As you enter, you are surrounded by hundreds of microwaves of different shapes and sizes, leaving you feeling overwhelmed. A salesperson tries to help, but they seem just as confused as you. Suddenly, an artificial voice calls your name and guides you to a section of budget-friendly TVs. It explains the features of each model and displays them in 3D on screens. After carefully considering the options and the costs, you choose the microwave that best fits your needs.
What you just experienced was an immersive customer experience. An immersive experience takes you into an augmented world where your imagination comes to life. It’s a cutting-edge way to interact with others, no matter where they are, in real-time.
For businesses, immersive experiences can take various forms, from simple augmented reality (AR) product demonstrations to full-scale virtual reality environments. Companies can use AR to create visually appealing 3D catalogs and interactive product demonstrations.
What is an Immersive Experience?
An immersive experience is a combination of cutting-edge technologies like AR, VR, mixed reality, computer vision, and AI. It blends the real and virtual worlds for seamless, 3D interaction. It takes you to a parallel world to view content in a more immersive way.
The term “immersive experience” refers to the process by which technology is used to transport a user into a different reality, enriching their everyday experience. They frequently employ a combination of technologies.
Augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, computer vision, and artificial intelligence are just a few technologies that can create an immersive experience. It enables wireless, three-dimensional interaction between actual and virtual objects in the environment. It also takes people to a parallel universe where they can consume shallow content.
The way people interact with computers is changing due to the development of digital technology. Human-computer interfaces are being revolutionized to provide a more immersive and natural user experience by sensing everything through IoT, processing and visually representing vast amounts of data, and developing immersive AR-VR experiences.
Immersive and virtual reality technology is no longer a futuristic concept. Recent technological advances have brought XR to the forefront of people’s daily lives. AR/VR tools allow designers, developers, and artists to build a one-of-a-kind, fully immersive products and experiences.
What is the mechanism of an immersive experience?
The most common tools for experiencing immersive material are smartphones and specialized headgear. You can utilize a web or native app for mobile, desktop, or console. The web app has broader applicability because it may be accessed from various devices.
By appealing to users’ sight, touch, and smell, immersive technology provides a convincing simulation of the real world. To fully immerse yourself in a virtual world, try using a virtual reality (VR) headset, intelligent wearables, head-mounted device (HMD), or haptic devices like gloves or controllers. There are many different virtual reality headsets available today. Some popular ones are Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens, Samsung Gear VR, and HTC Vive.
Smartphones or specialized headsets are the most common hardware used for immersive content. The software can be a web application or a native app for mobile, desktop, or console. Web applications are more universal as they can run on different devices.
An immersive experience combines the human senses of sight, touch, and smell to create a realistic simulation for users. Devices like VR headsets, wearable tech, head-mounted displays (HMDs), and haptic devices such as gloves or controllers enhance the sense of immersion. Examples include the Oculus Rift, Microsoft Hololens, Samsung Gear VR, and HTC Vive, among others.
Online events that offered impressive immersive experiences:
The ongoing global pandemic of 2020 also brought on many changes – many industries had to adapt their approach to events. This is especially true for the event sector, which is typically centered around bringing people together at a physical location. Despite these challenges, some event organizers have managed to not only survive, but thrive, by adopting unique concepts for online events.
Online events, also known as virtual events, are events that take place in a virtual location instead of a physical one. They typically include live and on-demand presentations, as well as opportunities for attendees to connect with one another in a virtual world.
Virtual events can range from simple webinars to complex virtual conferences for organizations. These events offer a new level of immersion and engagement for attendees, providing a unique experience in a time when in-person events are not possible.
Benefits of such online events:
- Virtual events offer cost savings for both participants and organizers. Hosts do not have to pay for expensive event spaces or to hire staff, while attendees do not have to incur travel expenses.
- Online events are more accessible to a wider audience, as all that is required is a device with internet connectivity. This means that more people can attend the event, regardless of location or travel restrictions.
