- The Jefferson Awards Foundation was the recipient of the first real-life donation within virtual reality (VR), payments startup Payscout announced at CES on Tuesday and in a press release.
- Payscout created a 360-degree video that places a viewer at the center of an awards ceremony honoring middle and high school-aged social entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. JAF's mobile VR app is integrated with Visa Checkout to let people choose a dollar amount and offer a donation without having to remove their VR headset.
- Payscout COO Juan Sotelo said the app highlights how nonprofits can create immersive experiences that share emotional stories and urge viewers to make a donation, per the press release.
Payscout's VR donation to charity shows how the mobile VR tech can be used beyond entertainment purposes to handle real transactions inside a virtual world. The payments processor last year introduced its Payscout VR Commerce app to showcase how consumers can shop for products within an immersive VR experience and order them for home delivery.
Augmented reality (AR) and VR are expected to transform how consumers live, work and play and make mobile tech more engaging. As the technology becomes more widespread, transactional opportunities are likely to grow. AR is gaining traction more quickly than VR because of the prevalence of smartphone devices that have improved AR capabilities since Apple and Google rolled out software development kits for mobile devices last year. VR on the other hand, often requires clunky and pricey headsets that add another layer of friction to the experience for consumers.
Global spending on AR/VR is forecast to hit $17.8 billion this year from $9.1 billion in 2017, the International Data Corporation said in a November report. Retail showcasing of products in stores and online will be the two largest use cases of AR/VR with combined spending of more than $950 million in 2018, the IDC predicted.