Tag Archives: Virtual Reality

YouTube’s New L.A. Studio Will Help Creators Crank Out VR Videos

CANNES, France—YouTube wants to help creators make more VR video, so it’s announcing a new program today at Cannes to arm folks with the equipment and expertise that they need to do so.

The VR Creator Lab will be housed within YouTube Spaces Los Angeles, where top creators and brands learn the platform’s best practices and make videos. The three-day program will offer creators cameras and equipment, tools for stitching clips together and resources including training sessions and talks from Google that will all center around making VR videos.

To participate in the program, creators need to have already made two 360-degree videos, have at least 10,000 subscribers, go through an orientation and be at least 18 years old.

Adweek sat down with Google’s VR business boss Amit Singh to talk about the new studio and how brands are using virtual and augmented reality.

“We teach you how to do it, we handhold you, we help you with creative so that you can experiment,” said Amit Singh, Google’s vp of business for augmented reality and virtual reality. “Whether it’s original content or an ad that you’re building for a brand, this technology should start to become mainstream.”

After the program ends, creators are tasked with producing at least four VR videos and one behind-the-scenes clip. Participants will also meet at the L.A. YouTube Spaces every two weeks from Aug. 28 to Nov. 6 to talk about their VR projects and meet with mentors.

Google has also greenlighted VR series with Major League Baseball, Vogue magazine and Discovery Travel. The studio will work with creators and brands to develop different types of content specific to VR.

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For example, the NFL worked with Google late last year to make a VR series. One of the biggest learnings about the series is that people don’t want to watch games using a headset. “The energy and 12 hours before the game [and] the search query interest in the game and all the activation before the game is bigger than the game,” Singh said.

Based on those learnings, MLB’s series will focus on content around the games and players.

The league will, “do a bunch of behind-the-scenes dugout, player interviews and stuff that you haven’t seen before,” Singh said. “Whether you do it in a big headset or a Cardboard or the Major League Baseball app, you can see the pitch in three dimensions.”

The education part is particularly important in getting brands up to speed on the shift from mobile to virtual reality.

“People are looking for that next deeper immersion,” Singh said. “It’s moving from a gimmick or marketing activation to where there’s storytelling about the brand tied into the series—that’s where we’re trying to go next.”

Source:

http://www.adweek.com/digital/youtubes-new-l-a-studio-will-help-creators-crank-out-vr-videos/

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‘Mario Kart’ is coming to virtual reality

One of Nintendo’s most popular properties is speeding towards a full-fledged virtual reality experience. 

Bandai Namco has announced that their flagship virtual reality arcade, VR Zone Shinjuki, will open next month. The arcade will be nearly 40,000 square feet, according to a report in The Japan Times, and will feature over 15 virtual reality games. 

But the highlight of the announcement was the reveal of an official “Mario Kart” game designed entirely for virtual reality.

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Players sit in a metal rig designed to look like a go-kart, wearing an HTC Vive headset as well as sensors on both of their hands. The race is seen in the first person, and famous “Mario Kart” items such as the red and blue shells are tossed at opponents by gesturing with your hands. 

For now, you’ll have to book a flight to Tokyo if you want to play “Mario Kart” in virtual reality. However, an executive at Bandai Namco told The Japan Times that the goal is “to spread VR Zone facilities around the world.”

Source:

http://www.businessinsider.com/mario-kart-virtual-reality-nintendo-2017-6

Sony PlayStation VR sales reaches 1 million milestone

#playstation vr was launched back in October 2016 and since then #Sony has sold quite well in the market, competing against the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and HTC Vive. In February, a report surfaced that Sony managed to sell 915,000 PS VR devices and was quickly stepping toward the million mark.

 
 
  

Now, after almost four months since that report, Sony has finally confirmed that the sales of its PlayStation VR have crossed the 1 million mark. This puts Sony ahead of HTC’s Vive and Oculus Rift. According to an analysis by SuperData, Vive VR sold 420,000 units by the end of 2016, while the Oculus Rift sold only around 243,000 units.

 

However, Sony was unable to cross the milestone set by South Korean company Samsung, whose Gear #Vr Headset has shipped to over 5 million people worldwide.

What Sony CEO had to say

Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony, has said that although the million units sales may sound like a great achievement, but it really was no big deal. He explained that nearly 60 million people own the PlayStation 4 console, and just one million of them have decided to get the VR headset from the company. This is why Layden thinks there is still a lot of work left to be done.

