According to a study by Autism Speak and the CDC, 1 in 59 children in the U.S has autism. While children and adults with autism have verbal, behavioral, and social skills challenges, they also have unique identities and preferences like anyone else. Some people with autism who are minimally verbal or non-verbal use iPad and voice apps to speak for them. Also, they use iPads as an educational tool every day. Tech like the iPad has led both parents and the autism support team to embrace virtual reality. Today, more and more counselors, therapists, teachers, and parents are leveraging Virtual Reality as a therapy tool to help autistic people to communicate and connect with the world around them better. For example, the Center for BrainHealth and the Child Study Center at Yale University’s School of Medicine used VR to help young adults with autism achieve economic and social independence.
Additionally, the technology is helping non-autistic people clear some misconceptions about autism and understand the reality of living with the condition.
While VR has been gaining attention recently, it was used for therapy as early as 1996. The studies in the 90s were promising, but VR was expensive, and headsets were bulky and uncomfortable, which was a major hurdle for people with sensory disorders. All these issues prevented VR therapies from becoming a viable option for people with autism.
Today, VR technology is not just cheap and accessible. The VR headsets are lighter and more comfortable too. So, researchers are studying the potential of Virtual Reality as a treatment tool for autism more than ever before.
Uses of VR in Autism Care
1. VR Apps
At the University of Haifa, researchers have created a VR app that trains kids to cross a road safely. This app simulates what it would be like to cross the road with cars and traffic lights. The interesting part of the app is that it allows kids to practice crossing the street without the real-world consequence of being hit by a car. Kids can practice each step as long they need and reduce the risk while learning a new skill.
Floreo is a VR learning and social skills app that therapists, parents, schools can use and support staff to help kids with autism. This app helps children learn social skills like reciprocity and planning for unexpected situations through social stories. It also helps them detach emotionally with interactive virtual sensory tools. The app can be installed on a smartphone or tablet with a Google Cardboard headset. It comes with a good data capture system making it easier to track individual goals.
2. VR Games
Teachers recommend that parents play games with autistic kids to help them learn to mimic skills like sharing and back and forth communication. Generally, autistic people can find it difficult to make eye contact or have a two-way conversation between people. This struggle can unintentionally push others away. VR games such as Playground, Astropolis, and non-VR software such as SketchUp use the VR motivator as both play and learning opportunities.
- Astropolis puts players in a spaceship to fly, using resources to ensure space colonies are happy and functioning. Players can collect and manage the resources and defend the colony as well.
- Maritime Defender is yet another mini-game they can practice letting pilots through a wormhole or not allowing them to pass through. This helps with decision-making and control-based skills.
- Stellar Prospector and Starjack improve perception and thinking, and autistic people are encouraged to play this game.
- Sketchup, a 3D architectural and designing software, helps draft objects and structures. It gives autistic kids and adults a creative outlet not found in any school setting.
Other VR games such as Vivecraft, Tilt Brush, and Medium also help build things in 3-D and 360-degrees without the real-world challenges like running out of supplies or messing up, or having to start fresh. These games do not get autistic people direct jobs in coding, architecture, art, and design, but ignite their passion and encourage them to pursue a career in those fields.
3. Tackling Phobias
Virtual reality can tackle phobias in autistic kids, such as fear of classrooms, balloons, animals, and public transport. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy(CBT), along with visualization and imagination, can combat the effects of these phobias.
Using VR, participants enter a “Blue Room” and navigate through a 360-degrees video projection of a scene usually accompanied by audio that replicates the object or experience they fear. Here the participants do not have to wear goggles as the therapist manipulates the scene using iPad controls. Also, the therapist uses CBT techniques to calm the participants when exposed to their phobias.
The VR technology enables therapists, medical professionals, and parents to leverage it to help people with autism learn differently and improve their communication skills.
While Augmented Reality(AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have existed for quite some time, it has only recently had a revolutionary influence on the corporate sector. However, in the next few years, both AR and VR will compel every business to leverage it in some form to drive growth. According to Statista, the AR-VR market will grow up to $209 billion by 2022 worldwide. Additionally, the report states that the AR and VR application downloads are expected to reach 5.5 billion by next year.
