Virtual and Augmented Reality (AR) has in the past fallen short of the commercial promise that many believed it would have. Predictions that it would deliver $4.4 billion in revenue in 2016 exceeded the actual figure of $1.8 billion, and it only had a 6% adoption rate in the US. In comparison, smartphones only took 10 years for at least 40% adoption in the US. But where are we today? We could say that confidence is bouncing back as many venture capital and technology companies are investing large sums into the industry: $3.6 billion has been raised in the last 12 months.
At Ipsos, we’re exploring this technology to identify how we can make research better, faster, cost effective or even more engaging for participants and clients. The aim is to get closer to consumers’ real behaviour and emotion, as well as a new level of insight.
It’s only the beginning of our journey, but we know from initial studies that ground-breaking opportunities are on the horizon. From understanding audience usage and engagement with the BBC, Healthcare (VR surgeries), ethnographic immersions, airport journeys, testing automotive prototypes to leading FMCG brands integrating behaviour science principles to validate sub-conscious consumer behaviours.
- We’re only at the beginning of this journey and as the technology develops there should be further cost savings as the software/computer generated imagery (CGI) will become more cost efficient and better.
- It’s providing the foundation for other technology developments such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and even 3D modelling.
- Opportunities already exist within the research industry from shopper immersions to testing VR content for broadcasting.
- Multi-sensory testing is going to be an integral part of VR and AR and the researcher’s goal of getting closer to the ultimate consumer understanding.
The tech sector always bets that product quality will override privacy concerns
Probably the most common criticism levelled at the tech sector is the one about privacy – the sense that the tech sector, or government enabled by the tech sector, are collecting far more data on individuals than they should, and that the data is then being sold or used for unclear purposes. While the tech sector sticks closely to its cherished, and well-proven, ideology that positive user experience nearly always mitigates these concerns in practice, it is also true that the concerns of pro-privacy groups within society, and government, are getting louder and more prominent.
Our Hybrid World: Technology’s role in supporting a balanced lifestyle [Webinar recording]
Join us for a complimentary webinar as we share new insights from Ipsos’ U.S. syndicated online community addressing how consumers are navigating through a hybrid existence and the role brands can play in supporting evolving consumer needs now and in the future.