The Sony CEO also pointed out that sale of the VR headset had suffered due to the shortage of supply to stores during December, when people had to search a lot to get their hands on one unit. To ensure that such things do not take place in the future, Layden says that he will make an effort so that the company is well prepared for the demand.

 

Sales were also relatively slower because of the fact that there were not many interesting VR titles on the PS4 platform. Although, “Rez Infinite,” “Thumper,” and “Resident Evil 7” were good games and much appreciated, the VR side of the console has been greatly ignored by game developers.

Whats next for PS VR

Layden said that the recently released sci-fi shooter “Farpoint” and an Aim Controller peripheral will usher in the new age for the PlayStation VR platform. The president of Sony also promised fans that a lot of new VR related programs would be announced at the upcoming E3 2017 event. So, it seems the company is really trying to push the VR medium.

However, VR experience is not restricted to games only, Layden revealed plans of working together with Vince Gilligan and Sony Pictures to bring the ‘Breaking Bad’ experience to the PlayStation VR. What this experience may be like is anybody’s guess for now. More of this may be revealed at the E3 event.

Source:

http://us.blastingnews.com/gaming/2017/06/sony-playstation-vr-sales-reaches-1-million-milestone-001753689.html

Google just acquired one of the most successful VR game studios

Google announced today that it’s acquiring Owlchemy Labs, the VR-focused studio that created Job Simulator and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. Owlchemy will keep releasing VR games for multiple platforms, but with backing from Google — similar to Tilt Brush studio Skillman & Hackett, which Google acquired in 2015. “We have a slate of original games that we have in [the] production and prototyping phase, and we’re going to continue to do that,” says Owlchemy co-founder Alex Schwartz. “We’re very excited to continue to do that with the support of Google behind us.”

 

Owlchemy is known for developing games that closely mimic using real hands, and a blog post assures readers that it’s “continuing to focus on hand interactions and high quality user experiences, like with Job Simulator.” Schwartz says that full-motion hand tracking is “kind of our key factor.” That stands in contrast to Google’s current VR platform, Daydream — which uses a remote with limited motion controls. “We have a pretty big vision” for virtual and augmented reality, says Google VR and AR engineering director Relja Markovic. “Daydream’s a great product — I love my Daydream. But there will be many, many things that come after that.”

It’s difficult to read too much into what this means, and Markovic points out that Google has released products purely for non-Google headsets, like Tilt Brush and Google Earth. But the acquisition does feel like it’s pointing toward something beyond the current version of Daydream. “If you think about where VR and AR are going, especially AR and Tango, and other ways of interacting with your environments, I don’t think we’re done exploring how you interact with controls in your hand. That’s not saying ‘Oh, and therefore we’re going to bring Job Sim to Daydream,’” he says. “But there’s a lot of learning to still be done in that space as well.”

Schwartz and Markovic say Owlchemy will keep engaging with the larger VR development community, sharing knowledge and best practices — as well as potentially contributing to Google’s experimental Daydream Labs program.

 

Owlchemy didn’t start as a VR studio — in 2011, it released the controversial satirical gameSmuggle Truck, followed by the fluffy-animal-themed update Snuggle Truck. But it was one of the first studios to work with the initial Oculus Rift development kit in 2013, and Job Simulator was a launch title for the PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Touch motion controllers. In the fairly small and new world of VR gaming, it’s one of the industry’s major success stories; Job Simulator passed $3 million in sales at the start of 2017.

Google will probably say more about virtual reality at its I/O developer conference next week, although there have been few rumors about what we might see, and Schwartz says Owlchemy isn’t imminently announcing any new projects. But the acquisition suggests that at the very least, Google is still working on its push to develop more VR content, and that in contrast to Facebook-owned company Oculus — which recently closed its VR film studio in order to fund external projects — it’s comfortable keeping talent in-house.

Source:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/10/15614274/google-daydream-vr-owlchemy-labs-acquisition-job-simulator

This is what happens when VR glasses try way too hard

Wondering what all those people with VR glasses really see? Now you can find out for a crazy reasonable price when you hook your phone up to these Pasonomi VR Glasses, currently only $30 on Amazon. These glasses have T-shaped straps to adjust to any head size and work with all smartphones that have screens between 4.7 and 6 inches.

The Pasonomi VR Glasses allow you to turn the screen of your smart phone into an elegant and customized cinema. The glasses are uniquely designed to keep you from feeling dizzy or tired, even after using them for long periods of time. They feature high-quality ABS and 42mm diameter spherical resin lens material, lowering the distortion to the minimum when magnifying the images and providing a wider viewing angle. They’re also crafted to help decrease the pressure on and around your eyes for maximum comfort.

