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Augmented Reality and the Future of Business

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One of my favorite, recently discovered apps is SkyView Lite. It’s an app that helps you identify all the stars and constellations in the night sky. I’m no expert in identifying the stars, so when I read an article that told me which constellation to look at to view a particular meteor shower, I had no idea where to start. Enter SkyView Lite.

After you download the app, you simply look up at the sky through your smart phone, and the app overlays the names of constellations and planets to show you what you’re looking at. It’s the perfect example of how augmented reality displays digital information over what we’re seeing in the real world before us. Sure, I could also check out an astronomy book and see what the Big Dipper looks like, but this augmented reality apps bring that knowledge to us in a much more convenient format.

So, how can all this great technology help our businesses? Augmented reality can make things more realistic to us, bring information to us faster, and bring us together from remote locations. Whether it’s creating interactive employee experiences and meetings, interactive training and education resources, showcasing products in a more realistic way, or even designing office spaces virtually, AR is developing quickly to be accessible for your business needs. Soon, you may be able to repair an office machine on your own with augmented reality instructions versus calling the repairman. Or you may be able to travel to a different city and walk down the street with an app that shows you digital information over what you’re viewing versus reading about it in a bulky guide book.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Apps #Applications #AR #VR #VirtualReality #AugmentedReality

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Case Study: Try it Before you Buy it

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Have you ever shopped for a critical piece of furniture such as a table or couch, and in the store you think it looks fabulous, but once you get it home, it’s not the right fit, or the color doesn’t go with your paint or other décor?

Furniture shopping can be tricky. But what if you could virtually bring that piece of furniture into your home and assess how it looks before you buy it? Well, there’s an app for that, brilliantly designed by the mega home store, Ikea.

Ikea’s app utilizes augmented reality technology, allowing you to shop by virtually placing the piece of furniture from its website within the image of your room that’s displayed on your device. You can change the color, the layout, and other elements to work through the decision process. You can design your dream room right on your device!

All of this technology has a common goal: to create a more savvy and convenient customer shopping experience for people buying a product or service. Better experiences come with easier interactions, better communication, virtual demonstrations and trials, and more. This empowers the customer to make wiser, more confident purchasing decisions.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Apps #Applications #AR #VR #VirtualReality #AugmentedReality

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Remembering the 2011 Tsunami & Earthquake

Remembering the 2011 Tsunam... Remembering the 2011 Tsunam... Remembering the 2011 Tsunam... Remembering the 2011 Tsunam... Remembering the 2011 Tsunam...
On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake created a tsunami that hit the coast of Japan killing 15,000 and injuring more than 6,000 others. As we look back and remember those we lost and the vast number of people affected, our thoughts and prayers are still with those who lives were forever changed on that day.

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Case Study: The Hybrid Store Experience

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Last year, Nordstrom opened a store with no inventory – yes, NO INVENTORY.

How could that be?

Its first boutique-style store, called Nordstrom Local, opened in Los Angeles last October. The store is only 3,000 square feet. It’s a new test for the giant department store. Although there is no inventory, it has large dressing rooms so you can try on the items you purchased online and sent to the store for curbside pickup. While you’re there, you can also make a return or have your garment tailored if needed; you can sit and enjoy a beverage, work with a personal stylist, even get your nails done.

This “hybrid store” concept is being tried by several of the giants. Amazon purchased Whole Foods, Fedex purchased Kinkos … we want the familiarity of the big box store and the convenience of online shopping, so companies are developing a hybrid of both experiences for us.

Although it’s hard to say if brick and mortar stores will ever go away completely, the trend is definitely steering away from mega-sized retail buildings with the help of online purchasing.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #OnlineShopping #Retail #AR #AugmentedReality

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Case Study: Innovation Starts with Failure

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Not all technology and innovation is going to work for all business models, but without trying them first, or at least researching them, we can never know the possibilities. So let’s see how some of the larger companies are trying out augmented reality (AR) to make their products more accessible and popular. We’ll start with our first case study, featuring Neiman Marcus.

The high-end store has vowed to stay current with new technology, and even has its own department called the innovation lab, or iLab for short, since 2012. Scott Emmons, head of iLab, was quoted on, saying,

“While failures don’t produce an immediate return on investment, they do provide a valuable learning experience. Not everything works,” he said. "Most of the time, it won’t.”

“Your companies are geared toward success, and you have to think about these experiments not as failures, but as learnings that can be applied to future projects.”

So far, however, Neiman Marcus has developed some cool AR technology to help its customers get a convenient and thorough shopping experience:

Snap. Find. Shop:

When you download the Neiman Marcus app, you can take a picture of an item you like, such as shoes or a handbag, and the app will find something very similar to that item available for purchase. Whether you buy it or not, the app is kind of fun to explore.

Memory Mirror:

Neiman Marcus created a digital mirror so you can see different colors and styles on you. You can view outfits side by side to compare; you can save your “try on” experience to view at home later on, or you can share your images with someone else for a second opinion. Check out the YouTube video for a visual explanation of how it works:
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Apps #Applications #AR #VR #VirtualReality #AugmentedReality

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The Future of Business in an Altered Reality World

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Your reality -- what you see, what you hear, and possibly what you smell and touch, may be impacted by some sort of altered reality. Even major companies are starting to implement different “virtual reality” (VR) or “augmented reality” (AR) techniques into their customer experiences, and we are going to touch on a few of those this month. The hope is you’ll read our case studies and see from a business stand point, where your company could go and grow as technology develops.

First things first: What is the difference between VR and AR? Because they are not the same.

VR is within a closed screen that simulates a new environment, and it brings new experiences outside of the viewer’s reality within view. Virtual Reality happens with some sort of viewer you wear; a headset.

AR happens in the real world in front of you. It combines the real world with digital information; it enhances your reality. It’s often referred to as a layer of information over what you’re seeing in front of you. For example, an app that takes a picture of your living room, and let’s you digitally place a couch in the room so you can see how it looks and fits before purchasing the real thing. Or an app that allows you to “try on” a new lipstick color by digitally placing it over a picture of your lips.

You see, VR and AR aren't just for gamers. Yes, games with headsets are played within virtual worlds, and Pokémon Go is an AR game where the Pokémon world gets layered over your real world through an app. But altered realities can work in our real lives too, and in our business environments. We’ll discuss this topic more thoroughly through case studies all month long.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Apps #Applications #AugmentedReality #AR #VirtualReality #VR

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