Virtual reality has not yet succeeded in breaking the habits of the public. So far, only video game enthusiasts and a few companies use it on a regular basis. Nevertheless, the period of confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic could accelerate the adoption of this technology. XRApplied, a company at the forefront of offering extended reality business solutions, demonstrates how VR is a necessary tool at this point in time.
Government-imposed house arrest to combat the coronavirus crisis is frustrating to many French people. Currently, it has resulted in halting shopping activities, eating at terrace cafés, visiting museums, or attending concerts. Nevertheless, one technology that is already operational today makes it possible to escape from the couch: extended reality (XR). And if you need a one-stop-shop provider for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) solutions, look no further than potential Zadar Ventures Ltd. (TSXV: ZAD, OTC: ZADDF) acquisition target XRApplied.
Recent moves by Zadar Ventures demonstrate the company is likely taking steps to break into the virtual reality and augmented reality market and it makes sense that they’re doing it now. If the first head-mounted display (HMD) dates back to 1970, a lot of progress has been made in 50 years. “It’s a great tool for the future that can transform our practices and make them more enjoyable and responsible,” says Bernadett Koles. The teacher-researcher at the Rennes School of Business has worked for many years on the possible uses of VR within companies and its applications in society.
Not just for video games
Until now, virtual reality has mainly made inroads into the world of video games or the world of leisure. Adventurers will be able to discover the catacombs of Paris in virtual reality, while culture lovers will be able to use Google to visit museums around the world without leaving their couches. Finally, sports enthusiasts, equipped with the Samsung Oculus Rift mask, can imagine themselves climbing Everest.
With the crisis, the desire to change one’s living environment could multiply users and uses. Especially if “despite the obvious challenges, companies seize this opportunity to interact in an innovative way with their consumers,” continues Bernadett Koles.
A virtual fitting room
Several companies such as Walmart, Adidas or Ikea have already launched virtual store projects. “Shopping online is not very exciting for consumers who like to touch and try products… Virtual reality allows any company to create a virtual fitting room for the consumer who can try on a whole collection of clothes from his room before deciding to buy,” says the researcher.
XRApplied believes that this is the future of marketing. In fact, more than fitting rooms, the company can build digital catalogs that can help transform a brand—from how it will be marketed to how it will be sold. Imagine doing away with the hassle of physical deliveries, of mailers that will likely be sent to the bin without even a second glance, of flyers that will cost money in printing and then will only further add to everyday waste.
By sending catalogs directly to a customer’s phone, a business can not only reach its target audience instantaneously—it can also gain actionable insight and analytics from the collected data being transmitted back to them based on user interaction. This knowledge can then be leveraged to improve product offerings and understand the customer better.
XRApplied is the partner you need if you want to build a more engaging app that will cut down on costs while increasing performance—a crucial and valuable offering in a post-COVID-19 world.
A sustainable solution
“It’s the right time to change our practices,” says Koles. The virtual world offers innovative ways to do the things we can no longer do. Its solutions provide new sustainable alternatives to follow consumer demands, especially in the experiential domain.
That being said, while the purchase price of AR headsets and other VR tools remains high, it is not the only obstacle to practice. Koles believes that citizens are not yet interested in it.
According to her, it is up to companies to provide the impetus to develop the technology. The time is right.
First published in Ouest France, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.