It’s no secret that Integrity Web Consulting is a great place to work. From serving awesome clients to getting to work with cool gadgets, Integrity provides our team opportunities to explore technology inside and out. Our recent employee Christmas gift was the Oculus Quest, the latest virtual reality gaming system. Here’s our take on the Oculus, VR and its impact on marketing.
We had to wait until March to receive them after Facebook announced manufacturing delays in China due to coronavirus complications. It was so worth the wait! We immediately started an #oculus Slack channel to share tips/tricks along with pictures and videos of coworkers playing. Who knew just weeks later that gaming would become our escape from the drudges of quarantine.
After opening the sleek packaging, the setup was easy, and the headset was quick to charge. Words simply cannot describe your first VR experience. No cords. No computer. Full immersion. You’re transported to a new world.
The default home environment is a minimalist, wooden dome house with a glass roof located in a forest with the aurora borealis in the night sky. I still love the default, but you can now customize your home environment to be a winter lodge, space station, Minecraft or even the Simpsons’ living room.
You’re immediately prompted to set up Guardian boundaries. By displaying in-app wall and floor markers, the Oculus prevents you from leaving your play area. If you do go outside the boundary, the Passthrough view is automatically enabled so you are immediately returned to the in-VR visualization of your play area. These safety features are crucial to avoid running into a wall or hitting a piece of furniture in your room.
The first to try the Oculus Quest was five-year-old Carolyn, daughter of an Integri-team member. This video of her experience on a virtual roller coaster is priceless!
The first of many games the team downloaded were Beat Saber, SUPERHOT, Creed and Arizona Sunshine. We’re also enjoying hanging out with other players in the Rec Room.
My favorite game is currently the paid version of Beat Saber. I can slash those high-speed neon cubes while dancing to the music for hours. The sensation of VR combined with physical movement is great exercise. I’m not, however, a fan of Creed because it's a little too realistic when Rhino Reynolds charges toward me in the ring to fight — he scares me!
Arizona Sunshine is currently the Integrity team’s favorite because who wouldn’t love a battle for survival in a VR zombie apocalypse? Set in the Southwest, you’re immersed in a post-apocalyptic America fighting off zombies looking to ravage your brains while searching for survivors.
I’ve yet to sideload content on my Oculus which means that I haven’t run content not curated by Facebook on the Oculus Store. These are pre-release builds of games before they’re finished that you can try, along with custom content.
When experimenting with a new tech toy, there are always a lot of accessories to try. Here’s our team’s take on the must-have accessories for the Oculus Quest.
The StudioForm Creative Deluxe Strap is a $20 essential that pulls the headset’s weight off of your face and makes a big difference in comfort for longer playing sessions. And, Oculus players on our team are averaging two to three hours anywhere from three to five days a week.
With that level of gaming, you’ll need a powerful battery pack and rechargeable batteries. Our favorite is Anker’s PowerCore 10000mAh Power Bank that adds an additional four to five hours of gaming on top of the Oculus Quest’s built-in battery time of two to three hours.
The Virtual Desktop is another favorite add-on that enables you to connect to your computer to stream movies, browse the web, or play games on a giant virtual screen.
We’ve also used our company 3D printer at our St. Louis web design office to create a proprietary Integrity Oculus Quest wall mount stand to store the headset and touch controllers.
So, what does VR mean for marketing?
First and foremost at Integrity, we live and breathe technology — whether it’s for business or personal entertainment — in order to stay nimble and aware of the latest trends.
As VR users — and marketers — we recognize the opportunity for VR advertising. While we expect Facebook to introduce it in the future, we’re concerned that in-game advertising will break the magic of the immersion experience. And, while we can definitely see the potential for paying not to see ads — an angle that’s popular in gaming — they would likely still be a hindrance, rather than an enhancement.
Integrity sees many marketing opportunities for VR to boost awareness and enhance user experience. For instance, city convention centers could send an Oculus Quest with a preloaded virtual tour of their facility to event and conference organizers. Likewise, museums, aquariums, zoos and tourism groups could create virtual tours and live content that gamers could sideload into their Oculus Quest or stream from their computer through the headset to experience popular attractions from home or to help travelers plan their next vacation.
During this global coronavirus pandemic, many businesses are now looking to create or enhance their digital presence — from interior design consultations and real estate tours to e-learning and online fitness classes. With VR, companies could deliver high-quality experiences that set themselves apart from the competition.
The Dallas Cowboys are already incorporating VR into their brand with their creative airport kiosk. Travelers can take a picture with their favorite players and instantly share on social media.
The Oculus Quest is the latest innovation in VR and takes gaming to a new level. The price point is a bit high for some at $399, and the headset is a bit heavy and bulky, so there are some improvements needed for mainstream adoption.
Our prediction is that Facebook will continue to evolve the hardware and more games, marketers will create more content, and manufacturers will launch new accessories which will make the VR experience more like reality — maybe sooner than you think.
If you're looking to learn how your business or organization can capitalize on VR marketing, Integrity Web Consulting has the technological expertise you need to provide the best user experience for your customers. Contact us today to get started.
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