Not just a gimmick or a novelty anymore, virtual reality technology has finally made it to the point of viability in a variety of uses. What was once “future-tech” is now ready to benefit everything from sports, video games, virtual tourism, real estate, pornography and online retail.
VR Becoming More Widespread
Virtual reality has seen rapid growth and adoption that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. We’re seeing additional uses for the technology being developed to help push VR further into the mainstream. The NFL network is using VR technology to give the fans an in-depth football experience, by putting them on the sideline or on the field for some of the biggest games, offering a firsthand view into the sport. Even players and coaches are getting in on the act, with VR being used in training sessions and tactical planning.
Video gaming in VR is mostly self explanatory, with an abundance of games available for popular headsets such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, DaydreamVR, Samsung Gear and more. Everything from sports, racing, 3D shooters and adventures are available and pushing the VR market further upwards.
Virtual tourism is using the technology to sell vacations by giving consumers a virtual taste of a resort they may stay at or a cruise they may be interested in booking. Realtors are selling houses with virtual tours of properties and many home buyers are now asking for this technology to help narrow down their search.
Dating has also dabbled with virtual reality through apps like ConVRge, Vrchat, ALTspaceVR or the more risqué and adult 3DXChat. Users can meet, mingle and connect with each other in virtual, and hopefully inrealtiy sometime soon.
Of course, the pornography industry has also embraced the VR experience whole heartedly, creating some of the most erotic and immersive porn ever made. With tons of VR porn studios such as BaDoinkVR and tube sites like VRSmash available online, it’s begun a sort of virtual revolution in the market. Alongside VR porn, teledildonics, or digital sex toys are becoming a huge deal in the industry too, but that’s another topic for another day.
In terms of current market share, video games, the NFL and VR porn dominate, but that landscape will be changed drastically by VR adoption in the retail industry.
Virtual Reality & Retail
It’s great for virtual reality that so many industries have adopted the technology but none will prove to be as important or widespread as the consumer retail market. That doesn’t mean selling virtual reality headsets or peripherals, it means retailers themselves adopting VR to help sell their products. VR headsets and other wearable tech such as the Apple iWatch or Google Glass are going to have a major impact on the future of retail. Adoption by the retail industry will all but cement virtual reality technologies place for the future.
As much of retail business is now done through online channels, it’s becoming more important to increase the quality of the online shopping experience. Online shopping is predominantly done through a personal computer, a tablet or a mobile Smartphone, with use of the latter increasing dramatically in the last couple of years. Even though it’s still fairly new, online retailing as we know it may not last long, as virtual reality retailing is designed to take control over online shopping.
Imagine you want to buy something (it doesn’t matter what), but don’t want to go to a crowded shopping mall or deal with traffic on the roads to get there. You’ll be able to sit on your couch and throw on a VR viewing device that lets you get to shopping almost instantly. A virtual avatar of yourself (a realistic one) can try on clothing, sun glasses, make-up etc. and essentially eliminate the need to shop in person. The same goes for something mundane like groceries, where consumers will be able to order products based on meals they see, ingredient lists or just browse the aisles as they would in a real-life store.
Online shopping in VR could appear much like shopping at a brick and mortar location, where consumers can walk the aisles, browsing virtual shelves full of graphical representations of the actual products. Consumers can pick up, inspect and even try on these products before making a purchase. Gigantic virtual spaces could be filled with endless wares for consumers to browse. Programming can be used to narrow down selections or incorporate digital salespersons or assistants. Once inside the machine, the possibilities are endless.
Will It Be Beneficial?
This type of virtual shopping experience has advantages for both consumers and retailers, which makes it more suitable than shopping on mobile. For consumers, the convenience factor is the largest but don’t forget that shopping is supposed to be fun. The fun factor is something that’s lost when shipping through mobile or desktop but can be rejuvenated in virtual. What consumers would call “fun”, retailers see as extra sales through the concept of the “impulse buy”.
