Virtual Reality comes of age
This might be the year that Virtual Reality finally kicks off. Those of you who are of a similar age to me will remember the hype surrounding VR in the 90s. Back then, however, we were talking about hugely blocky experiences that simply didn't catch on.
Fast forward 20 years and suddenly there are a number of products available, or launching soon. Sony will release the PlayStation VR, the Oculus Rift ships shortly. The technology in these varies massively: Google Cardboard is, as the name suggests, a cheap cardboard viewer you simply place your smartphone into. At the other end, units track eye movement and, in the case of the HTC Vive, lasers mounted in a room track movement.
This is starting to gain traction. Virtually Dead, recently run in London, provided an immersive experience mixing a VR headset with live actors in a zombie themed experience. Thorpe Park open its Derren Brown ghost train ride in May, also incorporating VR headsets. Market research usage might be some way off but, if consumers take to it, it could revolutionise the way it's run in the future!
Research Director, Discovery
This article was first published in InBrief magazine, May 2016
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2016