Virtual reality experiences change the way you try before you buy – almost anything.
That’s especially important when you want to assure yourself of the quality you’ll receive in return for your hard-earned money. Whether you’re plunking down a couple of twenties, or tens of thousands of dollars, you should know what to expect for your purchase.
What if you could experience driving a car without ever sitting behind the wheel, buckling yourself in, or pressing the accelerator?
How would you like to try on travel experiences before committing all your vacation time to a trip somewhere?
You can do that, too.
Take a test drive
Audi already is making “try before you buy” a reality. The auto manufacturer has launched VR test drives in dealerships in Germany, Spain, and the UK. They plan to expand into additional markets around the world.
The technology is a sales tool designed to assist consumers in selecting the model and vehicle options most suited to their needs. Potential customers can even select exterior colors and interior designs. The virtual reality experience includes viewing the auto from a variety of perspectives and in different lights.
Consumers wanting to know how the car is assembled can observe the engine compartment and even the structure of vehicle as it was assembled. In fact, they can observe the entire assembly process.
Perhaps the best part of the experience is the drive itself. With the Audi virtual reality experience, you’re no longer stuck driving the roads nearest your dealership. Drive your Audi in a variety of weather and light conditions or try your turn behind the wheel at the Le Mans.
In addition, Korean automobile manufacturer Kia is following Audi’s lead by offering Stinger test drives in VR. The virtual reality experiences in 4D include driving Big Sur, and the south of France.
Up, up, and away
Is air travel your thing? Not sure you’re up to take-offs and landings? Or do you love the experience of going to new destination?
You can satisfy your travel bug urges with VR simulations.
For example, First Airlines, based out of Tokyo, now offers the first virtual reality experiences in the air. If you’re in Ikebukuro, one of the districts in Tokyo, make your way to the First Airlines terminal. Select a flight to the travel destination of your choice: New York, Paris, Hawaii, and more. These are dinners flights, so you’ll enjoy a meal reflecting the local cuisine. There’s even a “lunch flight” to California.
Virtual reality experiences replicate the sounds and sensations of take off, in-flight travel, and landing. Passengers reserve their seats in either business ($45 USD) or first class ($55 USD).
Royal Caribbean International is experimenting with something similar for its cruise lines, both for cruise experiences and more specific activities, like the Sky Pad Virtual Reality Trampoline.
Bespoke virtual reality experiences
For some people, unique experiences are everything. They seek out the kinds of special events that create memories to last a lifetime.
For them, customization is a requirement. That’s why bespoke virtual reality experiences are becoming popular. Museums recreate artist’s studios and writer’s nooks where virtual travelers can pick up a paintbrush or tap a typewriter key. The experience can create a connection between the artist’s time period and the admirer. Consumer with an emotional connection to the arts are more likely to support the arts.
Also, design firms like Wood Bagot in New York City offer clients an opportunity to see their construction projects go from rendering to final product, including client-selected interior design features.
Virtual reality experiences are about the options available. They provide consumers with a sensory connection to a product. VR simulations make that connection emotional or physical.
They give consumers the experience needed to make good purchasing decisions.