Virtual Reality (VR) technology is here, and it is fast gaining momentum in the events industry. If you feel a tiny bit blindsided, it can help to understand where it started, how it is being used today, what the implications are for the future. Below, we take a very brief look at its evolution.
VR: the beginnings
Early commercial VR targeted the entertainment and gaming community, which both tend to be early adopters of technology and accustomed to adapting to new things. It also found its way into design-related niches like architecture and car manufacturing. Little did many of us realize how soon it would become a global standard in marketing and a daily part of our lives.
We can thank companies like Google for taking VR mainstream. Those innovative and profit-driven giants set teams to work to figure out all the ways that consumers could use VR technology, as well as how to make it accessible and affordable for businesses and their customers. Early model goggles, beta releases of software and apps, and a fair amount of trial and error followed.
Today, numerous platforms as well as a growing variety of devices are helping move VR into daily use in our industry. This new digital platform is a particular boon to venues, planners and designers. It enhances the overall client experience, especially for those who are planning from a distance. VR-enabled venues and laser-accurate floorplans now make storyboards and hand-drawn “to-scale” diagrams seem prehistoric. If you want to know if something is going to fit, or work in a space, VR is the solution.
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VR in the future
Virtual Reality will change the world as we know it. We expect it will give us access to remote locations in minutes, enabling clients to make decisions and choices they would previously agonize over—in just seconds. Our universe is growing so quickly that technology is necessary to help us comprehend and manage it. As business leaders we have watched the evolution from desktop computers to internet-based devices to this new platform. Billions of dollars are being invested in this technology. It cannot be ignored.
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