The Current State of Social and VR: A Digital Hollywood Recap

Last week, Matt Johnson spoke at Digital Hollywood. During the Social Media Meets Augmented and Virtual Reality Panel, the panelists touched upon social media and VR integration, current use cases for the technology and what companies can do now to best take advantage of social AR and VR.


Use case #1: social engagement

Virtual reality isn’t entirely social. It can be, but there are challenges that impede its progress. For example, people don’t invite friends over to experience VR (unless they want to put on a headset and have their friends watch them flail around). There are multiplayer experiences to attain, but the experience is generally more isolating than social.

The socialization of VR will come from events that are already social in nature, like sports. Friends near and far can purchase virtual seats to a real game and sit next to each other in the stadium. These types of experiences are already social in nature, making the assimilation of the technology that much more smooth and easy to adapt.

Johnson made a point during the panel that brands need to deliver these experiences to the consumer in order for them to be interested in adopting them. With Jim Beam, the brand took the remote experience of tasting and learning about their product and translated it into a digital medium. People socialize exclusive brand experiences like Jim Beam, so distribution isn’t the problem. However, brands need to cater to the fact that this isn’t an everyday tool. They should accommodate how the technology currently is instead of trying to mold it to fit their needs.


Use case #2: multitasking

Multitasking is the perfect entry-level task for augmented reality. With Google Glass and other wearable technologies, users can continue tasks like cooking, exercising, inventory and more hands-free while they pull up helpful data on their devices. There are even motorcycle helmets with transparent overlay for directions and visualization of what is going on all around the driver.

Relating back to the social side of VR and AR, streaming services like Netflix are easily adaptable to the technology. Users can view the same TV shows or movies over their headset devices and have a dialogue with a near or far friend as they watch along.


Use case #3: industry enhancement

Even though consumer social VR and AR will be slow to adopt, brands can build use cases for collaboration on the enterprise level. Training, simulations and other solutions provide good footing for VR and AR. A lot of companies are already doing accomplishing a lot regarding polished hands-on content, so it is a matter of time before the technology expands into a wider enterprise market.


Predictions and suggestions on social AR and VR

Although there are a lot of use cases for the current state of AR and VR, panelists provided insights on their predictions and suggestions for companies out there wanting to incorporate this technology into their products and practices:

  • There are challenges to solve before consumers embrace this technology. Brands that adapt to consumer’s education and the current state of the technology will succeed.
  • No one buys a console with no games and VR headsets are no different. Content like sports, games, videos and real-time engagement will compel consumers and drive engagement in the long run.
  • There is too much innovation involved in VR and AR for it not to take off. Just use the technology for what it is good at and don’t try to mold it into something it is not. There are good opportunities for companies, so look at the technology for what it is and decide if it is worth investing in now.


If you’re interested in how virtual reality can impact your brand, contact us. We look forward to starting a conversation with your company.

To view additional insights from Digital Hollywood, check out the Social Media Meets Augmented and Virtual Reality panel Matt Johnson participated in.


Published by Bottle Rocket in Strategy and Insights