If it wasn’t pretty obvious already, Apple just made it loud and clear that VR isn’t a passing fad. Virtual reality has always been a PC-users’ game, but that changed this week when Apple announced its new computers will be able to support external graphics hardware – ie. VR and AR technology. The new iMac Pro will actually have VR capabilities built in to the system.
This isn’t just interesting news for die-hard Mac fans. It speaks to a more universal trend where virtual reality is becoming a computing norm. Think a bit further down the road for a second—connecting to a headset and working within VR environments seems like a novel idea right now, but in the future that will be second nature.
Today, technologies like VR, AR, and artificial intelligence are mostly experimental. We’re still learning where they shine, how they will shape our future and what it means for humans and our societies in general. But that doesn’t mean the technology isn’t growing by leaps and bounds every day. If the current landscape is any indication (and, spoiler alert, it is) we’re headed toward a world where disruptive technologies like VR will become commonplace, and replace many of the old ways of doing things.
When it comes to the business of retail, VR is far past experimental status. It has already disrupted the way many companies are taking their new in-store concepts to market. 3D virtual environments are allowing InContext clients a more efficient and risk-free way to learn how new shelf sets, displays and packaging will resonate with shoppers, before creating any physical world prototypes. With the ShopperMX™ HIVE, they can even completely immerse retail partners and stakeholders in a detailed full-circle story of how a concept will play out in the context of an actual store. These are all capabilities we provide right now. Apple’s announcement just makes it that much easier for VR to live on any device—something that will only help move our industry forward.
Apple is being touted as the catalyst to legitimizing the space. And that may be true. But for our clients, who have been utilizing VR solutions for years to work faster and smarter and save on their bottom line, virtual is already second-nature—they’re wondering why it took so long for Apple to catch up.