When Virtual Reality enters wedding venues

With pandemic changing the setup for weddings, technology is playing a key role in making loved ones a part of the occasion — albeit virtually

By   |  Published: 11th Sep 2020  5:54 pm

Weddings have always been about family bonding, celebration and having a gala time. If in case a relative or a friend could not attend a wedding, it would mean either sending a video of the wedding or just sending over pictures of the celebration.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed this whole setup for weddings in general. With restrictions on the number of guests and physical distancing norms to be followed, it is becoming difficult for people to attend or call all the near and dear ones for their special occasion. That is where technology is playing a key role in bridging this gap.

Recently when Telugu actor Rana Daggubati got married, one of the highlights about the wedding was the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to live stream the event to friends and family. It generated the much-needed buzz around how VR can be used in these uncertain times to connect with our near and dear ones without compromising on our safety. However, many suggest that use of technology in weddings is still in a nascent stage with the pricing and usability still being explored.

“In these uncertain times, many industries have reinvented the business wheel and are using newer technologies to keep it going. In weddings also, we are seeing that people are using VR in different ways with 360-degree live view being the most common usage. Through this, people who are not able to attend the wedding in person can do so from the comfort of their homes. It is definitely a fancy thing to have in a wedding,” said Jignesh Talasila, co-founder and CEO, PerspectAI.

Buying a VR device is a costly affair and for weddings, many individual devices have to be provided which is not something people are keen to invest in. However, VR experts suggest that this almost real experience can be gained from Augmented Reality (AR) wherein one can view the reality with the help of their smartphones. This, along with live streaming, is being used in weddings apart from playing a bigger role in education and teaching.

“The use of VR in weddings is gaining prominence as many to-be-married couples are looking at it as an option. It brings in the ‘special factor’ into a wedding in these times where every other activity needs to be cut down. However, this technology requires a person to sit and watch the full wedding wearing the VR headset – which is both bulky and costly. So, I would say it is a little gimmicky at the moment but going ahead it might take off if it is offered in a much user-friendly way,” said Kishor Krishnamoorthi, Hyderabad-based wedding photographer.

Not just weddings, the technology that allows people to get a ‘closer to reality’ experience, has been seeing traction in various segments ranging from retail shopping and real estate buying. While real estate is using the technology to showcase houses to potential customers, the retail sector is using the technology to allow customers to pick and choose products of their choice and order them online from the confines of their homes. “Apart from weddings, many conferences, events and even retail stores are using VR to maintain business continuity in these uncertain times,” said Prem Kumar, co-founder, Virtual Raasta.

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