Something that we always stumble upon again and again, and that we also get asked a lot, is if it is risky to apply VR. Risky in a way that it endangers a company’s offers, credibility, or finances – without having any real proof that the investments taken are beneficial.
Obviously, we are all still in the pioneering phase of VR. The first consumer headsets have only been released this year and content producers and developers are experimenting heavily with different techniques. Engineers are working on both new capturing methods and new consumer hardware to make the hardware more affordable for the masses. Large companies such as Facebook are experimenting how to reduce motion sickness, which is a problem that still affects a large userbase. New concepts are created to find out how to create the best VR experience for viewers. Elements of interactivity are gaining popularity.
This all goes to proof that this pioneering phase of VR is a playground for everyone. Just like every technological innovation, progress is likely to be exponential. At this stage, companies pursuing a VR strategy are very likely to benefit from it due to the increased exposure and relative uniqueness. It comes at a price though, because the costs are still relatively high. But they will go down further, just as we have recently heard from Maria Greene of Destination BC that production cost has come down significantly since 2014.
Regarding the risk to a company’s offers, or the risk of replacement, we conducted our own research. In a survey we found out that most people are not considering VR as a replacement for travel, but are enjoying the additional benefits such as sampling, authenticity and accessibility. We will post more about that soon. One risk that we managed to identify is if companies are not investing enough to develop a proper storytelling strategy. Many experts we spoke to agreed that there is a risk of your VR campaign disappointing viewers, mostly because of either bad post-production (stitching) or lack of a message (storytelling). This is something where credibility can be damaged, indeed. We will dedicate a post about that in the future as well.
Overall, this playground is a learning ground for everyone involved. As technology becomes cheaper, new capturing methods and storytelling strategies are developed, VR will have more and more impact across all industries. We are convinced that VR has a huge role in tourism in the future, and the statistics agree with us. And there are many other future scenarios that seem likely. We will keep you posted about developments.