- Hosting virtual events also saves time in terms of preparation and setup, while attendees save time on travel and can attend the event from their own location.
- Online events provide a safer and healthier environment, as participants do not have to worry about spreading or contracting illness.
Finally, the material presented at virtual events can be archived and made available on-demand, making them a valuable resource that can be reused and repurposed in the future.
Types of Immersive Experiences:
Here are some immersive experiences – These different forms of immersion offer unique benefits to businesses and audiences alike, providing a more engaging and memorable experience.
1. Tactical Immersion
Tactical immersion refers to the sense of touch. It occurs when a user physically touches an object, and the device detects, identifies, and transfers the signals between the user and the surface of the real-life object through skin contact. This form of immersion creates an artificial vibration, enhancing the overall experience. Although it hasn’t been widely utilized in the commercial sector, it has the potential to shape our current and future interactions.
2. Sight Immersion
Sight immersion involves integrating VR or AR technologies to demonstrate the features of a product. This form of immersion creates a strong engagement point and has a lasting impact on the customer’s memory. Digital art museums and large-scale virtual art installations are examples of sight immersion.
3. Narrative Immersion
Narrative immersion allows the audience to dive deeper into a product’s story through lifelike sound and visuals. This type of immersion is often used in immersive theaters where the audience is made the protagonist, able to interact with the cast and change the outcome of the story.
4. Revised 360-degree content
360° content allows for the combination of multiple videos in a dome-like space, where each angle has been captured, and 2D instructional content is overlaid. Marketers and advertisers can use this technology to provide customers with a comprehensive overview of a product’s features and benefits. Instead of creating a separate reality, 360° content offers a panoramic view of the product in the actual world.
In the travel and tourism industry, 360° content serves as a preview for potential travelers, offering an immersive view of destinations, from stunning skylines to bird’s eye views of cities. This creates a fully-engaging experience, sparking the desire to embark on a trip.
5. Digital Twin
A digital twin is a virtual representation of a real-life object, structure, or process that is updated in real-time using tracking data and 3D-modeling techniques. It acts as a digital alternative to a physical asset and is built with advanced machine learning and automation technologies. Digital twins are ideal for quality assurance purposes and provide instant insights into a product for quick decision making.
A prime example is the use of digital twins in satellites. These virtual representations can predict potential dangers, monitor fuel levels, engine power, steering power, and other crucial parameters during a spacecraft mission.
Some of the most immersive B2B technology events in recent years include:
- CES (Consumer Electronics Show): This annual event takes place in Las Vegas and showcases the latest in consumer technology and innovation, including emerging B2B technologies.
- Mobile World Congress (MWC): This event is the largest gathering of mobile industry leaders, held annually in Barcelona. It focuses on the latest in mobile technology, including 5G, AI, and IoT.
- Web Summit: This annual technology conference takes place in Lisbon, Portugal and brings together leaders in tech, startups, and investment to explore the latest trends and developments in the industry.
- Dreamforce: This annual event, hosted by Salesforce, brings together the world’s top business and technology leaders to explore the future of enterprise technology and innovation.
- Collision: This tech conference is held annually in Toronto, Canada and brings together startups, investors, and tech leaders to explore the latest trends and developments in the tech industry.
These events offer a highly immersive experience, allowing attendees to network with industry leaders, attend informative panels and presentations, and explore the latest technology through hands-on demonstrations and exhibits.
Some Virtual Events that offered Immersive Online Experiences are:
SheetCon 2020 positions itself as the first online conference solely dedicated to Google Sheet users. The conference provided in-depth training and professional presentations that captivated attendees. The organizers also used incentives, such as encouraging attendees to post about the event on social media or visit sponsor pages, to boost involvement. The introduction video, which provided a comprehensive overview of the event’s features and websites, made the virtual event accessible to non-tech savvy participants.
2. NBA Restart
The 2020 NBA event was one of the most successful online events. The NBA successfully replicated the excitement of live games while using technology to enhance the experience. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, in-person spectators were not allowed, so the games were live-streamed on video calls. To mimic the atmosphere of a live crowd, webcam feeds of selected spectators were displayed on screens around the court.
