Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies have stepped off the shelf – almost literally – and into our eyes and brains. The idea that these powerful modes of transmission were limited to entertainment alone is long gone. Several industries are already implementing hands-on versions of these technologies into their daily practices. For example, using AR/VR to learn and practice complex heart surgery, or defuse landmines, etc. These fun and interactive tools are also helping businesses with their marketing, creating bigger impacts on potential customers.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Growth Trends
One of the fastest emerging technology trends is in the area of Extended Reality (XR), which encompasses Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR). To understand Extended Reality (XR), we’ll begin by defining three of its main components: virtual, augmented, and mixed reality.
Virtual Reality (VR) applications use headsets to fully immerse users in a computer-simulated reality. These headsets generate realistic sounds and images, engaging all five senses to create an interactive virtual world.
Augmented Reality (AR) is not a new reality, but a layer on top of your existing one. Rather than immersing users, AR relies on a device, usually, the camera in your phone or tablet to overlay digital graphics and sounds into a real-world environment. Pokémon Go and Snapchat filters are commonplace examples of this kind of technology.
Mixed Reality (MR) lies somewhere in between VR and AR. It blends real and virtual worlds to create complex environments where physical and digital elements can interact in real-time. Like AR, it overlays synthetic content in a real-world environment; and like VR, this content is interactive, and users can manipulate the digital objects in their physical space.
Extended Reality (XR) is changing the landscape in several industries. It’s expected to grow eight-fold, reaching an estimated market size of more than $209 billion by 2022.
(Forbes, Bernard Marr, Jan. 14, 2019)
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Technology Applications
- Virtual Product Demos:
Not every industry can lug around a product sample to show off. For example, consider the automobile industry. Can car manufacturers ship demo models of all the different types of sales to any event they’re going to? This would be a logistical nightmare – not to mention impractical, unsafe, and expensive. The same goes for any industry with laboriously big products – or even products that are currently in development. AR/VR tech gives companies an easy way to let customers demo the product as if it were the real thing. They can explore and interact with the features of the product in an almost surrealistic way through a single platform like a tablet or a PC. Highly realistic 3D renderings that interact with the user’s surroundings through images, text, videos, and animation tactics can give them an outstanding experience of the product, regardless of the industry.
- Visual Entertainment:
Almost everyone has either glimpsed or used products like Microsoft HoloLens, HTC Vive Pro/Focus, and Oculus Quest/Go. These devices are the perfect option for visual learners. Mixed reality smart glasses can project 3D objects into the natural setting of the user’s surroundings. This creates a fine blend of virtual reality and actual reality. Users are free to test drive flights across the world and drive brand new SUVs across rocky terrains. They can also check out how they look in brand new clothing, all from the comfort of your office. This gives them a semi-realistic idea of how the product functions. Also, to know if it is compatible with their skills and requirements.
- Trade Shows
Businesses are constantly seeking out the newest, most cutting-edge ways to promote their products. AR and VR tech is the perfect way to achieve this. It provides exhibitors the opportunity to create highly immersive experiences without boring onlookers with typical slideshows or video presentations.
AR/VR tech also lets you maximize floor space. Booth spaces usually aren’t big. You can use AR/VR to create an entire world for the user to immerse themselves in. This allows you to get extra creative and elaborate with the demonstrations.
Another benefit from a business development perspective is that XR applications can be implemented whereby the trade show attendee will need to provide you with their contact information in order to try out the experience. Whether it’s scanning an attendee’s QR code on their badge with your lead retrieval system or asking the user to provide their name and e-mail address to get on to a leader board, there are many ways to integrate lead tracking into the experience to allow for data analytics after the event.
Benefits Of Using AR & VR Tech
Visualization is a super powerful tool for demonstrating your product. You could stand for hours and drone on about the benefits of your products or show your customers videos about how well it can solve their problems, but the chances of these tactics working are slim (unless the person listening is already interested).The experiential marketing brought to the table by AR/ VR tech gives customers a great idea of what to expect from the product. This saves your time while giving users an immersive experience that they are guaranteed to talk about. AR/ VR also lets you harness data to provide highly personalized visitor experiences to each and every customer. There is always something magical about seeing products custom-made to your personal preferences.
Virtual and augmented demonstrations let you train prospective clients on how to properly use your products. Instead of implementing hiring schemes or test models, you can use an AR/VR setup to properly run through the practical uses of the product.
You can also use AR/VR demos to show users the cutting-edge features your product offers, while garnering immediate feedback from them on the spot.
When considering the creation of any XR application, make sure that you consider how your company is going to reuse this digital asset. For example, perhaps you could re-purpose the content and provide your sales department with AR or VR assets that they could take with them on the road. Or how about putting some of this information on your website? If developed properly upfront, most XR experiences can be redeployed in other parts of the organization to maximize your return on investment.
About SKYE Studio
SKYE Studio (a division of Skyline Entourage) designs virtual tools for immersive engagement. We go beyond one-dimensional to produce creative content and tools that elevate your brand’s customer experience. To learn more about our 3D environments, custom virtual spaces contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.