Virgin Holiday VR Experience
Would a VR experience encourage you to visit a store? The jisp team have been wondering just that. Is it merely a waste of money and space, or would it encourage shoppers to put down their laptops, tablets and mobiles and venture into a brick-and-mortar store to experience what potentially could be revolutionary technology? Fortunately, we had the chance to send a jisp employee to test the waters!
“After visiting my home country last weekend, the jisp team asked if I would stay to explore Wales' first Virgin Holiday Virtual Reality (VR) experience. I had previously only used VR when playing crime genre video games, so I was interested as to how this would work within St David's Shopping Centre.
While entering the store, I was questioning whether I had come to the right place as it appeared to look like a very sophisticated bar full of delicious snacks and drinks, and expensive looking seats I wasn't sure I should trust myself near. After seeing my confusion, a member of staff welcomed me in, explaining that the store has been designed as a mock version of a Virgin Atlantic cabin, in order for customers to experience the different classes (clearly I have never stepped foot in first class before.)
We moved onto the VR experience where I sat in a roller-coaster style seat, only a great deal more comfortable with no signs of vomit. My seat belt was adjusted and I was told to "Hold on tight" as the VR headset was placed over my eyes and ears, immediately emerging me into a theme park atmosphere. Cheerful music played and I could hear the sound of people enjoying themselves in the distances, while visually it looked as if I was sat at the front of a glamorous roller-coaster train, about to enter a tunnel full of colourful lights- very much different to Oakwood Theme Park in Wales!
The ride begun and I found myself speeding through the tunnel, following the track out into an open area with a view of beautiful beaches, swerving around bends to see stunning blue oceans twinkling under the sun, dropping down into exotic trees and forests. I laughed as I reminded myself this wasn't real, but I begun mentally writing a list of future holiday destinations. Famous landmarks popped up as I travelled onward, including Vegas and Paris- I was aware of my head instinctively turning to try to see more but the ride continued at full speed. As my cart came to a stop, the shop assistant helped me take off the equipment and we both laughed as I begrudgingly adjusted to my surroundings again, wishing I had been dropped off on a beach on the way.
I wasn't aware that I was desperate for a holiday before my VR experience, but I am tempted to visit again just to make a decision on a destination. Either that or I could always ask to borrow the VR headset to get me through the British summer.”