Just a few years ago, the term “virtual reality” was far from mainstream vocabulary. Virtual reality (VR) refers to a computer-generated simulation in which a person can interact within an artificial three-dimensional environment using electronic devices. Although this technology was being developed over the time span of many, many years, it is only recently that several industries have been using it to show off their assets. The Virtual Reality (VR) market was valued at $17 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $184 billion by 2026. The introduction of VR into mainstream consumption comes with updated uses and adaptations to fit different business needs.
In the real estate industry, VR has become an effective marketing tool and means of communication to show prospects the value of a property, no matter the current state it is in. Virtual reality simulates a finished, existing space without it ever even being built in real life. This is a powerful tool not only for agents, but can also be helpful in the process of construction since plans can be visualized and tested with no actual commitment.
Spaces can be staged and finished using detailed renderings of furniture, appliances, etc, giving a more accurate representation of what the prospect would be investing in. AVR, a term coined by View Labs, is unique in that it merges robot captured video footage and places digitally rendered objects within that footage, the end result being a 360-degree virtual tour that features photorealistic rendering. AVR can be a great tool that saves time and money and increases conversions. The recent Goldman and Sachs study reveals as much as 1.4 million real estate agents are using VR as a tool to showcase properties. This implies an aggregated commission market from using VR currently exceeds $107 billion.
Perhaps the most obvious industry that uses VR is entertainment. It is most commonly seen in video games, where players can be fully immersed within the world of the game, via the use of headsets or special goggles. Global revenue within the VR gaming industry is forecast to grow from $0.4B in 2017 to $2.4B by 2024. In the movie and TV industry, VR technology can be used within the footage itself, and as a way to experience the film or show. VR adds a whole new exciting layer to film consumption, and can potentially be the main way we will interact with video in the future.
There are exciting things happening within the retail sector as well, more commonly with AR technology. Many shopping platforms offer the option to view the item (furniture, clothing etc) within a real context, such as placing a chair in a living room or trying on a lipstick color before purchasing it. The use of AR features for beauty brands like MAC Cosmetics have increased 32% since March 2020. Shoppers who try out products virtually are three times more likely to make a purchase and spend 10% more than people who don’t. 7Immersive shopping experiences are becoming more and more popular, providing customers thoughtful and interactive ways to make purchases from the comfort of their homes. View Labs partnered with Ulta Beauty to create an interactive 360° tour, giving shoppers a realistic, lifelike experience of the store and their favorite products. With this technology, online shopping doesn't feel as disconnected while allowing for a safe but engaging shopping trip.
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