Brands Bring Creativity to Elevating the Virtual Reality Experience


Samsung VR Six Flags Roller Coaster

The use of virtual and augmented reality by brands and their suppliers is escalating rapidly.

Intel is joining the race to “reshape reality,” as the Wall Street Journal  put it, with an augmented reality headset. McDonald’s in Sweden is getting kids involved in VR. Sony may be about to launch a new VR headset for PlayStation 4.

And Samsung will begin offering gear powered by Oculus that will intensify the experience while riding on real roller coasters at nine Six Flags amusement parks.

“Bringing a VR coaster to life is certainly a new and thrilling proposition,” said Samsung Electronics America CMO Marc Mathieu. “Now, people can be immersed in a totally new universe while riding a roller coaster, powered by [VR] devices. This transforms the modern roller coaster into a totally new, one-of-a-kind sensorial experience.”

Samsung is also helping marketers get creative, including helping Carnival woo the winter-weary citizens of Chicago with a virtual cruise experience. Last week, Carnival “sailed” the streets of Chicago with a glass-bodied truck featuring a traveling cruise ship deck with AT&T also on-board as a partner for the promotion.

Carnival cruises virtual reality Chicago 2016 AT&T Samsung Oculus

Intel is developing a headset to deliver augmented reality, which superimposed information or images on a view of the real world or on a smartphone display, while VR provides users with computer-generated scenes.

Intel plans to exploit its 3D camera technology called RealSense to build new businesses outside the shrinking market for PC processors, the Journal said. the chip giant, however, is likely to take an “Intel Inside” approach and market its technology to other manufacturers rather than to to end users, the publication said.

Intel had already been dabbling in VR by partnering with headset maker IonVR to create a smartphone-based device whose experience was powered by MotionSync, a technology that promised to eliminate motion-sickness in the VR experience, USA Today said.

The McDonald’s promotion in Sweden invites kids to turn Happy Meal boxes into VR viewers, or “Happy Goggles.” For the equivalent of about $4, nearly 3,500 Swedish kids will be able to enjoy a ski-themed game tied into the Swedish “Sportlov” recreational holiday, Adweek said.

All they have to do is tear and fold along some perforated, insert the included VR lenses and use a smartphone.