A recent study suggests that consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that leverages immersive technologies to market themselves. AR and VR technologies help customers explore virtual showrooms, touch, feel and experience products and completely transform the shopping experience. From a 360-degree catalog to an engaging digital experience, both AR and VR technologies can help shoppers to immerse themselves into the Ecommerce experience and at the same time accelerate sales and drive growth.
Benefits of AR and VR
According to reports, about 78.65% of shoppers abandon their carts before completing their purchase. This shows the need for new ways to persuade customers to go ahead with the items in their carts and make the payment. Also, the pandemic has changed the customer behavior towards Ecommerce immensely, and customers now want to interact with your products digitally before visiting your store.
Sephora, IKEA, and MOSCOT are a few Ecommerce brands already using AR and VR to help convert prospective customers to clients.
Here are a few benefits!
1. Reduce friction in the online buyer journey
While the pandemic has accelerated Ecommerce adoption, some friction in the online buyer journey still exists. AR and VR help reduce that friction. Both AR and VR technologies enable consumers to find products quickly and try them on before purchasing them. Customers can also use the VTO technology to find answers to their queries without speaking to the customer service team.
Put simply, these immersive technologies disrupt customer experience completely and help convert a prospect to a client.
2. Improves digital marketing efforts
Facebook is piloting AR Ecommerce ads, and Google plans to incorporate AR product images into both paid and organic search results. Going ahead, AR and VR may improve the online marketing efforts of businesses.
3. Reduce returns
The ‘try-before-you-buy’ ability of AR and VR technology gives shoppers the chance to visualize a product and even try it on virtually, making them more confident in their purchasing decision. This eliminates the need to buy several versions of the same product and thus helps reduce returns, especially in the fashion industry.
Top 6 Ecommerce AR-VR Trends for 2022
1. Virtual Showrooms
Virtual stores are going to change the way people shop. A virtual showroom converts an empty room into a digital one completely and helps customers explore a variety of products. VR glasses allow customers to view distinct products along with their characteristics just as they would in a physical store.
For example, Kia, an automotive brand, is already taking advantage of VR’s benefits in its Ecommerce. Their customers can go through different car models virtually and choose a car easily. In addition, Kia allows their prospective clients to drive their dream cars on a 1-1 scale.
2. Virtual ‘try-on’
By 2022, it is estimated that a vast majority of Ecommerce stores will incorporate more virtual try-on technologies. This will help customers with what they’re buying. For example, the AR-embedded mirrors enable customers to ‘try on’ their desired clothes or shoes without actually wearing them.
While the virtual try-on solutions are popular in clothing and shoe stores, it is now available for furniture, makeup, eyeglasses, and accessories.
3. In-store Navigation
Augmented Reality makes it possible for customers to easily tour a shopping mall and find what they have been looking for exactly. In-store navigation powered by AR mostly comes in the form of a mobile app. These apps leverage advanced programming language features such as Python try-catch to provide users with much more than just AR routing.
AR-driven apps can help shoppers find an optimized shopping route, show the desired product’s exact location, and even guide them to gifts and discounts sections. For example, Lowe, America’s leading home improvement brand, uses an in-store navigation app to help customers shop conveniently.
4. AR Filters
Many businesses are leveraging AR filters to help their customers visualize products and make informed purchase decisions. Customers can try on products such as sunglasses, makeup products, and more using AR filters.
Warby Parker Sunglasses Company and Sephora are using AR technology to win their customers. Sephora has developed a virtual assistant that uses facial recognition to help customers try on different colors of makeup.
5. VR for In-store Experience
With customer behavior shifting to online shopping, Ecommerce businesses must consider investing in VR to close the gap between traditional stores and online shopping. With 3-D products, customers can move around in a VR store, interact with friends and even ask a virtual staff member for support if need be.
6. Interactive User Manuals
In years to come, interactive user manuals will become the norm, especially for online stores that sell a steep learning curve of a coffee machine. Customers can simply scan the product and get access to a virtual walkthrough of the product and understand its features, set up process, and more.
