Our VR headset launches in John Lewis flagship store in London

John Lewis

Wireless Freefly VR headset launches in John Lewis  / Press Release
Immediate Release (07/12/15)


John Lewis shoppers get chance to experience virtual reality in-store

From today (December 14th), those curious about virtual reality or looking for the perfect stocking filler are invited to experience the immersive power of Freefly VR on Level 5 of the flagship Oxford Street John Lewis store.

John Lewis is the first UK retail store to stock the wide field of view headset, exclusively for the Christmas shopping period, as well as on JohnLewis.com.

A Freefly VR captain will be on hand to give people a demo produced by VR production partners Rewind which includes clips from their Strictly Come Dancing 360 experience and a virtual reality fast lap with former Stig Ben Collins.

Customers will also be shown how they can use their own phone in the Freefly and provided with information about virtual reality and where they can find the best content.

instore display

Rewind co-founder Solomon Rogers believes the deal with John Lewis marks the start of new technology category in stores, serving to increase its appeal to mainstream audiences.

” The release of the Freefly in John Lewis stores this Christmas marks a true firing pistol moment for VR production, and the start of mass adoption outside of the pure PC gamer market,” said Solomon.  “Although the high profile gaming orientated VR headsets are coming out in Q1 2016, the Freefly VR headset has got a head start on them on price point, and ease of use as you can use any smartphone with it. By deploying and developing VR experiences for mobile use, we have access to the current two billion worldwide smartphone users. Over the past year, Rewind has created VR content specifically for use on smartphone app stores for the likes of the BBC, Red Bull, Lexus and Björk. We see this market being the most influential in this early stage of the VR race.”

For the Proteus VR team, having the Freefly stocked in John Lewis is a symbolic milestone of a journey that began as a simple blog post.

“To be able to open people’s eyes to the immersive impact of virtual reality in such an established well known store is hugely exciting for us.” says Proteus VR Labs designer Mark Little.

Co-founder Jonathan Tustain believes this is a turning point for virtual reality going mainstream saying, “Although we know how engaging and lifelike mobile virtual reality can be, our greatest challenge is educating the public.  Now people can experience it for themselves and we can’t wait to watch their reactions.”

Jonathan adds, “A common misperception is virtual reality is exclusively for gamers but the scope is far wider. We hope this partnership will highlight the fact that virtual reality is already transforming comedy, hard-hitting documentaries, simulation, education and relaxation. Apps like YouTube and Littlstar provide hundreds of hours of 360 degree videos and there is a plethora of titles on Google Play and the Apple App Store.”

johnlewis at night

Presenting virtual reality in-store has its challenges but the installation is expected to appeal to customers who, according to the third annual 2015 John Lewis report, are using its shops as much as a social destination as place to make transactions. They are just as likely to be grabbing a bite to eat or getting a treatment at a beauty counter as shopping, it explains, and now they can try virtual reality.

The Freefly is now available at JohnLewis.com and the Oxford Street, London store for £49.95. Customers are encouraged to share their experiences on Twitter with @JohnLewisRetail and @FreeflyVR.

For images, further information and interview requests about Freefly VR contact Jonathan Tustain at jonathan@proteusvr.com.

About Freefly VR / www.freeflyvr.com

Freefly VR is a trademark from Proteus VR Labs, a company dedicated to offering powerful, highly engaging virtual reality products that go beyond gimmicks and fit within existing user behaviours.

We are about fun, non-taxing enhanced media consumption experiences – we believe we can make the technology disappear, just as a television set does when you are watching your favourite show.

For more information about Freefly VR contact Jonathan Tustain at jonathan@proteusvr.com or call 07846208801.

About Rewind / www.rewind.co

Rewind is a virtual reality, digital and physical production agency who consist of a dynamic & diverse team of visual artists, technologists, programmers and production staff to create world class content, for world class brands.

For more information about Rewind contact Jude Forbes at jude@rewind.co or call 07811440737

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