Looking at a screen and typing seems almost stale. Virtual reality lets us forget about the real world. Augmented reality merges the physical with the digital world. Smartphones and virtual assistants understand what we say. Looking at this development, it was only a matter of time before hearing also receives its own frontend.
It was not so long ago when various scandals came to light about data abuse and fake news on Facebook. The company was taking heavy losses on the stock market and seemed to have lost credibility and charm to many users, stakeholders, and marketers.
But that hasn’t stopped the largest social network: Instagram’s attractiveness keeps growing, the company announced in the same breath with the bad stock market news. Especially among younger generations, the photo network is more popular than ever. Even Facebook itself wants to collect bonus points and drive innovation forward. The focus is on augmented reality.
This technology is also gaining in importance beyond the gaming industry. In fact, some companies are already focusing on this and are developing exciting, everyday use cases. The main focus is to make life easier in different circumstances (at work, when purchasing complex products, or building large machines).
Facebook wants advertisers to benefit from the potential of this cutting-edge technology even on the biggest social network.
Nobody’s gonna buy something online without information about a product. Descriptions, but above all pictures and videos depicting the real goods, are there so that the consumers receive a realistic look at products and then make a purchase. Images are virtually the shop window of a stationary store, but more detailed and specific. The success of an online business, therefore, depends on the quality and accuracy of product images.
Customers are increasingly looking for real and eye-catching product information before making a purchase. Colours, dimensions, ratios, extras, and presentation suggestions must be individually adapted to the different variants and models. The richer the range, the greater the photographic effort.
This represents a significant implementation problem for growing digital companies that have a large product catalogue. So how can retailers and manufacturers mass-produce high-quality images for their online shops? Three letters: CGI (Computer Generated Imagery).
Augmented reality can do more than hide a Pokémon. It enables users to see exciting things that don’t actually exist. A computer-aided expansion of reality will affect our daily lives more and more (and!) make them even easier. Already one or two pioneering companies are relying on AR and are developing exciting products for everyday use cases.
The outstanding performance of the German Olympic team at the Winter Games in the South Korean region of Pyeongchang is what everyone’s been talking about. Another reason for this, however, is the increasing digitisation of the sports industry, which is particularly relevant and present this year.
2018 will be the year of excellent customer experiences. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will, through immersive and high-value shopping experiences, play a large role in this new chapter. According to Gartner, the focus in the next five years will be on a mixed reality. Since the physical world and online world are beginning to merge, not only in private but at work too, a bridge between them makes a lot of sense.
Many products and services can only be, to a certain extent, translated into the digital world of the internet. Customers would like to touch, try on, smell, and feel before making a purchase decision. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality bring customers the shopping experience to their home, as well as in showrooms and physical stores.
There are already many devices with VR and AR features built in like head mounted displays and the iPhone X. A prerequisite for more of such devices to be accepted on the market is having these features built in more new mobile devices, which is expected to occur in 2018. In this context, new apps are being developed. In fact, Ikea has already launched its augmented reality app Places for iOS in the US, and other companies are sure to join in with similar products.
Nowadays, consumers can order almost everything online: lingerie, shoes, medicin, and glasses. You also can shop beauty and healthcare products, whose online turnover is expected to grow more than 8 per cent, annually between 2009 and 2019.
This means the beauty and healthcare industry is taking the leap into the Internet determinedly by leveraging the potential of this channel with new technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality. The main objectives: deliver great personalised customer experiences and differentiate from the competitors.
How do beauty brands and retailers successfully engage with their customers? How do they answer their customers’ demands? Can brands and retailers of other industries benefit from online cosmetics success stories?
As every year, the information technology research company Gartner releases its “Hyper Cycle” in which the status of every technology trend is analysed. Have any of them already arrived to the productivity phase? Are any of the emerging technologies going to be adopted mainstream in less than two years? Have you already heard about the innovation triggers 4D Printing or Human Augmentation?
After having seen the global fever caused by the release of the videogame “Pokémon GO” for Android and iOS last week, one could become conscious about the great potential of AR technology and to what extent digitalisation has taken root in our daily lives.
Nintendo has been able to put together a wide range of available technologies already integrated in the smartphone, like GPS and cameras, aiming to use the smartphone as the master key that seamlessly links the real world with the virtual world.
The result is well-known. The fact of bringing AR to a mass audience and giving them the opportunity to familiarise with its functioning and to experiment while playing, will have crucial future implications for the development of this promising technology.
Living experiences beyond the real world and feel yourself inside the game. It seems 2016 will be the year in which virtual reality is taking shape, not only in the videogames sector but also in business, like Volvo and Media Saturn are currently doing. The tech majors such as Samsung and Google have been working for the last two years on it and some rumours suggest that the latter will release its new VR glasses by the end of the year.
Against every expectation, indicated by the poor market share Google Glass could gain, VR hardware can be extremely useful for business and especially can help brick and mortar stores in their way towards the digitalization. At the same time, shoppers would be able to live a completely intense and unique shopping experience in 3D using their five senses without leaving home. That’s why companies are starting timidly to test this technology.