From furniture, luxury cars to makeup, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have brought about tangible transformations. As they deliver real and measurable results to online brands, they are indeed here to stay!
As a professional software development agency, we help you realize unique concepts and projects. With our VR and AR services, we help create unusual solutions for your business. Our cost-effective AR/VR apps enable businesses to boost operational efficiency and drive user engagement. As a result, our solutions help businesses unlock unique opportunities that scale business growth and efficiency.
Leverage AR/VR for your Ecommerce business today! Our team of experts at Fingent can create the best solution for you. Call us now!
Extended Reality (XR), is an umbrella term that encompasses immersive technologies – AR, VR, and MR that merge the physical and virtual worlds. While XR technologies are still widely used for gaming, social media and entertainment, it is being implemented extensively in industries and supplementing humans in unimaginable ways. Experts believe that the XR market will grow from 33.0 billion dollars in 2021 to 125.2 billion dollars by 2026, at a CAGR of 30.6%. This blog will take you through the top 6 reasons why your business needs to implement the rising capabilities of Extended Reality!
What is Extended Reality?
When put simply, XR is reality tech that covers VR, AR, and MR to extend reality by merging the real and virtual worlds. Here’s a quick look at what VR, AR, and MR are!
- Augmented Reality(AR): AR connects the physical environment with the virtual world through tablets, smartphones, smart lenses, and AR glasses to augment real-life scenarios.
- Virtual Reality (VR): This technology merges the physical environment with the digital one to create a whole new virtual world. Virtual Reality headsets and head-mounted displays help provide immersive experiences of the digital world.
- Mixed Reality(MR): With the help of MR headsets, mixed reality brings together the virtual and the physical environments to deliver unique experiences.
The term Extended Reality first popped up in the 1960s, when Charles Wyckoff filed a patent for his silver-halide XR film. The film was intended for photographing bright light events such as nuclear explosions. More recently, XR has moved into the mainstream with a few enterprises leveraging it to launch applications aimed at extending the customer experience.
Industries Transformed by Extended Reality
AR, VR, and MR are developing at a rapid rate and transforming the way businesses are operating, communicating, and collaborating. Here are some of the business industries that have undergone a drastic change with these technologies.
- Marketing and advertising
- Education and training
- Manufacturing and engineering
- Real estate
XR offers endless possibilities and so any field can benefit by leveraging XR into their business processes.
Reasons Why You Need to Leverage XR Technologies for Your Business
1. Cultivates brand awareness
With changing customer demands and fierce competition, it is getting difficult to attract potential customers. Simply launching new products and services is not enough if you want to grow your business.
XR technology helps deliver a unique experience for users, foster consumer loyalty, and build brand awareness. For example, Gucci offers AR-fueled apparel and accessories try-on app that encourages users to try their accessories before buying thereby providing a stand-alone experience for users.
XR technology not only helps capture the attention of your customers but also promotes a positive experience with the brand.
2. Better customer experience
Customer experience is important for the success of any marketing strategy. XR’s ability to deliver immersive experiences will help you connect with your customers better and establish deeper emotional connections. XR helps transport your customers to different places and even attend live events without leaving the comfort of their homes.
L’Oreal leveraged AR technology to help their customers ‘try’ skincare products before buying and saw its conversion rate triple.
3. Increases customer engagement
As per a report by Deloitte, 90% of the companies are implementing AR and VR technology in their business. Another report reveals that 40% of customers are willing to pay more if they can experience it through Augmented Reality technology. Yet another report reveals that 58% of customers are more likely to buy a product if they have tried it out.
These statistics suggest that extended reality technology must be implemented in your business if you want to grow. XR allows customers to get detailed information and visualization about the products and services. It enables them to try out various products in various combinations and even test patterns and colors before purchasing them.
With XR technology, brands can increase engagement rate significantly and attract more customers and also provide them with a positive experience.
4. Offers convenience
There’s no denying that online shopping is convenient and now with the pandemic forcing people to stay indoors most of the time, it is only becoming more popular. XR helps brands improve the shopping experience and also makes it less time-consuming. It helps consumers find what they are looking for faster and eliminate uncertainty from purchase decisions.