These VR glasses provide a fully immersive 360-degree screen to help you sink into games, movies, and more. Special focus adjustment lets you perfect the clarity by adjusting the roller, which can be operated without removing the glasses. Additionally, you can adjust the roller right and left separately and easily.

This model is made with special technology to grind, core, and test the glass thoroughly for a brighter lens with less deformity. The glasses have a removable front cover you can use as a “peek” feature to enhance the effect of your virtual reality experience. The adjustable headband is made of flexible rubber, sticky paste, and high-grade leather so you can always make it the perfect size for your head.

These Pasonomi VR Glasses normally retail for $36 but are currently discounted to $30 on Amazon, saving you 17 percent or $6.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/dtdeals/pasonomi-vr-glasses-deal/#ixzz4fMxPGs49
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Lucasfilm to Bring ‘Star Wars’ Virtual Reality Headsets to Hospitals for Kids

Young Star Wars fans in need of an adventure are going to get it with help from a new program from a galaxy far, far away.

Starlight Virtual Reality, a new VR initiative launching later this year, will put 270 VR headsets into hospitals across the country, and will feature content from the Star Wars universe, as well as from Google Expeditions, Daydream, Google Earth VR and Tilt Brush.

Star Wars: Force for Change is the founding sponsor of the program, which is receiving additional funding from Niagara Cares and VR technology powered by Google.

“We’re excited to announce the launch of Starlight VR, which we believe will be a game changer in the pediatric health care space,” said Chris Helfrich, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation. “We’re excited to have Lucasfilm and Disney, Google and Niagara Cares alongside us as we harness the power of virtual reality to bring more smiles to hospitalized kids when and where they need it most.”

The program will also provide Starlight Brave Gowns (see below), high-quality (and certainly more fun) garments for the children to wear — and it will facilitate visits from celebrities. 

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“At Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB, we strive to make the impossible, possible and to deliver stories that inspire and entertain,” said Vicki Dobbs Beck, Executive in charge, ILMxLab. “We are honored to use our immersive storytelling to spark children’s imaginations during the hospital stay.”

The Meet BB-8 experience (image preview below) will be available at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Fla., this week and is one example of the program that will roll out.

“We’re thrilled to support this Starlight program and use our virtual reality technology for good in hospitals around the United States,” said Amit Singh, vp Virtual Reality at Google.

The new initiative comes as Star Wars stars Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley announced a new Force for Change fundraising campaign Tuesday that will see winners get a trip to the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere, an overnight visit to Skywalker Ranch, as well as a possible walk-on role in the young Han Solo movie.

The Starlight Virtual Reality collaboration launches Wednesday at Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando, ahead of Star Wars Celebration beginning Thursday in the city. Hamill was onhand to visit some of the children, and shared photos afterwards as well as a touching Facebook post about one child he met, Jay Ryan Jr..

“So this just happened,Jay got to meet an absolute amazing man in a private meeting, Mark Hamill, Jay loves Star Wars and Luke Skywalker,” read a post on a Facebook page dedicated to the young man. “After Jay lost his arm he said it was ok because Luke only has one arm. He shared that story with Mr Hamill. He told Jay he was the real hero and I (Mark) am just a made up hero.”

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The smartphone is eventually going to die — this is Mark Zuckerberg’s crazy vision for what comes next

At this week’s Facebook F8 conference in San Jose, Mark Zuckerberg doubled down on his crazy ambitious 10-year plan for the company, first revealed in April 2016.

Basically, Zuckerberg’s uses this roadmap to demonstrate Facebook’s three-stage game plan in action: First, you take the time to develop a neat cutting-edge technology. Then you build a product based on it. Then you turn it into an ecosystem where developers and outside companies can use that technology to build their own businesses.

When Zuckerberg first announced this plan last year, it was big on vision, but short on specifics.

On Facebook’s planet of 2026, the entire world has internet access — with many people likely getting it through Internet.org, Facebook’s connectivity arm. Zuckerberg reiterated this week that the company is working on smart glasses that look like your normal everyday Warby Parkers. And underpinning all of this, Facebook is promising artificial intelligence good enough that we can talk to computers as easily as chatting with humans.

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A world without screens

For science-fiction lovers, the world Facebook is starting to build is very cool and insanely ambitious. Instead of smartphones, tablets, TVs, or anything else with a screen, all our computing is projected straight into our eyes as we type with our brains.

A mixed-reality world is exciting for society and for Facebook shareholders. But it also opens the door to some crazy future scenarios, where Facebook, or some other tech company, intermediates everything you see, hear, and, maybe even, think. And as we ponder the implications of that kind of future, consider how fast we’ve already progressed on Zuckerberg’s timeline.

We’re now one year closer to Facebook’s vision for 2026. And things are slowly, but surely, starting to come together, as the social network’s plans for virtual and augmented reality, universal internet connectivity, and artificial intelligence start to slowly move from fantasy into reality.

In fact, Michael Abrash, the chief scientist of Facebook-owned Oculus Research, said this week that we could be just 5 years away from a point where augmented reality glasses become good enough to go mainstream. And Facebook is now developing technology that lets you “type” with your brain, meaning you’d type, point, and click by literally thinking at your smart glasses. Facebook is giving us a glimpse of this with the Camera Effects platform, making your phone into an AR device.

Fries with that?

The potential here is tremendous. Remember that Facebook’s mission is all about sharing, and this kind of virtual, ubiquitous ” teleportation ” and interaction is an immensely powerful means to that end.

This week, Oculus unveiled “Facebook Spaces,” a “social VR” app that lets denizens of virtual reality hang out with each other, even if some people are in the real world and some people have a headset strapped on. It’s slightly creepy, but it’s a sign of the way that Facebook sees you and your friends spending time together in the future. 

And if you’re wearing those glasses, there’s no guarantee that the person who’s taking your McDonald’s order is a human, after all. Imagine a virtual avatar sitting at the cash register, projected straight into your eyeballs, and taking your order. With Facebook announcing its plans to revamp its Messenger platform with AI features that also make it more business-friendly, the virtual fast-food cashier is not such a far-fetched scenario.

Sure, Facebook Messenger chatbots have struggled to gain widespread acceptance since they were introduced a year ago. But as demonstrated with Microsoft’s Xiaoice and even the Tay disaster, we’re inching towards more human-like systems that you can just talk to. And if Facebook’s crazy plan to let you “hear” with your skin plays out, they can talk to you while you’re wearing those glasses. And again, you’ll be able to reply with just a thought.

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Source:

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-f8-mark-zuckerberg-augmented-reality-2026-2017-4

Facebook’s bold and bizarre VR hangout app is now available for the Oculus Rift

Facebook’s most fascinating virtual reality experiment, a VR hangout session where you can interact with friends as if you were sitting next to one another, is now ready for the public. The company is calling the product Facebook Spaces, and it’s being released today in beta form for the Oculus Rift. The news, announced this morning at Facebook’s F8 developer conference in San Jose, means anyone with a Rift and Touch controllers can join up to three other people in a virtual playground. There you can watch videos, take photos, and engage in a number of different VR activities together.

Spaces was first shown off at the Oculus Connect conference in October, when Mark Zuckerberg donned a Rift onstage and joined other Facebook employees in an early version of the product. We saw the Facebook exec play a game of chess, teleport to different locations, and even take a mixed-reality selfie with his wife Priscilla Chan, who dialed into the VR room using Facebook Messenger. While it built off similar experiences, like the existing Oculus Rooms feature for Gear VR and Oculus’ Toybox demo from two years ago, Spaces was bizarre and powerful enough to get everybody talking about what the future of VR technology could enable.

“We wanted the idea out there,” says Mike Booth, a product manager on Facebook’s social VR team, on why the company showed off Spaces so early. “Last year at F8, people didn’t know what Facebook was doing buying Oculus.” But by the time Oculus Connect rolled around that fall, it was clear Facebook was pursuing VR as a “people-centric computing platform,” Booth says. Having Zuckerberg demonstrate it was a way to communicate that to the world. The strategy worked — the demo became the most talked-about part of the conference because it illustrated exactly how Facebook imagined VR as a social instrument and not just a way to play immersive games.

Spaces as it exists today is not so different from the demo Zuckerberg showed off. You have a floating torso for an avatar complete with clothing and a custom animated face you get to design yourself. That avatar is then dropped into a roundtable environment with a number of different tools at your disposal, accessible from a panel under your wrist and from a console in front of you on the table. The entire idea of Spaces is to treat the platform as a place where you both create and pull in outside content to interact with, be it doodles you make yourself or games you play right there in VR, to photos and videos from across the internet.

