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How to adapt your business strategy to leverage Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

March 16, 2017

Businesses who aren’t working on their virtual reality and augmented reality strategies now will be left behind. This article simplifies Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Realty (AR), and shows how to profit from leveraging these innovative new technologies.

Virtual reality and augmented reality are poised to change the way we look at and interact with the world, literally. Last year was called “Year Zero” in the launch and consumption of these technologies. This year stands to be the year in which we see the chicken and egg situation resolved, as more content is produced, the hardware technology becomes faster, and it all becomes more accessible to the consumer.

Describing VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) to friends, family and colleagues can be difficult as these can be complex concepts, but using a couple of examples we can easily paint a clear picture.

Pokémon Go is a great example of AR technology that people quickly understand. It’s AR technology that overlays imagery (a created reality) on-top of the actual reality (what’s around you) to create an experience that the user interacts with.

VR, on the other hand, is a totally immersive experience. Imagine being a scuba diver, swimming around a beautiful Caribbean ocean floor. In this example, you’re viewing the ocean through a mask, and are able to move through this reality at your own pleasure, looking in whatever direction you wish while enjoying a totally immersive experience. That’s VR. Currently, content is actively being created for VR.  It is primarily for the gaming and entertainment market.

So, what does the future hold for business-to-business applications in VR and AR, and specifically for businesses who employ salespeople in the field? In short order these two technologies will be as ubiquitous in the business environment as email or texting. Presenting your product or service will be done with VR and AR as a means to drive customer value through a better, and more realistic experience.  In addition, digital marketing and customer engagement as we know it will change.

As a VR example, imagine you’re a farmer who’s about to purchase a quarter million-dollar tractor – a major capital purchase. Your friendly neighborhood tractor dealer comes out to your farm and puts a VR headset on you and situates you in a virtual tractor. Not only can you experience what it’s like to drive the tractor from the comfort of your couch, but you’re also able to view and experiment with all available options on the fly – both inside and out.  Your choices have expanded from one or two sets of versions, to unlimited choice.  Just like that, you’re sold!

For AR, imagine you’re with your real estate broker looking at a raw unbuilt office space to lease for your business expansion. He hands you a mobile phone and you point it around the space at look at the display.  Instantly you see a fully designed suite including furniture, carpet, lighting fixtures and paint colors – all overlaid on the real empty space.  You now can be inspired by the final vision. Again, you’re sold!

As you start to think about it, the possibilities are endless. That premise alone leads to a massive market potential. In a recent Forbes article, “Tim Merel, Managing Director at Digi Capital, forecasts that the AR and VR market will hit $150 billion in revenue by 2020, bringing in about $120 billion and $30 billion, respectively.”*

Businesses who aren’t working on employing a VR and AR strategy for business will be hit by a wave of innovation that their competitors will be riding. Think about how your sales and marketing teams currently engage with your customers and then re-think it based upon employing these new technologies. That paradigm shift alone will change your business.

I challenge you to think about how you present your product/service to your customers – could VR or AR bring value to your customer’s experience?  Think outside of the box.  The businesses who leverage these new technologies beyond gaming and entertainment will set the pace.

Kieran Wong is the Director of Sales for Status Not Quo: brilliant digital design; flawless web and mobile software; innovative strategy.  Not the usual status quo.

 

Deborah Weinswig, contributing writer at Forbes, October 26, 2016

“Virtual and Augmented Reality Become Realistic Revenue Generators”

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