IKEA, for example, allows consumers to use their Place app and place a piece of furniture in their home using their phone. This improves the level of convenience, delivers a better customer experience, and eliminates any uncertainty before purchase.
5. Smarter Libraries
Data is the key to thrive today’s digital era. XR technologies place data in the context such that users can get better results.
For instance, you can use smart glasses to get a visual walkthrough to understand the true impact of the data collected instead of poring through spreadsheets and dashboard metrics for hours. XR technologies can help you make better and informed business decisions.
6. Create positive associations
Extended Reality provides brands with endless opportunities to create and implement emotional campaigns for their products. Based on the visual cues you include in your brand campaigns, you could encourage consumers to conclude your brand’s qualities.
XR helps connect with your audience in a way that activates their emotions and thus helps build a positive brand association. This will ensure consumers prefer your brand over others and establish loyalty. North Face, for example, launched an immersive VR experience of the Nepal landscape to its customers to identify with the brand’s identity.
Read more: Accelerating AR/VR Adoption Among Customers
Today, customers expect an intuitive experience from their brands and XR is becoming the new form of a conversation between brands and customers. Using immersive technologies, enterprises can nurture a culture of digital transformation and increase efficiency and profitability in the digital space.
Driven by immersive technologies, we at Fingent can help your brand increase awareness, engagement, and conversion. We have systems in place to help support large-scale communication. If you have a project in mind, we can help convert it to reality. Call us today!
Building Ground-breaking Customer Experiences With Augmented Reality
For the unversed, experiential marketing is a unique and effective way to build brand awareness through face-to-face connections with consumers. Unlike traditional or online marketing efforts, experiential marketing engages all the five senses that bring about emotions to form lasting memories and drive brand loyalty. It allows you to connect with your customers in the most relatable way while building brand awareness and loyalty.
So, how can companies effectively incorporate experiential marketing to make their products stand out? The answer is quite simple: by embracing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
Augmented Reality technology boosts experiential marketing by allowing consumers to interact with products or services with improved personalization.
Benefits Of Using AR In Marketing
As stores closed their doors and people remained indoors, Augmented Reality has received a lot of attention over the last year and will become essential for retailers as stores reopen worldwide.
AR is bringing the in-store buying experience into consumers’ homes. Consumers can now virtually experience how a cute summer dress, a pair of sunglasses, or sneakers will look on them. As a result, AR boosts the customer’s confidence when buying online. AR is also an excellent solution for people who are worried about trying products such as garments or footwear that numerous other hands have touched before them. The technology allows consumers to make decisions safely, without physically touching sample products kept in the shops’ display racks.
Sephora, a well-known cosmetic brand, has experienced great success with its Augmented Reality marketing strategy. The brand uses face recognition to help customers try makeup products before buying them in-store with their Virtual Artist app. Another example, Snapchat, which uses AR ads via snap filters.
Augmented Reality enables brands to show their customers what makes their products or services great instead of simply sending out marketing literature and thus allows them to connect with their customers better. This helps brands deliver memorable customer experiences and reduce costly returns.
Benefits Of Using AR In Experiential Marketing
1. Boost Sales
Let’s assume that you decide to re-decor your room. You will probably go through magazines and even visualize the furniture in the desired spaces. However, most often, you end up achieving a completely different outcome than what was intended.
So, that’s where AR comes into the picture. All you need to do is point your smartphone in the desired space, and you will be able to view (virtually) how your room would appear with all the desired items in place. This eliminates all the tedious trials and errors that can often lead to disappointing results. So, isn’t this unique and immersive approach a great way to attract your customers?
2. Save Unnecessary Marketing Costs
If you think that the new-age technology of AR and VR would cost you a fortune, you’re wrong. With advances in technology, gadgets and other technology components are becoming cheaper. For instance, AR ads are more affordable than traditional mediums.
AR’s targeted and personalized approach helps save up a lot from your budget compared to the conventional ways of communication. Additionally, it can be used for marketing campaigns as it is a highly efficient tool for advertisers.
