Virtual reality is now being considered one of the next major technological developments by large consumer brands, such as Facebook and Samsung. Such companies have already made major investments and acquisitions to further develop virtual reality (VR) technologies and make access to VR feasible and affordable for a larger consumer base. This week’s articles focus on who is making moves in the virtual reality industry and what that means for consumers.
JBKnowledge, a technology consultant for the construction industry, announced updates to its groundbreaking SmartReality mobile app last week. The app allows users to point their mobile device at 2D construction plans and view them as a 3D interactive model. The app, which was released in Beta last fall, has already proven to be a game changer in construction business development.
Facebook Closes its $2bn Oculus Rift Acquisition. What Next? – The Guardian
Facebook purchased the virtual reality company Oculus VR in March 2014 and now hopes to leverage that acquisition to provide VR to a larger audience. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, believes VR will become an essential platform in the next phase of social media. He sees VR as a potential way for people to share complete experiences with their friends online and make their interactions that much more personal.
Samsung is potentially teaming with Oculus VR to bring virtual reality into the mobile environment. The two companies may partner to build a headset that uses mobile devices to create VR environments for users. Samsung will be able to build on Oculus VR’s expertise in the development of consumer virtual reality, while Oculus VR can leverage Samsung’s experience in mobile.
Virtual Reality: Advertising’s Next Big Thing? – Advertising Age
In anticipation of a lower market price for VR in the future, marketers for large companies such as Coca-Cola and HBO have begun plans to take consumers to new plateaus of engagement through VR. Instead of alluding to an experience with an ad, marketers want to use VR to enable consumers to participate in that experience firsthand. In addition, some companies are also starting to use VR as a tool to help train employees. However, it is still unclear whether VR’s appeal lies in such potential practicality or merely in its novelty.