Immersive Experience to the Next Generation

by October 16, 2018 0 comments

Authored By: Sai Prasanth, Co-Founder, Conzumex Industries Pvt. Ltd.

The next generation of immersive experience must stimulate the human senses: vision, sound, haptics, smell, proprioception, etc. A perfect immersion is pursued by making things real and illusional for the end users.

Unlike the passive experience of watching a screen, the user must be able to look around him/her and should be able to interact with the content around. It isn’t just about an hour long 360o videos, it can also be a 15-minute artistic immersive experience with interactions and adaptations of some characters and objects.

We are at the very beginning of this evolution and there are huge challenges ahead.

Immersive History

One of the oldest immersive experience that people had access to were the theme Parks. These theme parks were not just able to amplify the power of storytelling, but they also created a UX that really captivated the audiences. They let the audience become a character in the story and then move things according to the story while the audience feels immersing more and more. They could recreate locations, object and characters to a quite high standard of reality and is still enjoyed by everyone.

Today we have evolved into technology like the VFX, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 3600videos and more. We have access to devices such as the Oculus Rift, the Sony Morpheus, the HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, and 4D cinema, which stimulates other human sense, and are available in theatres.

Immersive Technology

A sense of immersion is created by the technology that blurs the line between the physical, digital and simulated world. It is an integration of virtual content with the physical environment in a way that allows the user to engage naturally with the blended reality.

The current immersive technologies are:

  • Virtual Reality: A complete digital environment that is perceived as real by the user
  • Augmented Reality: Virtual digital elements that are superimposed on the user’s real physical environment
  • Mixed Reality: An integration of virtual content and the real-world environment such that it enables interaction among them
  • Holographs: A 3D image that can be viewed from all the angels
  • Digital Twin: A virtual replication of a real-world entity that is connected to the real object in such a way that it shows the current status of the real entity
  • Telepresence: A virtual presence that is created by sending a robot in a real environment which conveys the feeling of being in that environment to the user

Immersive Marketing

Consumers today are looking for relatable real-life experiences. And the marketers are fulfilling that by creating a fully immersive three-dimensional storytelling process. A specifically tailored narrative is created that is aligned with the brand and designed specifically for each medium such as the Internet, Print, and TV etc.

Immersive Marketing was listed as the top trends in 2015. This form of marketing aims at creating live interactions with a brand along with promotional content for businesses. With the limitations of smart devices that cannot provide real tangible experiences, this form of marketing campaigns engages consumers like never before.

The questions marketers must ask themselves while creating these experiences are:

  • How can the engagement duration and frequencies be increased to a level where the consumers become brand advocates?
  • How to utilize various channels to communicate the brand across the target audience and maintain a consistency?
  • How to involve consumers at any point of the campaign such that they aren’t missed out?

Immersive content

As technology progresses the content must also progress to reach its full potential. We have seen various technologies creating immersive experiences and each of them has a different way of creating content.

  • Virtual Reality: Games, Videos and even images can be created on this medium. These things are created with specific equipment and the games are designed keeping in mind that the environment is going to be viewed as POV.
  • Augmented Reality: The creators here have to be quite aware of the environment in which the virtual elements can be added. They must create 3D objects and place them in such a way that they blend into the environment. Lighting plays a huge role in this.
  • Mixed Reality: This is quite similar to augmented reality, but here the physics of the object is taken care of as well. This adds a whole another level of illusion
  • Holographs: These are created by merging 2d images that extrapolate the body of the object. The mapping is so refined that the final result feels 3D instead of a cluster of 2D images.
  • Digital Twins: A digital twin is created by merging the 3D model of the object and the data that is received from the sensors and systems. This is typically real time.
  • Telepresence: Here the real-life experience of a robot is transferred to a remote human operator using sensors and transducers. These senses include tactility, vision and sound.

We can agree that immersive experience is going to be one of the most essential tools for marketers, entertainers and brands. They should start getting the taste of these and have a vision for it to be used in the future.

Unless they are aligned with this form of experience they would never be able to compete with the competition. The various applications of such technology and content are going to make it more and more irresistible to market. With innovations happening at a very fast pace on this domain, the future holds some great immersive experiences for all of us.

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