Immersive technology comprises virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), all of which merge the physical and digital worlds to create a unique customer experience. AR will naturally morph into MR, while VR will incorporate elements of MR. Virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies have been evolving for many years and are already demonstrating how they can prove to be impactful for businesses. Digital transformation and Innovation through immersive technology will be the game changer for a range of enterprises.
“We are making a long-term bet that immersive, virtual and augmented reality will become a part of people’s daily life.”–Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO ( Facebook)
Immersive technology provides many implications including ease of use, scalability, and new types of content and application experiences for customers and employees.Technology innovation leaders should consider integrating AR and VR to improve customer and employee interactions and business performance.
To achieve an impacting result over and over again, companies need to put the customer right at the center of their digital innovation and use digital technologies to create ‘wow’ experiences for them. AR and VR offer new ways for customers to engage with brands and for organizations to achieve efficiencies via devices like smartphone VR, head-mounted displays (HMDs), smart glasses and 3D experience rooms.
AR and VR will transform today’s user experience into a more continuous and contextual one that significantly changes how people interact with each other and computing systems.
“We predict by 2019, AR, VR and mixed reality (MR) solutions will be evaluated and adopted in 20% of large-enterprise businesses.”–Gartner
Two of the biggest technological developments attracting attention at the moment are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Once merely indulged in science fiction films, AR and VR have propelled onto the tech scene and are taking the world by storm.
Augmented Reality is poised to disrupt nearly every industry over the next decade by supplementing human instinct. Enterprise leaders should consider this space if they haven’t already explored it. Augmented reality can fetch digital information into your environment and make it seem real. It leverages and elevates the use of other technologies such as mobility, 3D content management, and location, imaging and recognition. It enhances the user’s senses via digital instruments to allow quick responses or decision-making and proves to be especially useful in a mobile environment.
Augmented Reality (AR) has come a long way into technology from the science fiction stories. This transformation has taken place over the recent years and immersive AR is driving innovation and transforming many businesses. The use of smartphones has increased tremendously in the past few years due to which the technology sector has put a deep impact on business and marketing.
Business owners and marketers are benefitting from these trends and are thus constructing innovative strategies to achieve a cut-throat edge from enhancing marketing communications. This has helped them take customer experience to a new level thus increasing the efficiency of their business operations. AR is proving to be one of the top impending game changers which can create a seamless customer experience and simultaneously bring rich, engrossing virtual content. AR can be leveraged to build an enduring relationship with your customers, increase sales and adding value to the customer experience. The future is already here, and it is virtual.
AR favors business innovation by enabling real-time decision making through virtual prototyping and visualization of content. Although the adoption of AR in the enterprise is in its initial stages, AR technology has matured to a point where organizations can use it as an internal tool to augment and enhance business processes, workflows, and employee training.
AR will transform the structure of business within no time, the most important transformation for business being AR development for smartphones, tablets, and wearables. Industries are employing top most AR technological tools to provide superior customer experience. Many retail companies(eg: IKEA) are introducing AR tools for customers to try clothes without actually wearing it, and all this just with the help of an Android or iPhone AR app.
“Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality market is going to hike up to $150 billion by 2020. Moreover, AR has got a larger market share of $120 billion and VR gets only $30 billion.”
Augmented reality is the real-time use of information in the form of text, graphics, audio and other virtual enhancements integrated with real-world objects. The business potential for AR has increased through improvements in location services and image recognition. The increased precision of indoor location services has allowed businesses to use AR location features for vehicle, campus and in-building navigation and identification.
Processes that require staff to visually identify objects and parts and for real-time decision making, allow user organizations to use these AR capabilities because of their significant image recognition capabilities.
For instance, firefighters can use AR to find out ambient temperature or a building layout so they know exits, and potentially dangerous areas. AR can prove to be very beneficial as it acts as an internal tool for enhancing current business process, facilitating and optimizing the use of current technologies, and providing business innovation.
The augmented reality technology is still in its infancy, but we can see its steady expansion and evolution, one of the crucial reasons being the increased number of smartphones, tablets, and wearables. As an enterprise you should start analysing how you can use AR for your business or can run a brilliant marketing campaign and draw customer attention. IT leaders should examine the value proposition of AR as an internal tool to enhance business processes and provide business innovation.
VR enables you to bring the catalogue and rooms to life and it can make you feel transported somewhere else.
