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Reliance releases virtual reality glasses!
For people like me, Reliance Annual General Body Meetings are turning out to be more exciting than Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conferences
What are the possibilities with the mixed reality technology?
- Video content marketing will take the prime seat
- Mixed Reality Ads will dominate the show
Clubbed with Jio Fiber/5G/ Wifi 6, numerous opportunities open up. Following are some of the near-future possibilities I could imagine:
Case study 1: Shopping in a physical store:
Using AI, AR, and other reimagined user experience principles, we can walk into a physical store with Virtual reality glasses. We can browse all products on different shelves. Using the 360-degree view, we can feel the ambiance of the store. We can also touch the products by clicking on hotspots displayed next to the product to find all information about it. We can add the product to the shopping cart using voice commands. When you are shopping with your friends or family members, you can even engage with their holograms in the shop and interact with them.
We can even interact with real sales-people and get real-time demos. It would also be possible to interact with the other virtual visitors and acquaintances.
Case study 2: Shopping in a virtual store:
Virtual reality glasses can greatly improve the shopping experience as well! Lets see how. You can walk into a personalized virtual store of your choice. Based on your past purchases and shopping preferences, the virtual racks and shelves will be generated in real-time with stocks of the latest products. You will be able to roam around in the shop, view product information, purchase products, and interact with all your friends.
In both cases, network bandwidth will no longer be a bottleneck because of 5G implementation. Today, the latest tablets are capable of rendering complex 3D scenes seamlessly.
Now the physical experience stores could be located next to the warehouse or in a deep interior suburb. The local guides can also walk you through the nearby places and sceneries and even send you the pictures.
Some products or popular spare parts can also be manufactured on the fly in the 3D printer store near your home.
Food delivery boys or Uber car drivers will deliver your purchases home along with your food within a few hours of placing the order. We cannot rule out the possibility of finding a self-driving bicycle also.
You will be able to do all these from your bedroom just by wearing an AR headset and probably a few data gloves.
Can we call this a 3D social shopping experience?
If you order emergency medicines, you may find that a drone has already delivered them at your terrace even before you could reach there. Who knows? We may need to install large post boxes on our terrace with biometric locks, cameras, and beacons that can coordinate with the delivery drones.
Virtual reality glasses offer more experiences:
Travel and Tourism: It is safe to assume that most people don’t want to physically visit any location for a holiday until the next year or so. There may be some travel. However, travel plans are most likely to be restricted to business purposes. Therefore, the tourism industry may come up with innovative ideas to provide an immersive tourist experience. So, we can soon expect to download apps that give us the virtual tour experience. Vloggers can become virtual tour guides as well.
Education: Students can walk into virtual campuses with virtual reality glasses. A professor at Harvard University could be omnipresent at multiple college campuses.
Sports: VR-ready stadiums will give us a new experience close to watching our sports stars play live. The next IPL match could be played at a local YMCA playground, surrounded by green mats. We can watch them from home by wearing virtual reality glasses. Why? Social distancing. There is no need for fancy stadia that can host thousands of fans.
Wearable Consolidation: Since there will be a massive demand for AR headsets/ Virtual reality glasses, they will be forced to become sleeker. So our next James bond gadget (that has the features of iPhone, Apple Watch, and iAR headset, and the like.) could be a fancy gadget that can perform all the jobs. This device should be able to switch the views seamlessly based on eyeball movements. This might rake up security and privacy concerns, but the world can regulate and adapt to it.
The above case studies may qualify as short fiction films today. But soon, they will be a reality. The proof is that today we are using many gadgets that James bond used in the films in the early 80s. Jokes apart, we need these as badly as ever.
We need to cut down on over 60 percent of the things we indulge in today such as unnecessary travel and overpopulation in certain places just by using Virtual reality glasses. Unsustainable and non-environmental-friendly solutions need to be avoided. If we can effect some real change, there will be a balance in the urban and semi-urban habitats; real estate demands will be uniform.
Many elders and incapacitated people crave for pilgrimages and experience of the sanctum. If a VR headset or a pair of virtual reality glasses can fulfil their desires, a true technocrat could feel a sense of achievement.
With very little, we have achieved enough over the last two decades to call the planet a global village.
There are AI companies like Synthesia and Wellsaidlabs who are already producing realistic synthetic voices and videos.
When the Virtual reality glasses are released, online stores like Lenskart will also add fashion and glamour to the glasses.
Probably they will create Virtual reality glasses that double up as power glasses also.
As I write this, Apple released iPhone 12 with a new technology called LIDAR. This technology obviates the need for having cameras for Virtual reality glasses. This technology uses a method that bats use to sense.
Now, the question is: Which one comes sooner? Vaccine for Corona or the mixed reality wave? We need to wait and watch.
Technology may not be able to allay pandemic fears. Technology should be able to make some of the things accessible to those who cannot afford it. Let’s hope that virtual reality glasses contribute to a better experience. Whatever be the technology or product, be ready to wear the virtual reality glasses and have fun!
(Excerpt from my book The Growth Quotient)
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