Truly remarkable technology causes us to wonder what we ever did without it. Can you imagine life without your smartphone? What about life without the internet?
As pervasive as technology has become in our culture, we still have a tension with it. Our attempts to connect with the virtual world have come a long way, but they are not nearly as sophisticated as they could be.
revolutionized how we interact with the world on the other side of the screen. For the first time, we could translate physical movements in the “real world” into virtual actions. This brought us closer to the virtual world, but not close enough.
Our next major step forward was the touch screen
, which enabled us to interact more fluidly with applications. With this approach, we’ve become more mobile and even more mesmerized. And yet… we’re not quite there. In fact, we’ve barely scratched the surface.
We’ve proven that we are committed to connecting with the world beyond the screen. We’ve been waiting for the Next Big Thing to bring us one step closer.
How VR Is Changing Our Lives
Even in its early stages, we can already see the potential of virtual reality to shape our daily lives. Automotive companies currently use VR to visualize car designs
; the oil industry has used the technology to determine optimal sites for wells; and the U.S. military uses VR for training in sharpshooting, parachuting and diving. After gaining traction in the industrial and military spaces, VR has arrived in the consumer market.
See also: Virtual Reality: A Role in Insurance?
Virtual reality removes barriers, so users feel like they are really present in the environment they are experiencing. This “presence” has major implications for the real estate, interior design and home renovation industries, as VR users will be able to simulate a complete home tour, test out a new paint color or visualize what a kitchen remodel would look like before making a buying decision. Think of how easy your next big home remodeling project will be!
How VR Will Change the Way We View Information
Rest assured, VR will shape how we interact on social media. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
has already expressed deep interest in immersive virtual reality, so we can expect to see developments there shortly.
While VR may seem like a solitary experience from the outside looking in, it can also allow multiple users to share a virtual space. Whether you want to hold a business meeting
with remote employees or simply hang out with your friends, you will be able to interact with their avatars in a virtual world.
As with any advancement in technology, brands will need to adapt to new consumer demands for information
. Users will have more power than ever before over how they consume content, and they will expect equally compelling stories.
How VR Can Affect the Gig Economy
While VR has significant implications for marketing and branding, it also has potential to elevate the gig economy. Companies that can connect consumers with the information they seek will be highly successful in this endeavor.
, a gig economy platform that employs people to perform asset verification tasks.
Let’s say a consumer finds a car listing he is interested in, but the car is three states away. In these cases, consumers are increasingly hiring a gig worker, like those at WeGoLook, who lives in the city where the car is listed.
These gig workers perform an official car inspection for consumers and document the entire process.
With VR, you would also be able to experience the car inspection from the comfort of your home. You could see how spacious the interior is, what the view is like from the driver’s seat and what it looks like under the hood.
See also: Is Insurance Ready for Virtual Reality?
This process holds true for property inspections, or even the insurance claims process. Imagine a claims adjuster can directly tune in via VR to view vehicle or property damage first-hand with the gig worker being the one on-site. The possibilities are limitless.
While photos and video can capture a lot of this information already, VR would instill another level of authenticity.
Clearly, this has important implications for consumers and even insurers. So stay tuned.
Even the briefest glimpses of virtual reality have shown us the potential of this technology to transform our lives.
The time has come to think outside the screen.