Virtually there? Is Zuckerberg changing how we see the world?
It almost seems unfathomable to think that fifteen years ago we weren’t able to log onto a computer and find out anybody’s name, age, friends, where they live, their likes, interests and photos of them.
Mark Zuckerberg has recently developed Facebook even more, by allowing users to click emotion emojis to convey further how they felt about each other’s posts and it seems for him, this is just the beginning.
Technology has evolved at an expediential rate over the years. 3G meant we could access anything, from anywhere. The internet is a library of choice at our fingertips. We didn’t mind waiting for an image to not be pixelated or for a file to upload. We didn’t mind because we didn’t know any better. 4G changed all that. Uploading images, videos, music, instant messaging, and video messaging (rather than speaking directly on the phone) became the norm and all instantaneously – patience becoming a thing of the past. An app a day seemed to keep the digital doctor away.
Brands are constantly evolving and shifting to be in line with these technological advancements. Delivering their message to ensure their product or service is seen at the right time, by the right people in the right place. That place of course, being two dimensional.
In February, at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Spain, Zuckerberg shared his plans to bring social reality into a more formulated virtual space. Facebook’s acquirement of tech company Oculus enabling them to do so. Zuckerberg explaining Oculus to be a company that builds ‘virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away’. The promise being, that when one wears this headset you are transformed to front row seats at a sports match, a classroom with the top lecturers in the world, or even being at the heart of a music concert.
The aim being for this piece of tech to be a staple of everyday day life. But what does this mean for brands and how can they utilise this new technology to connect even further with their target demographics? Anthony Batt, co-founder of virtual reality firm Wevr says: “You can see brands creating room-scale simulations where consumers will interact with branded content. For example, Airbnb could create sims for real rental properties so users could experience what it would feel like to stay there.
However, due to the nature of an unforgiving audience that have grown up alongside technological advances will expect this reality to be just that – real. They will likely be much less forgiving over perhaps a badly made TV advert than that of being transported to an imperfect and unrealistic virtual world.
How will this play in the travel industry? Perhaps using virtual reality to show its audience a little piece of paradise and the great holiday they can experience with that company.
Virtual reality will hopefully be able to allow brands to amplify their business on a mass scale. Allowing advertisers to target people at the right time, to the right people and in a new right virtual reality) place. With Zuckerberg’s technology set to take momentum in 2020 when 5G (50 times faster than 4G will be widely available) we must re-learn to be patient and wait and see.