"I've seen grown adults laugh uncontrollably, quiver in fear or moved to outward tears within minutes of a compelling, high impact experienced in VR" (Vincent McAtamney)
The enormous power this affords to digital marketeers, brand consultants, trainers and therapists amongst others is really quite an incredible thing. But, am I just 'over egging' this with my own personal passion? Lets explore three ways VR in particular is influencing human behaviour and is used by brains much greater than my own...
1: Task & Scenario Based Training
Perhaps that the most powerful aspect of VR is its ability to create highly realistic, immersive experiences that can alter our perception of reality, particularly its ability to simulate real-world environments and scenarios. Most commonly this is used for training and education, allowing individuals to practice and learn new skills in a safe, controlled environment
Its commonplace to simulate dangerous or difficult-to-access environments, perhaps emergency scenarios, allowing first responders and other professionals to receive training without putting themselves or others in harm's way. Trainers are able also to create changing scenarios ad-hoc and then 'replay' the trainees performance for analysis
2: Experiential Marketing
Another way that VR can impact customer behavior is through its ability to create powerful emotional experiences, interactive stories and games eliciting strong emotional responses from users
This is effectively used by the most forward thinking brands for entertainment and marketing, building a community following and for standing heads out amongst the crowd
What is your 'story'? 'Why will your product change your customers lives? Don't tell... 'show' - VR is an incredible tool for doing so
3: Study and Question Human Behavior With its ability to recreate such compelling and realistic scenarios VR is sometimes used to study human behavior in a controlled setting allowing researchers to explore questions that would be difficult, perhaps impossible to study in the real world. Eye tracking, haptics and wearable tech also compliment this field and content used to challenge users beliefs, question ethics, motives and desires are speeding up developments in the understanding of human frailties and conditions and also for educational and therapeutic purposes, such as helping individuals overcome psychological conditions or phobias
Overall, the enormous power of VR technology is used to impact human behavior in many ways from training and education, entertainment and therapy, to research and experimentation. As the technology continues to evolve and improve, expect to see an increasing number of applications and use cases for VR in the future and importantly for this technology to reach a wider organisational use case is it becomes ever more affordable.
The importance of choosing the right technology consultant partners of course is vital and their knowledge of technology ethics and business acumen the key to success
Vincent McAtamney | Founder at VINTEC Immersive
Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, UK