FUTURE-PROOFING MODERN BUSINESS
Thanks to the ARVR Innovate Conference and Marketing Institute of Ireland, I recently had the opportunity to attend the ARVR Innovate conference in Dublin at the RDS (Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality). Having always had a love of technology, I was really looking forward to seeing this new tech and how these new (and sometimes disruptive) technologies will “rock” our world and open new business opportunities, both in Ireland and worldwide. I was not disappointed.
For most (myself included), VR is most prominent in gaming and having used it, I can see a huge market and have no doubt it will be embraced and become commonplace as the technology improves and becomes more affordable. What did come as a revelation was the opportunity of “Mixing Realities” through a combination of both VR & AR for business.
Close to my own heart is the opportunities that arise from its ability to market to consumers. Granted, it is only currently at a stage where only early adopters are informed/using it, but this will change in the very near future. There must be cheques and balances, a solid return on investment, even though it clearly offers a means to engage with you audience in a very personal manner.
Currently the desktop and traditional news/marketing is still king, but we have seen a dramatic rise in online video, is VRAR the next big thing. The New York Times has already invested heavily and deliver a daily 360 video piece as they believe that ARVR gives the opportunity to keep storytelling fresh, in an engaging way – The Financial Times (see Dublin Video) has also gotten in on the action. In the future we may have the rise of VRAR journalists/bloggers. The challenge will be to match content delivery to the audience – paid content must have value, valuable content must be engaging – perhaps this might be content subscribers may be willing to pay for.
Technology is an important disrupter and as technology changes, improves and new types emerge it is important to look to the future and see how it will impact our world, and business. Don’t fall prey to myopia the same way Kodak did.
As for me, I can’t wait to get my hands on some of this tech, play around with it further. Your thoughts and opinions are welcome.
Consider some examples, where what once was consider science fiction is now becoming science fact – links below will open demo videos to explain points.
- We have all become used to teleconferencing, videoconferencing, Skype, face-time – even meeting face-to-face from time to time. Imagine that you can now create a virtual office or invite others to virtually enter your “real world” office virtually. This virtual office can have a multitude of additional information streams such as live video, internet access and a virtual desk, complete with pen and paper and screen sharing to name a few. Attend a conference or event and experience/interact with it virtually rather than attending or watching a video afterwards.
- Improve learning through interaction and access to information which may otherwise be only available physically. Consider learning about the human body or understanding how complex pieces of engineering work. Have a full size virtual jet engine and be able to examine it and its components virtually so as to better understand it. Doctors could virtually assess an injury to decide best treatment and explain visually to the patient in an easy to understand manner. Imagine a HUD for a runner, cyclist, etc that projects route, pulse, info etc and overlay it on what the user sees.
- Aside from gaming there are huge opportunities to be had. Imagine been able to join or create a VR entertainment space (your own virtual man cave) and watch your favourite shows/live sport/etc with your friends who are visiting as their own virtual selves. Attend your favourite sport or concert from the best seats in the house and interact with your environment – chat with your friends, meet other attendees, etc.
- Have the path and location to a physical product on your shelves overlay itself on your vision. Looking at the product tag could pop up additional information screens, such as cost, compatibility, lead times/availability, inventory level, who the part is reserved for etc.
- Since the advent of the internet we have all had the chance to buy and sell online. Websites and online stores have in many cases replaced traditional stores. Personally, even though I regularly shop online, I still like to see, hold and play with an item before purchase (often visiting it in the flesh before purchasing online – sorry). Now imagine that you could walk down a virtual store aisle and pick up, move and compare it with other products virtually. Even bring it into reality (via live camera) to see how it would look in your own home. See how it would look on your kitchen counter, change colours at will and see its actual size compared to the rooms size and actual contents.
- With my background in the motor trade I have particular interest in how AR is been applied to vehicles. I remember a show from the late 80’s called Beyond 2000 which would look at future tech and a particular episode where Jaguar had a windshield that double as a night vision screen allowing the car to drive at night with no lights. This technology and more is now possible. BMW has gesture control to interact with its many in car features, sat-nav and various controls can be voice activated, HUD’S (Head up Displays) are becoming commonplace projecting information on the windscreen to assist the driver. Landrover even has the ability to project video on the windscreen to obscure the bonnet to make it look see-through so that you can see the terrain you are driving over. No doubt eye tracking will soon integrate as well as other once “fictional” tech becomes commonplace.
- Imagine a DIY manual overlaid on reality, a DIY step by step guide to service an engine, fix a broken circuit, and repair a computer. Caterpillar is already using this technology. Using simple tech at home to do your own measuring for a carpet fitting, painting, kitchen builds, etc – where you design, plan and measure simply and then order it direct.