Virtual, augmented or mixed realities… how far will they impact your business?

Virtual reality, augmented reality… There is no doubt you heard those words in the past few months. From gaming apps (does Pokémon Go ring a bell?) to marketing campaigns, these new technologies are more and more present in our daily life.

And why is that? Digital technology is enabling companies to create tailor-made and one-of-a-kind experiences. Virtual reality is allowing full sensory immersion, letting people literally dive into an artificial world. Practical applications are multiple: from making complex things easier, or training for hard or dangerous situations, to creating a virtual social network. So what are we exactly talking about?

There are 2 main technologies:

  • Virtual Reality (VR): by using glasses or a headset, the user will be totally immersed in a virtual world.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): unlike VR, AR does not block out the real world to the users. They can still see it, but virtual objects (e.g. Pokémon) show up on top through a device (smartphone, glasses or tablet).

Those 2 types of reality can be merged into a 3rd one, named Mixed Reality, allowing the user to jump from the real world to a virtual one.

Marketing department as early adopter

When you think of VR and AR, the first applications that cross your mind are often marketing related. Indeed, this technology offers a wide range of possibilities in terms of customer and brand experience. Its innovative nature, being a new way of thinking and feeling, is highly appealing for the customer. Furthermore, it is very interactive and allows then to create an extraordinary journey. So that means that companies can create personalized and tailor-made applications that suit their brand universe best.

Besides, VR enhances the emotional engagement of the user, as it appears to be much higher than in a 2D environment according to a research study by YuMe and Nielsen.

Travel and Retail have been early adopters of VR and AR. However, with a little dose of imagination and creativity, it can also be used in many other sectors like Telecom, Banking, Insurance, etc.

Much more than a marketing tool

VR and AR have a wider potential however than just marketing applications. They can also be used for training purposes or to improve the communication between remote teams (e.g. VR conference calls could allow people to interact with each other in a way they couldn’t before, as if they were really in the same room, touching the same objects). AR applications can also be used instead of flat TV displays across industries, as smart glasses (linked to sensors on machines, for instance) can guide workers in their daily work.

What about your company?

Are you convinced that VR or AR can be useful for your company, but you don’t really know how to implement it? Or quite the opposite, you have a pretty good idea of what you want to do, and you need expertise to help you make it happen?

HeadMind Partners can help you identifying your exact needs, and analyse how this technology can boost your growth or improve your customer experience. Feel free to contact us.

Author: Fanny Homblé, Consultant