Virtual Reality is making itself felt on the trade show floor
We have been hearing for a while how Virtual Reality is about to impact our industry. Two recent examples show that it is finally off the Tomorrow’s World storyboard and on the trade show floor and into the market beginning to earn its commercial reality.
Meet Telford & Shropshire brought in their VR partner, a local consultancy called Woote, to showcase at International Confex how they had become the first destination marketing organisation in the UK to use VR technology as part of its destination marketing.
Woote director Tim Luft told CN that Virtual Reality was here to stay,” and 2016 is the year we’re going to see it”.
Woote explained how his company had worked with the destination to create a journey for visitors to the show to experience Telford and its attractions via the Occulus Rift VR headset.
CN was able to repeat a journey completed in the flesh last year, but this time all from a seat on the Telford Confex stand. In just over two minutes, CN flew through the Telford International Centre, Blists Hill and Ironbridge, as well across the new shopping centre development near the TIC.
Woote said VR technology would revolutionise the destination marketing industry.
Smart glasses, he said, would be the biggest wearable technology product in the UK this year.
The Telford company is also trialling its technology for use in Abu Dhabi and is hopeful of being one of the region’s technology export successes.
And experiencial agency TRO took its VR technology to another trade show, Retail Design Expo, 9-10 March, where launched ‘TRO Retail’ (troretail.com) a sub-division of the business.
The TRO team showcased virtual reality and eye tracking technology.
The technologies were set within TRO’s stand, which was designed and produced to look like a sweet shop.
Geoffrey the ‘emotion tracking’ Gummy Bear, captured 2,343 minutes of smiles from visitors across the two days.
It was the first time the agency had represented itself at a trade show and TRO’s Australian-based head of creative technology Craig McKay spent a month in the UK with his global creative technology team helping to support the project and the launch of TRO Retail.
He said: “As a business we are committed to spotting trends and emerging technologies that can support the experiences we create in retail as well as in any live environment. Our ultimate objective is to get more people engaging with, and sharing, the experiences we create – and it is exciting to see how creative technologies are helping us to achieve this.”