• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

7 seriously innovative ways brands are using VR

Aside from games and movies, what else is possible with virtual reality? Well, there are actually quite a few innovative and mind-blowing ways we’re seeing VR being used.

Between vehicle test drives and public speaking sims, these are some of the more notable applications of the technology by brands.

Buying tickets? Check the view first!

The USA’s StubHub came up with a rather smart idea for VR, using it to show event attendees what their seat will look like.

The company used it for tickets to an NBA event, giving customers a full 360 degree view of the arena with the aid of Gear VR or Google Cardboard.

Fellow ticket website Rukkus is taking this a step further by supporting all NBA and NHL arenas. How long until Computicket implements this?

Go for a test drive

We’ve seen virtual showrooms before, but how about a virtual test drive? That’s what Volvo delivered for its XC90 car.

The company’s VR experience takes users on a journey through a scenic locale, showing off the car’s interior in the process.

Users are still able to experience the test drive on the Play Store via the Volvo Reality app.

How about a distracted driving experience?

Toyota used the Oculus Rift VR headset to great effect with its distracted driving simulator last year, showing you the consequences of answering that call.

The company’s TeenDrive365 experience featured ringing smartphones, noisy friends in the backseat and traffic noise in an attempt to take your eyes off the road.

“Run” the Comrades Marathon

An effort by Old Mutual allowed people to don VR headsets to get a taste of the gruelling Comrades Marathon, complete with advice from ultra-marathon legend Bruce Fordyce.

The initiative, which took place in May 2015, gave users the chance to experience five of the ultra-marathon’s infamous hills, using an Oculus Rift for each hill.

 

VR to enhance journalism

Why should you merely read about the Syrian conflict or watch a video when you can virtually experience the news instead? That’s what Emblematic Group is touting with its “immersion journalism” approach.

The company has crafted several VR scenes for current affairs, including an experience for Trayvon Martin’s shooting and an experience that covers life in war-torn Syria. It makes for a rather thought-provoking and potentially visceral take on hard news, taking you through the scene of the story as well as pivotal moments.

Afraid of public speaking?

Public speaking is a nightmare for many people, but Bloomberg has its own internal solution to the problem in the form of a VR simulator.

Believe it or not, but the simulator warns you which side of the crowd you’re paying more attention to. In fact, the team is also looking at warning you when you say “um” and “er…” too many times.

Want to try out something similar? Then check out the Public Speaking Sim app.

This is lag in real life

Swedish ISP Umeå Energi demonstrated what lag would be like in the real world, showing two people playing ping pong with the Oculus Rift.

The participants wore the headsets while playing a real game of ping pong, but things quickly went awry when their view lagged, resulting in delayed reactions by the participants.

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More