For example, e-commerce is an area where VR can add a real edge. Online-only stores now have the potential to build experiences that can much more closely resemble that of a real bricks-and-mortar store. Customers will be able to much better envision how products look and feel, their size and colour, and so on. More than this, e-commerce companies will be able to create environments that defy the laws of physics and stretch the bounds of human imagination to show products in their best possible light. Imagine
However, not everyone is going to see the enhanced retail experience offered by VR as the reason to fork out for the hardware either. It could be, though, that to really hit its full potential in terms of scale it needs to enable immersive social experiences as well.
VR’s potential to enhance social media is reflected in Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus in 2014. Interestingly, some dismissed this move as folly, believing Mark Zuckerberg just wanted the latest toy. However, his vision of the long-term future of social networking recognised the importance of making it as immersive and fantastical as possible shone through.
Though the partnership between Facebook and Oculus has been underscored with calls for patience, suggesting that the social media giant doesn’t think it has it all quite figured out yet, the time for VR-enhanced social experiences is nearly upon us.
Using the graphical capabilities of VR to create social-focused environments that defy the rules of possibility and destinations that are really worth going to will be what brings VR into the lives of the majority. Billions of people around the world are using social networks, so making the link between VR technology and social in a compelling way represents a massive growth opportunity.