It’s almost hard to remember a time when we didn’t just consult the internet in our pockets to discover new information, contact people anywhere in the world, manage our to-do lists, play games and watch videos of cats (you’re welcome). We’re so used to having what we need, when we need it and feel so connected to our media that it seems only natural that we would want to take this further – and step inside, rather than just observe.
This is precisely where the world is going, with all manner of places investigating the ways that immersive technologies can enhance the way that humans interact with their surroundings. Whether that’s at work, through training, productivity and collaboration, or experiences like events, fine dining and interactive exhibits. Adding an extra layer to the real world can add a completely new dimension to our participation in it.
Workers in wearables
It’s already been proven that productivity increases when factory and warehouse employees use AR wearables to guide them in their daily activities. DHL’s ‘vision picking’ solution guides warehouse staff to the most effective routes to pick and allows them to scan barcodes hands-free. AR and VR are also being rapidly adopted for training as a means of creating accurate and realistic simulations of real-world situations, from electrical repairs and learning to use machinery, to surgery and military scenarios.
A new kind of classroom
Learning together has never been so much fun now that we have interactive and immersive technologies to enjoy experiences that were previously impossible. Companies such as Globocess in Germany create incredible tactile ‘Omniglobes’, which use state-of-the-art Canon projectors to show real-time events on the planet, such as earthquakes, climate events and even air traffic. The Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in the Netherlands uses one of Europe’s only 360º projection installations inside its ‘maze of death’, an exhibit which takes visitors on a journey through the circle of life.
Win at life
‘Gamification’ is something you are probably already familiar with, but don’t know the name of. For example, checking in to locations to win prizes (free coffee anyone?) or unlocking achievements and badges in fitness apps are familiar ways that marketers get customers involved. But we can expect to see gamification in more and more aspects of our lives, tapping into our competitive natures, as project management tools broadcast leader boards to pit colleagues against each other, and something as simple as buying a chocolate bar becomes an opportunity to take a selfie at an in-store kiosk for a chance to win a reward.
Sports at your own pace and wherever you want to be
Conventional stadium systems use fixed cameras and cable-suspended cameras, which provide video feeds from limited viewpoints. Meanwhile, for the first time ever, the new Canon Free Viewpoint Video System allows the viewer to see the action on the field from any position or any angle in the stadium. You can view the same scene from various angles, changing to the perspective of an athlete on the field or any number of alternate viewpoints. Additionally, viewers can control both viewpoint and game time at will.
Be there when you can’t be there
Looking for a property? Scoping out places to visit? Or is that amazing exhibition just too far away? Never fear, you’ll soon be able to explore more places than ever before without even leaving your seat. 360º virtual tours can be pure timesavers or just for fun, but as they develop into fully-fledged experiences, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in live action interactive tours, experience incredible aerial views or plan your route online without clunkiness.