How VR will disrupt sales and marketing

Let me tell you how my sales demo goes.

At first, clients design a house extension using a simple web app, which also offers  a real-time 3D preview.

3D preview of house extention. (Image courtesy Tom Janssen.)

3D preview of house extention. (Image courtesy Tom Janssens.)

People get excited because they see form and factor evolving interactively, and they can really imagine what their house extension will look like.

I let them explore this for a bit, and a minute later I pull the Oculus Rift out of my bag, and: BAM! They stand in the middle of it.

Previewing the building via an Oculus Rift. (Image courtesy Tom Janssens.)

Previewing the building via an Oculus Rift. (Image courtesy Tom Janssens.)

By this time they are flabbergasted.

So, I take them even one step further: I tell them about 360 degree pictures, and show them what a picture like that looks like, taken with a regular smartphone:

360 degree view of existing site. (Image courtesy Tom Janssens.)

360 degree view of existing site. (Image courtesy Tom Janssens.)

Now what if we could project the house extension on the wall in a few simple steps, and preview it in full 3D?

New extension combined with existing structure. (Image courtesy Tom Janssens.)

New extension combined with existing structure. (Image courtesy Tom Janssens.)

People no longer have to imagine what it will look like, they can now see and experience it.

Why this will disrupt traditional sales and marketing channels

Once you think about this thoroughly, you can start seeing the consequences:

Show rooms might become obsolete, especially for products that are large and expensive, like house extensions or yachts.

If you no longer need to go to a show room to experience things, you might as well do the whole thing from behind your own computer, when it suits you.

If you are no longer tied to a location, you can shop anywhere, so why not shop at the manufacturer’s website?

But, this is only the first step

And this first step might not be large enough to be considered disruptive. Give it about a decade, and we will probably start having augmented reality devices.

The minute these devices are as ubiquitous as cellphones, the real disruption will start. An augmented reality allows you to experience all of this on the spot.

Augmented reality will also offer lots of other potential disruptions, for example:

  • Google or Wikipedia as a tour guide
  • Mechanics repairing something while seeing the instructions projected before their eyes
  • Real-time info about an object you’re about to buy at a yard sale

And the list goes on…

I truly believe we are on the verge of a new era, and big things will happen in the next decade. Maybe the following quote might become a reality sooner than we expected:

“Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth…there is no spoon. Then you will see it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”
―Spoon Boy to Neo

Tom Janssens

Tom Janssens is the founder of Arealities.com, a software company offering real-time interactive 3D visualizations as well as virtual and augmented reality solutions.

  • It is indeed fascinating to see how many things will be simplified, made less expensive, more environment friendly, or will simply become possible. And what you describe is what is predictable. We shall probably have very unexpected uses too.

    For info, I have a friend who is an architect. He does CATIA models of his houses, and show them on his screen to his customers. However he does not use virtual worlds for this. Because he has only local customers coming in his office. But a business having customers away will soon have better to use virtual worlds.

    • ToJans

      Thanks. The advantage of virtual worlds, is that you get a perception about the size/dimensions, which is particularly important for this particular example: house extensions.