Eye on AI - August 22nd, 2019
Welcome to Aigora's "Eye on AI" series, where we round up exciting news at the intersection of consumer science and artificial intelligence!
This week’s theme is focused on enhancing the consumer experience through Extended Reality (XR), a general term which includes augmented reality, mixed reality, virtual reality, and the other various shades of technologically-enriched environments.
Psychological Benefits of Augmented Reality (AR) in eCommerce
We begin with an article out of iComputingLabs, titled “Change the way you shop with Augmented Reality,” which outlines the rising interest and need for Augmented Reality (AR) in eCommerce.
“AR is one of the opportunities an e-commerce platform cannot miss out on,” notes the author. “It will be even more popular because of its psychological impact on human beings…”
Things like storytelling, emotional attachment, wonder, etc. are pointed to as being the most important psychological benefits of AR. The article then goes on to describe how consumers have more attachment to products they’re able to try out or visualize on themselves or in their homes. This all leads to more confident shoppers, and higher online conversion rates.
Reimagining the Traditional Customer Experience with Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR)
Moving on to Virtual Reality (VR), this article out of MSensory, titled “A Virtual Reality Meal Is a Powerful Comment on Being Asian in America | Hyperallergic,” describes how VR has become especially good at teaching and shaping immersive stories.
“I’m standing in a black void and hear a woman speak to me in a mix of frustration and pride,” the article begins. “‘The star of this dish is veal sweetbreads / I find we have much in common,’ she explains in poetry, and as she speaks, illustrative brush strokes scribble and stack until a gourmet sweetbread dish and its individual ingredients float all around me. ‘It’s a lucky exception from the rule that offals are distasteful/an aspiration for all minorities.’”
The virtual reality experience being described is from a 2018 exhibit in New York City’s Museum of Food and Drink, titled Asian in America. The exhibit walks patrons through a multi-course meal as ingredients float by to combine into virtual plates as a professional chef / poet narrator comments on dish preparation, origins and evolution as dishes become redefined by other cultures.
Some companies have even begun offering VR entertainment as a means to calm passengers during airline flights. British Airways, for example, recently released a pilot program offering VR entertainment to airplane passengers.
There’s incredible potential for VR and AR in commerce and customer experience expansion, with practically unlimited application. I’m very interested to see how leading businesses choose to implement this sort of technology in the future.
To learn more about the basics of XR, we recommend this article by Bernary Marr. And for a quick look at the differences between AR, VR and MR and their evolving application, here’s a quick two-minute video:
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