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Business

From theme parks to furniture, 'VR' the new buzzword

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Opening sequence

Business

From theme parks to furniture, 'VR' the new buzzword

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COMING UP:From theme parks to furniture, 'VR' the new buzzword

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> Virtual reality now a fact of life for many, particularly in the world of video games. But with goggles getting cheaper, businesses you might not expect, from theme parks to furniture sales, are turning to VR to lure new customers. Reuters' business correspondence, David Randall.>> So at Six Flags, you're seeing them outfit some of their older roller coasters that they weren't as exciting, people weren't riding them as much anymore, with Samsung VR headsets.
00:00:25
>> This changes everything.>> So now when you're on it, you think that you're on a jet fighter in the middle of a battle or something. They can brand this as a new experience and a totally new ride, without having to build anything. And without having to employ anybody else, really.
00:00:39
There's only three new employees. It's two people to put all the VR headsets on, and one person to disinfect them, essentially.>> But we're making an app available for phones that's gonna come out later this summer.>> Beyond amusement parks, furniture shop Wayfair, rolling out a mobile app that helps potential customers visualize couches and dressers as they might look inside a home, hoping that the ease of use will boost sales.
00:01:02
Reuters analyzed the most recent round of earnings calls and found 38 companies, from the New York Times to snowmobile maker Arctic Cat, now touting virtual reality as part of their business plans. But is VR good business, or merely a hot buzzword?>> Well, it seems like analysts are split.
00:01:17
One analyst I spoke with, who covers Six Flags, he thinks they're gonna hit records profits. And he says that they wouldn't be able to do this without the VR roller coaster. Some other companies, though, they're kinda not sure.>> Facebook famously paid $2 billion to buy the Oculus headset maker in 2014.
00:01:33
But the $599 devices are still such a small part of the overall company's business that most analysts don't even break out Oculus in their earnings estimates. Facebook says VR will be their next big platform after mobile. But it looks like that sort of growth may still be years away.