Virtual reality could have the potential to revive failing high street stores, but will only be a small piece of the puzzle, according the CEO of an award-winning design and development agency.
Manchester-based Dreamr works with brands to create cutting-edge iPhone and Android apps for smartphones, TV, and the web.
The tech firm is positioning itself ahead of the curve when it comes to VR and AR, highlighting them as huge growth areas in gaming, immersive construction, exploring prototype products or architecture that doesn’t yet exist.
Mylo Kaye, CEO and co-founder of Dreamr, explained: “The use of VR will gain huge commercial traction in 2017.
“The technology can be applied to traditional buying experiences like purchasing a holiday, in ways people won’t have seen before.
“Imagine walking into a high-street travel agent, putting on a VR headset and being transported right into your hotel room.
“Imagine looking around your room, walking out onto the balcony and experiencing the beautiful white sandy beach like never before.”
Kaye says a similar brand of technology could also be used by estate agents and interior designers, to show someone around an unbuilt or unconverted property, for example.
Although the current price tag on VR headsets will prohibit most people from having the technology in their home, it could present an opportunity for struggling high street stores to benefit.
He added: “A lot of people won’t be able to afford, or interested in buying, a device like the [HTC] Vive. These will be readily available in high street chains like estate agents.
“It might be a long shot, but there is the possibility that this kind of technology can encourage people back onto the high street.
“Although that’s a more complex issue altogether.”
Despite the undoubted commercial power of virtual and augmented reality technology, Kaye believes its real success will lie in its ability to achieve social good.
He added: “Taking this technology and using it for greater good will see the HTC Vive and other headsets employed in hospitals for those physically unable to experience what’s usually possible.
“In a children’s ward, the VR experience will allow children to virtually go to Disneyland, or swim with dolphins in Mexico.
“This is when VR technology will changes the lives of those using it.”