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Learning Nugget 30 - Imagine A New Reality

There is a change in the world as we know it Sci-Fi is fiction no more…. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Lets start with a quick description of the difference of both. Virtual reality: the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors. Excellent just under 3 min video here that explains it even better

Augmented Reality: a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. Excellent 2 min video that explains it best here

What you may not be aware of is that you already use augmented reality almost every day. The primary device is your smart phone. Some common day to day augmented reality situations include;

  • Turn by turn navigation on a satellite based map is considered a rudimentary form of augmented reality

  • If you use Yelp, they have an AR feature called Monacle. It uses the phones GPS. When you point the camera at a building, it pop’s on the screen a list of nearby bars and restaurants (see image below)

  • Gaming, there are a huge number of AR based games right now, the most popular being Minecraft

  • Layar also known as Interactive Print or the first AR Browser. While there are many apps like this one, it’s the most popular. While reading a magazine, you use the camera on your phone an point it at a page in the magazine and digital content appears to float above the screen. This can be video content, special offers, links etc (see example below)

A lot of people when they consider AR think wearables, like Google Glass and Microsoft Hololens, or Facebook's Oculus. But AR comes in many many more forms with the most prolific being smart phone apps and intelligent displays / monitors. The above are the obvious ones, examples you can relate to in your every day life. But the current actual use of AR in very specific fields and industries is mind blowing. Here’s a short list to give you an example of AR is already being widely used for highly specialised uses; Samsung smart mirror displays being used in hair dressing salons

AR in education Vitotechnology have developed an app called Star Walk. You load in on your phone or tablet, fire up the app, point it at the stars in the night sky, it then overlays detail and information about those stars. There are tons and tons of other existing uses of AR in technology but this is a very good one

Retail and Advertising. This is a rapidly growing area and wow, the use cases are extensive. To mention a few, point your phone at a restaurant across the street and have their menu pop up on your screen, or point at a pair of shoes in a store and find out other places and prices where they are available from (imagine that a company using a competitors display window to sell their products online). Point your phone at a billboard advertising a product and get video content and a buy now offer on the product or service. Ikea have an app that allows you to virtually place their technology in your actual house, you point your phone at an area, of say your lounge room then impose an image of an Ikea lounge over the background

AR used in Museums Already happening, many museums are using AR to provide rich media information, history, explanations and descriptions of their pieces on display

AR in sports It’s already used extensively in television broadcasts, where they have the line of scrimage overlaid on the playing field, or a highlight of a player and the trajectory of the thrown ball. But it’s coming to a smart device. Point your camera at the field while in the stands and access player stats, betting odds, all sorts of data and information

AR in healthcare The ability to overlay an XRay of a persons arm on their real arm to see exactly where the break is and focus on correct setting of the break is one example (see picture below). Other examples include training by having a virtual surgeon teach a new trainee on a certain procedure. Like retail there are many many examples. Google is your friend

The last one I’ll share today is automotive. Auto manufacturers are already using AR for advertising. Point your phone at a car in the showroom and get all sorts of rich media content, including colour options that you can change on the car right there in the showroom, features, road tests, 3rd party reviews, videos etc. But they are also now launching amazing user guides. Hyundai have an AR user manual for their cars.

There are tons more AR examples in construction, Real Estate, Travel, Air and Space, Airlines, Financial services, the arts, Military and Engineering. So lets take a look at virtual reality. Not as widely used as AR, VR is just starting to take off. One of the very first examples is an ecosystem based business model venture between Myer (one of Australia’s leading department stores) and Ebay. Here they have launched the world’s first fully VR department store. You move around the store using your eyes. Below is a link to the virtual store and a link to the short video that provides a great description of how it works. I have my own Shopticals !!

So wrapping this one up. AR is real, it’s being used every day right now is ways you probably never thought of. It’s a very very important technology evolution for you. Everything you sell powers AR both at the corporate end and the consumer end. AR gives you the ability to sell the entire stack of technology, it allows your customers to radically transform the relationship they have with customers and be at the cutting edge of customer experience. If you aren’t thinking about and talking about AR at least with your customers you should be. Here’s a little exercise, think about your most important customer and think about one way, even just using variations of the examples above, that AR could offer significant competitive advantage to them. Great 3 min read here from Goldman Sacs, estimating that AR.VR will be a $80Bn a year disruptive marketplace by 2025

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