The Oculus Rift, made by Facebook-owned virtual reality gaming headset developer Oculus VR, is one of the most highly-anticipated gadgets expected to hit the market this 2015. While the headset is not yet available as a consumer product, Oculus VR has been offering the development kit since 2013, with the second version of the development kit released in late 2014. While blogs and news sites are abuzz with talk of its potential in the market, early adopters have already bought the development kits and begun the creation and testing of various VR landscapes and programs for the Rift. Here’s why –
Oculus Rift Features
Oculus VR markets the Oculus Rift primarily as a virtual reality gaming headset, but with Facebook’s purchase of the company and the latest improvements in technology, the headset could easily offer an improved social media and marketing/advertising experience in the future.
The virtual reality headset gives users a stereoscopic 3D view, which means that unrestricted by a box screen, users get to feel as if the animations were real. According to the company, the Oculus Rift features ultra-low latency 360° head tracking, which senses even the slightest head movement, providing a natural intuitive experience. These features are combined with the device’s 100° field of view, which extends the animation beyond a user’s peripheral vision.
What It Means for Brands
Virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift are believed to be paving the way for improved experiential marketing. While the technology is currently in development stage, some of the rumoured and confirmed features may be useful for marketers and brands looking to offer personalised and deeply immersive experiences to their target audiences.
Samsung recently released a feature ad starring the Samsung Gear VR, which is powered by Oculus software. In the feature, they showed how their virtual reality gear – the VR headset and an accompanying earpiece and microphone for sound – can be used to deliver live-feed images, giving a father an immersive VR experience as he watched his wife give birth to their son 4,000 miles away.
While the ad is an early example of using VR technology for marketing (Samsung is marketing the product as a means for end users, as opposed to the headset being marketed as a marketing tool), it illustrates just how powerful and realistic an experience the VR headset can give its users, with its 360° live video feed capability taking the cake.
Although it is more recognised as a gaming and entertainment device today, the Oculus Rift is also turning out to be a communication device and an interactive source of information. It is expected to provide not just high-definition immersive animated and live footage experiences, but it is also rumoured to carry features such as personalisation. This allows brands to modify the UI of their VR program according to their target audience’s specific needs.
Animation1 Leverages VR Technology via the Oculus Rift
The impact of Oculus Rift and similar VR headsets on the market is still to be determined upon commercial release, but one thing is certain: the tech world expects it to be big. And it is for this reason that Animation1 is already leveraging VR technology, via the Oculus Rift, to deliver cinematic experiences that expand brand awareness, create deeper engagement, and encourage sale.
As one of the largest visualisation companies in Australasia and South East Asia, Animation1 has the expertise and cutting edge tools to generate extra buzz around architecture, hospitality, infrastructures, medical forensics, entertainment, and other industry verticals. And now, through the Oculus Rift, Animation1 is giving audiences the chance to consider the world through fresh eyes – have their minds challenged and their sense of wonder awakened. By seamlessly integrating increasingly digitalised lifestyles with physical lives, Animation1 succeeds in creating interactive brand experiences that are richer, more interesting and memorable. Now that, folks, is how you win the market in the age of Twitter feeds, YouTube videos and non-stop information.