an immersive future

July 5, 2017

Disruptions and innovation in technology have been so rapid that the latest becomes obsolete even before you have mastered it. The rapid progress is towards minimizing human intervention and making arriving at decisions a lot easier. They aim to simplify life.

Technology enthusiasts and technocrats have invested considerable time in analyzing, debating, and concluding that the need of the day is to understand various trends by capturing data and to ease out decision making with tools that guide to engage and own.

Intelligence and experience will be the driving factors for businesses to impress and scale. Anything that is a catalyst or an engine to making tasks easier and experiential will be embraced. It is believed, 80% of the population will directly or indirectly be a participant of the digital ecosystem. Immersive experiences will blur the lines between the real world and virtual world. Technology that interactively engages and provides experiential encounters while providing dynamic and real time response will be extensively deployed and exploited to bring to ‘life ’.

Approximately 50% of the world’s population uses the internet for various purposes and 50% of these users are active on social media. Asia alone has 45% of internet users. India is gradually building its reach with 34% of its population being regular internet users and 300 million owning smartphones. Around the world, it is said, there are approximately two billion online video game players.

The access to internet, busy lifestyles, value for time, the need for ‘seeing is believing’, and quick decision-making have pushed technocrats and technology companies to develop products and solutions that not only address needs, but also create entertaining and experiential content.

The need to develop quick rendering ‘on the go’ content for entertainment led to exploration and development of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality products and solutions.

Immersive videos on social networking sites, internet video channels, and mobile phones are a feature to look forward to. Devices are being manufactured to cater to such content and developers are building entertaining capsules to keep users engaged.

social media and networking: Facebook buying OculusVR emphasizes on the trend we need to look forward to in social media. Social VR would bring about sharing of social experiences with the virtual world. This may go a step further with job interviews and meetings happening on a VR platform.

video games: Due to easy interaction and instant accessibility, video games on smartphones have become widely popular. It has made gaming on the move a possibility, and at the same time, affordable. With VR, players will enjoy an immersive experience of the same. The technology would change the way video games are played and attempt to teleport the user into an interactive environment. Demand for this experience is gaining popularity, compelling gaming companies to port their existing games and create new games for VR.

live and mass events: To mitigate issues with time, venue, and permissions, reach out to fans across the globe and create an experience of virtually attending a concert, live and mass events is also gaining popularity. Rihanna’s shows garnered major support with fans ‘attending’ their live shows from the comforts of their living rooms using virtual reality gears. Three dimensional, holographic presence of these artists viewed through the VR gears became a rage. Organizers are now motivated and confident of organizing virtual events with other artists too.

healthcare sector: This sector is gaining major benefits with the help of IoT—from heart monitoring implants to food and pathogen monitoring. The exploration to continue benefitting from the use of technology will be funded and R&D in this trending technology will see a significant growth.

real estate sector: It will extensively use VR to market properties that are yet to be constructed. Property hunting would happen virtually in the form of VR tours without disturbing the existing tenants or investing time to physically travel from one property to another.

engineering: Automobile and aircraft manufactures have been the first movers to embrace VR. To increase efficiency, VR prototypes are built and all stakeholders work on this and make real-time modifications. Heavy investments in expensive physical models and space will be reduced and VR will ultimately save a lot of time and money, and increase product quality and maturity. Products could be tested with actual users to get instant feedback. Teams in various departments could be trained to achieve better understanding and impact sales and customer service.

education: VR will transform textbooks into real world and give students a 3D experience. They will find learning interesting with visual and interactive concepts as compared  to the traditional way of teaching. Learning would become exploratory and engaging. These combinations of visual, interactive, exploration, and engagement would bring about a radical change in teaching as well as learning.

video entertainment: TV Shows and movies will now be watched on the go with 360-degree panorama.The world’s largest media companies see VR as the next big thing for experiencing entertainment anytime, anywhere. With online content already popular and viewing of this on smartphones becoming widely engaging, very soon, consumers will start wearing VR goggles to watch everything from daily shows and news to movies.

consumer experience: Retail giants will unequivocally and unanimously deploy VR and AR to enhance customer experience. ‘Faster the implementation, better the opportunities’ is the mantra retail sector will be working on. The impetus will be on the ease of transferring content in real-time and equipping the customer with on the go decision-making or compelling, saleable content. Trends will include in-store experiences focusing on ease of selection and purchase. These experiential tools will make data available for analysis and be a feed for AI tools and big data analytics.

Visual experiences seem to be the new norm. People would like to see and experience content before they own it—precisely the reason for the online retail boom with its 360º presentation of products.

In-app analytics embedded in virtual reality gears will assists retailers with data on top-selling products; heat maps will drive product positions and shelf planning along the store aisles. Consumers will have the advantage of exploring and experiencing the products before they take them home. Intel showcased this and other real-time tracking tools for retail inventory and customer engagement.

VR will not only create new markets but also disrupt the existing ones. It will create avenues for impact marketing and open up those confusing knots to make decision-making faster and simpler.

artificial intelligence: AI-based apps and automations are going to take the world by storm. The impact technology of 2017 is going to change and ease human intervention. Smart cities will use AI to build smart homes and offices and help save energy with sensor- and app-based operating systems. Home and office appliances will be controlled with cloud-enabled AI applications like locking the door of your house, printing documents at your desk while you are driving to work, etc. AI-enabled security and surveillance systems will track, monitor, and alert residents and administration about traffic situations, crime, emergencies, etc. Workforce and manufacturing assembly lines will be assisted by AI to improve quality and increase output. Ecommerce, retail, games, mobile apps, medical, food chain kiosks, logistics, HR, inventory managers, etc. are going to be the first movers to deliver quick-time quality services.

In the next two years, the world’s largest companies will be working on all possible permutations of big data and AI. SMEs across the globe will have AI apps to improve their productivity and quality.

content and technology: The rise in trends and the need to create experiences will bring about a huge demand for content developers and technology enablers. Experienced professionals are strategically building startups to meet this demand. The promising future of VR will ensure an unmissable and imperative focus on skill and content development. The VR trend will gradually see creative artists making a shift or also contributing to huge demand for content to keep users engaged.