10 Businesses About to be Revolutionized by VR in 2022
Here's 10 industries that we think are poised for disruption by immersive imaging tech in 2022.
10 min read
Anyone who's looked online at homes for sale in the past 5 years has come across a virtual tour. This kind of tech makes the buying (or at least qualifying) process easy, without the hassle of visiting a bunch of properties in person, but you may be surprised to learn that immersive imaging is causing a whole lot of disruption in a whole lot of sectors outside of real estate.
Almost any business can benefit from an interactive tour nowadays - here are 10 industries that we expect will be revolutionized by immersive technology in 2022.
The Top 10 Industries That will be Disrupted by Immersive Imaging in 2022
1. Auto Sales (new & used)
With the rise of online auto marketplaces like canadadrives.ca and cargurus.ca, Canadians are turning to their computers and phones more and more - and to showroom floors less and less - to find their next ride.
Immersive imaging is going to completely change the auto sales experience for both buyers and sellers. By creating a digital twin that people can explore online (check out our demo here), buyers can get an 'in person' experience without ever leaving their home. You will be able to quickly get behind the wheel, in the passenger seat, and under the hood of hundreds of different models, properly understand the condition of used vehicles, and finally purchase your new or used car with confidence: 100% online.
2. Resorts & Cruise Ships
When you book a stay at a resort or a trip on a cruise ship, you're looking for more than just a simple accommodation - you're looking for an experience.
Previously, it wasn't until you arrived at your destination or port that you'd find out what your money got you, and all too often this brought you unpleasant surprises. Virtual tours simplify the evaluation process for people trying to determine which provider will suite them best. Hotels with an immersive tour increased their bookings by 14% on average in 2021*, and fewer and fewer people will even consider a place that doesn't have one as this becomes the new way to book.
3. Tour Operators
Historical walks through Gastown, whale watching on the Salish Sea, or a sea plane ride to see Vancouver from above - these are just a few of the endless entertainment options provided by Lower Mainland tour operators. Tourism amounts to an annual revenue of $20b+* in British Columbia alone, and investment into VR-compatible marketing materials (like virtual tours and 360 videos) are about to explode as the industry aims to grab the attention of to tech-savvy travellers.
Check out this 360 image that we captured of the Squamish Chief Viewpoint along the Panorama Trail at the Sea to Sky Gondola. Immersive media garners more attention than traditional 2D images and text, and holds that attention longer.
Transporting the viewer to another place yields powerful results, especially when your goal is to entice a customer to book a spot on your next trip out.
4. Weddings & Elopements
Every day, couples all over the world are taking the next step in their relationship as they say their vows on their special day. Wedding photographers and videographers have been the go-to option to remember the day for decades, and more recently wedding live streaming services have become popular to share the moment with friends and family who are unable to attend.
Immersive imaging is going to make a huge impact on the way people share and remember their weddings starting in 2022.
5G internet coverage allows super high quality videos to be streamed easier than ever, which means your wedding or event can be live-streamed in stunning 8K resolution as an immersive 360 video. Virtual guests can look around as though they are sitting in the front row themselves. After it's streamed, this video can live forever on your hard drives or in the cloud, which means you can take a moment to revisit your special day anytime you like for the rest of your lives.
5. Outdoor Education
Outdoor education is important - it helps thousands of people plan and achieve safer adventures every year by providing training on avalanche safety, crevasse rescue, rock climbing, and more.
Many courses are delivered in a blended fashion, with a mix of online/classroom sessions and practical drills in the field. These options come with pitfalls, though: online/classroom sessions can never give students a first-hand experience; and drills in the field are dictated by the conditions of the day (you can't teach a student how to handle a white out when you're training on a sunny day) and limited by safety and logistics concerns (you can't bring people, especially beginners, into areas with extreme avalanche risk, or to places that take a long time to get to).
Not only does an immersive e-learning experience solve all of these issues, but it also creates totally new opportunities to create an enriched learning environment that dazzles the senses. Oh, you want to bring your students to the top of 6 mountains that are a 3 day hike each, but only have a 4 hour class and $20/student to make it happen? Want to add in a mix of quiz questions and role-playing simulations? Let's do it, by leveraging immersive tech!
6. Made-In-Canada Brands
Canadian-made brands are constantly struggling to compete with their cheaper overseas counterparts, but their status as a Canadian built product is also what sets them apart. Devoted fans are more than happy to pay a premium to support their local companies, purely because they are local, which is what allows these companies to thrive in a market of cheaper imported alternatives.
Why not emphasize this point even further, and bring your leads and customers right into your facility to see how the magic happens? Just like a brewery offering in-person tours to beer lovers, you can open the inner workings of your establishment up to the public with an online immersive experience.
7. Specialized Service Providers
Your business and its services might be hard to explain, that's just the way it is sometimes. "I wish everyone could just come see us do what we do, then they would totally get it" is not an uncommon way to feel.
Specialized services providers can quickly shorten lead times, increase consumer understanding and confidence, and spend more time working and less time selling or educating by incorporating an interactive experience into their sales process. Take a second to look around this project we did for a local soft-washing company to see what we mean: here's the link. You are seamlessly transported to a real job site where you can learn who they are, where they operate, what they do, how they do it, and what you can do to learn more.
8. Furniture Dealers & Manufacturers
Now, this one might seem likes it's coming out of left field, but furniture dealers and manufacturers have the potential to find a ton of value by creating an interactive experience!
Imagine using your computer, mobile phone, or VR headset to walk into a room that has been nicely staged with furniture that is available to buy. Don't like the couch? With one click, you can swap it for a different model. You can fine tune the room to be exactly to your liking and get a great idea of how different pieces will look together, then add everything to your cart and checkout with confidence.
While we haven't seen it yet, we believe that 2022 will be the year that someone sees the potential and brings immersive to the furniture industry. Are you in the furniture business? Viscape 360 has all the technical expertise and equipment that it will take to make this idea come to life - contact us and let's create something game changing.
9. Museums & Cultural Centres
Museums and cultural centres reaping the benefits of immersive imaging has been happening for awhile now, and experienced a huge uptick in 2020/2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we forecast this rapid growth to hit even higher highs in 2022.
Creating an immersive experience of your museum, cultural centre, or historic property brings many possibilities with it: a bunch of new revenue streams, deeper integration with school curriculums, a digital archive of temporary exhibits, and the ability to reach anyone, anywhere, anytime, just to name a few.
10. Specialized Retailers
Much like our section above on specialized service providers, sometimes people just need to see your product(s) in action to see your vision and commit to a purchase!
Sell camping equipment? Let customers explore a campsite and learn what gear will suit them best.
Carry smart home tech? Let customers see how all your products integrate with each other.
Specialize in scuba gear? Bring viewers on a virtual dive to 'test' your products out while offering a memorable experience.
Oh, and in addition to all of the above, adding a 360 photo to your Google My Business profile will increase your search ranking; we offer this to our clients free of charge using the photos we've already captured for their main project.
What this means for you
Just like we saw with the rise of the internet in the early 2000s, as virtual reality hardware becomes the norm and people consume more and more content through VR, immersive technology will be more than just a 'cool to have' thing for Canadian businesses; it will be a must have.
Every single brand has a presence in the physical universe, but those that extend into the metaverse are few and far between (don't know what the metaverse is? take a look at this article). Customers are flocking to the virtual world at mind-boggling rates - and the longer you wait to join them, the faster you are going to get left behind.
As you may have noticed over the course of this post, the possibilities really are limitless. We, for one, can't wait to see what amazing things happen in our industry in 2022.
Contact us today to see how we can help you prepare your business to serve the customers of tomorrow.