The development of Virtual Reality technology is moving forward at pace, but are entertainment and gaming the only industries that will use this technology? What are the main trends of VR development? Finally, what are the advertising opportunities related to VR?

According to Herve Fontaine (HTC Vive) there are plenty of industries that can benefit from VR technology. Currently he sees the potential mainly in education, engineering, architecture/design and, of course, entertainment and gaming. In his opinion, one of the most important things is an educational aspect as VR is “enabling a very high-level education to the students that normally didn’t have access to one”. For example, in medicine, students could train in a virtual surgery environment.

Currently VR is based largely on sight and sound, but in order to create total immersion all the senses should be involved. There are devices being developed that can create a sense of touch and some that can recreate smell, while other technologies use gravity to create the feel of flying. However, the big problem is that these products usually cannot communicate with each other so there is high demand for standardization and working on open standards. The other barrier is portability as Frederic Condolo from Mindmaze explained to Viva Tech delegates, “devices need to be smaller, lighter and more user friendly to be adopted by mass market”.

From an advertising perspective there are numerous possibilities to implement marketing activities and reach potential new customers via this technology. Steve King, CEO of Publicis Media explained that “VR allows brands to create much more innovative content and allows consumers to participate in those brands.” More and more brands are creating their own VR products like Renault’s “Pit Stop” that allows users to change tires, refuel and make mechanical adjustments, or BNP’s “Birdly” that simulates flying over New York City.

Author: Maciej Krawczyk, Business Integration Manager, Performics Poland