The rise of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) has led to a new marketing opportunity—the metaverse. The metaverse is a virtual world that includes all the AR and VR experiences created by a business or individual.
While the metaverse offers a number of advantages for businesses, there are also some potential disadvantages that should be considered. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using the metaverse for business applications and marketing. We’ll also compare the metaverse to the traditional web and discuss how companies can use both to their advantage.
AR/VR and WebXR for Business and Marketing
There’s no doubt that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are changing the landscapes of business and marketing. These immersive technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way businesses interact with their customers and promote their products and services.
However, there’s still some debate about the best way to use AR and VR for business and marketing. In this article, we'll explore some approaches to help you decide which strategy is right for your business.
The Future of VR in Business
There are many benefits to using AR and VR as part of your business strategy. Businesses can use AR and VR to build relationships with their customers and create a community around their company in several ways. Firstly, it allows your company to provide custom experiences that are tailored to your brand. Secondly, your business can use AR and VR to gather data about your customers and use that information to improve your marketing strategies.
Using VR benefits many industries thanks to its user engagement and awareness capabilities. This allows VR to be an excellent and convenient vehicle for training, conferencing, communication, and much more.
Here are some of the benefits and potential uses of VR:
Practical training: VR is a safe way to simulate dangerous situations for training purposes. Firefighters, pilots, astronauts, police officers, and other officials can learn how to do their jobs in a controlled environment before going into the field. These immersive experiences also narrow down timeframes, so trainees can enter the profession and start working more quickly.
Engagement and connection: VR is an engaging and entertaining experience for its users, making any interaction more fun and memorable.
Convenient conferences: Virtual meetings save time and money, especially for international or large teams, yet they allow companies to maintain a sense of collegiality.
Convenient: Shopper’s remorse will become a thing of the past with the help of VR. Now, customers can use virtual reality to furnish their homes, test-drive cars, try on wedding bands, and much more without leaving home, leading to fewer returns and increased customer satisfaction.
Today’s customers are interested in innovation. Businesses can set themselves apart by using a mix of technologies, mainly through VR and AR applications. This is a win-win because these technologies can also serve as marketing and advertising tools, allowing organizations to bridge the gap between experience and action. In this way, VR changes the dynamic between consumers and brands to benefit both sides.
Challenges of Virtual Reality
Despite the appeal of increased engagement, VR also has some disadvantages, including technical issues, addictiveness, loss of human connection, and higher costs. It’s possible to mitigate some problems, but others are a fixed part of the VR experience that cannot be avoided.
Here are some of the potential disadvantages of using VR:
Addiction: Some people become addicted to the VR experience in gaming and social media applications. People can assume different identities using VR, which can cause social, psychological, and biological issues.
Health problems: Extensive use of VR can cause a loss of spatial awareness, nausea, dizziness, and disorientation, which is also known as simulator sickness.
Screen door effect: When you use a headset, the display is within inches of your eyes. That means you can see pixels and the spaces between them, no matter how excellent the display resolution may be. This mesh-like viewing effect can irritate some users, especially with prolonged periods of use. Newer headsets have alleviated but not eliminated this issue.
Loss of human connection: When you rely on virtual connections rather than real-life social interactions, it can lead to problems. Relying too heavily on VR can even lead to disassociation or depression in some cases.
Training doesn’t always translate in the real world: People trained in virtual reality may do well in the app or platform but not perform as well in real-world situations.
Costly: It can be expensive and time-consuming to build a virtual space from scratch. In addition, the demand to maintain attractive experiences and continuously update efforts to keep abreast of fast-moving technology trends and standards can also be time-consuming and costly.
What about WebXR?
A key component of the metaverse at a hardware or software level is the WebXR API. WebXR API is a group of standards that supports the rendering of 3D scenes in AR or VR on various kinds of web-connected devices. Those “various kinds of web-connected devices” can be any kind of hardware, from high-end AR/VR devices like the Oculus or Microsoft HoloLens to less immersive but easier-to-engage devices like tablets and smartphones.
The WebXR API facilitates cross-platform programming, as it parses the different kinds of user input controls of various devices (such as the touch controls on a smartphone, mouse movements on a computer, hand recognition on Oculus, etc.) and their output display capabilities (flat screens, immersive 3D, etc.) to create unified handlers for programmers. That way, the same source code can run correctly on different devices to render the same AR or VR experiences for everyone regardless of their device.
What Are the Benefits of Using WebXR?
There are numerous benefits to using WebXR. Firstly, it allows businesses to reach a large audience with relatively little effort. Secondly, WebXR can help to leverage existing infrastructure and platforms to reduce costs. Thirdly, businesses can take advantage of the latest technology trends without having to build everything from scratch.
AR/VR or WebXR?
There’s no clear answer as to which is better for your business—the metaverse or WebXR. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it depends on the specific needs and goals of your business when it comes to what option is best for you.
WebXR is becoming more popular, but to be honest, it’s a struggle to apply it to real-world situations. Meanwhile, the metaverse is still a work in progress; in fact, it has just begun. As more developers work on it, hardware will improve, costs will go down, and more money will be invested into developing content. Because of this, we’ll surely see more and more people using VR in daily activities rather than just as a source of curiosity or entertainment.
AR/VR Technologies are Changing the Landscape of Business and Marketing
These immersive technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way businesses interact with their customers and promote their products and services. However, there’s still some debate about the best way businesses should use AR and VR for marketing. One camp believes that businesses should focus on building their own metaverse—a virtual world that is owned and controlled by the business itself. The other camp believes that businesses should focus on marketing on existing WebVR platforms. So, what’s the right approach? In this article, we’ve explored the pros and cons of both approaches and have hopefully helped you to decide which is right for your business.
If you’re looking for more information, feel free to contact us for more insights on how to use VR, AR, and WebXR in your business and brand marketing.
Olívia IgnacioI am passionate about marketing and believe that, through creativity, leadership, and the permanent search for excellence, I can contribute to a better world.