In an industry known for pushing the envelope, escape rooms are undergoing the next exciting revolution: escape room virtual reality (VR). Thanks to unlimited themes, low overhead, and outrageous popularity, escape room VR is the next craze that promises to supercharge an already exploding industry. Savvy business owners will jump at the chance to realize large cash flows on minimal investment.
What is an Escape Room?
Inspired originally by escape-the-room style video games, the first escape room in the United States emerged in 2010. By 2015, there were over 2,800 in existence in the United States alone. Especially popular among twenty-somethings, these rooms charge individuals or teams by the hour to cooperatively solve clues to “escape.” Escape rooms use props and even sometimes secret passages to other rooms.
Thanks to new advancements in technology, virtual reality has brought escape rooms full circle by allowing players an even more immersive experience. Using VR headsets provided as part of the game fee, participants can live out experiences that seem almost real.
Escape rooms even have uses outside the typical gamer scenario. Corporations use them for team building activities, and they’ve even been put to educational use, helping students gain problem-solving skills.
What Makes Virtual Reality Different?
Imagine your heart racing and your pulse pounding as you work with your closest friends in a locked room. It looks like an old castle, with a throne, iron bars on the windows, and a treasure chest which you’re tasked to open. Puzzles and clues abound, leading you at last to a set of iron keys. But the timer is sounding, and you only have ten minutes left–can you beat the clock?
With escape rooms, this is exactly the kind of fun players anticipate, but with virtual reality, players can take their games to the next level. Now, they’re not limited to four square walls or physical props. In fact, depending on the game, players can swim, fly, climb, and otherwise defy gravity.
View an example of Escape Room VR in the video below:
Themes vary wildly, as well. Mission Impossible and Sherlock Holmes are two favorite themes, but players can experience anything from underground prisons to swanky lounges in D.C. They can also play in any country–or even an alternate universe. Space stations, worlds where time stops, and even the inside of favorite movies are popular destinations!
VR in an escape room partners with players’ imaginations for a truly memorable experience. Business owners find themselves with a product that’s quick to go viral among its satisfied consumers, with little investment in public relations or marketing. It’s a fantastic combination that means maximum profitability!
Arguably the most convincing feature for business owners interested in escape room virtual reality is the ridiculously low overhead. Most businesses simply need one or more rooms, VR headsets, and the VR game itself.
Before, escape room owners had to close down and possibly reconstruct a room to change the theme. Now, it’s just a matter of uploading a new game. Owners can purchase licensed or themed games, or hire developers to create unique games. Headsets will cost less than $1,000 per room as a one-time investment.
While escape room VR games range from $50,000-$500,000, the popularity of escape room VR allows businesses to become profitable almost immediately.
Escape rooms typically charge approximately $25 per person, per hour, but escape rooms equipped with virtual reality can charge much more. At a game fee of approximately $50 per hour per person, and average team sizes between six and twelve people, the potential for profit per room is staggering.
If a room regularly averages six people, and each room has ten sessions a day, business owners easily stand to make over $3,000 per day, per room. It’s not hard to understand why escape room virtual reality is so appealing as a business proposition!
Challenges to Business Owners
Not all escape rooms are created equal, and since the concept is still so new, business owners are right to be concerned that one or two bad escape rooms might seriously damage the reputation of the entire industry.
Another thing business owners must be concerned about? The quality of the puzzles themselves. Puzzles that are too difficult might frustrate players. Puzzles that are too easy might leave players feeling like they didn’t get their money’s worth.
Escape room virtual reality is one way to offset these challenges. Thanks to its dramatic appeal and exploring capability, puzzles are much more interactive and exciting. They’re also adaptable, enhancing the overall level of customer experience.
The technology behind escape room virtual reality is exploding at a rapid rate, and the future is even brighter for the business owners who take advantage now! Not only is the quality of the games improving, but new advances in technology will continue to make interactions with fellow avatars more exciting.
In the future, visuals will become more and more lifelike, and be able to mimic real life in greater depth. Also, many escape rooms have begun to hire actors to add additional levels of depth to the gaming experience.
It’s not a stretch to anticipate movie companies getting into the game, as well, by offering virtual reality options for escape room players to immerse themselves in their favorite movie experience.
A Virtual Opportunity
There’s just something about the thrill of a good escape! While escape rooms continue to grow in popularity and profitability, escape room virtual reality is truly the next revolution for smart business owners. Getting in on the ground floor now allows owners to both cash in and build a large following now, before the market grows saturated.
Frankly, low overhead and outrageously high margins just can’t be beaten, and smart business people who take advantage will only see profits in the years to come!
Is your business ready for virtual reality? Basically, anyone with a smartphone and a cardboard headset now has the ability to experience virtual reality. Businesses in practically every industry are finding success with VR – and your business can, too!
