By Alan Smithson
Virtual, Augmented & Mixed Reality (XR) technologies are now being used by more organizations for branding, marketing, sales, training and event entertainment. We get requests daily from organizations looking to leverage immersive technologies across their company.
Why XR technology? Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Apple are ALL-IN on XR tech. This is going to be larger than mobile phones and the internet so why would you wait to fall behind? Do you have a website? Do you have social media? Then you are going to need an XR strategy and plan. Rather than me tell you, perhaps the experts will convince you…
Have you been considering using virtual and augmented reality for your business? You’re probably wondering how much this technology will cost? Advances in this technology are making it more affordable than ever for smaller companies to embrace XR as another tool in the race to remain relevant and engaging to consumers.
Once we create a project, we try our best to democratize this and make it available at a lower cost to more and more companies to use for their marketing and sales efforts.
XR technology can do a number of things for your business. Here are some of the tools you have at your disposal and the costs for each. The range for each is very large and depends on factors like level of quality, additional services, 3D models, 3D animations, scripts, storyboards and all other factors you should already understand from other marketing modalities.
“ARt of the Possible” XR Workshop ($5K — $25K) — Before you get started on your journey to using XR technology, we recommend getting educated about how this technology works, the terminology and what other companies in your industry are already doing to leverage XR. Our workshops give you a clear understanding of the value proposition of the technology as well as create a list of potential projects you can undertake in a strategic 1–3–5 year roadmap.
360° Videos ($2500 — $500,000) — These incredibly fun videos can be used for social media marketing, client engagement, sales promotion and with some creativity, your team should be able to create wonderful versions of these by simply buying a 360° camera (Insta360, Samsung Gear 360, Ricoh Theta V, GoPro Fusion). Here is a list of them. We recommend Ben Claremont’s course “A beginners guide to 360 video” to get started. NOTE: If you are going to use these videos in VR, I would highly recommend hiring a professional to do so, we can help find someone amazing for you.
360: (Cost $15,000 in 2017, $5000 in 2019)
Augmented Reality (AR) Business Cards, Printing & Product Packaging ($1500 — $50K) — Bringing print to life is the perfect way to utilize the power of AR technology. From business cards to magazines to your products themselves, with advanced computer vision technology, we can now make anything come to life in AR. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq98OEXJSr8
AR Business Cards: (Cost $2500 in 2016, $1500 in 2019)
Virtual Reality (VR) Training ($25K — $250K) — VR Training can decrease training times by up to 25% while increasing retention rates by over 40%. WHY? Because experiential education is far more effective than any other form of education. VR Education and Training is the future for your organization, why would you wait to create a better training system for your company? An added benefit for educators is that when people are in VR, they are not able to check their phones so they stay laser focused on learning without distraction.
Virtual Tours ($10K — $150K) — There are many ways for your organization to create an immersive virtual tour. From Google 360 to Matterport to VR, virtual tours are great for customer engagement, sales tools, marketing and also new employee orientation. Learning which technology to use is key so you don’t waste money. We can help!
TD Bank Branch Tour: http://gallery.vrlisting.com/3d-model/td-lab/fullscreen/
Marketing Agency Tour: https://www.symbilitysolutions.com/symbility-intersect/360-office-tour/
3D Product Visualization ($25K — $100K) — The future is 3D and it is coming to a website and eCommerce site near you. Over the next 10 years, EVERY product listed online will have a digital, 3D version for use in Web, VR, AR, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. If you are still wondering why you would need this, here is an article we wrote that explains in better detail.
3D Asset Creation ($500+ per item)
Augmented Reality (AR) Virtual-Try-On (VTO) ($50K+) — Giving your customers the ability to try on products using their phone increases conversions and decreases returns dramatically. VTO products can be used for: Glasses, Watches, Shoes, Clothing and Housewares. One of the most famous examples of this technology is IKEA Place which allows you to see their furniture in your own house (in the actual size). Below are links to three incredible VTO examples:
Article: Augmented Reality’s First Killer App…VTO’s
IKEA Place AR app: https://highlights.ikea.com/2017/ikea-place/
Tesla AR Configurator by Parth Anand: ($50K+)
3D Food & Drink Menus ($5K — $25K)
Using the power of delicious, photorealistic 3D food, entice customers to order higher margin items, upsell tastings and create a sense of wonder for customers. Increase social engagement and higher revenues by leveraging Snapchat, Facebook, Web and Mobile Augmented Reality.
Some Benefits of 3D Menus include; Up to 35% increase in order size/amount, earned media associated with being one of the first to use an emerging technology, happier, more engaged customers, statistics and analytics on customer behaviours, new alcohol partnership opportunities
3D Food & Drink: http://3dfoodanddrink.com/
Virtual Avatar creation ($5K — $100K) — The ability to create a realistic looking avatar is a challenge taken up by many companies. There is a point at which the closer you get to photorealism in avatars, the more your brain rejects them. This is known as the ‘Uncanny Valley’ and it has plagued avatar companies forever. Recently, some major breakthroughs have pushed us closer to avatars we would actually want to communicate with. Here are some amazing examples of avatars.
Real Time Mike: https://youtu.be/6MIkoLBWRv0
Quantum Capture: https://youtu.be/akneSS_UuUI
Oculus Codec Avatars: https://www.wired.com/story/facebook-oculus-codec-avatars-vr/
XR Event Technologies ($2K — $25K) — All of the above technologies can be used for retail, e-commerce, marketing and sales, but let’s not forget that experiential marketing is also about having fun which is why we have created a few event systems that we feel give the best experience to large groups of people. From our VR Photobooth to Mixed Reality VR rig, you have a ton of options to engage with clients at your conferences, meetings, trade shows and events. Here is a great example (which we also make).
VR Photobooth™ — http://vrphotobooth.io/ ($50K+)
As with any technology, much of the costs associated with XR are due to the initial development cost of custom content. That being said, while there may be a larger upfront cost, some of your content can be reused time and time again, saving the money on training and labour costs.
Making changes to the content are more cost-effective than re-training an entire workforce. This is just one of the examples where XR technology will prove useful for all companies. XR will not only position your brand as technologically innovative but create more sales or decrease costs (or both!)
The costing of specific projects is determined by the time and resources that it takes to build. So, if you are looking to create a custom XR application from scratch, it requires a development team, content, and more time than a smaller project. Interactive Design Cafe have built many ‘world-firsts’ and we are ready to help you build something that sets your brand apart and gives your customers (and the media) something to talk about!