For instance, you can toggle through the console to the art tab to produce a virtual pencil and start doodling in midair. Anything you draw is transformed into an interactive object, so you can illustrate a hat you can then wear on your head or a sword you can pick up and swing. There’s also a selfie stick that lets you snap portraits of yourself and your friends inside the VR environment.

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Sitting in the center of the room is a sphere of sorts that can change the background around you. It will accept any number of pre-rendered options, like an underwater environment or one that sends you to space. But you can also scroll through your Facebook account, find a 360-degree photosphere made from a smartphone panorama, and turn that into the environment. Booth says this is a way to relive memories with others. “It’s not like a chatroom. It’s not like, ‘Okay, we’re here. Talk amongst yourselves,’” he says. “You have your Facebook content. I’ve got mine.”

Source:

http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/18/15332658/facebook-spaces-virtual-reality-oculus-rift-f8-conference-2017

Imagining the Retail Store of the Future

LONDON — What will the store of the future look like? Will we be served by fleets of gleaming robots, using built-in facial recognition technology to adjust each sales pitch to a person’s current mood or past spending preferences? Will there be voice-activated personal assistants, downloading the availability, color and fit of any and every garment to your smartphone? Three-D printing stations? No checkout counters when you leave? Could there even be floating, holographic product displays on the shop floor that change when a customer walks by?

Perhaps shoppers will make all their purchases from their own home, using virtual fitting rooms via virtual reality headsets. Drones will then drop deliveries in the backyard or on the front steps.

As fanciful as these innovations may sound, none are hypothetical. All exist, are being tested and could be rolled out in as little as a decade. But is this the sort of shopping experience that customers really want?

Scores of leading retailers and fashion brands increasingly say no. And in an ever-more-volatile and unpredictable shopping environment, where long-term survival is dictated by anticipating and catering to consumers’ desires (often before they themselves even know what they want), the race to find out how and where people will do their spending has started to heat up.

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On Wednesday, for example, Farfetch — the global online marketplace for independent luxury boutiques — held a daylong event at the Design Museum in London. There, in front of 200 fashion industry insiders and partners, José Neves, the founder of Farfetch, unveiled “The Store of the Future,” a suite of new technologies developed by his company to help brands and boutiques bridge the worlds of online and offline.

Nevertheless, in a telephone call last week, Mr. Neves said: “I am a huge believer in physical stores. They are not going to vanish and will stay at the center of the seismic retail revolution that is only just getting started.”

A corresponding report released by Bain & Company this week suggests that he might be right; although 70 percent of high-end purchases are influenced by online interactions, the consultancy maintains that stores will continue to play a critical role, with 75 percent of sales still occurring in a physical location by 2025.

What may change, however, is a store’s primary purpose. Forget e-commerce, or bricks and mortar, or even omnichannel sales; according to Mr. Neves, the new retail era is one anchored in “augmented retail,” a blend of the digital and physical allowing a shopper to shift seamlessly between the two realms.

“Customers don’t wake up and think, I will be online this morning or offline later; we are rarely purely one or the other anymore and tend to jump constantly between two worlds without noticing,” Mr. Neves said. “Harnessing this behavior is a major challenge for retailers and brands and why we are doing this event. It is in our interests to give our partners firsthand access to information about changing behaviors and new technology, so everyone is ‘future-proofed’ as to what might come next.”

Holition is an augmented-reality consultancy and software provider based in London that has worked with some well-known retail brands. Last fall it worked with the British cosmetics company Charlotte Tilbury on a “magic mirror” concept, a virtual makeup selling tool that allows users to try on different looks that are digitally superimposed onto their faces in 40 seconds. They can then send the selection of photos to their email address, ready to be referred to later or shared socially. And they then can buy products, available from glamorous makeup artists milling around nearby.

“Technology is still often a barrier in the retail place, with smartphones, iPads and screens getting in the way of what the consumer wants to see, touch and feel 80 percent of the time,” said Jonathan Chippindale, Holition’s chief executive.

“The holy grail now for retailers is creating digital empathy. No one can really guess what the future will look like. But those who are using technology and data to create bespoke shopping experiences that recognize every person is different, and with different needs, are more likely to come out on top.”

Tom Chapman, a founder of MatchesFashion.com, agreed. It was originally a bricks and mortar boutique; now 95 percent of the British fashion retailer’s sales — which hit 204 million pounds (about $253 million) in 2016 — are online. But Mr. Chapman said boutiques and physical events remained vital “marketing opportunities,” with a more specialized inventory selection and the opportunity for customers to do more than buy merchandise; for example, the MatchesFashion.com “In Residence” series offers talks, film screenings and designer meet-and-greets, along with social media lessons, exercise classes and floristry sessions.

