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Apple’s Vision Pro was just used to help perform spinal surgery – what’s next for marketers?

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Apple’s Vision Pro was just used to help perform spinal surgery – what’s next for marketers?

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Apple’s new wearable virtual reality headset was recently worn by a Cromwell Hospital team member in London to assist in spinal surgery procedures. Since Apple Vision Pro’s release on 2 February 2024, several healthcare apps compatible with the device have been developed.

The uses for Apple’s latest offering are so diverse but unknown that any brand capitalising on the new technology in marketing could be considered a trailblazer.

Apple has identified business as a lead market for its Vision Pro, meaning the future of marketing is about to undergo a major change.

Apple describes the headset as a “revolutionary spatial computer that seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world”. “Vision Pro creates an infinite canvas for apps that scales beyond the boundaries of a traditional display and introduces a fully three-dimensional user interface controlled by the most natural and intuitive inputs possible – a user’s eyes, hands and voice,” Apple states on its website.

Apple Vision Pro in action

This entirely immersive unit is fresh on the market in the United States and is expected to be released in Australia soon. Vision Pro is intended as an introductory technology for both developers and brands, but this poses the question: how can marketers use this product in innovative ways? Marketing Mag has crafted a range of unique applications for brands.

Virtual events

Augmented reality can revolutionise the concept of virtual events by creating immersive experiences that really feel like attendees are physically present.

Digital events in 2024 are commonly hosted as a video call with an embedded ‘Q and A’ chat, but this is no longer fulfilling the needs and attention spans of attendees. Research from Forrester reports that invitees only find virtual events beneficial if they can see and communicate the value of the event instantly and internally.

Apple Vision Pro offers marketers the foundations to develop and host virtual conferences, product launches and seminars that allow attendees to interact with speakers, engage in networking and explore virtual stalls and booths.

Virtual showroom

Marketers can use virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) technology to build virtual showrooms made for showcasing products and services in a three-dimensional space. Customers can browse through products, view detailed specifications, and even visualise how products could look in their own environment using augmented reality features.

In recent years, AR and 3D have majorly increased in popularity. Marketing Mag spoke with Zenith, one of Asia-Pacific’s leading furniture solutions companies, which has been ahead of the games for years.

Zenith implemented this technology back in 2016, even prior to the release of commercial headsets to see if it could create a competitive advantage in its proposals. Now in 2024, Zenith produces VR experiences for selected projects to help its clients visualise the interior design with a specific focus on furniture.

Zenith Interiors VR headset in action

According to sales director Peter Appel and workplace technology lead John Khoury,  Zenith’s sustainability outcomes improved with the use of quality VR/AR technology, with the design firm no longer needing to build physical product prototypes. 

“Given we have capability nationally in our showrooms, we have been able to limit the need for clients to travel to see the product as we can provide the experience locally,” Appel says. “We also use it for product training including installation with most new products having an AR link that can be accessed from anywhere, allowing clients to experience products in their own space.”

When asked if they see the use of VR/AR as more of a ‘gimmick/bonus experience’ or rather genuinely useful, Khoury said: “Originally we were unsure whether the tech would be fully utilised or more as a marketing tool. But over the journey we have been pleasantly surprised by several case studies where our clients have been able to make decisions based on the VR/AR experience, providing significant time and cost efficiencies.

Zenith Interiors Headset being used

“In most cases, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive with further experiences requested and endorsement back to their teams. One consideration is that not all users are comfortable with the sense of isolation or potential for motion sickness using the technology.”

Appel and Khoury say they see AR/MR becoming “more prevalent in the workplace and everyday life” as large technology companies release consumer models of these headsets, such as Apple Vision Pro. 

“We expect early adopters to be the education and design sectors,” Appel says.

Product demos, training and education

Product demonstrations are some of the most important tools a business can utilise to allow buyers to explore a product’s key features and benefits hands-on. 

Data by Forrester highlights that 78 percent of buyers are more likely to purchase a product or service if the sales experience is consultative. With immersive, engaging and highly personalised product demos, customers will soon be able to trial different digital and physical products from anywhere, or without the actual product in hand. 

A recent brand activation in the product demonstration sphere is the launch of Wayfair’s Decorify app. With the device, the furniture and decor e-commerce retailer is allowing customers to take advantage of the spatial computing capabilities and physically move around their space while redesigning their room with furniture on offer by Wayfair.

The real-time, real-environment power of the device could also be engaged to revolutionise the fashion industry by allowing customers to quickly try on different pieces in different sizes from the comfort of their own home, taking away what many call the ‘overwhelming and awkward’ experience of tackling the department stores.

With endless possibilities, brands are afforded real opportunities to create innovative and pioneering initiatives in their industry.

Interactive storytelling and gamification

According to Mailchimp, storytelling is an “important aspect of any brand strategy” and can help businesses showcase their brand values to connect with their customers on a deeper level.

Marketers can leverage the immersive capabilities of augmented reality to create interactive brand storytelling experiences and gamify their marketing campaigns. With a new Livewire report finding that gaming is the entertainment of choice for Gen Alpha, Gen Z and Millennials, marketers should aim to develop immersive gamified experiences that incentivise engagement and participation, fostering brand relationships.

Luxury tequila brand Don Julio has also capitalised on the opportunity to engage the new technology in a groundbreaking way. The unique selling proposition of the company has always been their rich storytelling and long history, which is why its first immersive brand experience perfectly aligns with Don Julio’s past brand-building initiatives.

The brand takes the user on a virtual journey to Mexico, where it was founded, to explore the four steps in the process of making the luxury alcohol. Parent company Diageo claims to be the first beverage brand to engage with Apple Vision Pro.

Customer support

The customer support system still proves frustrating and challenging to many consumers. Wait times are often long and help services may provide non-specific and impersonal support. 

Augmented reality could revolutionise the customer support market by enabling marketers to provide personalised, immersive experiences. Customers can interact with support representatives in a virtual space where they can visualise the product and watch exactly how to remedy an issue within their own environment.

Previously, this digital-forward process of support was only effective in software and technology cases where the support agent could view your screen to guide you with step-by-step directions to achieve a fix, but this can now be applied to physical products from vacuum cleaners to furniture repairs. Issues can be troubleshooted in real-time and personalised assistance can be tailored to customers’ needs, allowing for a new landscape of support.

Just open your eyes

In essence, Apple Vision Pro and other future spatial computing devices open up a world of opportunities and possibilities for marketers to create innovative and engaging experiences across never-before-seen touchpoints.

By leveraging the capabilities of this new technology, marketers are now able to redefine and shape the way brands will connect with their audiences and drive meaningful interactions, both now and into the future.

Vision Pro photography attributed to Apple.

Zenith VR photography attributed to Zenith.

Also, read about why consumers are demanding honesty and AR/VR technology in 2024.

     
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Billy Klein

Billy Klein is a content producer at Niche Media.

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