3. Overcome Language Barrier
There’s no denying that people are more attracted to visuals than texts. As a result, visual images seem to have a language of their own. Both AR and VR use visualization to their advantage and excel in the process of communicating through moving images. While you may need a language to operate at the base level, users can easily find what they are looking for using the multiple options available.
4. Make Content That Goes Viral In The Social Space
Given the situation we are living in, social media has never been more relevant. It has changed the rules of advertising, and everybody is adapting to it. Advertisers are leaving no stone unturned to ensure their content reaches every potential customer of their brand.
Both Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies have the potential to make your content go viral. It is not only engaging and entertaining but also fascinating. The content is compelling enough to attract people of targeted age groups and helps communicate the brand’s message correctly.
For example, recently, Inphantry, a Boston-based digital ad agency, orchestrated an immersive AR pop-up exhibition in a Houston shopping mall. This was done to promote Nike’s AJXX8 sneaker, its latest addition to the Air Jordan line. Customers were given challenges such as dribbling, jumping, etc., wearing the sneakers and the Jordan branded bracelet with an RFID chip to track their scores.
On completion of the challenge, the high-scorers could experience the Air Jordan pop-up museum and lounge. Additionally, the participants were encouraged to share their pictures (of their experience) on social media. This strategy attracted over 2500 users and created the much-needed buzz around the newly launched sneakers.
5. Conduct Virtual Events
The pandemic has wreaked havoc in our lives both physically as well as emotionally. Most people are still not open to the idea of going out in a crowd, even at the cost of missing something important. In such cases, AR and VR technology comes to the rescue. The immersive technology allows the audience to access desired events virtually. Considering the times we live, immersive technologies are indeed a boon!
AR and VR platforms enable brands to engage and launch their offerings by organizing virtual corporate events, expos, and conferences.
6. Fulfill Training Needs
If any of your products or services requires technical training to understand its aspects, VR technology is what you need. It provides a personalized and interactive experience where the user can understand the product/service virtually. Moreover, this approach is highly effective as it can be re-run multiple times.
Additionally, the user can practice using the VR headset for as long as desired. This reduces any operational risks that the user could experience while using the actual product and helps educate them about it skillfully. That said, using AR/VR technology for training your users is more fun than traditional training sessions.
7. Enhance Customer Service
The main goal of any business is to ensure that their customers are satisfied and thus increase sales. AR and VR technology can help educate customers in a fun way and help them make informed decisions. This prevents any conflict of ideas that may arise in the consumer’s mind. Thus, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality help in increasing customer satisfaction and sales.
Scale Your Marketing Efforts With AR
Summing up, it can be said that businesses must earnestly consider using Augmented Reality to boost experiential marketing and create ground-breaking experiences that will set them apart from others.
If you’re looking for a unique and one-of-kind opportunity for marketing and advertising, you can collaborate with Fingent. We offer immersive and interactive experiential marketing solutions using AR and VR. Explore our offerings by simply giving us a call, and we will be delighted to help.
3D Web Configurator Tech: Run Your Home Improvement Business Safely During The Pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic’s impact has ushered in a dramatic shift in the behavior and preference of customers. However, this shift was not restricted to customers alone. Social distancing and isolation protocols put industries like home improvement in a state of dilemma, as their business depends highly on showcasing products to customers in a physical space, preferably in-store. Almost overnight, businesses like interior designs and home decor had to adapt and adjust how they presented their products. Today, home improvement companies are increasingly relying on 3D web configuration technology to ensure that their customers gain personalized product experiences and can shop from the comfort of their quarantined couches.
Forbes reports that by replacing static 2D images with interactive 3D models, businesses have gained a 40% increase in online conversion rates and a 30% improvement in average sales prices. Moreover, they also managed to reduce online returns by 80%.
As a customer begins experiencing the ease, personalization, and speed of online shopping, there is no going back. Businesses can leverage this cemented habit when they use a 3D web configurator. In the world of e-commerce, 3D web configurators are already a breakthrough. Unquestionably, it is the need of the hour!
Like e-commerce, the home improvement industry is also a crucial beneficiary of 3D web configuration. This article discusses how the home improvement industry uses 3D web configurators to enhance customer engagement and accelerate business growth.
