The future of virtual reality

Virtual reality is no longer a futuristic concept – it’s already here, it’s already being used and with virtual reality hardware such as Oculus Rift it’s even more tangible than ever before.

Having said all of that, virtual reality really is still in its infancy and with everything on the market right now you could think about virtual reality as a blank internet. All the equipment is available, the infrastructure is in place and the technology is available for everyone to start using. Now it is time for the best technology companies out there to start making cool things out of this relatively new technology.

Now the most common use of virtual reality is gaming – it’s easy to see how well these two go together and if you have every played a game using the Oculus Rift you will know how much fun it is compared to traditional 2D or 3D gaming.

But what is next for virtual reality and how can it improve our lives?

To answer this question, it’s a good idea to think about how technology is changing the world in which we live. With the advent of the internet we are gradually doing more and more online – for example most of us now shop online, we do our shopping online, we chat to our friends online and things like walking down the highstreets, meeting up with friends or even reading a book seem old fashioned, out of date. This is great because it gives everybody access to these facilities – for example you can order goods from companies like Amazon no matter where you are in the world, you can do your shopping even if you are not anywhere near a supermarket and you can read any book you can ever think of.

The downside is that we just don’t go out as much anymore – we don’t visit a store to test out a product before we buy it, we don’t meet up as much with our friends and this is making our lives far duller even if it is making us more efficient.

This opens the door to one of the coolest potential uses for virtual reality and something that has been predicted repeatedly in futuristic films and TV shows. With virtual reality we can combine the physical with the virtual.

Imagine that you can merge an online shop with a traditional high street shopping environment in virtual reality – when you “visit” the online web store you step into the store using virtual reality technologies. You can browse products as you would have done in the past, speak to a shop assistant and virtually test out a realistic version of any product before you buy it.

If you were planning to buy a house you could take a virtual tour of the house to see what it looks like, what it feels to walk around, without even being there.

If you want to chat online with your friends you can all meet up in a virtual café and have a coffee together.

These things, once seeming so futuristic, are more than possible with virtual reality technologies that are available right now.

Companies such as Districts.io have already developed conceptual versions of the software that can make these virtual worlds possible as well as tie them in with physical environments such as shops, real estate and even traditional classroom teaching environments.

All that remains is for existing businesses to start building on virtual platforms such as Districts.io and not only will virtual reality really blossom but the way we live our lives will change forever.

The Basic Benefits of Business Branding with Social Media

Can you imagine thinking that social media was simply a fad that would fade away? Well, there was a time when business owners, even the big corporate giants, thought social media was for kids and that it would be a passing fancy. These skeptics have been proven wrong over the years to the tune of social media growth to more than 2 billion users across multiple active social media platforms.

Today, the major players in social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are marketing giants that provide businesses with valuable information and demographics about their customers. Most of your interactions across social networks is free, unless you choose to advertise, which is a topic for another time.

Social media for business branding is not optional anymore. It’s imperative.

How can social media benefit your business?

  • Valuable Data – The real-time data on social networks is of great value to your business. Every day, here are millions of Twitter Tweets, Facebook Likes, and Instagram images and videos shared by users. Behind all this interaction lies a lot of information about them, including what they like, who they are, and how they feel about various brands, like yours. By ‘listening’ to your followers and customers and engaging with them daily, you can make smart business decisions by paying attention.
  • Rich Customer Experience – Because social media allows you to engage and interact with your customers, you can better serve them. You can answer their questions, address their concerns through public comments, in private messages, or by hosting a Q&A session once a month. Showing you’re human, shows them you care about their satisfaction with your brand.
  • Brand Awareness – Improving your brand awareness is one of the major benefits of engaging on social media. Social channels make it easier for your customers and potential customers to find you. It’s likely they will connect with you, which results in a better customer relationship and higher retention.
  • Increase Web Traffic – Your blog and website can be promoted via social media channels, which helps boost your overall traffic. Your search rankings will also be improved with the increased social media interactions like retweets and shares across channels.
  • Fast Way to Share Content – Social media is now the fastest and most effective way to share content to a local to global audience. Every single day is another opportunity to provide a unique and special experience to your audience and customers. Content curation, social engagement, and liking content meshes together to boost your brand. If you cannot engage daily, you can outsource some tasks or find a reliable automation tool to automate some of your menial tasks. Remember, the end goal is to interact as humanly as possible.

Social media also allows you to generate more targeted leads, run targeted ads that offer real-time results, learn what your competitors are doing, geo-target content, and build amazing customer relationships.

If you’re not using social media channels to boost your brand, you’re behind your competitors. Simply put, social media is crucial to your business.

Article by The Small Business Blog