Do you know how virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are being used, and how they’ll be used in five years’ time? Or what factors will slow or accelerate their adoption?
And most important, do you know how your organization should use them?
At Tuesday’s Midsummer Mixed Reality event, Nickerson’s Director of Social Media & Emerging Technologies, Matt Cooney, joined a panel of thought leaders from a variety of industries, including real estate, medical research, venture capital, and home furnishings, to tackle questions such as these, and examine use cases for VR and AR beyond their most common association, gaming.
Several of the key takeaways were:
- Sarah Downey, venture capitalist at Accomplice, believes the vertical with the greatest rate of adoption in the near-term will likely be gaming, as demonstrated by the success of Nintendo’s augmented reality app, Pokémon Go. And a key facilitator of VR’s adoption will be our ability to interact socially within a virtual environment.
- Mike Williams of PTC, Neil Gupta of BostonAR, and Danny Klein of Verizon discussed how two of the chief factors driving the rate of adoption are access to equipment and content. While many associate large headsets with a virtual viewing experience, such as the original Oculus Rift viewer, headsets are increasing becoming mobile and untethered. The engagement rate will be determined by content, and new development and programmer tools are starting to debut that will lower the bar in terms of content creation.
- The panel agreed that security will remain a concern, as users will generate unprecedented troves of data regarding user experiences and individual preferences. These security concerns extend beyond hacking and into the realm of privacy and how much insight governments should and will be allowed.
The event provided an ideal forum for Cooney to share how Nickerson takes the common understanding of virtual and augmented reality applications and provides guidance to clients about how both can be expanded to serve as engagement – and even revenue-generating – vehicles.
While many clients immediately think of virtual tours and augmented renderings of real and virtual structures, he said, these emerging technologies can be embedded with campaigns and referral traffic opportunities, and can serve as significant differentiators in a market clamoring for amenities by becoming permanent components of developments in addition to powerful marketing tools and tactics.
The host, Verizon’s newly-opened Alley co-working space in Cambridge, was filled with close to 150 attendees, many of whom participated in demos of the latest VR and AR experiences, including Wayfair’s furniture-placement tool, Kaon Interactive’s virtual product training experience, and VR Motion Labs racing simulator. The subject matter and opportunity for hands-on interaction provided powerful incentive for all involved to participate in the next meetup, to be held in the coming months.
For additional takeaways, news and insights from the forefront of emerging technologies, and announcements regarding future VRARA Boston events, subscribe to Nickerson’s Ideas blog and stay tuned!