How virtual reality and augmented reality can change the economy after the covid-19
article source : WIRED
From fashion to ecommerce, from industry to smart working, here’s how augmented and virtual reality can transform traditional businesses (and they are already doing it)
Fashion shows with avatars, 3Dcommerce, blue collar smartworking and school in virtual reality: ever closer borders, from marketing to entertainment, from real estate to the world of education. The rules of social distancing imposed by the coronavirus emergency make it impossible to meet in the physical world but visors, smartglasses and holographic supports can recreate communications and personal relationships, with immersive virtual reality (Vr), augmented (Ar) and mixed (Mr) technologies. If in the United States Virtualitics already allows you to view 3D big data in virtual environments, creating a scenario with the Minority Report, the Italian software houses are also at work. Already before the Covid-19 crisis, the consultancy Pricewaterhouse Cooper predicted that the sector will bring 1,500 billion dollars and 23.3 million new jobs to the world economy by 2030. The estimate of the contribution to the global GDP is $ 360 billion in manufacturing, 351 in medicine, 294.2 in training, 275 in maintenance, 204 in retail. “These technologies have so far been considered more of a ‘nice to have’ than an investment in productivity and personal efficiency ”, observes Lorenzo Montagna, president of the VR / Ar Association, an association of the Milan sector. “The coronavirus crisis will accelerate a strategic adoption that no one will be able to do without in the future, to reproduce the buyer-seller relationship, recreate the opportunities for meeting around products and all those situations in which a presence of people as a sport is useful, entertainment and culture. This is also why VR is already working well in training “.
“The lockdown has given a strong acceleration to ecommerce but the next frontier is the new ‘3DCommerce’ standard that the American association Khronos Group is developing, with the support of about 90 companies in the sector, from Amazon to Shopify, from CgTrader to Sketchfab, developing an evolution of the gLtf format, used for the transmission of photorealistic 3D assets “. The forecast is by Matteo Esposito, CEO of Invrsion in Milan, who creates virtual supermarkets for the marketing studies of brands such as Nestlé, Ferrero, Pepsi, Mondelez and Esselunga. “The fashion world has budgets already allocated for the fashion shows currently blocked , but it could be the first to benefit from virtual reality to bring the showroom to the buyer and not vice versa “- explains Esposito -“ the problem will be the conversion of some fashion houses that still design the models by hand, up to a few days before going to production”. Invrsion has rebuilt an entire Miami neighborhood in VR to allow a local real estate agency to invite potential buyers to purchase apartments with designer furnishings. “I doubt that the future of VR is hyper-realistic, haptic, olfactory and multisensory” – Esposito observes – “Facebook has already sold several million Oculus and I believe it will go increasingly towards standalone devices, with the computing power of the cloud in high resolution 5G. We work on an ecommerce product so that the retailer connects their platform on this type of support. “” Until recently we were an ‘effective gadget’ for large industry, but now this experience can become strategic. However, to wear a viewer you need to create a reason: live an immersive experience and a convincing interaction “, concludes Guido Geminiani of Impersive, who for six years has produced 300 commercial VR projects for X-Factor, Sony and several Serie teams A. “We are developing fashion demos, virtual rooms to allow buyers to interact through avatars and see the new collection presented during the fashion week.” “It is a paradox, many companies are not ready to seize the opportunities that technology already allow to address consumers, ”concludes Montagna, author of the book Virtual and Augmented Reality. New media for new business scenarios (Hoepli). “Yet one of the advantages of AR is that a smartphone is enough, there are projects already implemented in culture and sport, such as the virtual tour of the museum” Ara Pacis as it was “and the NBA finals seen with Oculus. So far, the ‘reason why’ has been lacking in business, but in hindsight, we already have this technology in our pocket. “A first step? Surely thousands of nerds from all over the world have already done so, becoming unsuspected marathon runners thanks to Pokemon Go, since 2016. While waiting (at home) for further developments, all that remains is to delight with the 3D animals made with the Arcor Google Search.