Virtual Reality Is Changing Face Of UAE Realty
Virtual Reality (VR) is an interactive computer-generated experience within a simulated experience which incorporates a visual and auditory experience that shuts down the physical world completely. Augmented Reality (AR), on the other hand, is the integration of audio and visual elements with the user’s environment in real time by mostly using the camera on a smartphone. These are not mere entertainment technologies. They have started to take a distinct form when it comes to the public sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has recently enlisted hardware provider DAQRI to develop smart glasses and helmets for engineers through AR software.
According to experts, there is a “definite” growth and interest in the market for VR and AR, but the public sector has been at the forefront of driving that growth.
Experts say that the VR experience is much more believable and intense at Ghost-busters-themed The Void which moved from The Beach to Hub Zero at City Walk in Dubai. Along with visual and auditory experience, it incorporates smell experience or olfactory senses as well.
As an introduction to immersive technology, VR entertainment is one of the first experiences for users. In fact, it was reported that location-based entertainment industries were found to be the most receptive for fully interactive VR entertainment attractions when VR Studios, a US firm, set shop at Hub Zero. According to experts, in order to comprehensively consider VR technologies for reducing costs, shortening time to the market, improving profits, competitiveness and customer satisfaction, the commercial enterprises will take time.
Meanwhile, location-based entertainment services are a key element that are ushering in the users or guests to something unique that they cannot experience at their homes. It is also an experience in itself for customers, considering that at the minimal cost, users can play three or four different media which is less than charging for a full attraction. It is also more for less for customers in totality.
It is to be highlighted that though location-based entertainment options are finding a space, VR technologies are also finding their niche and creating traction in the public and business sectors as has been reflected through numerous AR and VR products which lay digital images over the user’s environment.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), in Africa and Middle East, the market for VR and AR technologies is expected to rise from $181.59 million in 2017 to $6 billion in 2020.
Though there are multiple applications of VR for business, the potential in entertainment, real estate and gaming seem the most promising along with retail, tourism and education. This can be seen in consumer brands such as Etihad and Emirates which have started with 360 VR products that allows users to take an AR or VR tour of its properties by using Google Cardboard goggles and their smartphones. Even furniture giant IKEA launched VR-pop up stores in Jordan, Kuwait and Morocco for inculcate a VR experience for customers.
Owing to affordable VR equipment and its features, consumer awareness has increased. But, this has to be supplemented by quality content in the form of strong storytelling.