How to build up an ARVR Strategy ? How to integrate augmented and virtual reality into marketing ? Do you take your marketing desires for reality ? Yes, but which ones ? Augmented reality ? Virtual reality ? These new technologies can be very useful as part of a marketing strategy. Let us explain here the concept of each of these realities, as well as their advantages for your marketing.
I – Augmented reality strategy, marketing
Augmented reality: definition
As the name suggests, augmented reality is reality that has been augmented! Well that’s a bit simplistic as a definition. Here’s something more detailed: so-called augmented reality makes it possible to superimpose a virtual element in 2D or 3D in our natural perception, and this in real time. Your reality is then enhanced by information added over your vision.
The smartphone, quite simply. And yes you heard right! Thanks to the cameras integrated in these smart phones, augmented reality is within everyone’s reach.
- Google Glass. Google created these glasses with a small screen that shows you the information you need about your field of vision.
- The Hololens. Microsoft has also entered the market with the same type of product. But his Hololens glasses are more for indoor use.
Augmented reality technologies for your ARVR Strategy
So now that you have a better picture of augmented reality, it’s time to see how you can put it into practice in your marketing strategy!
Putting augmented reality into practice
Imagine that you could have your customers try on furniture, clothes, glasses, right at their homes. Awesome, isn’t it? Well, it’s possible with augmented reality!
Let us take a concrete example. The Swedish firm Ikea has set up a catalog that uses this technology. Here is a brief explanation of its use: the customer places the paper catalog in the desired location. With his smartphone, he then downloads the Ikea app. Once downloaded, the software allows the user to select furniture and project it on his screen, where the paper catalog is placed. The customer therefore sees the furniture as if they were actually in the room. Ideal for getting a clear idea of how a product looks at home!
Here is a demonstration of the uses of the Ikea application in video:
You get it: augmented reality allows you to be as close as possible to the customer. It makes it possible for the user to access (in a dematerialized but very practical way!) to a representation of the product, directly at home. The customer can therefore test before buying. If the object is okay in his/her room, if it looks pretty … no problem! All the customer has to do now is buy it. Fits in your ARVR Strategy, isn’t it?
Of course, augmented reality isn’t just about furniture, it also allows consumers to try on clothes and glasses, etc. Many other products can be offered in the same way. But you can also use augmented reality in your customer relationships.
Improve the relationship you have with your customers thanks to augmented reality? But how ? With the help of holoportation. This technique, currently under development on Hololens, could very quickly be extended to several other media. It has indeed a very strong potential!
You have surely understood that “holo” is the beginning of the word hologram, this image projected in 3D in a real environment. Well, the holoportation uses the same principle. With this technique, you can project your image in the surroundings of your loved ones, or welcome theirs. The image is projected onto your Hololens glasses.
Here is an example of how holoportation works in video:
Consider that with this technique you will be able to appear practically in person during a conversation with your consumers. You can be closer to your customers and give more personality to your exchanges by screen and apply it in your ARVR Strategy. Holoportation has a bright future in the after-sales service sectors, but also from a marketing point of view, especially with everything webinar and event planning. You can indeed host conferences, even on the web, as if you were actually present!
You have seen two main functions of augmented reality, which offers great potential for marketing. Now is the time to change reality!
II – Virtual reality and marketing
Virtual reality: definition
Know that no, virtual and real are not opposed! The opposite of “virtual” being “actual” and the opposite of “real” being “fiction”.
Now that you know these two terms aren’t mutually exclusive, here’s a definition of virtual reality. To put it simply, it is about totally immersing a person in an environment recreated by computer. She/he will feel like she/he is living the experience as if it were reality. This technology is most often done with a headset and is currently widely used in video games. But virtual reality can also be used at the marketing level and included in your ARVR Strategy!
As in augmented reality, several media allow this virtual journey:
VR Tools for your ARVR strategy
- The Oculus Rift. This is the tool that really started and advanced virtual reality. This headset (created by a start-up and bought by Facebook) allows the user to be immersed in a world of video games. Mark Zuckerberg has decided to expand its functions. The helmet now offers the user a three-dimensional immersion thanks to two screens assigned to each eye. But of course the Oculus Rift is not the only one on the market.
- The Playstation VR. You will understand by its name that this headset is intended to work with the famous Playstation console. So the headset is very much focused on video games for now.
- The Samsung Gear VR. This helmet has a particularity compared to the others. It works with a smartphone! The principle is simple: the phone is inserted in a helmet gives access to virtual reality. This is a great asset for you and your marketing campaigns because many people own a smartphone.
Putting virtual reality into practice
Virtual reality, or how to immerse your customer in your brand! There are several ways to launch marketing campaigns using this technology. To start with a very concrete example, I am talking about tourism. Imagine that a customer wants to go on a trip, but is hesitant. He is afraid of being disappointed with the destination, afraid of paying too much for something he does not like. Why don’t you show him around before you go, as if he was already there?
This is what virtual reality can do for travel agencies for example, included in their ARVR Strategy. The customer can then see the environment, the ambience of their potential destination. After that it’s up to him to decide whether or not to pack his bags! Moreover, this practice may soon become tourism in its own right: the opportunity for some people to feel like they are going on vacation, while staying there!
Here is a virtual reality tour of the Pulpi geode located in Andalusia:
I took tourism here as an example, but other services or products can of course be sold thanks to virtual reality. For example, real estate, virtual reality making it possible to visit a home before buying it, etc.
Virtual reality can also be used for your website. Imagine that your site forms a universe in its own right! The visitor can then walk around it. They can discover a whole 360-degree landscape where information is distributed better than on a 2D page.
This is also possible for an e-commerce site. The customer could then wander between the different items you sell, and walk around them, a bit like in a real store! The untouchable digital image would then take shape and become almost real!
How is it possible to own such a site ? MozVR created by Mozilla is a browser that allows you to surf a page using a virtual reality headset.
An explanatory video on how the web browser works:
There you have it, without a headset you have immersed yourself in the fields of virtual reality and augmented reality. You will no doubt hear more and more about these two techniques in the years to come. So don’t miss the turn!
Swiss Tomato AR Agency is here for your to help you with preparing the best ARVR Strategy for your brand, product or services. For your plan in Virtual reality in Switzerland, contact Swiss Tomato’s experts!