We all have seamlessly progressed from reading words in the pages of books, gazing at photographs and paintings, to watching videos packed with the most amazing visual effects. So of course, we’d all get excited for an augmented form of reality that allows us to engage in unique and more immersive experiences.
As the use of Virtual Reality progresses, we can expect various sectors in the industry (particularly in tourism and fashion) to take advantage of this dynamic platform which impacts the way we shop, travel, and live.
Virtual Reality in Travel
Postcards, brochures, magazines, and even videos cannot compete with an immersive 360-degree video where users can go skiing in Aspen, take a hot air balloon ride in Albuquerque, or walk the cobblestone streets in Paris. Virtual Reality effectively feeds your wanderlust by giving you a bite-sized taste of traveling to your bucket list destinations. So even before purchasing a plane ticket, you are given the opportunity to soak up the sights and sounds of any destination, including realistic tours of the hotels you’re interested in staying at.
Marriott Hotels is venturing into the virtual world. They launched “VRoom Service” – a first-of-its-kind service that allows guests to experience Virtual Reality in their rooms. Samsung Gear VR headsets and accompanying headphones are hand-delivered to the rooms and are available on loan to guests for up to 24-hours. The company also unveiled an innovative travel content platform called VR Postcards –intimate and immersive travel stories that users experience in 360-degree 3D via a Virtual Reality headset. Each story follows a real traveler vacationing in exotic locations such as the Andes Mountains, an ice cream shop in Rwanda or the streets of Beijing.
Some companies use VR to entice travelers to their products. Carnival Corporation, for instance, has partnered with AT&T and Samsung Electronics to give travelers on land, a sampling of what vacationing aboard a ship from the world’s largest cruise line is actually like. Visitors of AT&T stores across 37 states can now experience a 360-degree vacation before stepping aboard a Carnival cruise ship.
Virtual Reality in Fashion
Virtual Reality is also a game-changer in the fashion industry. In 2015, Tommy Hilfiger became the first fashion retailer to make VR a fixture in its stores. This allowed shoppers to watch the label’s fall runway show in New York as a Virtual Reality experience using in-store Samsung Gear VR headsets. While shoppers engaged in the virtual show, the apparel, and accessories featured on the catwalk were readily stocked in the stores, available for purchase.
The Balenciaga Autumn/Winter 2016 show was also broadcast in Virtual Reality, while Hussein Chalayan released a 360-degree video of his runway show, giving everyone a front-row seat, wherever they are in the world.
Dior however, maximized the use of this trending technology by releasing the ultimate Virtual Reality experience with its very own headset called Dior Eyes. This high-fashion gear treats fashion fans to backstage access to Dior’s latest runway shows, presented through high-definition image resolution and integrated 3-D holophonic audio, as well as the sensation of 360-degree vision.
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