virtual reality in 2016Virtual reality has seemingly been on the cusp of everyone’s mind and on the verge of breaking through the consumer-level barrier. With the advent of big brands such as Samsung, Oculus Rift and other developers investing in the technology, virtual reality is on the edge of becoming mainstream, accessible and affordable. Content producers are thinking of how they can access the medium and push the envelope of branded storytelling in new ways. For businesses, owners are looking to how they might be able to leverage the technology to achieve their unique business goals. Here’s a list of the top 5 industries that could make the biggest gains from VR in 2016.

1 Real Estate

Pictures are worth a thousand words, and when researching into a prospective home, office space, property or building, virtual reality can offer the next level experience for that purchaser. Not only that, but it can save time in the sales process by offering up a virtual tour to people and agencies out of state or other circumstances that can add to the closing time.

360-degree panoramas and semi-interactive walkthroughs are technologies used by more tech-savvy real estate advertisers looking to gain an edge on their competitors for some time now. When touring a prospective home, a walk through that is as accurate to the true experience of being in that space as possible will help real estate agents and companies not only close sales more quickly, but give users an unbelievable and unique experience. Imagine being able to examine every wall, crevice and crack in high-definition. Users will be able to examine all the aspects of the home and ask questions and as they make observations about the details around them. Virtual reality will streamline the process for both commercial and residential real estate agencies and old fashioned tours will likely be one of the final processes of deciding on a space.

2 Car Dealerships

You may have heard that Volvo was experimenting with Google Cardboard some time ago with Volvo Reality: a Google app that gives users the Volvo XC90 Experience, an immersive, virtual reality test drive on their smartphones.

Ever wondered what it’s like to drive a Volvo? Me neither, but VR might have better applications for high-end luxury car dealerships, or just dealerships in general, to show what it’s like to be sitting behind the wheel of the car of your dreams.

3 Events and Venues

Would you pay to have a virtual experience of watching your favorite band, soccer team or festival if it was in another city, country, or continent? What if you could pay to attend a concert, sporting event or other physical experience through a virtual reality console?

One big area of growth for event marketers and venue owners would be using virtual reality as a means of increasing the capacity of their clientele by offering up virtual experiences at a discounted rate to the real physical thing.

While it will always pale in comparison to the real thing, the virtual reality experience could offer a discounted one and could be considered the next best option for some.

4 Architecture and Virtual Reality

Imagining a three-dimensional space using two-dimensional tools requires a lot of imagination, but with programs such as Iris, architects and designers have the ability to convert their renderings in full virtual reality seamlessly.

Traditionally, architects have had to deliver three different renderings of a blueprint in order to convey the essence of their proposed design. But now, that can all be converted from design files into a virtual reality experience with minimal effort. Not only that, but designers will be able to experience their 3D models and walkthroughs as true-to-scale, immersive and fully navigable.

VR will be coming to architecture very soon, and will give people in the industry the ability to not only show what a space looks like, but what a space feels like.

5 Travel and Leisure

Similarly to events and venues, travel agencies and associated business will be sure to benefit from virtual reality as they leverage it for their purposes of advertising their hotels, attractions and more.

According to a survey, people can spend as much as 30 hours in research and preparation for a trip or holiday. Imagine all the cross comparison shopping done, deciding which activities to pick over others, where to eat, and so on. What restaurant in Bruges has the best ambiance? A virtual experience might help make these decisions easier rather than scouring over 2D pictures and other customers’ reviews.

With endless applications, virtual reality will become a viable medium to share experiences, reach new audiences, and market products and events to media consumers. Now that VR is forging itself as a new category

For more information about leveraging virtual reality in 2016 for your business, contact us at 888-908-6862.

Alfred Goldberg

Co-founder and President of American Operations at Absolute Marketing Solutions. Alfred Goldberg has over 15 years of experience as a small business owner and is one of two individuals in Florida to hold the distinction of being a Mobile Marketing Association Certified Mobile Marketer.

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