Making history with world’s first product launch event in Virtual Reality (VR) OnePlus mobiles is all set to present yet another case study worth being a talk point for the marketing fraternity. Will the virtual launch of OnePlus 2 prove to be another feather in the cap of OnePlus or otherwise is something that’s to be decided by the future.
OnePlus, the Chinese mobile maker has had a good run with its flagship device OnePlus 1 that also found a handsome number of fans in the ever busy Indian mobile space. With it’s out of box launch events and the first mobile company to come up with the science of ‘Invite to buy’, though the same turns out be a letdown for many wanting to have the device every now and then, yet the tactics has turned out well for the company that got into the race last year with the guts to be among the best without being costly. The device proved itself to stand out and is also rated 2014’s one of the best Android device.
Now, when the company is on the verge of launching the second device OnePlus 2 the buzz in the mobile space market is even more happening this time. The launch is the world’s first product launch event in virtual reality (VR). While its Chinese counterpart Xiaomi launched the flagship device Mi4i in India in May this year in an event that was streamed live on the company’s website there were issues reported by the audiences of delayed and a stream full of hiccups. The OnePlus two launch is much more futuristic. The startup, which has surprisingly amassed a cult of fans with its exclusive ‘invite to buy’ strategy announced that the “VR launch lets you stand right next to our team and our fans as we unveil our new flagship.” To prepare, OnePlus has designed its own version of Google Cardboard for use specifically with the OnePlus One. OnePlus has also mentioned in their Forum post, that the users can also expect to find a few hidden Easter eggs.
In order to make the event memorable and increase the already created buzz, the company went a step further and designed its very own pair of VR cardboard headset. While the stocks for the same didn’t last, the company had to create a VR app that can be downloaded on Google Play. The app description reads “Product launches tend to be the same. An auditorium, a keynote, and a seated audience. For the OnePlus 2 launch, we didn’t want a barrier between us and our community; we want to invite you into our world, because you’re a major part of it. That is why we will be unveiling the OnePlus 2 in a VR experience. Starting July 27 at 7:00pm PST, everyone around the world can stream our launch”. The app has a Cardboard-free 360 experience feature that will allow people to view the event without the VR glasses. Keeping its prospective buyers in hand, the company in its blog post read, “If you missed out on our Cardboard giveaway, you can try making your own or buying one from somewhere else. But if you simply find yourself Cardboard-less on July 27th, don’t despair! We’ve also built a Cardboard-free 360 experience, right into our launch app. It won’t be as immersive, but it will still be interactive and amazing.”
Virtual reality, after 2007, the year in which Google introduced Street View, a service that shows panoramic views of an increasing number of worldwide positions such as roads, indoor buildings and rural areas has seen a boost since. 2014 saw Facebook purchasing a company that makes virtual reality headsets, Oculus VR for $2 billion. Virtual Reality is also coming to Youtube this year with Google having released an update to its Youtube apps that adds the ability to view certain videos through a Cardboard VR headset.
The launch of OnePlus 2 being boasted to be world’s first product launch in virtual reality is yet to prove its mettle in the real world. Such experiments at times prove to be trendsetting and followed widely. But many a times they also prove to be nothing more than futile marketing gimmick that may end in a disaster. Fingers crossed, let’s see which side of the line the OnePlus 2 launch will fall on.