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Reality bites: the future is virtual

Last week, one of our team visited the Björk Digital exhibition currently showing at the magnificent Somerset House. Like all curious marketing companies in Hampshire, we’re always keen on exploring the groundbreaking and the futuristic.

It may have been an ordinary autumn afternoon outside, but this mesmeric virtual reality experience from Icelandic musical icon Björk travelled far beyond the familiar London landmarks lining the Thames and off into other lands and realms.

A fusion of creativity & technology

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The exhibition began with a revolutionary immersive film featuring panoramic visuals of Icelandic highlands; swaddling the audience in the beats and strings of Black Lake via a bespoke, cutting edge surround-sound system.

Next up came the virtual reality (VR) headsets and headphones. Obviously Björk is not your common garden artist and this was not your typical exhibition landscape; where the visitor simply strolls from room to room, gazing at frames on the wall or ‘do not touch’ sculptures behind velvet ropes.

Virtual reality headsets allow the viewer to inhabit the ‘world’ their senses are seeing and hearing as if they were physically in that location itself. 360 degree video captures everything around the viewer, so that they experience full interaction with what is being shown.

If you visit the Björk Digital exhibition, these headsets will place you on the dark sands of remote Icelandic beach, you’ll come face to face with the mask of a digital moth giantess, somersault around the inside of the singer’s mouth, and step into the dance space of a goddess made of lights as she grows larger and larger before you.

Big brands, marketing and VR

All sound a bit too hallucinogenic for you? Don’t fear, there are less alien examples of virtual reality around. Sure, it’s not mainstream yet, but marketing companies in Hampshire like ours have been watching with interest how household brands are beginning to use virtual reality to communicate with their customers.

Consider Ikea, whose virtual reality experience lets you into the Ikea kitchen, where you can open doors, walk around and explore the space, or even cook their famous meatballs in the virtual kitchen. Other big brands like Samsung, Mercedes-Benz, McDonalds, Coca Cola, and The North Face are using virtual reality to demo product features and functionality, help consumers make more informed choices, add a more exhilarating dimension to traditional print and video marketing campaigns, and show how a brand can fit into an aspirational lifestyle.

Tomorrow’s world

Fancy a virtual reality test drive in the latest roadster? Can’t figure out which way is up with the new smartphone? Virtual reality is still a few stages away from breaking into the mass market, but one day you and your customers could have the opportunity to explore new dimensions through a ‘VR’ head set.

We may even end up doing everyday activities like supermarket shopping and watching our favourite soaps or movies through virtual reality headsets. If you think about it, many of us already ‘live’ an increasing number of hours of our day almost ‘virtually’ through the window of social media.

So if you still find yourself thinking that it’s all way too alien, remember that once upon a time most of us would’ve considered smartphones to be something other-worldly…

What does your future look like? If you’re searching for marketing companies in Hampshire to help you connect your everyday marketing, support your marketing projects, or guide your long-term creative vision, then contact Brevity on 01256 536 000 or email info@brevity.marketing.