How the Home Improvement Industry is Utilizing 3D Web Configuration
According to Statista, the projected total home improvement sales in the United States will touch 510 billion USD by 2024. Such an exponential increase is only made possible by the power of 3D web configurators. From sofas to paints and bathroom essentials like faucets and sinks, there are various configurations available today.
3D visualization software can help customers project a 3D model of the product against the background of any room. This does not mean a customer must invest in special equipment. Instead, they can view using their phone camera.
For instance, if a customer wants to see how a beige wardrobe would appear in their bedroom, they can simply point the phone camera and project that wardrobe onto the background. Plus, a 3D configurator allows customers to customize the product before they click on the “purchase” tab. So it is no surprise that 3D visualization software can build your customer’s confidence in their purchase.
3 Ways 3D Visualization Helps the Home Improvement Industry Thrive
3D visualization gives your customers an overall impression of their living room. It can provide an in-depth view of both real and surreal aspects. In other words, it will help you increase professional accuracy as you incorporate your customer’s requirements.
Here are the three advantages that 3D visualization can bring to the home improvement industry:
1. Color Match
Most people tend to research products online before buying. Besides, homeowners prefer to select their wall color from the comfort of their homes. An excellent 3D configurator case that can influence a consumer to move from the consideration stage to the purchase stage is Dulux. Using 3D visualization helped them to provide a better user experience across various channels and devices. In addition, it benefits both the customer and the consultant as they can pick and choose from all available colors.
The primary goal of 3D configuration is to help customers visualize how they can decorate their homes using various combinations. It generates accurate visualization of the selected paint on the walls and ceilings. Plus, it allows a shopper to import, tweak, process, view, and save the final visualization. This is an excellent feature for tradespeople and DIY renovation enthusiasts as they spruce up their homes.
2. Engaging Visualization
Home improvement businesses can use 3D configurators to educate customers about their products. It enables them to blur the lines between the consideration stage and point-of-sale decision-making. For example, 3D web configuration technology will let shoppers measure what size of furniture would look best in their living room. Once they decide on the size, the configurator could narrow it down to other furniture features and help customers make purchase decisions.
A 3D web configurator can do more than sell a product. It enables a business to be transparent and open about its products in detail. This assures the potential customer and increases decision-making comfort whether they commit to buying or not.
When customers cannot visit a store in person, they may want to inspect the purchase in detail. Having 4k zoom on your product page allows your visitors to scrutinize your products, feel the texture, and choose the right shade of color. This can be made easy when you add 360-degree images. Interactive 3D models can significantly improve your web session duration.
Typical case: Timothy Oulton
Timothy Oulton is a British handcrafted leather furniture brand. From 360-degree views to detail shots, it uses various 3D configuration features to create an engaging product page experience.
3. Interactive Imagery
With more people shopping online, having a 3D interactive website has become increasingly important. It can give your shoppers a degree of interactive imagery that photographs cannot render. You can achieve this by combining the background and the product to create an in-context image. Those combinations will help you convey a certain quality, tone, or mood that will influence a shopper’s perception of your product.
True, you can have multi-angled images, but you cannot rotate them. However, 3D product rendering enables immersive interaction between the customer and your product. Now, a shopper can rotate, enlarge, or shrink the product to view it from all directions. Such context enables shoppers to visualize how your product looks in a real-life setting.
Typical case: Neptune
A British interior design and lifestyle brand, Neptune, designs and creates furniture, lighting, and accessories for the entire home. They use context images to tell a story. Their product pages are filled with high-quality room scenes that highlight the beauty of their products.
Tangible Results of Implementing 3D Web Configurators
3D rendering is a distinctive way to present your home improvement products to your customers. It is less expensive in part because it can be used throughout the process of design and sale. Plus, it nudges them along in their buying decisions.
3D web configurators can help increase your customer engagement, boost online sales, and reduce returns. Thus, more businesses are likely to embrace the power of 3D configuration to ensure business continuity during the pandemic and beyond. So, yes, product visualization is the new reality of the future. But, are you ready for it? If your answer is yes, get in touch with us at Fingent and help us give you a 3D view of your business’s success!