MIMA April Event Recap: Content Marketing 2.0April 28, 2016
May Monthly Event Recap: Human-Centered DesignJune 2, 2016
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are becoming the current reality in marketing. Are you ready? At our special sponsored event last week, Todd van Nurden, Chief Technical Architect at Microsoft and Zach Wendt, Software Engineer at Optum shared the applicability of VR & AR in marketing across customer segments.
While the cost of current VR/AR technology may be out of reach for many organizations, as the technology continues to develop, VR and AR will become much more accessible and will open new opportunities for product marketing. Here’s a look at the present state of virtual and augmented reality and the possibilities in the future of marketing.
Defining Virtual Reality versus Augmented Reality
First, what is Virtual Reality (VR), and how is different from Augmented Reality (AR)? While these terms are still continually being defined and AR/VR covers a broad range of experiences, you can generally think of Virtual Reality as a simulation of a virtual, self-contained environment, whereas Augmented Reality adds to the existing environment.
VR is a computer’s simulated version of reality that is totally immersive. VR typically requires the use of a headset that creates an imaginary space that essentially replaces the physical world. (So, the only thing the person wearing the headset can see is the imaginary “virtual” world.) For example, the HTC Vive is a virtual reality headset used for gaming, allowing the user to navigate the world of the game and interact with virtual objects using motion-tracked controllers.
On the other hand, Augmented Reality (AR) generally refers to data notifications tied to the real world. In other words, AR adds to reality rather than replacing it. With AR, computer-generated augmentations are layered over real physical objects. For example, projection mapping turns everyday objects into surfaces for video projection. Another example of AR is the HoloLens from Microsoft, which allows the user to place and interact with high-definition holograms in the physical environment.
Examples of AR and VR in Marketing
- Projection Mapping is something that can already be done to showcase the features, functions, and benefits of a product (for example, at a trade show). One example Todd shared was a lawn mower manufacturer that was able to project video of the different features and functions of the machine onto a lawn mower painted white to serve as the canvas.
- Infotainment is another marketing possibility. Entertain and inform prospective buyers with interactive “games” featuring your product. Could this be the next generation of content marketing?
- Holograms integrate the real and digital worlds seamlessly and are not constrained by the size of 2D rectangular displays. Holograms offer the future possibility to create, display, and share 3 dimensional prototypes, a powerful way to demonstrate the features of a product.
These are just three possible examples of how you might use VR/AR in your current and future marketing, but the possibilities are endless.
Want to Try the “Snack Size” VR?
If holograms or projection mapping aren’t quite in your budget, you can still experience a taste of virtual reality with your phone and fun, inexpensive devices like Google Cardboard. Try watching a 360 video this way and think of what you could create in a VR environment!
To see more insights from this presentation, check out the slides available to MIMA members here:
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