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Looking Beyond the Hype: Why VR and AI Are Here to Stay

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Real-world applications highlight the ubiquity of tech

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Virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) have had a lot of air time over recent years. They’ve been touted for their ability to re-imagine reality and create new, more efficient ways of creating immersive experiences both in our personal lives and at work. As is often the case, some technological developments come and go, and others demonstrate their worth and stick around. These are clearly here to stay. 

While there might be debate about the relevance and longevity of developments such as VR and AI, what I find interesting is that these technologies are so inherent — and essential to — our everyday lives that we don’t even realise how ubiquitous they already are. 

A creative force in fashion and design

I picked up a copy of Wallpaper magazine while travelling recently, and came across an interesting article about Overview, an exhibition about the evolution of glasses taking place at the Design Museum Holon in Israel. What makes this experience unique is its Design Lab, which features a special application where visitors can put on a virtual pair of glasses to watch VR films and snap photos of themselves. The exhibition takes a retrospective stance throughout, and then ends with a futuristic twist that offers us a sneak peek into the world of the future. 

Elsewhere, the fashion industry is embracing technologies such as VR to enhance the attendee experience during their live catwalk shows — a trend I don’t see slowing down anytime soon, as it allows these high-end brands to experience their designs in new ways. 

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Helping people back to health

As I made my way around Mobile World Congress a few weeks ago, the real-world applications of these technologies became even more clear. At NEXTech Hall 8.0, the place to uncover the latest tech developments, I came across a healthcare VR experience. Here, attendees could step into the doctor’s shoes and inject a needle into a patient’s knee during virtual surgery. Elsewhere in the hall, there was an electric toothbrush that uses AI to record and provide real-time feedback on the user’s brushing habits. It is compatible with an app that gamifies the experience of teeth brushing, and the toothbrush operates in conjunction with specially created software that allows kids to play games which dictate how they brush — without them even knowing it. 

Driving transformative change

There is so much more to technologies like VR and AI than meets the eye, and I predict they will drive transformative change just like the Internet did in the late 90s and 2000s. They have the unique ability to effectively change peoples’ behaviors. They influence the way we buy, learn, and, importantly for the brand experience category, engage. 

Technology is essential to every modern day event because it enhances the overall experience for attendees, and devices like VR headsets are equipped to immerse them in completely new brand worlds. While we’re advocating for it in the brand experience space, it seems we’re not the only ones. Other sectors from fashion to healthcare have similarly identified the benefits of embracing these technologies to enhance the customer experience.    

Want more? Download our insights paper, “Bring Imagination to Life with Virtual Reality."

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