Globant kicked off the year at the National Retail Foundation’s NRF2024: Retail’s Big Show. At the event, Globant’s Chief Technology Officer in North America, Nicolas Avila, took the stage with Shobit Gupta, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.’s VP of Engineering. What do a global digital reinvention company and an iconic tool brand have in common when it comes to technology leadership? In this blog recapping the session, we dive into the evolving world of AR and VR technologies and how each brand is embracing the opportunity.
The extraordinary pace of change: devices and their impact
Innovation in the VR/AR device space is moving rapidly, with numerous options currently on the market and use cases being identified each day. Because VR creates the opportunity to improve post-purchase experiences, including customer support and troubleshooting, which are crucial for building customer loyalty and trust, technology-forward brands are closely monitoring how they can leverage the technology to integrate into their product and service offerings.
How does this transition impact organizations? It means that there is a new challenge because the way customers engage with brands is changing. The value and customer expectations of what can be delivered change each time there is an evolution in technology.
Technological milestones that have changed the game
We looked at developments like Vision Pro and Quest 3, which are more than just technological milestones. They’re shaping future user interactions in various fields. In retail, VR is moving beyond just virtual try-ons to enhance the overall customer experience, including room visualization and product interaction, changing how consumers engage with products.
In addition to hardware improvements, the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence are giving VR and other devices the boost they need to start solving problems for users in ways that weren’t technically possible.
The emphasis is on constantly reimagining and exploring new use cases, with an understanding that solutions to existing challenges might be within easier reach than previously thought. This necessitates a paradigm shift, moving beyond the perception of AR and VR as simply gaming tools and embracing them as platforms capable of creating meaningful, impactful solutions. We’re evolving from a phase where VR experiences were often seen as gimmicks, serving fleeting gratification with limited practical value, to a more purpose-driven era where their true potential is being unlocked in innovative and life-enhancing ways.
Not just for entertainment: VR’s impact in industrial settings
In industrial settings, these technologies have practical applications too. For example, DeWalt’s use of VR for safety, training, and repair shows how VR can offer real-world benefits beyond entertainment.
During the session, Shobit described how their prefabrication software brings all project data together to render useful 3D models, allowing various tradespeople to collaborate and resolve potential fabrication problems easily. This is just one example of how the context changes with breakthroughs in technology.
A prediction for VR/AR applications
Our insightful discussion has underscored a pivotal shift in how Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are perceived and utilized. The integration of these technologies into various facets of our lives and businesses is not just about technological advancement; it’s about their potential to solve real-world problems and enhance human experiences. Businesses now recognize the need to gather and leverage VR assets more effectively, steering away from using them as novelties.