As consumers browse a physical store, they come into contact with many other items that they would not see shopping in a traditional online or mobile setting. A virtual store that mimics the real thing can bring back the impulse buy for retailers and the fun for consumers, minus most of the hassles. Selection will expand and stock levels will be easier to manage inside a virtual marketplace versus a brick and mortar store. Both sides will also benefit from reduced prices as retailer’s costs decrease and product availability skyrockets.
Another massive benefit for both consumers and retailers is the ability to shop around the clock and from any location. Time has been an issue in shopping forever, but VR can put an end to rushing to make the store before it closes and more.
Integration Of Wearable Tech
Wearable tech would offer a very different experience to that of the VR headset. Where a VR device offers an expansive experience, wearable tech such as a smartwatch or even smartphone would offer a condensed one. Perhaps wearable tech is best suited to augment, rather than to be the predominant shopping tool. An example would be to monitor status of an order, an online auction or shipping progress etc. It will be up to the individual retailer to figure out which technology is best suited to them and adjust accordingly.
It will be interesting to see which direction and what level of adoption virtual retail achieves, but it seems like VR has been tailor made for shopping and retail. Virtual reality can offer a convenience to the industry that has never been seen before and will benefit everyone involved.
Technology has been promising a retail revolution for some time, and it seemed like mobile online shopping was taking over. Virtual reality may be stopping mobile shopping in it’s tracks as it offers much the same convenience with whole lot more. The convenient and immersive shopping experience is on the way and it’s going to cause a shopping revolution.
Enter To Win A Carrier Cor Wi-Fi Thermostat
If you’re looking to make your home a little smarter, it’s time to invest in a smart thermostat. Sure, you probably already have a programmable thermostat that lets you turn down the heat or A/C while you’re at work, which helps to bring down your energy bill each month. But they run on simple schedules and have limited capabilities.
Enter the Carrier Côr Wi-Fi Thermostat. As the name suggests, this smart thermostat can be accessed over Wi-Fi, allowing you to control your home’s heating and cooling from anywhere in the world, as long as your smartphone has an Internet connection. Simply fire up the Côr app and adjust the temperature to your liking.
Just think about that for a second. Have you ever gone away for a long weekend in December and forgot to lower the heat before you left? Or worse yet, you go on vacation in the summer, and in order to save on utilities, you turn off the A/C complete. Sure, you save money on your utilities, but when you get back home, it can take hours for the house to cool down again!
With a smart thermostat like this, those situations are a thing of the past.
The innovative Côr thermostat is designed to combine home comfort with reduced energy use, with homeowners saving an average of 20% on their heating & cooling energy costs. Features like Ideal Away let the thermostat intelligently adapt beyond manual programming for greater efficiency, while still meeting your ideal comfort levels. Energy reports help you see exactly when your energy dollars are being spent so you can modify settings to maximize savings. It even provides you customized energy saving tips. How cool is that?
As you can see, the Côr thermostat is also pretty sharp looking, with a full-color touchscreen display (which features intuitive, on-screen prompts, along with local weather 4-day forecast), a screen off option during sleep mode, and motion sensor that brightens the screen when it senses someone approaching it. The silver bezel gives it a modern look, and it takes very little wall space, measuring at 4″H x 4″W x 1″D.
The Carrier Côr Wi-Fi thermostat retails for $250. For more information on Carrier systems, please visit www.airconditioningsoutheast.com.
As promised, we’re giving away a Carrier Côr Wi-Fi thermostat to one lucky Guys Gab reader, and it couldn’t be easier to enter the giveaway. Simply leave a comment below telling us why you want to win. We’ll pick a winner at random on June 30th at 5pm EST.
The NES Classic Edition Is Returning To Stores Next Month
Back in November 2016, Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition, a mini-sized version of the iconic NES console, which came loaded with 30 popular games from Nintendo’s past. The cost of reliving those nostalgic memories? A very reasonable $59.99.
