives to these headsets which have been created by Google and Samsung which allow users to operate VR by pairing their smartphones with the headsets.
However, consumers of VR technology can look forward to more releases of standalone VR headsets in the year or 2018, which removes the hassle of tethering your device to external systems to fully operate VR.
In summary, most headsets still require the pairing to other devices such as an external computing system or smartphone for VR to work, but improvements are being made where soon it will only require a VR headset for it to function.
3) Are 360 videos considered VR?
There is a common misconception amongst people that 360 videos are the same as VR when they are actually not. VR uses a dedicated headset and external computing system to generate an artificial environment for the user to experience and interact with. The user is transported into a virtual world and the sensors that are built into these headsets will monitor and track the movements to match them in the virtual environment.
360-degree videos are shot and captured with a camera. It is commonly done so with a sphere which allows the user to capture the entire scene around the camera. Depending on the mode of play back, it can appear immersive when viewed through a VR headset. However, is important to note that the viewed footage is real and authentic rather than a virtual simulation. Viewers are able to look around and “explore” the environment from the vantage point of the camera, but it is limited to what the camera can record. Users do not have the ability to interact and travel within the environment as they would have in VR.
Therefore, there is a clear difference between VR and 360-degree videos which should not be mistaken for being the same. The opportunities and capabilities of extending engagement to audiences through VR are larger as compared to 360 videos.
4) What are some brands that are already using it?
Since the emergence of VR, many brands have adopted this innovative technology and integrated it as a core component of their marketing strategy. As modern consumers have a growing demand for premium experiences when considering brands and product purchase, it is important to find new ways to engage and keep them interested.
We have previously covered some case studies of luxury brands that use VR to enhance the overall experience and journey for clients - https://arvrjourney.com/great-cases-of-luxury-brands-that-use-ar-augmented-reality-mr-mixed-reality-and-vr-virtual-6d511a7d0980.
The list of brands that are using VR is only growing larger, each exploiting the many benefits of VR to their business’s advantage. The possibilities are endless when it comes to VR.
5) What are the major brands of headsets?
When it comes to VR, a good headset is the most vital component to create the desired experience. There are a few notable key players who have manufactured headsets which have gained much recognition for their superb quality and function. HTC and Oculus are two brands which are commonly known for PC tethered headsets. The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift both pack incredible high-tech hardware to achieve amazing video resolutions and refresh rates. They are also decently priced making them affordable to most VR consumers without hurting their wallets.
Tech giants such as Google and Samsung have also created reputable headsets, however, the VR functions are more skewed towards smartphones. In return, the headsets are considerably cheaper as compared to HTC and Oculus which requires a powerful external PC to operate VR.
These are just some of the bigger brands manufacturing VR headsets, but we can expect to see more as the market and demand for VR technology continues to grow.
While the answers above may address the commonly asked questions and give you a better insight to VR, there might be some questions that have yet to be answered. Here at SWI, we tailor VR to business needs and are currently doing so for the luxury yacht retail industry. We have plans to do so for other sectors such as real estate and are open to any questions you might have regarding VR. If you require more information, or simply want to learn more about how VR could be beneficial to your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.