The impact of virtual reality and augmented reality

If the way in which people relate to each other has changed thanks to technology, the way in which we interact as customers with brands is also undergoing a process of metamorphosis. Now, more than before, we only need to tap on the screen of our smartphone or tablet to go from reality to fiction and back in a few minutes.

What was once believed to be futuristic, often even unthinkable, is today a fact. What you had imagined a few decades ago is now a reality that you can see in two ways: virtual or augmented. Companies are beginning to see the potential of new technologies to take their customer experiences to another level in a disruptive and real-time way.

The communication scenario has changed with a consumer who has his own voice, demanding, changing and influential, who is not satisfied and always asks for more than he has. Hence the rise of experiential marketing, which simplifies processes by transmitting comfort and efficiency through the application of two concepts that we will explain below.

Virtual reality (VR)

If before telling you what it is you are relating it to glasses or a helmet, you are on the right track and we understand why. Companies like Google and Facebook have invested large resources in the development of virtual reality products, which have managed to captivate more than one in the world.

As well, Virtual reality is precisely what you get to see when you put on your goggles or helmet: the feeling that you are immersed in an environment recreated using computer technology. Great, isn’t it? Currently, sectors such as entertainment, tourism, health and education have begun to adopt it more and more in their daily activities; In addition, it is estimated that by 2020, VR will generate a market of 30,000 million dollars.

Current uses of virtual reality

The retail sector has lately adopted this hyper-realistic 3D experience as a marketing strategy. Such is the case of MasterCard and Swarovski, who together created a shopping app applying virtual reality. In it you have the sensation of being physically in the place, moving around the virtual store, seeing the products up close and, if you like one, including it in your shopping cart and making the electronic payment in a matter of seconds. Here is the link for you to take a look:

Another good example is the application of VR in health and education, specifically in the study of anatomy in a more real and visual way. Here’s a proposal co-designed by Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic Medical Center, and Microsoft:

Augmented reality (AR)

Can you imagine trying on a piece of clothing without having to enter the fitting room? Or see how a piece of furniture would look in your living room and change its color and design according to the style of your home? Probability of doing it: 100%. You just need your mobile phone or tablet to virtually view products on a physical environment.

This is what augmented reality is all about, a technology that as a concept dates back to the 1990s, when it was used in military training to simulate combat situations. It is estimated that it will experience exponential growth in the coming years; there is talk of up to 120,000 million dollars in 2020.

Current uses of augmented reality

One of the most common applications of AR is the one proposed by IKEA with its catalogue. Thanks to it, the store shows its wide portfolio of products and speeds up the purchase process in an interactive way, but best of all, its customers can see how the product looks in an exact place in their home, as shown in the video:

Another great example is the Webcam Social Shopper, a proposal of augmented reality in marketing for e-commerce stores. The strategy that draws the customer’s attention because it offers an innovative shopping experience and a completely different interaction with the brand. See how it works: