Whilst no one can predict for certain what way the market will go, those with experience can certainly make an educated estimate. Our partners at ITR, with their lengthy experience in the events technology industry, have stepped forward to help predict what the future will hold in terms of demand, development and trends.
Together, we've come up with a few key points of likely development that will be happening in the virtual reality world in the next five years.
Virtual reality kits are everywhere at events and exhibitions these days. It is hard to walk around any event without seeing the telltale signs of VR booths, setups and configurations, often followed with a line from the curious public. Low costs from hiring kit means that brand exhibiting at events will easily have virtual reality content to access and share with visitors.
Some estimates fall on a 20% use of VR content at stands in events in the next few years, with it set to grow as the technology becomes more refined and understood. Combining that with the growing amounts of content creation services, and virtual reality solutions are becoming more and more obtainable as time goes by.
Virtual reality is becoming less and less tethered to stationary points the further people can develop it. From backpack setups to Google Cardboard, there is a move for virtual reality to be a wearable technology trend in the events industry.
Mixed and Augmented Reality are also coming into their own, with the success of phone apps such as Pokémon Go and the launch of Microsoft's Hololens opening new doors for further marketing options that are easily transported.
Mobile based VR is becoming more and more of a force, with the use of visitor's own phones and lower costs making companies such as Facebook and Google compete for the lowest cost solution.
Speaking of Google, their Cardboard solution has taken the events industry by storm. Several other companies have used the platform due to its low cost, ease of production and customisation. The ability to customise and design your own, easy-to-use headset will mean that more and more brands are considering it a viable promotional activity.
There are several other cardboard options available, however they vary in price based on their quality and durability. These include:
Interactivity is one of the factors virtual reality has above all other competitors. From simple head movements to combining the technology with other controls, the immersive experience that puts viewers in the scene is arguably its biggest asset.
With refinements to features such as eye tracking, and some more adventurous marketers dabbling into both taste and touch interactivity, this factor will continue to be king when it comes to the most memorable experiences that can be enjoyed in the middle of a crowded exhibition hall.