Immersive technology is the way by which a person is shut off from the actual world and engaged in experiencing a different environment where he/she is fed with a new content, which takes the full attention of the person thereby influencing him/her to take action in a definite way. The process involves digital integration of a set of hardware with software. The separate environment that is created broadly classifies immersive technology into the following types:
- Augmented Reality
- Virtual Reality
- Mixed Reality
Augmented Reality: Here, digital content is superimposed on top of the real-world environment. This technology can be used everywhere, from the healthcare industry to the retail market. For example, IKEA Mobile App – You can use it to virtually place a piece of furniture in your room and feel how it is looking before making the decision to buy it.
Virtual Reality: Here, you will be completely shut off from the actual environment as you will be surrounded by a three-dimensional virtual environment with digital content existing in all possible directions. Apart from being used in the gaming industry, virtual reality can also be used in data visualization, aviation, medicine, military and treatment of mental disorders.
Mixed Reality: Here, virtual content is integrated with the physical world and elements of both interact with each other. For example, you have to attend a meeting at a place far from where you currently are. You don’t need to go there physically. You can visit the place with the help of this technology and verbally interact with the people over there.
Immersive Technology was used to be talked of in the Scientific Fiction books and movies earlier. But today, it has many applications. Brand owners and consumers can use it in their own interests. The four main ways Immersive Technology can transform the Face of Online Marketing are:
Raise Awareness: To raise awareness, the brand owner must use immersive advertising content to attract the full attention of the potential buyer. Staying engaged in the advertisement increases the chance of the customer buying the product or service that the brand owner is into. The chance of a sale is increased if the reach of the advertisement is more. So all the possible advertisement media are to be tapped wherefrom there is any chance of a sale. Of the advertisement media, the most promising of getting returns are the different social media where your advertisement can spread very fast. A clickable link should be there in the advertisement to take the potential buyer to the seller’s website which may initiate a sale.
Give Innovative Presentation: The website is a great way to share 360-degree images if these images are JPEG or PNG. Otherwise, you will need special software depending on the format of the images. Generally, the photos taken by 360-degree cameras are in the equirectangular format, which means their aspect ratio is 2:1. To display these images on the website in Virtual Reality, you will need software like Google’s VRView or Amazon Sumerian Skybox. One of the best ways to use immersive images is to make a 360-degree tour with them. This can be done by software like GoogleTour Builder, Roundme, etc. 360-degree and 3D videos are great sources for immersive content. But due to their large size, the videos are usually hosted on streaming video providers like YouTube or Vimeo. The cameras which are especially suited for taking 360-degree photos, 360-degree videos and 3D videos are Lenovo Mirage Camera with Daydream, Ricoh Theta 360 series, etc. 360-degree images can also be taken using smartphone apps FOV, Cardboard Camera or Facebook. If the immersive content does not work on your website due to some reason, you can host the content on any 360-degree content hosting provider like Momento360, 360cities.net, etc. Virtual Effects and Animation can also be used for creating stories in Virtual Reality. Thus, you can use 360-degree photos, 360-degree videos, 3D videos, virtual effects, and animation for captivating your potential buyers with an innovative presentation to sell your ideas.
Create Full Body Experience: It is better to create the content in such a way that the client gets a full-body experience as it engages the client more with the content. The more you get engaged, the more is the chance that you understand well about the subject of the content and the more is the chance that you will actually buy the product or service that the content is focused on. For a full-body immersive experience, there is the Teslasuit, a whole-body suit with a haptic feedback system. It stimulates the full body with sensations by sending neuromuscular electrical signals, enabling the user to touch and feel any object inside the virtual world. Its climate control mechanism will let you feel the temperature while the motion-capture sensors will do a whole-body motion tracking, and connect your body to the virtual environment. A headset is very important in this system because if it is integrated with the system, it completely shuts you off the physical world and you experience the virtual world the most.
Provide Better Customer Support: The proper demonstration of the product or the service by the marketing person creates a feeling in the customer’s mind that the product/service is top-class and he/she will get good support when needed. On the other hand, modern technology also instills a sense of reverence in the mind of the marketing person about the product/service that he advocates. This develops mutual trust and closer bonding between the marketer and the buyer leading to the product or service being bought and the initiation of after-sales support from an equally well-motivated customer support team much to the relief of the brand owners, who care about their brand and are inclined to providing better support to their customers.
Guest article written by: Gaurav Agarwal is the founder of ImaPRO – Digital marketing Agency Bahrain, providing 360° Digital Marketing solutions across the globe from last 16 years. With his years of experience and expertise in Digital Marketing, he serves businesses from a wide range of industries, including Retail, Fashion, E-commerce.