We live in a socio-economical world that follows certain industry trends to stay relevant to the people and businesses. Many factors dictate these trends. Some of these aspects involve behaviours, technological advancements and market conditions. The progress chart of AR and VR has seen an exponential growth in the last few years. It has a lot to do with the factors mentioned earlier and industry experts have projected that its ascending nature will continue for the next couple of years.
AR and VR has been a subject of mass hysteria, the lack of awareness and unwillingness to adopt as per the changing landscape has been the root cause of misinformation being spread among the general public for a very long time. Brands have managed to make these technologies relevant by targeting millennials and tech enthusiasts. These recently adopted practices have opened up a wide array of possibilities for AR and VR. I believe the world is now excited to step into the future, which is why here is what we can come to expect in the years to come.
AR and VR will not only be about visual and sound
Taping into other senses such as touch and smell will be the next step in evolving user experiences. AR and VR will soon become mainstream and the world will look for exciting new ways to transcend the user’s imagination to another dimension. Portable equipment that, when linked to the VR headset, can dispense the relevant odour or fragrance along with machines that mimic the phenomenon of earthquakes, wind, sand, etc. These experiences can elevate the user experience to an entirely new level.
Advertising and marketing
Advertising and marketing will amplify the usage of experiential media to showcase content. It is a known fact that every creative idea is done to death by someone, somewhere in the world. Which is why there is a swift change in adopting AR and VR technologies to appeal to the growing market demands. Utilising the power of a smartphone to bring out the best possible version of the content created by curators is the goal of advertisers around the world.
Military and defence
AR and VR will have a mass appeal across domains in order to bring to the table a new outlook to an old conversation. Defence uses cutting-edge technologies in every possible aspect. It is about time that training modules and induction sessions get a much-deserved upgrade. AR and VR-based simulations for training and maintenance can be an integral part of the defence programmes in India.
The steady invasion of new brands along with the stiff competition from e-tailers has emphasised the need for brick and mortar experiences to be even more engaging. While store design and in fashion manages to grab eyeballs, the shop owners need more than a gimmick to keep the consumer engaged. Touch-based interactions, augmented sales people providing product-wise tutorials, virtual shops, etc. The future is intuitive and interesting with technology for retail.
The automotive industry adopting AR and VR as a mandatory technology
Showcasing a concept car at an international auto show is an excellent way to gauge the audience’s reactions to a new model. Taking it a step further would be experiencing the thrill to drive it, in a lifelike simulation that utilises projection technologies, virtual reality-based simulator or augmented reality to generate curiosity. The Infinity Q60 concept is one of the examples where VR was an integral part to create buzz around the product.
Gaming shall attract the most AR/VR investments
Gamers are on the rise, they are crawling out of their lairs and revealing themselves in broad daylight as a force to reckon with. A lot of the advancements in technology actually revolve around these gamers, be it in the world of hardware related to computers, gaming consoles, joysticks, accessories or even wearables. Gamers are here to stay and mean business. Pewdiepie, a popular gamer on Youtube, has one of the largest subscriber base on this platform. His most popular videos with millions of views would involve him navigating a game using his pro-level skills from a first-person perspective. Game developers are consciously trying to make the shift from widescreens to headsets that utilise motion sensors. The Nintendo Wii is one such example that incorporated motion tracker technology in their games. Pokemon Go made AR a mainstream component of gaming as it made this technology accessible on an individual’s mobile device. The future is bright for experiential mediums and everyone will want to catch the experiential train sooner or later.
Inception, as opposed to collaboration, is the way to go for start-ups
The market is mainly divided into the well-established players and the ones that are just starting out. Everyone in between is not to be taken into consideration as they are either stagnant or on a decline. The ones that are starting out though would rather raise the funding to take the competition head-on as opposed to collaborating with the established players in the world of experiential media. The reason being, the projected rate at which applications of experiential mediums are growing in various industrial domains, everyone in the business shall receive a big chunk of the pie and will get to eat it all by themselves. Which means financial institutions, investors and angel funders will receive an excellent return on investment in a few years down the line.
Making the hardware for AR and VR more accessible to the masses
AR and VR need a certain minimum amount of specifications to ensure the applications or simulations run smoothly. These days, mobile devices possess the computing power of systems that are much bigger in size. Stuffing all that firepower in a pocket-sized device has many upsides, some of which being technologies such as AR and VR can be much more portable. They do not need any massive setups that will be stationary and cumbersome to operate.
The industry is heading towards AR and VR more aggressively than ever. Business opportunities in the world of AR and VR-related technologies are tremendous, many creators have hopped onto this bandwagon and have started cashing in on its success. Even though there are many misconceptions, related to it being new in the market, scepticism regarding its fate in the ever-changing landscape of media and its credibility in the face of long-standing technologies that have been tested in the market to deliver. Experiential marketing is bound to prosper and flourish in the years to come.
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