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NEWS10 November 2017

Royal Shakespeare Company uses VR for research

Innovations Leisure & Arts News Technology UK

UK – Research by The Royal Shakespeare Company, Ipsos Mori and virtual reality specialists Gorilla in the Room has highlighted the role virtual reality (VR) could play in market research.

The aim of the project was to establish the strength of emotional responses elicited in a VR context compared to live theatre and cinema performances.

Participants were fitted with heart rate monitors to track their emotional engagement using biometric measures, while a mobile survey was used at the end of the performance to gain additional insights on the experience.

During the study, participants viewed a three-hour performance of Titus Andronicus on a VR headset, with none of them experiencing side-effects. Two-thirds of participants ( 63%) said they would consider VR to experience theatre in future.

Additionally, VR had a bigger impact on making viewers feel like they were physically present in the theatre than those watching the performance in the cinema ( 91% compared to 63%).

The study of 107 participants has highlighted the potential of VR for conducting research. Ipsos has said is working with partners to identify opportunities for incorporating VR and mixed reality into its research approaches.

Pippa Bailey, Ipsos Mori’s head of innovation, said: “Being able to use VR to recreate situations and scenarios has the potential to transform the way we undertake research. For example, in the testing of new environments (eg travel hubs and retail spaces), the evaluation of out of home ads/comms, the evaluation of pricing, promotions, POS, concepts, and new/revised packaging."