3. Re:Invent by AWS
Re:Invent is Amazon Web Services’ learning conference for the global cloud computing community. As Amazon is a leading player in the public cloud market, this conference is a major event. In 2020, it was held entirely online over three weeks, featuring keynote speeches, product launches, leadership and training workshops, a networking tool, DJ sets, a mystery video game, and other interactive activities to break up the learning. The conference also provided accessible materials, such as subtitles, translations, summaries, slides, and screen reader compatibility.
4. Adobe Summit
Adobe’s Digital Experience conference, held annually for the past ten years, went virtual in 2020 and was a resounding success. Instead of live-streaming, Adobe opted for pre-recorded sessions, which allowed for smooth delivery of the 100 sessions and fewer errors. The format also eliminated timing and connectivity issues.
An Inventory of the Most-Used platforms that help in building immersive experiences:
This part of the article will look at some of the top user experience design (UX) tools and resources that XR designers may use.
1. Figma Jam
Figma Jam is a digital whiteboard app that facilitates team communication and creativity. This 2D environment provides a user-friendly interface for collaborative creativity between designers and developers. Users can quickly take notes, annotate content, respond to questions with emojis, stickers, and stamps, and vote on the merits of other users’ suggestions. FigJam also allows you to easily copy and paste from Figma, keeping all your work in one location.
Customers who would benefit from using Figma Jam are:
– Interface and User Experience Designers
– Product Management Groups
Sketch has you covered everything from concept creation to prototype development and developer handoff. The tool is not limited to photographers, though; graphic designers may also use it to make adjustments to photographs.
Cloud-based file synchronization, sharing, and collaborative editing are all supported. High-fidelity prototypes can be designed, reusable pieces, incorporating existing media, and more. In contrast to other UI design instruments, Sketch is only available on macOS and costs $9 a month per editor.
UI/UX design community members are among Sketch’s intended audience.
– Visual Artists
– Web designers
Adobe Experience Design is a user interface tool that helps developers of innovative apps, websites, and prototypes. Adobe XD is popular among designers of all skill levels thanks to its responsive layout, repeat grid, collaborative features, and interfaces with other programs.
Adobe XD’s streamlined UI matches its ability to work in tandem with Adobe’s other Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Stock, Fonts, and many more.
In addition to the standard page and artboard interactions, users may collaborate on designs, create usage highlight movies, and distribute their work to clients, investors, and colleagues.
Users of Adobe XD include:
– UI/UX designers
Artists can use virtual reality (VR) with Google’s Tiltbrush to create 3D art with various dynamic brushes and shaders, such as snow, fire, ink, and smoke. This app allows users to paint, draw, and design in VR.
Virtual reality (VR) headset users can enjoy a comprehensive virtual palette and engage in interactive design. Open-source libraries are available for designers and developers to use with Tiltbrush to gain access to additional features. Users who will find this useful are graphic designers, painters, cartoonists, and video game programmers.
Tvori enables the creation of anything from story prototypes and mockups to XR app design and large-scale animation. In addition, this AR design software emphasizes teamwork by making it simple to share designs with coworkers engaged in VR projects.
Users may incorporate a large selection of effects, shapes, and other items into their work. Their prototypes can also incorporate 3D models, films, sounds, and still photographs. Users can save their creations in several formats, including films, pictures, virtual reality (VR) experiences, and 3D animated models. Users of Tvori include animators, game programmers, software engineers, software developers, and user experience designers.
Miro is a web-based whiteboard application that facilitates real-time collaboration between members of different teams. It helps with conceptualization, wireframing, prototyping, and managing projects. Miro is a free app developer, and designers use it for storyboarding, teamwork, and painting.
