Mobile First: The Future Looks 3D
Google was quick to get the device and its accompanying software development kit into developers’ hands to see what the technology is capable of doing. Currently, Walgreens is working on a pilot test to create an immersive in-store experience. Shoppers using Tango-enabled smartphones or tablets can select an item on their shopping list and be quickly directed through the store to find its place on the shelf. Along the way, they’re exposed to sales and special offers that virtually pop out as they walk down aisles. Passing through certain aisles can even earn shoppers loyalty points, creating a video game-like reward experience.
Virtual Reality in a Box
An even more recent Google project is called Cardboard. And it’s just that—a cardboard viewer that holds an Android phone. It looks low-tech, especially compared to Google Glass. However, its stereoscopic 3D technology holds significant promise as an alternative approach to virtual reality.
Unveiled at July’s Google I/O event, the project offers inexpensive virtual reality tools to whet developers’ appetites. Its open-source software toolkit makes writing VR software as simple as building a Web or mobile app. By making it easy and inexpensive to experiment with VR, Google hopes to encourage developers to build the next generations of immersive digital experiences and make them available to everyone.
Developers have taken the bait and are building apps and demos—for iOS, as well as Android. Already, you can watch MP4 videos in 3D, take a virtual tour of a faraway place, fly a plane or take a ride on a virtual roller coaster. And they’re just getting started.
There’s no doubt that there are many more 3D experiences to come. As the technology advances, consumers will come to expect these types of experiences on the mobile devices they can no longer do without. As the tools play out in the market, I’ll keep you updated on how marketers are using the opportunity to engage and interact with target audiences.