What are the possibilities of virtual reality as a creative tool?
To be successful in the future, companies and brands need to engage beyond the transaction and beyond the screen — engage through empathy created and delivered via a fuller sensory experience.
Given investment into virtual reality technology by companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Adobe, the burgeoning question for digital marketers is when is the tipping point for enterprises to start investing? Already we are starting to see the interfaces for VR experiences extending beyond screens into immersive contexts.
The visionary marketer already understands they need to have one eye on what is ‘next’ and that businesses must evolve to become experience businesses. Technology is morphing at a rapid rate and is tightly intertwined with data analytics.
As augmented reality and virtual reality technologies are thrashed about more, new questions are starting to be raised for digital marketers such as:
• How will creatives work to create experiences in a non-flat screen space?
• How will we deliver such experiences?
• What is the impact – emotional and commercial – that these experiences can generate?
• Is VR ready for mainstream? How do we make it real – beyond a technology?
These questions reflect what a complex road is ahead to navigate. I am finding experiments such as Project Dali, which has been launched at Adobe’s studio at the Minnesota Street Project, useful to get a firmer grasp on the course ahead.
Project Dali is an immersive drawing experience in the virtual world. Artists use custom brushes to create, and move around their creations – in three dimensions – they can literally walk through their own paintings.
Artists mix analog and digital for a completely unique creative process for generating experiences. Project Dali goes far beyond other VR art tools that are currently on the market in part because of the research behind it with real artists in real art studios.
While Project Dali is still in its early days, the vision is to use it’s findings to connect to current Adobe technologies in the Creative Cloud and mobile apps families.
Going with the flow
Experimental art such as Project Dali reiterates that a brand’s story should come first and technology second. It helps us examine how empathy can be created and brand engagement strengthened through interactive experiences in digital environments and virtual and augmented realities.
The challenges raised for digital marketers is how to solve narrative business problems through the application of experimental creative solutions. How can businesses use VR to deliver cutting-edge, scalable augmented reality experiences that result in breakthrough brand engagement?
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