Virtual reality could change or completely disrupt the retail industry over the next 10 or 15 years, and cause a monumental shift in the way we surf, shop and experience the web, thanks to the pure power and imagination of human thought. It will dramatically transform the way we learn, live, communicate and connect with others around the world.Once this technology is acceptable, a whole world of possibility opens up to retailers, and many other industries, to reinvent the way we used to do business.
The number of active VR users is forecast to reach 171 million by 2018, according to a 2015 Statista survey.
Technically speaking, virtual reality is a computer-generated environment created in the third dimension that can be explored, and one in which objects can be manipulated. It is the creation of an artificial surrounding through the use of software such that it prompts a sensory experience affecting sight, touch, hearing or smell. It suspends a user’s belief to the point that they accept the simulated environment as a real one.
Over time, VR will transform every aspect of life. It has been around for some time, but it’s the mainstream transition and saturation of this technology that’s going to transform the world on a number of different levels. In fact, years from now, we’ll look back and wonder how we ever lived without immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality, which are set to dominate the technological landscape in the coming years.
VR will affect businesses both internally and externally. Internally, with more and more businesses conducting their affairs remotely, and often even further afield, an assurance on software such as Skype and Google Hangout to teleconference has emerged. However, with virtual reality technology creeping in, we are able to receive clearer interactions and non-pixelated faces. Due to VR in place, these intercontinental meetings have become more personal by incorporating facial expressions and eye contact, some of the human elements currently lost on Skype.
With the development and advancement of VR we may even see reduced business travel and costs as geography and location become less relevant. On the same note, the HR departments might become remote. This would mean that no matter where you are in the world, you will still have access to the necessary support and help of your company’s HR department.
The immersive nature of VR enables job interviews and training to be conducted remotely. Also, it will help candidates and trainees to get a better insight into what a job actually involves or deliver more experiential training.
Designing process of products will also be assisted by VR – it will create more efficient, life-like user testing and provide much quicker feedback at early stages of production. This will ensure less time consumption, and also cut costs. Businesses will better create and manufacture products that consumers want, the way they want them.
VR technology will create a tidal wave of change for online shopping. When combined with AR, it will help users imagine how items will “fit”. It might be with reference to a spatial arrangement (i.e. furniture for a bedroom) or a piece of clothing on a person. Virtual reality is capable of even bigger changes for businesses, beyond inner workings and processes. For instance, VR will create story-driven experiences for consumers to build relationships with businesses, allowing an individual to get emotionally tied to brands. Customers will explore themselves as active participants when immersed in a VR environment.
In the coming years, VR is also expected to transform the world of entertainment – bringing movies and games to life and totally immerse you when watching a concert or sporting event. And of course, it will revolutionise the way we buy cars, choose holiday destinations and even book hotel rooms. It could even reach as far as military training – putting prospective soldiers into virtual war zones to help better prepare them for combat.
While virtual reality is already impressing thousands over the globe , it’s important to realise that this technology is still is in its initiation phase and has a bit of a way to go. Over the course of the next eight to ten years, virtual reality will become more embedded in everyday life changing the way future generations are educated and altering how we interact with brands.
Technology has given consumers more choice, and simultaneously made them more demanding. Hence, customer needs to be at the centre of digital innovation. However, organisations must not lose sight of the bottom line, and how digital technologies can drive the cost efficiencies.
Especially, mixed and augmented reality are proving effective in allowing consumers to engage with brands and interact with products like never before.Unlike virtual reality – which totally immerses the user in a new environment – mixed and augmented reality allows consumers to superimpose the world in front of them with virtual elements while eliminating the need for expensive headsets. From a commercial standpoint, this is proving more beneficial and cost effective for businesses because it is allowing consumers to visualise products in front of them, in the environments they would be used.
Before plunging into the pool of opportunities immersive technologies can present to the enterprise, it is necessary to see greater access to state-of-the-art immersive facilities to test and clarify the innovative ideas already being created across the enterprise. Everything we do is digital. Companies won’t see the full impact of their digital investments, until this digital mindset is reflected within an organisation. Digital technologies fundamentally change how companies get launched into the market, what they go to market with, and how they organise themselves internally. For digital technologies to deliver high impact, the whole organisation needs to be on the same page and needs to buy into this new way of thinking.