Extended reality (XR) encompassing AR, VR, and MR, has the potential to change the landscape of customer facing businesses, with interactive and immersive virtual experiences.
TCS created a 3D virtual store walk through for a leading jewelry brand in India, and a full 360-degree experience of the NYC Marathon.
The use of VR in various functions of businesses will also help reduce carbon footprint and operational costs.
Introducing the other realm
Metaverse is making its presence felt not just in industry but in daily life and is poised to become a fixture of sorts for future generations. Built on Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR), Metaverse is not only introducing a new world of digital and social interactions but is also opening fresh avenues for life-like experiences.
TCS AvapresenceTM, a TCS platform to design, build, and scale digital innovation—both disruptive and incremental—and TCS Interactive have made significant strides in the immersive technologies space. This includes AR/VR/MR, all of which fall under the XR umbrella. Avapresence, built on artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, internet of things (IoT), and blockchain, has served as the foundation to build training and simulation platforms for multiple clients across industries, some of them being healthcare and insurance.
Extending the ordinary
All immersive technologies extend the reality we experience by either blending the virtual and ‘real’ worlds or by creating a fully immersive experience. While AR and MR use both the real and digital aspects to create an extended reality, VR is a completely synthetic medium that allows users to immerse themselves into an experience.
Applying XR to functions across businesses, especially customer facing ones, results in higher user engagement, reduction in operational cost, classroom and employee training programs, delivering customized and extraordinary experiences, and access to remote data.
TCS is building a variety of XR-based applications for clients such as a platform for globally distributed teams to collaborate virtually in 3D with photorealistic avatars; 360-degree tours of banks and virtual brick-and-mortar stores—of jewelry, toys, and car showrooms—accessible to customers before physical visits, especially when social distancing is in place; and digital assistance avatars that can be used by various businesses.
Virtual walkthrough of a Tanishq store
For Indian jewelry brand Tanishq, a division of Titan Company, TCS Interactive built four separate region-specific customized and interactive virtual store walks for retail customers, showcasing the brand wedding jewelry lines, with stand-out cultural nuances catering to consumers from the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, and the country's major cities.
For example, in the interactive store catering to the people of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, every aesthetic element from the music to the attire of the mannequin, to the artifacts on display resonates with the cultural sensibility of the region.
Here, a user can move around the store virtually, click on the options for different types of ornaments, use the carousel to browse through the products under each category, get a glimpse of the products in 3D view, and get an in-depth experience of the look and feel of the store without actually visiting it physically.
The unique immersive walkthrough with a 360-degree view of the store elevates users’ shopping experience, and also leads them to Tanishq’s e-commerce site for purchases—increasing the brand’s customer engagement on multiple platforms.
Perumal. G, Head IT - eCommerce & Mobility, at Titan Company Ltd, Bangalore, commended TCS Interactive's quick implementation of virtual 360 stores, which are currently live in four regional languages. He added that the representation of Tanishq's products in this new, digital format, has been appreciated by their customers.
New York city marathon in VR
In a second example, TCS has captured an entire marathon experience with XR technology, that can be now viewed remotely from any location.
TCS Avapresence conceptualized, designed, and created an immersive virtual experience of the New York City Marathon, using 12 360-degree stereoscopic cameras, along the route of the 26-mile run. A lot of elements and synthetic content were added in the post-production stage including the titles, location tags, and sound bytes.
Experience it for yourself.
Meeting green goals with VR
Among all the cutting-edge applications of VR, its most pertinent one is the impact it has on environment sustainability. VR cuts carbon footprints as it replaces processes across industry verticals. It also makes assimilating feedback simpler. At a time when industries are moving towards achieving net zero and adopting sustainable models at the grassroot, VR plays a critical role in meeting ‘green’ goals.
In addition, different industries are using VR in a variety of problem-solving use cases. The technology is currently being used mainly to conceptualize designs before building a prototype—a function that helps reduce time and effort in iterations.
Being a medium that can be applied to multiple scenarios and use cases, VR, when combined with cloud, blockchain, AI, and IoT, can be used to assemble solution offerings across industry verticals like retail, travel, transportation and hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare, and life sciences. The human interface to VR is the experiential layer that combines multiple physical devices like glasses, lenses, and haptic gloves, and are interoperable with all industry standards to build enterprise and consumer applications that can be further applied to address grassroot level issues.
VR to train, VR to entertain
Given its immersive nature, VR finds much use in the entertainment industry, and helps in areas that involve training and instruction. VR could help a surgeon visualize a patient’s anatomy better during surgery. Peaceful immersive experiences are a great tool for relaxation too—for instance, an example of which is patient recovery assistance post-surgery.
TCS carving a niche for brands through XR
The XR umbrella has come a long way and has the potential for a variety of multi-sensory enhancements that range from simulation of smell and touch to brain computer interfaces.
TCS’s frontline work to get clients on board the Metaverse universe has picked up pace. The company is powering more compact and sophisticated XR solutions, tailor-made for clients, using suitable new and emerging technologies.
TCS continues to create experiential spaces that allow brands to firm their digital and unique identity.