We've all seen it, those videos where professional sports people try VR for the first time and quickly prostrate themselves on the nearest available floor. Heck, perhaps even a few of us have fallen into the uncanny valley ourselves from time to time.
These embarrassing (and hilarious) moments usually arise in the gap between expectation and reality, VR provides a convincing surrogate of an experience we've already had and we fall — hook, line and sinker. But what happens if VR moves beyond emulation and begins conditioning our expectations about future real world experiences.
Well, this is the premise behind hardware store Lowe's latest VR initiative, called Holoroom Test Drive, which aims to provide laypeople with the opportunity to try out power tools
in VR before purchase (where the limb-loss potential is significantly lessened).
Lowe's estimate that $70 billon in home improvement projects are stalled because homeowners can't visualise the end result. So the investment in VR makes sense, enabling consumers to experience a product and gain reassurance in its use before committing to a purchase.