The only problem? Nintendo drastically underestimated demand for the NES Classic Edition, and they were pretty much impossible to find, and many nostalgic fans like me never could get our hands on one, even after searching stores for over six months.
And then came the death blow, the announcement from Nintendo in April 2017 that they were discontinuing the NES Classic Edition, and that if you hadn’t got one by then, you were pretty much screwed.. or forced to pay $200+ for one on eBay.
Thankfully, it looks like Nintendo had a change of heart, recently announcing on Twitter that they will be re-releasing the NES Classic Edition, with the highly-coveted retro console returning to stores on June 29th. YAAAAASSSS!
The NES Classic Edition will cost $59.99 upon its return, just as it did when it launched in November 2016. The games included on the console will also stay the same.
Here’s the full list of the games that come loaded on the NES Classic Edition:
- Balloon Fight
- Bubble Bobble
- Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
- Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Double Dragon II: The Revenge
- Dr. Mario
- FINAL FANTASY
- Ghosts’N Goblins
- Ice Climber
- Kid Icarus
- Kirby’s Adventure
- Mario Bros.
- Mega Man 2
- Ninja Gaiden
- Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
- Super C
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 2
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Tecmo Bowl
- The Legend of Zelda
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
As you can see, there’s a little something here for everyone: a nice mix of timeless favorites, cult classics and maybe even some games that you never got around to playing as a kid.
Needless to say, if you missed out on the NES Classic Edition the last time around, you’ll want to line up at the store come June 29th, as these are sure to sell out quickly!
Libratone’s TRACK+ Wireless Headphones Keep The Chaos Out And The Music In
When the Libratone TRACK+ Wireless Earphones were unveiled at CES earlier this year, I was intrigued by their Smart Noise Cancellation technology, which lets you control how much of the world you want to let in or out.
Now, active noise cancelling headphones are nothing new, and they’ve long been a must-have for frequent travelers like myself who want to “get away from it all” and just enjoy their tunes.
But Libratone has taken it a step further, with the TRACK+ offering 4 levels of adjustable noise cancellation so you can control how much you hear of the world around you. You can even let Smart Mode do it for you automatically, adjusting based on your environment and activity.
When the TRACK+ detects movement like running or a workout, it will automatically allow in slightly more ambient noise so you’re aware of your surroundings. Because let’s face it, the last thing you want is to get hit by a car or bike because you couldn’t hear them coming!
Similarly, when you’re sitting still in a loud place (like an airplane or train), the earphones will cancel the maximum amount of outside noise so you can focus on the music and nothing else. And in that respect, they work incredibly well.. assuming you read the directions.
You see, during my first testing session, I wasn’t all that impressed with the TRACK+, as there was too much ambient noise coming through, even on the highest noise cancellation (-20dB) setting. The problem? The eartips weren’t forming a perfect seal with my ear. Once I switched to a larger eartip (four different sizes are provided), the difference was night and day, with the outside world completely disappearing.
Since then, I’ve taken the TRACK+ on a few flights, on a train ride to New York, and even into a crowded Starbucks. And in every case, they performed amazing well, allowing me to focus on my music, movies, podcasts, and such without being distracted by the outside noise.
Those planning on hitting the gym will be pleased to know that they have a splash-proof IPX4 rating, that the earbuds are sweat-proof, and the included sport fins allow you to run on the treadmill without concerns about them falling out. And thanks to the ANC, you can drown out those grunting meatheads and focus on what you’re there to do.
Overall, there is a lot to like about the Libratone TRACK+ Wireless Earphones, and I’d highly recommend them to anyone who’s looking to drown out some of the outside chaos. At $199, they’re not to cheapest option out there, but they’re well worth it. These wireless eadbuds offer high quality sound, 4 levels of adjustable noise cancellation, long battery life (8 hours), and a sleek, minimalist design. Seriously, what more could you ask for?
Visit www.libratone.com to learn more about the TRACK+ earphones.