“You need to be accessible to your customer wherever she wants to find you,” Mr. Chapman said, “and we have seen that a sizable proportion want human interaction and access that goes far beyond a credit card transaction.”

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Source:

Virtual Reality: Growth Engine for Fashion?

LONDON, United Kingdom — When Apple’s iPhone first appeared nearly 10 years ago, few could fathom the extent to which it would transform our daily lives. Today, much like mobile before it, a rising technology platform has the potential to create what Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan called “new patterns of human association,” unleashing a tsunami of innovation.

For years, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) — a view of the real world that has been “augmented” by layers of computer-generated content — have been the stuff of science fiction. Both still have their fair share of sceptics. Yet, driven by Moore’s Law and the rapid advancement of processors, screens and other commodity components coming out of the smartphone supply chain, VR and AR are finally poised for mainstream adoption with some calling them nothing less than a “new medium of human experience.”

Back in 2014, early VR pioneer Chris Milk explained the profound power of VR: “You read a book; your brain reads letters printed in ink on paper and transforms that into a world. You watch a movie; you’re seeing imagery inside of a rectangle while you’re sitting inside a room, and your brain translates that into a world. And you connect to this even though you know it’s not real, but because you’re in the habit of suspending disbelief. With virtual reality, you’re essentially hacking the visual-audio system of your brain and feeding it a set of stimuli that’s close enough to the stimuli it expects that it sees it as truth. Instead of suspending your disbelief, you actually have to remind yourself not to believe.”

So what does this mean for fashion?

In the past decade, the fashion industry has driven growth largely by tapping emerging markets, opening hundreds of new stores, particularly in China. But as Chinese demand has cooled, many have sought new growth online, which Luca Solca, head of luxury goods at BNP Exane Paribas, has called “the new China.”

“A number of things have changed in the luxury industry. As you know, the luxury industry was growing 8 percent before — now it is growing 2 to 4 or 5 percent in the next year and it’s going to stay there,” said Olivier Abtan, a partner at the Boston Consulting Group. “Now, in this slow growing market [brands are] considering digital very seriously,” he added.

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For some, virtual and augmented reality technologies offer a powerful new digital growth channel. “When one thinks how engaging VR could be, I imagine that this will indeed be even more important than mobile in the grand scheme of things,” said Solca. “However, it took 20 years for e-commerce to reach an inflection point,” he cautioned. “I’d imagine VR would need a similar amount of time to really shape our everyday experience in the same way as our mobile phones.”

But momentum in the VR/AR space is building quickly. Late last year, HTC Vive announced a venture capital alliance for virtual reality technologies; comprising 27 firms, the initiative has amassed $10 billion dollars of deployable capital. Last October, digital distribution platform Steam reported adding 1,000 new VR users daily, with over 600 VR apps already on the platform. And technology heavyweights are doubling down in virtual and augmented reality. See Facebook’s Oculus Rift to Snapchat’s Spectacles.

In this early stage of development, accurate projections of future market size are difficult. But according to Goldman Sachs, revenue from VR- and AR-related hardware and software is expected to reach from $80 billion to $182 billion by 2025.

Virtual reality and augmented reality could certainly become a powerful channel for brand-consumer interactions, much like mobile and social are today. But current pricing ($600 for an Oculus Rift headset, $800 for an HTC Vive) will slow mainstream consumer adoption for the moment, according to Goldman Sachs.

In the meantime, there are plenty of enterprise opportunities for fashion companies. “The obvious first step in the apparel industry is designing and development tools, and we are working with a lot of brands and a lot of supply chain companies behind the scene on this,” said Ari Bloom, CEO of Avametric, a San Francisco-based startup working in VR/AR. “You think about the ability to have a more digital experiences: the amount of time and money you can save not having to sample thousands of garments to get to three or four hundred!”

Virtual simulations of store environments could also be useful to retailers. “In VR, specifically, you can [test] two different environments — and that is really powerful,” explained Bloom. ShopperMX, a virtual reality platform developed by Chicago-based firm InContext Solutions, allows retailers to experiment with signage, product display and layout without the time and resource commitment required to build and test these elements in the physical world.

Source:

https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/fashion-tech/virtual-reality-growth-engine-for-fashion