Consumers and Virtual Reality

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By Summer Reyes

The consumer shopping experience has changed in the years since credit cards and shopping malls were introduced. Now, people can do their shopping online, and if we do just so happen to be in the store we don’t even need to get our credit cards anymore because all we have to do to pay is hold up our iPhones. Apple Pay only just came out in October 2014, and while most small business and consumers haven’t even had time to adopt Apple Pay, there is yet another technological advancement in shopping underway- this time in the field of virtual reality. A start up called Trillenium is releasing virtual shopping spectacles where shoppers can visit virtual stores and have a real life shopping experience at any time and in any place, without actually being in the store. So what ‘s the difference between that and online shopping? Unlike the current online shopping experience that’s limited by search boxes and static pictures, virtual reality allows shoppers to walk through the stores, look at products from different angles, and socialize with friends online. This development in e-commerce is part of a trend of virtual reality headsets being aimed toward the consumer market, such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Google’s Cardboard for gaming. However, virtual reality technology still remains in its early stages, and Trillenium won’t release the trailer for its demo until the end of the year. Brands like Ikea have capitalized on augmented reality like this in the past. In 2014 Ikea created an app that allowed people to scan pages of their catalogs and virtually place furniture in their homes to see how it would look. Unlike Ikea’s free mobile app, Occulis Rift runs along the lines of $1,500. So while technology that allows you to virtually tour the store sounds cool, will it be worth the price?

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism