How Universal is Virtual Reality?

Have you tried out a virtual reality headset yet? I ordered the Google Cardboard and played with it the first day or two but haven’t spent much time experimenting the VR headset. It’s been reported by Statista.com that 43 million people worldwide are active users and that 44% of people in the U.S. are very interested in the technology.

In this article by Think With Google, Big G’s Art, Copy & Code department teamed up with YouTube sensation Matthew Patrick – AKA MattPat – to promote his series YouTube Red Originals where he goes in-depth with the virtual reality world. MattPat’s key message is that the reason most people haven’t tried VR yet is because they need some guidance:

Virtual Reality Is the Next Frontier. Make Sure You Don’t Leave Your Consumers Behind – Think with Google

http://ift.tt/2g8l60s
Image from thinkwithgoogle.com,

To bring as many people into the experience as possible, we wanted to create different ways for fans to experience the VR companion content. Yes, VR is an immersive medium, but we didn’t want putting on a headset to be a requirement.

Here are four ways we eased fans into VR experiences, along with recommendations for marketers looking to do the same.

To introduce experiences that welcomed fans, no matter their familiarity with VR, the team created multiple ways for fans to interact with the content. There were clear instructions and choices for users at every stage, on every device.

We created a 360-degree trailer for the show, which ran on YouTube with TrueView. From the trailer, viewers were driven to an immersive experience where they could select an episode and then choose whether to watch a 360-degree video or image on any device.2

Through the content, fans could explore the 360-degree image on a desktop with their mouse, by moving around a mobile phone or tablet, or by using a smartphone with a Google Cardboard. That allowed them to easily look around a room or outdoor scene.

It’s critical to place clear instructions at every turn: in website copy, in the content itself, even in the voiceover of a video. Think of it as a guided tour that will serve to educate rather than alienate new users.

The 360 trailer we created shows MatPat speaking directly to viewers and guiding them through the experience.

“If you’re on your desktop take your mouse and scroll it around the screen,” he explains before going on to describe how to access the experience using a mobile phone or Google Cardboard.

Read the full post here:  Virtual Reality Is the Next Frontier. Make Sure You Don’t Leave Your Consumers Behind – Think with Google

For the virtual reality headset to work, you have to download apps to your phone that are VR compatible. Then, each headset has a spot to insert your phone so you can utilize the VR capability. In this next video, the young lady provides a short review/tutorial of the most well known virtual reality headsets:

Are your kids asking for a VR headset for Christmas? As we are entering the holiday season, there are  some things parents might want to know about choosing this technology as a gift for their kids, such as the best option for the price and the age of their child. In this post by CNN, the author goes into detail about how to make the most out of your shopping dollars:

What parents should know about the VR gear kids want – CNN.com

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Images from CNN.com,

Virtual Reality Viewers: Best for Families with Young Kids

Virtual reality viewers are inexpensive, handheld devices that offer three-dimensional views and the feeling of being in a different place. The viewers’ lenses work by extending the depth of static images or animation but do not allow you to interact with your environment. To use them, download any app labeled “VR” in either iTunes or Google Play, launch the app, and insert your smartphone into the viewer. Most viewers use your phone’s button or another basic input to control the action.

Key features

• Inexpensive
• Compatible with most smartphones and iOS or Android apps labeled “VR” (except for the View-Master, which uses specially designed apps)
• More like a 3D movie than true VR
• Best for educational content and games
• Selection of high-quality apps is currently fairly limited.

Google Cardboard ($14.99)
Literally made of cardboard, this handheld device that you put together yourself is a fun, novel way of experiencing virtual reality. Use with any smartphone and iOS or Android VR apps. Google offers lots of different viewers, including the steampunk-looking Google Tech C-1 Glass VR Viewer ($14.99).

• SmartTheater Virtual Reality Headset ($19.99)
This is a comfortable viewer with adjustable lenses, a head strap, and an easy-to-use trigger input. Comes with a cardboard, handheld motion-controller that adds some oomph to games. Works with most smartphones and any iOS or Android VR apps.

• View-Master Virtual Reality ($29.99)
Geared for learning rather than gaming, the View-Master is available in a range of packages that let you explore dinosaurs, space, wildlife, and more. Each pack includes insertable picture reels (your phone provides the horsepower). Works with most smartphones and specially designed View-Master iOS or Android apps.

Read the rest of the article here:  What parents should know about the VR gear kids want – CNN.com

Beyond gaming, what are some of the potential uses for virtual reality? You’d be surprised at how many industries are adopting virtual reality as part of their core. Military, film, and educational use of VR isn’t all that unexpected, but some of these areas that caught my attention were:

  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Museums
  • Construction
  • Fashion

It will be intriguing to observe this developing technology to see if virtual reality becomes more common for all humans, especially when it comes to the medical field and our health.

The following article How Universal is Virtual Reality? is courtesy of Steve Smith

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