Miro’s innovative meeting capabilities and collaborative whiteboards streamline distant teamwork. The mind map and flowcharts aid designers in visualizing processes, locating friction spots, and improving the user journey. There is a free plan with three editable boards, and subscription plans start at $8 per month with unlimited boards. User interface and user experience designers, Engineers, Creative teams, Consultants, Marketers, and salespeople are among Miro’s intended audience.
Arkio is a virtual reality (VR) sketching, designing, and reviewing platform for creatives to work together in real-time. Users can construct VR settings from tools like Autodesk BIM 360, Rhino, and SketchUp and then use those settings to meet a variety of design needs with the help of custom datasets.
It allows for real-time modeling, platform cooperation, and smooth workflow connections. Design ideas can be drafted and imported from Unity, Rhino, or Revit, among other 3D modeling and animation programs. Although Arkio may be played on a computer, you’ll need an Oculus Quest 2 to get the immersive experience. Arkio’s intended audience consists of VR developers, UX designers, and other VR users.
By providing new and original experiences, AR and VR have entirely altered how consumers engage with products and services. Therefore, any successful company must have access to the design mentioned above resources to create satisfying experiences for its customers.
Some immersive marketing and brand events that have stood out:
To curate the list of top immersive marketing events, the events are prioritized as per those that highlight marketing use cases and brand experiences. Although these events are not solely focused on immersive marketing, here you will discover events that have immersive tracks and marketing tracks.
The events come in various sizes and locations worldwide. So here we tend to prefer smaller, more intimate events as it allows for better networking opportunities with like-minded professionals. On the other hand, larger events can be overwhelming and finding the most interesting content can be challenging.
However, it’s the large, high-profile events that offer the most engaging and costly experiences. So if you’re looking for immersive demonstrations, MWC and SXSW are must-attend. Here is the list of top immersive marketing events, in chronological order.
1. AWE/2019 May – Santa Clara/ California:
Looking at XR through the perspective of marketing and brand experience at this conference, which developed into a flagship XR event, was quite exciting. With sessions like “XR with Sports Brands,” “XR and the Online Retail Experience,” “XR Helping Marketers Tell Better Stories,” and a panel on “Superpowered Consumer Engagement” with panelists from Macy’s and Nestle, this year’s three-day event featured a track specifically for marketing and sales as well as plenty of marketing-focused mainstage action.
AWE brings together the newest XR-focused start-ups and investors in the heart of Silicon Valley. If you’re seeking cutting-edge technologies that could advance your efforts, this is the meeting for you. The newcomers Ova, AR 51, GridRaster, YouAR, VividQ, Speech Graphics, and VERSES.io were impressive to behold. This might not be the ideal option if your main interest is in networking with marketing experts rather than technology. Plan your meals elsewhere if you don’t want to stand in line for drinks and food.
2. Cannes Lions June/Cannes, France
The Cannes Lions festival and awards showcase delve into the significance of creativity in branded communications. During the five-day event, industry professionals have the opportunity to explore new ideas, consumer research, and the latest technologies, which are shaping popular culture.
This year, the festival highlights a “Re-Imagining Storytelling” track that focuses on brands using immersive technology to connect with their audience. If you’re looking to network with top-notch marketing teams and agencies, then this is the place to be! Although passes for the official conference sessions can be pricey, starting at around $3,000, there are various publishers hosting “unofficial” workshops and networking opportunities that offer just as much value.
Cannes Lions is more focused on brand building and advertising, rather than technology. So, if you’re seeking a technical dive into immersive marketing, it may not be the best fit. But, if you’re looking to network with some of the best minds in marketing over a glass of rosé on the beach, then it’s worth the investment.
3. Advertising Week – September / New York City
The four-day gathering offers a combination of enlightening content and lively events, attracting professionals from various areas of the media and advertising industry such as PR specialists, advertising executives, CMOs, and social media consultants.
Last year’s event showcased numerous sessions that centered around immersive experiences and it’s expected that this year’s conference will showcase even more. Set in the dynamic city of New York, this conference brings together the biggest names in the media industry. With the decline of TV viewership and an overwhelming amount of content, attendees have a unique opportunity to gain insight into the future of advertising.
