The Oakley Mobile Blog

VR, AR, MR... it’s ok to be confused
Friday May 20, 2016

Never have the words Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality been used more than 2016. And perhaps never before have these terms caused equal amounts of confusion.

If you’re being totally honest, do you really understand the differences between each? If you answered ‘no’, thats ok, there’s no need to feel ashamed. Perhaps our simple jargon buster might just turn that frown upside down. So, in a nutshell...

  • • Augmented Reality (AR) sees interactive digital content incorporated into the world we live in, viewed through our smartphones and tablets. In a nutshell, AR makes the passive incredibly interactive.
  • • Virtual Reality (VR) is a way of transporting and immersing ourselves in new or different environment through head mounted devices (hmd) i.e. headsets. Content consumed can be filmed 360 degree footage or cgi, passive or fully interactive. 
  • • Mixed Reality (MR) is a combination of both VR & AR: Google Glass and Microsoft Hololens are perfect examples of this. If these two references still don’t help, think Iron Man’s heads up display or Tom Cruise in Minority Report.

In any case, VR, AR & MR, all provide opportunities for marketers that didn’t exist before. There are a number of sectors that are ahead of the game, but some marketers seem surprisingly slow to embrace it. Which makes us ask whether marketers are daunted by the endless possibilities? 

With Virtual and Augmented Reality still in its infancy, we’ve already seen some inspiring applications.
The medical profession have been using it to train medical students all over the world by streaming live surgical procedures. It’s also been used to treat patients with phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder. The entertainment industry, which seems the obvious outlet for virtual reality have been making good use of it – fans of Paul McCartney recently watched his concert as if they were on stage with him through the VR app. Retailers are starting to see the benefits too including car manufacturers, fashion outlets and home improvement stores, providing an immersive shopping experience for their customers. Even NASA have used virtual reality to control robots on Mars! 

Manufacturers of VR headsets have risen to the challenge and see the potential in the market.
350,000 headsets were manufactured in 2015; this is expected to rise to 64.8M headsets by 2020. Google, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung have all started to market their own virtual reality headsets, making the technology more accessible to the general public than ever before. And this is what’s creating the critical mass that marketers can take advantage of.

We believe that the opportunity for marketers to use the technology to create interactive marketing campaigns to better engage with consumers has not been explored to its full potential. 

Marketing content can finally become memorable, your events energised and your engagement levels could go through the roof! VR gives marketers the chance to tell stories and involve audiences in experiences that the user controls, rather than shouting passive messages that turn people off.

Our message to the marketing community is loud and clear… Ignore Virtual Reality at your peril. It’s time to get your head out of the sand and into a headset!

Try our 360º VR track experience for insurance brand Carole Nash now.

Contact us today to discover more about the potential these technologies offer.

Written by Barry R at 11:25