Have you ever had decision-paralysis? You know, when you can’t make even the simplest of decisions because of an overwhelming amount of choices?
Many of us can relate to spending more time browsing Netflix looking for a show than actually watching something, or trying to decide what to eat on a delivery app. We live in an age where technology has opened the door to more options than ever before. But sometimes, it can be just plain draining.
However, many companies are now working with AR and VR to help give their customers a better taste of their services and products, helping even the most indecisive people to get an idea of what they might like.
Here’s a few industries to take note of:
It can be a disappointing experience to arrive at a hotel only to find it looks nothing like the pictures. Paint is falling off the walls, there’s an overwhelming damp smell, and the bathroom is dirty. It can be enough to make anyone forget they’re on holiday. However now, now many companies are snapping up AR and VR technology to help customers preview destinations.
In 2014 Marriott announced its use of VR to visually transport customers to the beaches of Hawaii or the downtown streets of London. More, the international chain St. Giles Hotel produced a website allowing guests and social media influencers to document their local experiences using 360 degree VR technology. So, the next time you are deciding if you want to relax on a sunny caribbean beach or enjoy the culture of a European city, you may be presented with a lot more than just a brochure to help you decide.
Thanks to the increasing popularity of eCommerce, stores are making it easier to do your shopping without ever leaving the house. Despite its simplicity and rise in popularity, we still need to take a leap of faith when making purchases. There’s no “try before you buy” perk , whichshopping in person provides. Both VR and AR are quickly rulling out this problem by giving customers a greater idea of what they are buying before they click the checkout button.
The Line, a luxury boutique retailer, is now using VR to give customers an interactive experience in their Manhattan based store. Moreover, big name brands such as Tommy Hilfiger are using VR to give customers a frontrow experience at their catwalks. Gap has recently attempted to combat their declining sales through the use of new AR technology, too. Their Dressingroom App allows customers to “try on” items without ever having to set foot inside a store. You simply set your height and weight, and a 3D model is displayed in front of you showcasing your selected clothes.
It’s not only clothing brands which are making the most of this interactive technology, either. Automotive shows rooms are also dabbling in VR. Audi recently created Audi city, allowing guests to browse through a virtual showroom. IKEA Australia has also released a VR store, enabling customers to wander through a virtual shop without the hassle of the usual weekend crowds. This can empower customers to make more informed decisions about whether a large sofa or TV stand would work in their living room, or prove ugly.
It’s one thing to be given a disappointing hotel room, or to get an ill fitting shirt in the mail. However that’s nothing compared to selecting an ugly interior design for your home. Thanks to VR, many interior designers now have greater power to project their visions in front of their clients, ensuring the customers stay happy.
One company that has taken advantage of the technology is Decorilla. Decorilla released a new interior design virtual reality app, granting customers the opportunity to preview designs in a far more personal and interactive setting. This gives clients more information and confidence regarding their decisions as they can walk through the space before the design is carried out.
“Given how affordable Google Cardboard is, and the national launch of marquee products like Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Samsung’s VR headsets, it was a logical step to provide clients with an immersive experience of their new space,” said Josh van Aalst, Co-founder and Head Strategy at Decorilla.
Customers begin online by simply selecting various photos of interior spaces, identifying styles they prefer, whilst deciding favourite brands. Then the customer fills out a questionnaire regarding their budget and what they would like to decorate. Finally, the customer chooses to schedule a phone call, fill out an additional questionnaire or schedule an in-home visit.
“People frequently purchase furniture by themselves, but all too often, are not happy with the results,” says Christine Martin, Decorilla interior designer.
“Decorilla will solve this by offering clients the virtual reality app to view their designs, even before they have been executed. We are making one of life’s pleasures – a nicely designed interior – more easy to attain.”
Dulux is another company that has released an app using AR technology, allowing customers to try out colors before committing to painting the entire wall. Now you can change the color of a wall within seconds without dedicating a whole day and a set of clothes painting it.
VR and AR technologies have promising possibilities among many different industries, such as education and healthcare. It will be interesting to see how this develops – not only within mainstream areas such as gaming, but in the customer experience realm.
One day it might be feasible for VR technology to produce a virtual environment that we can freely live in, testing cars and decorating houses in a world much like The Sims. However, until that day we can enjoy taking sanctuary in the knowledge VR and AR will help us to make more informed decisions, faster.