Dyson brings VR product demonstrations to Oculus Quest 2 - User in headset testing VR app 1

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Dyson Demo VR is part of a plan to focus on direct-to-consumer retail in-store and online, with an emphasis on ‘try before you buy’

Quick read

➨ Dyson has unveiled a VR app where shoppers can customise and test interactive virtual models of select products
➨ Dyson Demo VR launched on Oculus Store today for Quest 2 users, with a web3D version available on dyson.com for desktop and mobile devices
➨ At launch, the app features interactive virtual models of the Supersonic hair dryer, Corrale straightener and Airwrap styler, as well as the new Dyson V15 Detect cordless vacuum
➨ Dyson has committed to updating and iterating the app over time, aiming to eventually provide a complete virtual shopping experience and the capability to speak with a Dyson expert within VR

The story

UK technology company Dyson has unveiled a virtual reality (VR) app where shoppers can customise and test interactive virtual models of select products.

Dyson Demo VR launched on Oculus Store today for Quest 2 users, with a web3D version available on dyson.com for desktop and mobile devices.

At launch, the app features interactive virtual models of the Supersonic hair dryer, Corrale straightener and Airwrap styler, as well as the new Dyson V15 Detect cordless vacuum.

Users can try these customisable, virtual products and see how they affect unique hair styles and, in the case of the vacuum, collect dust from particular floor types, including carpets and hardwood.

Dyson brings VR product demonstrations to Oculus Quest 2 - Dyson Demo VR screengrab
Dyson Demo VR

These immersive simulations, along with the virtual models, are the same ones used by Dyson’s engineers and product designers in research and development.

Launching the consumer-facing app “means that we can now bring our technologies to life for our customers in ways that were previously beyond imagination”, says Dyson ecommerce director Sean Newmarch.

Newmarch continues: “Using the same technologies and tools used within our labs, we can explain better how Dyson machines work and why they make a difference. All of this can be done using our actual design data. We can show people a virtual product operating in a virtual room but using the actual product software—it doesn’t get much more realistic than that.”

As well as product demonstrations, at launch users are able to look inside each piece of technology to understand more about how it works through visual animations and interviews with Dyson engineers

Dyson has committed to updating and iterating the app over time, aiming to eventually provide a complete virtual shopping experience, a full range of products and the capability to speak with a Dyson expert within VR.

There is also the potential for experts to provide customer support and remote guidance, Newmarch and his colleague, Mike Aldred, senior principle engineer at Dyson, revealed during a media event previewing the app.

Dyson brings VR product demonstrations to Oculus Quest 2 - User in headset testing VR app 2
Dyson Demo VR is available on Oculus Quest 2

Dyson Demo VR is part of a plan to focus on direct-to-consumer retail in-store and online, with an emphasis on ‘try before you buy’.

The company already operates 318 physical demo stores focused on testing and trailing its products rather than passive browsing. They feature interactive displays where debris can be thrown on the floor and vacuumed up to show the effectiveness of Dyson vacuums, as well as beauty labs where shoppers can have their hair styled with the latest technology.

The VR app and web3D version are digital extensions of this plan and an interesting opening gambit for retail in the ‘metaverse’, the much marketed term for the next 3D, immersive internet.

VRWorldTech will be straightening hair and vacuuming over the weekend to find out whether this works, because there will be plenty of questions about the application of VR in direct-to-consumer retail. At this point in time, we would argue that it is certainly a necessary first step to finding out.

Dyson claims the VR app is the first of its kind, so it gives us the opportunity to find out just what else can be done with this immersive technology, and what more might be required over the next decade if multiple plans for a popular metaverse are going to be realised.

For example, are Oculus Quest 2 users willing to buy within VR? And if so, how close to an in-store experience will it have to be? And eventually, are shoppers willing to almost-invite a brand’s experts into their homes, albeit remotely?

Beyond use case, application and feasibility, there are also questions of infrastructure. For example, what percentage of sales will Meta insist on via payment fees? This is just one question among many. Today we vacuum; tomorrow, who knows?

Let VRWorldTech know what you think via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or editor@vrworldtech.com.

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Images: Dyson

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