Use Case: Communicating Travel Products/Service More Effectively
VR Technology Can Better Demonstrate the Value of Travel Products/Services
The organizers of ILTM were keen for their invitation-only shows – which match up global luxury travel companies – to remain industry-leading occasions. Key to success is being able to facilitate relevant, engaging one-to-one conversations between buyers and suppliers, and show ROI in attending the show.
With just three weeks until the next event in Cannes, agency Everywherebrand and ILTM decided to promote the use of VR to attendees to help them communicate their products and services more clearly. They worked to put the potential of VR communications at the heart of the upcoming show by creating a suite of experiences. These were designed to add interest to the show and help showcase brands in their best light possible. This would show ILTM to be innovating the way luxury travel brands interact. Attendees could enter an immersive 360-degree VR viewing of a five-star luxury London hotel. Or they could create their own experience by drawing and sending a virtual postcard in real-time. Combining GoogleTilt Brush, HTC Vive, and live projection, brands could see how they could bring their own story to life using VR.
The NPS score of the event rose by five points to 54.
The dial shifted with a quarter of attendees saying at the end of the event that they would now use VR to help facilitate conversations.
Some 10% of conference attendees viewed the hotel video.
Due to the success of the VR experiences at Cannes, the technology was used at ILTM’s Asia event to showcase the location of the conference in Singapore the following year. Everywherebrand found some travel companies were nervous about the visual quality of VR as they are used to HD video. To overcome this, VR experiences had to tell an engaging relevant story and the creator has to carefully explain the experience beforehand.
VR Technologies Enables Potential Customers to Access an Immersive Travel Experience for Potential Purchase
Virgin Holidays decided they will use VR in their store by providing their own headsets working with Google Cardboard technology. To capture the 3D video needed to create the immersive VR experience, Virgin took a special 360 rig and GoPro cameras to a Virgin resort in Mexico. They walked along cliffs, went into hotels, sat on beaches, and swam with Dolphins to capture the whole range of experience on offer. The team also captured ambient sound from all the locations, so customers in-store could really feel like they were actually at the destinations.
Customers were really impressed with the VR experience on offer in Virgin Holidays stores and responded by increasing their propensity to buy. Virgin said the results were ‘phenomenal’. They also said that not only did sales rise across the board, but sales of trips to the particular resort showcased by the VR technology rose significantly.
So, for any travel marketers thinking about using VR, the results are clear. It is a great way to excite your customers and get them to open their customers. Travel experts predict VR for the travel sector will quickly transition from being exciting and new to being an industry standard. Virgin has found the technology so successful that it is now gone on to produce a new series of 360 videos, this time featuring Branson kite surfing, lemurs, and a zip line.
Immersive learning re-creates in VR the day-to-day challenges workers encounter on the job, letting them practice what to do and say in a safe, realistic simulation. Where traditional methods might have had workers talk about a complicated scenario in a classroom or even role-play it with one another, VR trainings help them build their skills while seeing, hearing and feeling exactly what they would in the moment.
FedEx Ground, meanwhile, has chosen to meet the skills gap head-on, given the rising demand for frontline employees as the consumer economy more fully embraces e-commerce, which uses far more small-package transportation than ever before. Training employees efficiently and effectively is paramount, as is giving new hires a sense of what the job entails. The company uses VR to teach package handlers to safely load a truck with the maximum number of packages, an essential task that’s difficult to simulate in a classroom.
Crucially, workers can go through the experience as many times as needed. “If we have a trainee who isn’t successful in the first run-through, he or she can go back and repeat the training experience. In a more recent training, we have also built-in coaching inside the experiences themselves to help out in the moment,” says FedEx Ground’s Jeff Welch (managing director of FedEx Ground University). And because the platform lets employees go through the same experiences no matter their location, the training experience is standardized at scale—without the need for a human instructor. Welch says FedEx Ground so far has initially seen “improvements in safety, performance, and retention of our frontline employees” when using immersive learning. “With the adaptability of the virtual environment, a company could simulate changing scenarios,” he adds, “with the aim of enabling talent development to shift and change to meet competitive demands in the workplace.”
AR Technology Can Provide In-Stadium Engagement Features
Professional sports teams and stadiums are now adding AR features to their apps as they invest in mobile features in stadiums to appeal to fans who do not leave home without a smartphone. Sports fans are embracing mobile technology to stay connected with their teams and to share their experiences among communities of enthusiasts. Sports apps in general promote team spirit, provide instant news updates and can be used to create tailored content based on an individual fan’s preferences to enhance the viewing experience. In an attempt to deepen engagement with loyal football fans both at games and at home, NFL teams and the organization as a whole have enlisted mobile tech in fresh ways by deploying new features via AR for in-stadium engagement.
StubHub added an AR feature to the Apple version of its StubHub app for 2018 Super Bowl ticket buyers. The iPhone app’s “immersive view” displayed a 3-D view of the game venue in Minneapolis, for the National Football League’s championship game. Super Bowl attendees who select the special ticket shopping experience on the StubHub app can point their mobile device at an open surface to view a 3-D rendering of the stadium. The app lets them toggle between the stadium and surrounding area, exploring parking lots and the blue and green Metro lines for wayfinding. The app also shows StubHub’s ticket pickup location and the brand’s pre-Super Bowl party, “StubHub Live: The Field House.” When users tapped on a location within the AR experience, additional information such as street address and event start time appeared.
StubHub’s use of AR shows how the technology can be applied beyond gaming and home decor to provide added-value for mobile users purchasing tickets to a live event. If the activation is a success, AR-based services could be added for future venues and events.
Provides the Ability for Object Recognition and Object Character Recognition
Augmented Reality superimposes, or overlays, sound, text, and images on what we see, as we see it, blending virtual or augmented content with reality. It achieves this through the core technologies of object recognition, and object character recognition.
People are easily able to recognize and identify many different objects, even if they are partially obstructed from view. Machines and electronic devices cannot do that, but object recognition allows devices to see their environment; object character recognition (OCR) allows them to read and understand it. It is OCR that allows devices to scan and process barcodes, serial numbers, and tags. Object and image recognition can be utilized for scanning codes, text, numbers, step verification, and task completion.
Smart Glasses are equipped with high-definition cameras and microphones, allowing users, with a simple touch, gesture, or voice command, to instantaneously capture unique pictures, video, and audio, without taking their hands off the task they are working on. They can ask questions, and be answered; make comments, and be instructed. All of this action and interaction becomes content, which can be stored in the device’s memory, uploaded to a database, or streamed in real-time to a supervisor or colleague.
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