How to Use Virtual Reality for Luxury Retail?

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We have a list of 7 common questions about VR!

There’s quite a buzz about Virtual Reality (VR) lately.

In fact, VR has existed for many years, but its approach to the mass market has continued to be honed and perfected.

The popularity for VR continues to grow. That means the luxury retail market brands, including yacht professionals, are starting to get fatigued by the various outreach requests for adapting to new technologies.

We know that sometimes technology can be confusing, especially when you don’t come from a technological background.

Below is a primer on VR that answers many of the common questions professionals ask when considering if this method will work for their business.

1. What is the difference between VR & 360° video?

360° Video is content created with a special camera that documents the space around you. In a yacht context, a production team would come and film the exterior and interior of the yacht. From there, clients who would like to view the boat can have an immersive experience from the comfort of their laptop with limited visibility. This meaning that the buyer can only look in all directions, but they would not be able to move within the space.

Virtual Reality is an entirely immersive experience that is developed with computer modelling of a yacht. This comes as a big advantage when yachts are currently being built. Virtual Reality developers create the exact size, dimensions of the yacht. For potential clients, they are able to experience a boat that is not physically available yet.

2. What about the graphics? Does it look real?

Virtual Reality development technology is improving at a very fast rate to where the graphics are becoming nearer and nearer to the real thing. Here at SW Interactive, we began with a demo earlier this year that was iterated and improved upon. We know that having this experience for your clients to be as close to real life as possible is important. You can have a look at a comparison between the real yacht and the same angle built in VR

  Real Yacht

Real Yacht

  Virtual Reality Yacht

Virtual Reality Yacht

3. Do people get dizzy from experiencing VR?

Many people who experience motion-sickness or dizziness do so from playing games in VR. However, we developed a product that limits the impact of motion sickness. Our developers take care when it comes to calibrating the effects of standing on a yacht above moving water.

Motion sickness is brought on by a mismatch between two or more of the senses that help you keep your balance. In VR, just like being on the boat they are getting conflicting information on different sensory channels into the balance system. That is believed to be the primary cause of motion sickness. A few people feel that when they are driving their boats.

SW Interactive yacht experiences are not as intense as a VR game. It is in fact, quite the opposite. Your clients can be on their future boat in the South East Asian paradise or in Monaco at their pleasure. Experiencing the sounds of the sea, the birds and the freedom of owning a yacht of their dreams.

4. What do I need to use VR?

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If you are thinking about a yacht in VR, from the technical side, you will need a Headset (we provide HTC Vive), a powerful PC to run the graphics and, of course, our software, SW Yacht.

We do your first installation and provide training for your team so they are up to speed on how to run the equipment.

And for those who are just curious about the buzz and want to have a VR simpler experience, you can download apps on your smartphone and get a cheap cardboard. That’s mobile VR.

For a richer and more immersive experience, we recommend the VR headsets. The most famous brands are HTC Vive and Oculus. You connect to your PC, follow the setup, go to the virtual store and purchase some games. Remember, your PC has to have hardware that supports motion graphics.

5. I saw VR for aeroplanes and yachts before, but I didn’t find it very impressive.

Not all companies use the latest technology available at the market, and that’s why not all first impressions are good. Many people say that it’s something that is being improved and just wants to wait until it’s better. The truth is we already have better technologies, SWI always makes sure that we are developing the best in the market, and we will always upgrade our product.

6. Which companies are already using VR for yacht sales?

Italian yacht maker Dominator International began wowing people in 2015 with their little teasers and testers of the true yacht experience

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When virtual-reality users at the Dominator boat-show booth reach out for what they perceive as Champagne and hors d’oeuvres, a staffer makes the experience seem real. IMG SOURCE: Yachts International

There are some dominating brands in the superyacht industry. Yachting Partners International (YPI) was the first yachting company to partner with a virtual-reality specialist to sell a specific superyacht, the 105m Raptor project premiered using cutting edge VR walk-through technology at the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show. The two teams now have the photo-realism down and are perfecting the speed at which image frames beam into people’s eyes, so viewers don’t experience vertigo.

Yacht design studio Vripack has announced that since the introduction of virtual Prototyping (VP) it has entered a new phase in its effort to reduce construction time, The Dutch design company says the initial use of VR has allowed for checks of spaces, volumes, heights, sight lines, stairs and more.

7. Why would a business use VR?

Here we are going to talk about any business, not only shipbuilders, but all kinds of industries should use VR. The most important thing to understand is that VR is immersive and brings experiences to the customers. That’s the impact that people will always remember and tell others. After interacting with your brand in a Virtual Reality world, people will talk about what they saw and felt, and that’s every company dream, right? To be remembered by customers in an experience that was so exciting that they talk to their friends and family about it. Imagine a potential buyer visiting a dealer with the whole family, and everybody can see, walk around and drive the yacht that he will buy, all in virtual reality. That’s how you engage your final customer and that’s how your brand becomes a Top of Mind.

Get started on VR evolution.