Today I suffered my (hopefully last, probably not), VR related injury. It happened at a retail store on 60th and Madison Ave, New York, which upon Googling, appears to be Tods, though in Youvisit is a high end retailer.
I may form a bruise on my arm because I bumped into a wall attempting to get closer to some watches. It was frustrating; I would physically move forward and nothing would happen, I instinctively would reach out and touch, with no gratification. Most importantly, I wanted to do these things because I wanted to buy.
I was skeptical of the application of VR for retail, thinking it should be used for more productive purposes, but after seeing the vivid scenes of the store, take that thought back completely. Though the experience was missing things- ability to touch, sounds of the store, a friendly person to assist you, and even that department store smell (maybe in the future there will be scent cartridges, like ink, that you can insert into the viewer!), I can see how this can be so powerful and possibly addicting. I'm not much for gaming, but for a woman, sure, I'll fall into the stereotype, I do like to shop and could get addicted to this!
My favorite department store is Nordstroms; I live in the Philippines right now. I miss it there. I used to frequent their stores in Downtown Seattle, Bellevue, and Union Square. What if I could just go there right now? Buy all these things? YES PLEASE! Not sure how they'll get their branded bottled water to me though. Maybe with the help of a 3D printer that's in my fridge, haha.
But I digress, let's review the app:
The navigation is like a spaceship dashboard. Looks pretty cool. You do all the choosing inside the headset already instead of before, like with Vrse.
There are so many different categories to choose from: Real Estate, Travel, Restaurant, Most Popular, Live Events, College, Hotel, Business, Venue, Other (porn? haha just kidding; wonder how they'll age verify that- hey your eyes are the size of a 12 year old, access denied!)
The first one I chose was travel. I went to the Lourve in Paris, which I'd like to say I picked because I've been there, which is true, but in reality I picked it because the cursor was moving too quickly and accidentally ended up there.
The first thing that came out of my mouth was *oly *uck. Really, looking around everything was just like it. Even the prototypical tourists. The sounds were there! But then the app kind of hung. I was having a hard time getting out, but eventually was able to.
I like this app a lot but I think it might be better if it were more focused; same can be said of Vrse. I don't see myself having a burning desire to open the app the way I felt about 2048 or Facebook. Is that what we should aim for with VR? Remains to be seen.
VR & AR are for everyone.