Virtual reality is a concept that’s been spoken about at least since the 1860s. But during the last few years the volume has been turned up on the VR conversation, and Asia is no exception.
Below I have looked at why VR is having such a profound impact in Asia, and what that means for you.
Recommended reading: Don’t look now but VR might just be useful after all
Local grassroots innovation
Many movements really take hold on at a local and grassroots level and there are a huge number of such organizations in the Asian VR community. I’ve selected just two of the most important groups:
- VR/AR Women Asia: This community for female Asian AR/VR professionals is currently 64 Facebook members strong. President Vanessa Radd is one of the top ten influencers in AR and brings more than 15 years of experience to the group, whose mission is to grow the VR/AR industry. If you’re an Asian woman with a passion for VR/AR, then find them on Facebook and LinkedIn today.
- 3D/VR/AR/360° Taiwan: This group is for manufacturers, vendors, creators, and designers operating in the VR/AR industries. Their mission is to “to bring everyone together, forming and cultivating a VR knowledge base and ecosystem in Taiwan.” Find them on Facebook, and Steam and join a group of like-minded innovators.
VR in commerce
While the sale of commercial headsets was the first step to assimilating VR into commerce, there are already a number of other ways that the technology has been implemented into commerce. Among these are:
- Try before you buy – American outdoor product brand North Face used VR to transport their customers to California’s Yosemite National Park and the Moab desert, where they were able to see how their durable clothing fared against these elements
- Virtual gaming – From the birth of the technology, gaming was always going to be a huge part of VR. Whether it’s PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, or HTC Vive, VR has been absorbed into gaming commerce and its popularity is increasing by the year.
If you run your own business and have an online store for it, then you might be able to add VR to your offering right now. Some providers enable you to embed VR seamlessly into your store through third-party apps and features, so check with yours and see if you can implement VR into your e-commerce business today.
Future of experiential marketing
The concept of experiential marketing is pretty simple: people to learn through experience, so that’s precisely what they get, through events, activations, and both VR and AR.
VR has an advantage over all other types of experiential marketing because it makes an impossible experience possible, and allows you, your customers, and your friends/family to get inside a reality unrestrained by physical limitations.
Here are some of the best VR experiential marketing campaigns so far:
AirAsia – Bali VR video
The New York Times – The Displaced
Merrell – Trailscape
Asia has the tech capabilities to really run with VR
Not only does Asia have the capability to make a success of VR, due to its technologically advanced nations, it is expected that Asia will be the leader of the VR world by 2020.
Japan, South Korea, and China head up the Asian nations predicted to rule the world within the next two years and it’s China who currently lead the way. This is because of substantial investment in VR by the Chinese government, who are committed to putting China at the top of the tech world.
Not only is Asia going to really run with VR, it’s going to sprint at light speed.
Asian VR thought leaders
Japan has long been renowned as a leader of the tech world and VR is no exception. Among Japan’s VR experts are:
- Junichiro Koyama – he’s worked on Mario Kart, The Idolmaster, and Ace Combat, among other games titles. Now he’s behind the mission to make VR accessible to ordinary people
- Takeshi Kobayashi – a third generation VR leader, Kobayashi believes that it is important people are able to use VR whether at home or while travelling. Because of this he expects VR to become a mobile staple
VR is already having a profound impact upon Asia and its influence is only going to keep growing. Whatever your industry, the chances are that if you’re based in Asia, the future will involve VR for your business. So don’t hold back, get involved with VR today to make sure your brand isn’t irrelevant tomorrow.
Written by Victoria Greene, a branding consultant, freelance writer and devoted tech-head. You’ll find articles covering all angles you can think of within the digital world on her blog, VictoriaEcommerce.