Shaping consumer experience with reality tech
Previously, we delved into the possibilities Virtual Reality presents businessesi with. From construction professionals using it to train students and employees, to medical professionals projecting more accurate CAT scans and ultrasound images, VR is becoming a prevalent tool across industries.
This year, with major players like Microsoftii and Googleiii announcing their own foray into VR, and Apple rolling out Augmented Reality (AR) technology in the iPhone 8iv, it seems that the era of reality technology is finally here.
To best utilise the technology, it is important to distinguish VR from AR, to recognise the unique experiences each platform can offer your audience. VR submerges the audience in projections of “the real world or an imagined world, allowing the user to interact in that world”v. AR on the other hand, enhances our existing surroundings with “computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data”.
Here’s how your SME can heighten the consumer experience with the different modes of reality technology.
Increase in-store engagement
Customers are encouraged to try out in-store VR headsets to visualise the products they show interest in. “VR will be most important for product categories where either discovery is important or experience is important: fashion, home, big-ticket purchases like cars and luxury.”
AR also lets retailers “enhance their brick-and-mortar store experience by bringing in a digital layer to give shoppers offers, context and service in real-time based on their location.”vi
SMEs can ease into the VR trend by tapping onto social platforms that are already widespread. AdTech expert Sarah Hill advises: “make sure to pair your VR experience with a Facebook 360, Littlstar, or YouTube 360 campaign; without at least one of those, a limited number of people will see your content because not everyone owns a VR headset yet. (Those platforms … offer a web version in which viewers can use their mouse to turn their perspective.)”
Drive data-based decisions
Meanwhile, AR is on track to unlock new data analytics potential for SMEs to tap into. Based on the way consumers interact with business offerings using AR,
AR could also prove a key tool in overcoming current data analytics obstacles. For example, it solves the problem of “limited human perception and limitations from dimensions and screen sizes” offering “a multi-dimensional representation of data visualization thus helping to uncover slices of data hidden in plain view, for better insight generation”ix.
Although harnessing such advanced tech might seem out of reach for small businesses, local SMEs can look forward to getting a helping hand from SPRING Singapore. For example, SMEs can now tap on the Knorex AriseTM augmented reality platform to boost customer engagement, as part of a Collaborative Industry Project.
In the right hands, reality technology promises to be an innovative disruptor across industries. Already, savvy businesses are using technology like Autodesk’s Revit Live to visualise, design and share ideas, turning their dreams into (virtual) reality.