It’s really incredibly how quickly the virtual reality space has grown in only the last year. Thanks in part to Google Cardboard, there are literally millions of VR headsets out there ready to help users consume new applications as they arrive on the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store. This number has grown by approximately 2.3 million people across India this morning after Tata Motors rolled out their latest promotion for their new Tiago car.
Inside this morning’s edition of the Times of India newspaper was a cardboard headset in which a smartphone can fit inside. Think of it as a cheaper version of the popular Google Cardboard device; a bit flimsier, a bit smaller and a bit hard to use. Although Tata was able to pay for 2.3 million of the headsets, estimates have their total cost at just around $1 million, meaning they only spent approximately $0.40 a piece. With that said the headsets are a great free way to introduce a large population to virtual reality.
So what was the purpose of Tata Motors including these headsets in today’s paper? They want as many people as possible to experience the virtual reality video that they produced featuring their new Tiago car. All that a user needs to do is head to the Google Play Store, or Apple App Store and download the Tiago Virtual Drive application. The app has a ton of information pertaining to the new vehicle, but most importantly will turn a smartphone into a sort of virtual reality display that functions with the headset, providing a 3D, 360-degree experience to the viewer. The video itself, which you can see at the bottom of this page, shows the interior and exterior of the car, and allows the user to take a virtual drive in the new vehicle, while when they turn their head they will be able to look around in all directions unimpeded.
As for the car itself, it’s nothing like the vehicles you’d see driving on American roads. Instead it’s small, not very powerful, but quite affordable, starting at under $5,000. Likely this will be a great way to garner attention from a large number of potential buyers. At the same time, it’s helping to grow the VR space within India, an economy which will undoubtedly be very important to the VR community moving forward. Let us know your thoughts on this giveaway and if you had a chance to use one of these free headsets. Discuss in the Tata Motors VR Headset forum on VRTalk.com.