Right now, virtual reality for businesses is still in its early stages of development. This means today is a great time to develop a VR marketing plan for your business. Many businesses benefit from a five-year plan. Let’s take a look at how virtual reality will impact your business in the next five years:
Product Development will Improve for Less
Product development costs time and money, but many of these issues can be improved with virtual reality. Complicated products can be developed virtually, which helps reduce material costs. Plus, virtual models allow managers and other decision makers to assess product development early on.
Potential Customer Markets Will Grow
The customer base for VR is currently limited by cost and social stigma. In the next five years, both of those are likely to drop. You might not think your customers are interested in VR, but that could change in the next few years.
For instance, seniors living in retirement communities might not be obvious candidates for virtual reality experiences. But as VR becomes more accessible, the elderly and others with limited mobility are a large potential market. Understanding your customer base today will help you understand how to use VR marketing successfully in the future.
Advertising Opportunities will Expand
VR already operates in the worlds of gaming, movies and other entertainment. Those industries will likely always be near the forefront of how VR is used. But advertising shouldn’t be overlooked.
VR has plenty of opportunities for direct advertising and brand promotion. Think of this as similar to mobile search. Mobile marketing plays a big role in advertising for brick-and-mortar businesses. In the next five years, virtual reality will likely play just as big of a role in real-world purchasing.
Internal Business Operations will Change
The internet allows for a variety of far-flung teams to work together on a single project. Virtual reality helps to create additional team cohesion. Look for virtual meetings to become more and more common. Groups can tour virtual locations, view a virtual presentation and more.
On-the-job training can also benefit from VR. Trainees from around the world can all meet to learn in a virtual environment. This is especially useful for situations where training in the real world can potentially be dangerous. Any type of hazardous field work will likely benefit from VR training.
Improved Visualization of Large and Complex Projects
Large, complicated spaces are hard to visualize from blueprints and drawings. VR is an excellent design resource. With a virtual reality walkthrough, designers gain a unique perspective of a potential building or other structure.
A project doesn’t have to be big to benefit from virtual reality. VR allows for easy and close-up viewing of small, complicated objects.
Virtual design has a tremendous cost advantage. A project can be tweaked, changed and re-engineered virtually without concern for material costs and other physical expenses.
Virtual design also helps increase safety. Complicated installation procedures can be first learned virtually. Expect to see virtual training throughout construction and manufacturing industries.
VR Offers Versatility
Virtual and augmented reality are flexible enough for practically every type of business. VR can be used for product development, advertising, inter-office communication and more. A business can even hold virtual reality events to connect with customers.
Businesses of any size will likely benefit from virtual reality in some way. The question isn’t “if” VR will work for your brand. Instead, the question is “how” to incorporate VR. Will your VR efforts be customer facing or for employees?
Talent Management will Change
Virtual reality will improve the capabilities of remote workers. In situations where some of the team works onsite and other members work elsewhere, VR will allow for increased communication.
VR can help improve hiring procedures, too. A potential hire can use VR to spend time within an organization. This can be a great way to assess the individual’s fit within the company culture.
VR will Improve B2B and B2C
Many VR strategies are customer focused. After all, VR is still relatively new. People are interested in VR-based entertainment such as movies, games and other experiences where having fun is the primary goal.
But B2b organizations can benefit from VR, too. Virtual reality allows for easy communication with contractors and other businesses. Meetings can be held virtually. Products can be unveiled in a VR space.
VR will Impact Retail
Virtual reality will influence how people purchase physical products. For instance, VR will allow customers to virtually try a product before they buy. This will lead to an increase in the online sales of products which were traditionally more often purchased in a brick and mortar store.
Real estate is another industry which will likely benefit from extensive use of virtual reality. Potential homebuyers can tour a house virtually. This is also great for sellers because a virtual tour doesn’t interrupt their day-to-day living.
Virtual Reality for Business
Virtual Reality will have as big of an impact as both personal computing and the smartphone. No matter what type of product or service you sell, VR will likely be useful in some capacity. Businesses might use VR to create advertising and other content for customers. VR might also impact more behind-the-scenes areas such as product development and employee communications.
In the next five years, Toronto virtual reality will become a necessity for almost every type of business. Start planning today and your virtual strategies will translate to real-world success!
Oculus and HTC are forerunners in the virtual reality (VR) realm. They are both the top in their respective hardware rights; Here you can check out the detailed specs comparison to see what to expect with both models.
Oculus Rift is Facebook’s version of virtual reality that is very much similar to the HTC Vive in their experiences, with a few unique differentiators.
The headset will entail 2160 x 1200 or 1080 x 1200 resolution for duo OLED display for eyes. This is around 233 million pixels per second, and a refresh rate of around 90Hz. Furthermore, it comes with 360-degree head tracking and field of view of approximately 100-degrees. In contrast to HTC Vive, Oculus Rift is to be used while sitting in conjunction with controllers (Oculus’ Touch).
The Rift requires a computer running Windows 7 or higher. You’ll need to have a GPU as capable as AMD 290/Nvidia GTX 970 or better. Other hardware requirements comprise 8GB+ of RAM, Intel i5-4590 processor, HDMI 1.3 video output and 2x USB 3.0 ports.
