Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) started to make their way into mainstream conversations a couple years ago and the industry is advancing quickly. The augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) market amounted to an estimated 12 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 and is expected to expand drastically in the coming years, with most optimistic forecasts for 2022 eclipsing 192 billion U.S. dollars (Source Statista). Keeping up with the terms and acronyms can be daunting task for non-experts. So first things first.
XR is the future
The last couple of years we’ve been talking about AR, VR and MR. The coming years we will be talking about XR.
The world is changing at a fast pace. The last years we’ve seen how companies all over the world have felt the impact of digital on their business and the pressure of new players in the market. Companies such as Amazon, Alibaba, Netflix, Uber and Whatsapp have challenged established companies’ business models. The new players on the block have completely transformed customer expectations by offering convenience, speed & efficiency. This has drastically altered customer expectations and behavior. Customers have become more digital savvy and more demanding than ever. They expect top notch service, quality products, speed, convenience, flexibility and affordable pricing. For instance, the new consumers will no longer visit a mall to shop for clothes if they can buy clothes online and have them delivered within 24 hours with only one click. Offering exclusive experiences has become key and it is the ultimate tool to lure customers back to offline stores.
For example, over the past years the movie industry has been heavily disrupted. We’ve seen how Netflix killed the video stores. Movie theaters saw a decline in their visitors because what’s the point in paying for a ticket if you can watch on-demand from your own cosy sofa? But there’s one thing that the new consumer is still willing to pay for: WOW Experiences.
Cinema exhibitors are now introducing a whole set of new movie experiences, going from laser projection to recliner chairs or in-theater dinning. Immersive movie experiences are also hot. The Kinepolis group opened several 4DX theaters in 2018. Thanks to a spectacular mix of realistic and synchronous movement effects and weather simulations (such as water, wind, light and fog effects) Kinepolis now offers an ultimate immersive experience where you can see, hear and feel a movie.
Interactivity is key
Immersiveness is great at attracting audiences; but what drives call-to-action is motsly interactivity ...and this is where XR, a medium natively supporting real time interactivity, comes in.
Retail is one such industry that is adopting XR rapidly to offer more interactive experiences to increasingly mobile-focused consumers worldwide. In the top 3 of the most downloaded AR apps last year, you’ll find for instance IKEA’s Place that enables customers to virtually ‘place’ IKEA products in their living room. To avoid going through the hassles of finding clothes that fit perfectly, Gap created the “DressingRoom” app that allows users to try out a dress on a virtual mirror, cutting down on the time and effort of going into a fitting room.
AR is so naturally blending with consumers' mobile interactivity that it is progressively getting part of both on-line and off-line shopping experiences. According to Gartner, already 100 Million consumers will shop in AR by 2020.
XR: from Home to Out-of-Home Experiences
So here you have it: XR Experiences combine Immersiveness and Interactivity.
Where VR was initially targeting home usage, AR and MR -since they can only rely on personal smartphones, are more accessible for out-of-home experiences. Imagine the launch of a new product: you could enlighten an activation campaign or host an exclusive demo using XR technology. You could enhance the WOW factor of your event or give mall visitors an experience that they would remember, share with their friends and talk about afterwards.
At The Goosebumps Factory we specialize in providing a scalable platform to bring XR experiences to the Out-of-Home markets, like Entertainment, Retail or Events Venues. Are you looking for ways to offer your visitors an exclusive experience, to engage with them in an innovative way and to encourage virality on social medias? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch and find out how we can help you to achieve those goals.