Like Cannes, there are numerous sessions and events on the agenda, so it’s essential to plan ahead before attending such events.
4. Mobile World Congress 2019 and Digital Hollywood – October / Los Angeles
This year, Digital Hollywood is collaborating with MWC to host a four-day event that brings together the fields of advertising, technology, and content. MWC19 in Los Angeles is expected to attract over 25,000 participants, including prominent figures from the advertising, technology, and entertainment industries. Digital Hollywood will be leading a content track within MWC LA that will showcase various sessions dedicated to immersive technologies such as mixed reality, augmented reality, and virtual reality.
Digital Hollywood is at the forefront of creating high-quality immersive experiences, recognizing the significant role it will play in the future of entertainment. With its partnership with the renowned global event, Mobile World Congress, Digital Hollywood is poised to bring together the top content creators in the industry. Attendees can look forward to a plethora of captivating immersive demonstrations and discussions on how Hollywood is embracing the next chapter in immersive storytelling. The sunny weather was an added bonus.
How will Immersive Experiences reshape the Event World?
Immersive experiences are changing the way events are being held. In the past, events were limited to a physical space where attendees would gather to listen to speakers, network, and participate in various activities. However, with advancements in technology, events are now shifting to immersive experiences that allow attendees to engage with the event in a more interactive and dynamic manner.
Immersive experiences are changing the way events are being marketed, too. Event organizers are now incorporating immersive experiences into their marketing campaigns, highlighting the interactive and engaging aspects of their events. This allows them to stand out from the competition, attract more attendees, and create a lasting impact on those who attend.
The use of virtual and augmented reality in events is one of the most significant changes in the event industry. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are now being used to create immersive experiences that transport attendees to another world. These experiences can be used to simulate real-life situations, such as a product launch, a concert, or even a travel destination. This allows attendees to experience the event as if they were there in person, regardless of their physical location.
Another way immersive experiences are changing events is through the use of interactive installations. These installations are designed to engage attendees in a unique and interactive way, creating a memorable and impactful experience. This could be anything from a giant interactive screen, a projection mapping installation, or even a virtual reality game. The use of interactive installations allows event organizers to create an environment that is both engaging and entertaining, while also providing valuable information to attendees.
Another trend in the event industry is the use of sensory experiences. Events are now incorporating sensory experiences, such as sound, light, and scent, to create a more immersive environment. These sensory experiences can be used to create a mood or atmosphere, or to highlight specific aspects of the event. For example, a concert may use lighting to create a certain mood, while a trade show may use scent to emphasize a product or booth.
The use of AI and data is also shaping the event industry. Event organizers can now use data and AI to personalize events for attendees. For example, AI-powered chatbots can help attendees navigate the event and answer their questions. Data can also be used to track attendee behavior and preferences, allowing organizers to tailor their events to their specific audience.
Finally, the use of gamification in events is another trend that is changing the event world. Gamification is the use of game elements, such as points, badges, and leaderboards, to engage attendees and create a more enjoyable experience. Gamification can be used to encourage attendees to participate in activities, network with others, and engage with the event in a fun and interactive way.
The use of immersive experiences is transforming the event world. The incorporation of virtual and augmented reality, interactive installations, sensory experiences, AI, data, and gamification is changing the way events are marketed, experienced, and remembered. These changes are allowing event organizers to create events that are more engaging, interactive, and memorable, which in turn is attracting more attendees and creating a lasting impact.
The future of marketing lies in immersive technology. It improves live experiences, makes it easier to sample before you buy, makes the most of social media, and maximizes customer touchpoints. Brands are able to create experiences that combine the best of both worlds while overcoming the limitations of conventional brand marketing. These encounters make the most of brand interaction at events, in stores, and on the street.
The immersive experiences that are intended to be engaging and participatory are the most effective. They are made to help attendees feel like they are participating in the event rather than merely watching it from a distance.
Source: Some of the Most Recent Immersive Event Experiences Stand Out