February, 2018
Innovation & Trends

Virtual and Augmented Reality: Technologies with potential for e-business? – Part 2

Revolutionary vision of the future or overrated hype? In the second part of their discussion on Virtual and Augmented Reality, Felix, Łukasz and Jaromir discuss how new technologies could affect our lives over the next few years and whether we are possibly facing major changes in the labour market?

Felix: Let’s imagine that every person in the world can wear these aesthetically unobtrusive AR glasses. The glasses recognize the specific product, e. g. by a QR code and provide a live assembly instruction. Then the glasses can show me how to cut a hole in a wall and then mount the window and window handle. If the instructions in the glasses are directly related to reality, shouldn’t they be easy to assemble? Or how difficult is it to wire a socket correctly?

This raises further questions: Do we still need specialist craftsmen? Will the B2B craft market continue to exist in this size and form? Or will B2C companies which are already experimenting with such technologies replace the simple B2B retailers?

… Augmented Reality could change society and market structures …

Jaromir: Augmented Reality could not only redefine our consumer experience, but also transform the structure of our labour market. Can you think of any other risks to be considered when developing AR and VR applications?

Łukasz: As with all new technologies, there is a risk that you lose sight of the benefits for the customer due to enthusiasm. Then you might invest a lot of money without getting anything back.

Jaromir: Both VR and AR could fundamentally change interpersonal relationships – negatively too. VR may lead to people having less physical contact with each other. And AR reduces the need to communicate with others. For example, why should I ask someone for help if I can get all the answers from the software right away?

Generally speaking, the more people are supported by technology, the less they are obliged to cultivate their ability to work together and solve tasks together.

Felix: I don’t really see any risk with this trend. It is important to focus on nature and people and to find simple solutions – solutions which facilitate tedious searching for information and save us time. But there are still some hurdles to overcome…

… after the first Wow-effect, there must be more …

Łukasz: Yes, in my opinion there are two main aspects:

On the one hand, the question of what one actually wants to achieve. The Wow-effect briefly attracts attention, but quickly fades away. We have to think in the long term: Will our solutions still be useful in two, three or five years’ time? Are they worth pumping money into?

On the other hand, it is all about costs and resources. Those who choose VR or AR have to invest a lot – not only in technology, but also in skilled IT specialists, continuous further training and in the training of junior staff. But if you manage to build up a great team of specialists and then talk about it – maybe Google will come knocking at the door and want to buy your shop for 10 billion dollars? Who knows? You can dream a little bit.; -)

… Take reservations seriously …

Jaromir: AR solutions for mobile phones are already available. In the case of AR glasses, it is important to know how fast technical development progresses and when it will be possible to offer such equipment at an affordable price. Many people will initially still be suspicious of such solutions.

Felix: It’s just a matter of trying it out, again and again.  It is important to observe people in order to let their experiences, fears and reservations flow into product development. We need many IT experts to help these new technologies make a breakthrough.

… our customers have the final word …

Łukasz: But let’s get back to the topic: How do e-sphere customers benefit from the current AR and VR trend?

Felix: We should talk to our customers about how to make business models fit for the future with manageable effort – for example by improving the presentation of product data and instructions.

Jaromir: Yes, e-sphere customers would certainly appreciate solutions which make it easier and faster to find information….

Łukasz: It would also be advantageous to encourage the end consumer to make a purchase by means of a particularly attractive product presentation in the web browser…

Felix: Of course, it would be great if our customers could tell us their own wishes and ideas for integrating AR and VR into their e-business solutions. That is why we appeal to all those who have followed our discussion here: Talk to us!

Write and tell us what you expect from Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in e-business. Our specialists will then gladly contact you on request.

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