Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Transition to Virtual Everything

We live in a virtual-everything world. Basically everything we do in our daily lives can be done virtually, COVID-19 has proved that. Whether it be shopping for furniture, retail, groceries, attending events, chatting with friends, businesses have gone through a huge digital transformation and found a way for it all to happen virtually. In fact, your life has probably become way more digitized than you have even realized in the past couple of years. Here are some examples:

Augmented/Virtual Reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are fancy tech tools that bring the digital world to life. It’s easy to get t carried away with, but many companies have implemented AR and VR with a purpose so it functions as a tool to consumers rather than just something to play with (but let’s be honest, it is fun to use regardless). AR is often the perfect solution to creating a more “real” virtual experience, and has been a saving grace to many companies during quarantine.

Lowes

Lowes has found ways to incorporate virtual both at home and in-store. There are three elements to Lowes’ Advanced Visualization strategy: 3D product visualization, in-store navigation, and project visualization. 3D product visualization allows consumers to virtually place furniture and appliances in their houses to see how it will look. The in store navigation feature lets consumers use an app to guide them around the store and lead them to the products they are looking for. The third and final feature is project visualization. This tool has been tested in a couple Lowes’ stores and basically lets consumers plan out an entire home improvement project through AR. Consumers can go into the store, put on a Hololens which allows them to see a showroom, and then with simple actions consumers can select a variety of designs.

Wayfair

Home design has taken a huge turn towards virtual. Similar to Lowes, Wayfair has implemented AR into their mobile app that allows consumers to place furniture in their house before purchasing it. This is changing the way consumers purchase furniture. There is no longer a need to go to showrooms or furniture to see how the furniture could look in your house (but it will really only look that way if you buy every piece of furniture in the showroom) because thanks to AR you can now see how the piece will look in the actually room it’s going to sit in.

Car Sales

Buying a car online might be the way of the future. I know it sounds crazy, but with the help of 3D models and AR  it’s almost like you are looking at the car in person. Plus, think about all of the things you don’t like about going to a car dealership. The salesman is constantly trying to upsell you, the ambiguous pricing options, not being shown all of your options, and only getting a short test drive and then being expected to make a purchase. When you look at the car virtually and buy online, all of those things go away and you can pick out your car all on your own and see all of your options. Most dealerships even allow for a couple day return period (so you basically get a multiple day test drive). The move to virtual car selling might not be for everyone, but we are definitely seeing the market trend in that direction.

Real Estate

Even real estate has dipped its toes into the virtual waters. With many residents unable to tour their potential homes, real estate companies have put together virtual tours either through video or VR. You can’t expect consumers to want to purchase a home or sign a lease without the opportunity to actually see what the place looks like, but with the help of a virtual reality 3D tour, it is basically like you are inside looking at it yourself. Thanks to virtual reality, you can now tour multiple homes a day without even having to leave your house.

It seems like everyday we are seeing the world become a little more virtual, and it often happens without us even noticing. These are only a few examples of how virtual tech has disrupted industries, but take a look at your everyday life and I’m sure you will find a lot more examples.