We all are living in a world where technology has taken up almost everything around us. Now think about a world that is created and regulated by technology, the world of an additional dimension. Virtual reality(VR) applications are generally for entertainment, education and business. Other distinct types of VR-style technology include augmented reality and mixed reality sometimes referred to as extended reality or XR. In short, VR is an artificial realm made possible by advanced technologies. The use of computer modelling and simulation enables a person to interact with an artificial three-dimensional (3-D) visual or another sensory environment. Virtual reality places the user inside a three-dimensional experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed in and interact with 3D worlds.
Since VR can bring a fake world and give the experience of a mythical world to its audience, the educational, entertainment and business sectors can benefit from the same. A technically connected life will make everything easy if it is used wisely. Three types of Virtual al Realities are present now. All three types of VR, from non-immersive, semi-immersive, fully immersive or a mixture of them, are also referred to as extended reality (XR). Three types of virtual reality experiences provide different levels of computer-generated simulation.
Variants in virtual Reality
The three main categories of virtual reality are:
Non-immersive Virtual Reality, semi-immersive Virtual Reality and fully immersive Virtual Reality.
Non-Immersive Virtual Reality:
This classification is often overlooked as VR simply because it’s so popular. Non-immersive VR technology features a computer-generated virtual environment where the user simultaneously remains aware and controlled by their physical environment. Video games are a prime example of non-immersive VR.
Semi-immersive virtual experiences:
This category provides users with a partially virtual environment. It will still give users the perception of being in a different reality when they focus on the digital image, but also allows users to remain connected to their physical surroundings. Semi-immersive technology provides realism through 3D graphics, a term known as vertical reality depth. More detailed graphics result in a more immersive feeling. This category of VR is used often for educational or training purposes and relies on high-resolution displays, powerful computers, projectors or hard simulators that partially replicate the design and functionality of functional real-world mechanisms.
This sector gives users the most realistic simulation experience, complete with sight and sound. To experience and interact with fully-immersive virtual reality, the user needs the proper VR glasses or a head mount display (HMD). VR headsets provide high-resolution content with a wide field of view. The display typically splits between the user’s eyes, creating a stereoscopic 3D effect, and combines with an input track to establish an immersive, believable experience. This type of VR has been commonly adopted for gaming and other entertainment purposes, but usage in other sectors, namely education, is increasing now as well. The possibilities for VR usage are endless.
Differences between Augmented Reality and Virtual l Reality
VR replaces the world around you with a virtual environment. Augmented reality adds virtual objects to the real world. Augmented reality is a useful tool for eCommerce companies that sell products to augment the home. Online retailers can leverage AR to allow consumers to see how a product will fit into their requirements virtually. One of the most significant differences between AR and VR is accessibility. Users need dedicated hardware to surround themselves with virtual reality, but they can take advantage of augmented reality with the camera on a smartphone or tablet—no special equipment is needed. AR doesn’t offer the same immersive experience as VR. You can’t simulate touch and feel in AR the way you can in VR. But both technologies have their uses in eCommerce.
Role of Virtual Reality in E-commerce
Virtual reality refers to an immersive visual environment. It can refer to 360-degree videos, photos or product demos; or the more complex “headset” VR enabled by devices like the HTC Vive or Oculus Quest. For retailers, the use cases typically either augment or innovate on in-store experiences or digitally recreate the benefits of shopping in person. Virtual reality allows retailers to bridge the gap between physical and online stores. VR and AR are such useful sales tools that, in this case, brick-and-mortar stores are finding ways to adapt the tech for their uses.
Here are some of the ways that augmented reality and virtual reality are helping online retailers create exciting virtual shopping experiences—and how your business can benefit too.
Users can explore virtual showrooms:
To add a new level of intrigue to the online shopping experience, retailers can look to build virtual showrooms or virtual stores. These platforms offer customers a virtual experience which is just about as close to heading out to a physical store as you can get from the comfort of your own home.
Customers can virtually visualize products:
Giving consumers the chance to visualize how a product would look before they purchase it is the very “try before you buy” novelty that many companies are trying to tap into. Rather than focusing on VR, technology companies are also delved into the realms of AR. These forms of virtual visualization provide a new level of interaction for customers. Instead of merely reading
the product description and dimensions in a bid to understand how it will physically look, they can press a button and see it for themselves.
Feel the texture and shape of products with haptic hardware:
Something else that makes going to a physical store more attractive for some people is the tactile nature of shopping. Being able to squeeze, pick up and flip a product to get a proper look at it gives shoppers the confidence to buy. At the moment this element is missing from online shopping. Haptic technology refers to hardware that creates a sense of touch through vibrations, forces, resistance, and motions. It’s a technology that allows computers to communicate kinesthetically, creating the ability for VR users to touch, feel and manipulate 3D objects.
So, when haptic hardware is combined with mixed reality headsets, shoppers will be able to walk around a virtual store and pick up objects. Not only that, but they will be able to feel the shape, texture, and weight of a virtual product.
For any business, getting products out in the market is critical. However, selling products is as important as engaging customers in new forms of marketing or advertising techniques. Several e-commerce giants and small startups are engaging customers through virtual experiences.
The development of virtual reality (VR), together with other technological innovations will shape the future of e-retailing. Virtual Reality is part of a growing number of technologies that help solve the fundamental challenge in eCommerce: recreating the physical and emotional feeling of brick-and-mortar online. It is convinced that the universal aims of eCommerce can be met if VR becomes the norm for online shopping experiences. Immersive VR shopping has the potential to help reduce cart abandonment, improve customer retention, boost brand awareness, and ultimately drive more sales.