What technology will be a game-changer for your business in 2016 and beyond?
The senses impact our view of the world, our emotions and our behavior. An immersive experience capitalizes on all five senses through the use of stunning realistic visuals that provide a tactile feeling as one navigates the retail environment. This experience could include sound, smell or virtual taste through image association (e.g., taste the lushness found in a photograph of an orange). The ideal immersive experience needs to appeal to all of our senses as well as cater to our sense of balance and discovery.
You know you’re in an immersive, 360-degree experience when you lose your sense of time. Gaming is a great example of an immersive experience that often results in players losing track of time. Immersive experiences draw viewers in by creating an environment where time has no value or influence. For brand marketers, this is truly an ideal factor where the target group is so involved in the experience that the notion of stopping seems foreign. Hyper-targeted content coupled with interaction and elements of surprise are ways to create an experience so engaging that customers won’t want to leave.
Game-mersion is a word we have coined that captures the blurring of the lines between what is a game and what is real. The gaming industry has certainly figured out the whole immersive experience as top selling titles often outperform the best movie releases. Video games allow for rich HD content that can be driven by a conventional controller or gesture-enabled technology. The advent of 3D goggles such as Oculus, which give gamers the ability to participate in incredibly realistic virtual reality games, has brought this type of immersive experience to new heights. Integrating gaming behaviors into software and web platforms helps increase customer engagement and creates a platform for immersive experiences. Allowing viewers to compete for points or levels is another approach to delivering unique stories in compelling ways.
Expect to see more interactive touchscreen platforms, such as endless aisle kiosks, including gamification as a platform to increase usage.
An immersive experience is the virtual manifestation of a well-written story that is visually delivered, while allowing the participant full control. For an immersive experience to be relevant, all of its aspects – from the scene and players to the required behavior – need to be relevant as well.
The ability for digital technologies to allow viewers to control the story and engage with brands has been around since the first touchscreens and gesture-enabled software were introduced more than two decades ago. Today’s games, televisions and computers all offer a higher level of interactivity and control, from motion sensors to voice-enabled avatars. The cost of this technology has dropped dramatically while the size of projection and LCDs has increased, and large screens are now the norm. The next wave is the development of multiple sensory touchscreens for large LCD panels, computers, tablets and smartphones that give users the sensory experience of 3D touch on a two dimensional surface allowing a richer and more immersive experience. This, coupled with high definition screens and multi-touch surfaces, will allow numerous customers to experience and control virtual stories.