“THE ADVENT OF AR (AUGMENTED REALITY) AND VR (VIRTUAL REALITY) IN MARKETING SPACE”
Augmented Reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are enhanced by computer-generated perpetual information. This experience is seamlessly interwoven with the physical world such that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment.
For example, the overhead displays in many fighter aircraft in the 1990s would show information about the altitude, direction, and speed of the plane, but now they show which objects in the field of view are targets.
Virtual Reality is an experience taking place within a simulated and immersive environment that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. The definition of ‘Virtual’ is ‘near’ and ‘Reality’ is ‘what we experience as human beings’. So, the term “Virtual Reality” basically means “near-reality”.
A person using virtual reality equipment is able to look around the artificial world, move around in it, and interact with virtual features or items.
The origin of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) came way back in 1838 when Charles Wheatstone invented the stereoscope.
This technology used an image for each eye to create a 3D image for the viewer. This device allowed used a pair of separate images to trick the eye and brain into believing they were seeing a large 3D image through a headset not totally unlike the modern designs we know today.
Since then, the technology has evolved at a rapid pace but has stayed on the fringes of society. However, in the past few years, as graphics and computing technologies have evolved, AR and VR have experienced a renaissance, according to a recent infographic.
In 1962, the Sensorama and Motorcycle Simulator device were developed by Horton Heilig. Resembling a modern arcade game this device took virtual reality to a whole new level as a 3D-equipped booth that worked to produce sensations of every kind to emulate real experiences. This included a vibrating seat and even the smell of hotdogs to simulate riding a motorcycle through the street of New York City.
According to a Zion Market Research Report, the Virtual Reality market was valued at approximately $2 Billion in 2016 and the market is expected to reach $26.8 Billion by 2022.
Virtual reality and Augmented Reality can be applied towards gaming, education, entertainment, market, fashion, art, and so much more.
The tourism sector was one of the first to realize the potential of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality for the creation of animated videos.
SCENE IN INDIAN MARKET:-
According to Thomas George, Senior Vice President and Head of CyberMedia Research (CMR), when it comes to India, AR/VR is still in the initial stages of adoption.
"However, the AR/VR market in India is expected to register a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of more than 50 per cent in the next five years." India has seen 170 AR/VR startups rise in the past few years.
The key drivers of AR/VR adoption in India are the advent of 4G Technology and high-speed communication combined with the increasing number of smartphone users.
Augmented Reality adds visual overlays on the physical world and is usually viewed through a smartphone. Virtual reality depicts a self-contained navigable 3D-world and is usually experimented through a specialized motion-detecting headset.
Experimental marketing has become the norm when it comes to attracting, converting and retaining clients. VR and AR are both used by advertisers and marketers for short-form storytelling for brands and companies.
Traditional forms of advertising and marketing have been very much limited in terms of end-user interaction, constraining their effectiveness. With AR and VR, customers have a new opportunity to become part of the experience, to interact with a brand in ways they haven’t before.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality could allow consumers to get a 360-degree view of a product before actually purchasing it. This could benefit the e-commerce space and also allow for more experimental marketing.
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS IN THIS FIELD:-
Technological advancements like smart glasses that are being developed for the blind people and mounted displays are widely expected to advance augmented reality further. Cloud technologies and the Internet of Things have accentuated the progress of augmented reality and is seen as the gateway for a lot of pioneering technologies.
Indian Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality market is a highly fragmented market, with several global majors such as Microsoft, Oculus VR, Samsung, Sony, etc, operating across the value chain.
With prompt developments witnessed by 5G Technology, integration of the same in the augmented and virtual reality technology is likely to push the market. By 2020, the three most prominent markets for AR/VR technology would be entertainment, manufacturing, and healthcare.
Immersive technology will enable collaboration between vastly distributed teams, across languages, time zones and geographies thereby connecting large populations to rich digital information, in the physical world.
The implications for this type of knowledge network are robust and could help solve global challenges related to geographically isolated populations and shortages of natural resources. Ultimately a global knowledge network powered by AI could “optimize” the planet to ensure resources are distributed to sustain the global population.