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Virtual Reality: Passing fad or the key to future business success?

Talk by Ben Stoney on the application of VR and AR in business marketing

By Will Ford.

LEEDS BUSINESSES were urged to make the most of cutting edge technology by a marketing expert as part of Leeds Business Week on Monday morning.

Ben Stoney is the digital development director of Savvy, which helps businesses to sell their products through the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). 

They created a virtual version of Adidas’ new World of Sports building in Herzogenaurach, Germany, so investors could truly experience the building before its construction.

Huge companies like Lego, Mars, Reebok and TalkTalk have all used Savvy to create something ‘virtually’ for them.

Mr Stoney was asked during his presentation in the Aspire building whether VR could be scaled down to be used by smaller businesses.

He said: “If you have a product that you want to sell, VR or AR can be used to sell it.

“VR doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, it often turns out to be cheaper than most marketing strategies.”

Andrew Nye, 42, works for New Moon Studios in York, another company using the technology to market business products. 

He has just built an app that allows promotors to drive users through a theme park, a shopping centre, or a town centre through the use of AR, adding a themed layer over the camera image.

Mr Nye said: “Imagine you are at Meadowhall around Christmas. You get your phone out and have a map of the shopping centre with locations marked where you can see AR in action – a virtual Santa flying over you or reindeer galloping past.”

With car companies from Jaguar to MINI already boasting AR features, superimposing navigation on to the windscreen of the car, this technology is becoming more commonplace, but for many, its use in wider society can still be questioned.

Ali Alizeremzioglu, 50, from Leeds, previously worked in the NHS and is interested to see if the technology could be used in the public sector.

He said: “At the moment this technology doesn’t interest me. I am never going to work for Adidas or buy a Jaguar. If VR could be used to improve public services in some way, I would say it is worth it.”

The VR/AR talk was just one of a number of talks and events taking place during Leeds Business Week. Visit the website for more details:

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