HTC Vive also features 2160 x 1200 or 1080 x 1200 resolution over duo OLED displays for every eye. Its refresh rate is 90Hz; has over 70 sensors for seamless and fluid movement and operate tracking space (15ft x 15ft) for supporting wireless cameras. Front-facing cameras help you identify objects around you as per the Chaperone safety system. This will protect users from bumping into objects, allowing Vive to be a true mobility gamer. HTC Vive needs tethering to a PC running GNU/Linux, OS X or Windows via HDMI cabling. Vive requires high specs to match its latency-free wireless capabilities.
The Oculus Rift is compact and lightweight. It comes with Velcro straps which are easy to adjust; offers comfortable headphone removal and faceplate padding on either side of the headset. However, as far as design is concerned, it’s not the most appealing VR-ware. Typically, it’s a huge, black protrusion from your human face. However, it’s more compact than various market alternatives.
The HTC Vive is a one of a kind VR gadget; it’s lightweight and has 37 external sensors on the device’s front to allow seamless connectivity to infrared cameras in tracking space. Moreover, it has Velcro straps and comfortable faceplate padding similar to the Rift. The Vive design is, however, worse than its Rift rival–It is not only a black protrusion from your face, but it’s also bulkier.
The Oculus Touch is the controller companion to the Oculus Rift, aiding users immerse deeper into the VR. Xbox One controller ships with the Oculus Rift as the controllers are to be sold separately. Touch controllers apply the half-moon design feature; are wireless, lightweight and a lanyard similar to the Wii remote.
One of the most awesome features in Oculus Touch is the inbuilt haptic feedback, analog stick, analog trigger and two extra buttons. Although Oculus Touch has good functionality, there still exist minor bugs, wireless connection and latency issues. The issues with the headset will be ironed before Q1 launch.
HTC Vive controllers have a more traditional design over Oculus Touch. For instance, wheel below the thumb and a single analog index finger. The wheel is for scrolling menus and game zooming. Furthermore, it functions as game options and selector. They are flawless, very responsive and should be better upon release.
Rift and Vive will ship with a free content suite. The Rift features Lucky Tale, a VR-enabled vivid graphs game. HTC Vive will ship with three titles built around wireless input controllers. It has an inbuilt fantastic contraption Roomscale VR which utilizes hand controllers. Job Simulator is a little game that simulates various tasks. Tilt Brush is the 3rd title with a 3D Google app. Tilt Brush has a Vive wireless controller to paint and sculpt artworks.
Nothing physical limits you from integrating with the other platform. Oculus Home is the ultimate store for VR apps and games. Oculus Home is a perfect mix between Xbox and Steam dashboard for layout and functionality.
HTC’s Vive will make use of traditional stalwart on PC game industry. Vive rolled out a new digital storefront with specialized VR gaming support mode, Vive headset point of sale and VR-ware content.
Though the Rift and Vive both have their unique strengths and weaknesses, it makes none better than its alternative. VR is an amazing technology and is a leap into gaming future, especially with HTC Vive partnership with Steam-VR. Vive has a better overall standing experience in our opinion, verses the Rift having a lot more seated experiences. (Although that is set to change with Oculus touch)
The downside to these VR headsets is that they require PC tethering, hence requiring powerful machines. This can, however, change in the near future, making them more user friendly.
Are you looking for a way to bring the exciting realism of modern virtual reality to your next corporate event? VR Vision provides state of the art virtual reality packaged events that will help bring out the most of your next function. With a hand picked selection of the best games, experiences and immersions you can expect to be blown away with the best in VR. We have packaged combined to appeal to all different ages and experiences.
Whether you want to focus on growing your team skills with a team leadership package or perhaps you want to experience more of a gamified immersion where you will get the chance to try the best virtual reality games on the market, VR Vision has the options available for you. All our events come with a professional VR enthusiast that will walk you through your event and guide you to ensure that you can learn the game or experience you are trying, as well as being there for you if things get a little too intense for your liking.
Virtual Reality in Toronto
All our events are focused on the greater Toronto area and can be applied at your location of choice, or you can opt to have us host the event for you at one of our locations. We have 2 downtown locations ready to go, and many more at our disposal all over the Toronto area for whatever size event you wish to host. We can service up to 5 VR stations at a time at any event which is good enough to service up to groups of 50. We always aim to give you the best possible experience so that you can experience VR in its fully immersive environment. Virtual reality provides a unique opportunity to try new things that you would never have been able to experience otherwise in worlds that are completely immersed for the viewer.
Book Your Next VR Event Today
If you are looking to supplement your next corporate event then look no further than VR Vision to provide you with the latest in virtual reality technology to make your event unique and exciting! We aim to give all events a fully immersive experience that will captivate and wow your guests. There is truly nothing like our events anywhere today and we know you will be completely satisfied with your event! Contact us today for more information and to book your next virtual reality event in Toronto!