Looking at the advances in technology over the last ten years, one of our favourite (recently launched) gadgets is the Oculus Rift. For those of you who are not familiar with it, the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that “transports “the user to another location or venue. The concept began with panoramic photographs that capture a 360-degree image of the user’s surroundings, giving the scene a stronger sense of presence.
The name “Virtual Reality” was officially made prevalent in 1987 by Jaron Lanier who popularised this field of research. We have however come a long way since then, and the technology has improved immensely from the days of the EyePhone HRX priced at $49 000. Due to its advancements, the Oculus Rift headset can be used for business and/or leisure, including the concept of a virtual showroom which is useful in designing a variety of venues:
- Office and Boardroom
Establishing a new office space or renovating an existing one can be a challenging task. Many business owners may lack the keen architectural eye to visualise the final product from designs or sample fittings. Having a computer generated virtual reality tour ensures that the users are able to see the completed office with all of the furniture, audio visual equipment, paint jobs, and décor. Office design is a significant investment for your company and this is one way to guarantee that you get exactly what you want.
- Home and Garden
From a more personal perspective, buying a home is a substantial investment. Similar to office designs, a virtual tour allows you to see each room of the house as if you are standing in it. This is particularly useful for new property developments where you will be buying a plot and plan. Not only will you be able to see the inside of your new home but you will also be able to see the view and can easily simulate the lifestyle that you will experience.
- Events and Functions
Similar to your home or office, a set design for a convention or event can be just as harrowing. The final product could potentially be showcased to hundreds, even thousands of clients or viewers. Conducting a virtual reality tour of the event can therefore help the organiser identify mistakes and improve the production value.
Retail and Commercial
In terms of the retail industry, this technology is possibly only applicable to high-end boutiques or large shopping centres, as it would be quite expensive to create the VR experience. For stores willing to spend a little extra on the design, the VR would be the perfect gadget to experiment with. You can use the Oculus Rift to view different shop fittings to see which best accentuates your product.
Virtual reality is still quite new and has great growth potential. Once it enters the mass market and becomes more common its uses will be unlimited. A virtual tour is just one of the things that this technology can be used for. We at AVT look forward to the growth of the VR industry in South Africa.