The age of XR, or mixed reality, always seems like it’s just a year or two away. Alex Kipman understands that perspective: His work on developing HoloLens and other technologies was years in the making. But finally, the 2020s are starting to show some meaningful fruit thanks to years of engineering and a renewed focus on practical designs. Here’s what we’re already seeing, and we expect to grow even more common in the future.
Alex Kipman on Virtual Spaces for Web Meetings
At first, it may seem awkward to don a helmet just to have a web meeting, especially since so many of us are communicating this way every day. But today’s meeting technologies are well-aware that mixed reality needs to be as easy as possible, and their solutions are designed with that in mind.
Zoom may be partnering with Oculus, but not everyone needs an Oculus headset to participate in the Zoom meeting. Cicsco’s Webex Hologram offers a combination of useful holograms to help real-time collaboration. Approaches like these seek to incorporate mixed reality meetings in ways that make sense while simultaneously enabling traditional web meetings.
Virtual Environment Training
Some readers may remember virtual training as a significant feature in the days of Google Glass and other early applications. We see beneficial mixed reality training applications, particularly in highly organized industries. Alex Kipman points out that companies are already using it for shipping and logistics training. Even glasses with a basic heads-up display can cut errors and improve productivity when appropriately used in the workplace.
Finding Discounts or Recommended Products
Remember the Pokemon Go craze from a few years ago that saw players use mixed reality on their phones to hunt down new creatives to capture in real-world locations? That’s been a long time coming, and it’s far from the first app to use real-world locations as part of gamification.
But those uses are only the beginning. Marketers are starting to plan more ambitious uses of XR technology. Imagine the Pokemon Go technology applied to a marketing event: Hunt down discounts on real products in stores for a special reward or upselling opportunity. Or users can let their phones guide them to recommended products based on their buying history.
Entertainment and Education Events
Picture this: Instead of popping in earbuds in a museum to listen to the narration, you slip on glasses instead. Suddenly, you’re following battles, kings, and voyages in a 3D landscape combined with real-life historical artifacts. Or think about using goggles at a sporting event to get a live feed of stats, similar plays, and multiple views of a play while you’re watching.
Entertainment is filled with options for the creative use of mixed media, and Alex Kipman already sees some of these applications in practice. There is a barrier to entry – it takes significant investment to adopt XR, and users need to be comfortable with it. But, according to Kipman, it’s a growing option for select events where experiences can be enhanced.