Oculus Connect 4 was a huge success for the FlowFound team. We had a few great takeaways around how companies like Oculus and Facebook’s advancement with virtual reality will benefit both automotive dealerships and their manufacturers.
Day 1 kicked off with Mark Zuckerberg taking the stage with the bold vision of “1 billion people in VR.” More importantly, he focused on the impact that virtual reality can have; Have you ever sat in traffic and thought, “is this the best reality that we can get?”
Conversely, do people sit at an automotive dealership and think, “Is this the best that car buying can get?”
Immersive Buying Experience
He went on to mention that Audi is rolling out hundreds of virtual reality kiosks that enable customers to build their dream vehicle. Later in the conference, Marcus Kuehne (Immersive Technologies Lead for Audi) admitted that it was a four year old initiative that has around 20-30 people working on it.
It was interesting to see how Cadillac and Audi appear to be delivering experiences that focus on OEM delivery vs dealership (as dealers cannot easily sell a car they don’t have).
Zerolight delivered some interesting automotive experiences focused on the simulation side but mentioned demand and need on the content creation side.
Facebook is releasing some cool initiatives including Facebook Spaces (not new) and 3D objects within newsfeed (definitely new). Imagine being able to share a vehicle in 3D to your family and friends, replacing the standard 2D image you take post-sale!
Alternatively, your store can provide a shareable vehicle branded with your message at a minimum to free investment.
User Interaction Across Devices
My greatest takeaways were integrating user interaction while also leveraging technology to deliver across devices (vs assuming someone has a specific device). It will implement major performance efficiencies with new ways of delivering video and build storytelling elements based on user input.
The Big Reveal
There will be two new devices that Oculus plans on releasing: Oculus Go (Samsung Gear competitor) and Oculus Santa Cruz. Personally I’m more excited about their upgrades on the higher end but getting enough devices into homes at an affordable price is an important step toward mass consumption/adoption.
Audi admitted that most people only use about 5-10 minutes of virtual reality, but when combined with Nielsen’s research showing a 68 percent improvement in the likelihood to make a purchase after only 2 minutes is a compelling stat for us in auto!
Are you excited or nervous about VR’s place in automotive? I want to hear from you. Leave your notes down below.