With the growing popularity and strength of the technology, virtual reality is more and more common on the event scene than ever before. For many, however, it is still a very new experience, and one that many want to continue after the event is said and done.
One of the biggest issues with virtual reality is accessibility. Not everyone has an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive lying around, and whilst they can be used during events easily they make it so that after the fact, any experience had with them is much harder for the public to view.
Not everyone has a headset, but near everyone has a smartphone. Enter phone-based solutions. Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR have taken the events world by storm by letting visitors take home the viewing spectacles they see at the event, or even to see exclusive content that was is not available by other means. Simply make the template with your branding, construct it, and slide in your phone.
Google Cardboard has a distinct advantage when it comes to events, in that it is easy to print advertisements and branding right onto the packaging. It is also a cheap way to instantly have your brand shown by others, both during and after the event. All it requires is:
Resources for the first are easily found online, the second is near standard these days in smart phones. The third is up to you, though with phone-based VR there are some restrictions. Consider if you want a 360 video or a full 3D experience; Google Cardboard is a relatively low-tech option that lacks head tracking and other motion controllers.
Successful examples of phone-based VR solutions being used include Citi using it to give exclusive concert footage to their Backstage progam users, letting those watching the show from the comfort of their home use Google Cardboard VR headsets for a virtual reality experience that put them in the front row.
Samsung Gear VR is another phone-based VR solution that is a strong contender, sitting between Google Cardboard and traditional virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive. When in use, a compatible Samsung Galaxy device acts as the headset's display and processor, while the Gear VR unit itself acts as the controller, which contains the field of view, as well as a custom inertial measurement unit, or IMU, for rotational tracking, which connects to the smartphone via micro-USB.
Branding options are still available for the Samsung Gear VR, but due to the need for it to be used with Samsung products, as well as the extra cost of producing the headset, it may not be as adaptable a solution as Google Cardboard.
Bringing the visitor's phone into the experience is one of the small ways to include them in your "world" - That being, to give them an interactive part of your company's personality. It shows your brand to be both adaptable and inclusive, and gives a hands on experience that adds to the fun.