The COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to needs that we barely thought about — whether it was wearing face masks at all times while stepping out of our homes or repeatedly using hand sanitiser when touching a random surface. The Internet became the most important thing in the lives of people and commuting or travelling anywhere turned to be a forbidden activity.
While the pandemic has affected several businesses around the world, with a major impact on the food and travel industry. Even after the unlock, the novel coronavirus is still on the loose and vaccinations will take some more time to be widespread. In such a world, people still refrain from travelling for work, and this has put a major pause on exhibitions and conventions.
We saw the cancellation of major tech seminars like CES, MWC as well as several brands taking their phone launches digital. And amidst all this, one brand was offering a rather unique solution to enable brands from exhibiting and showcasing their products while keeping things safe with the help of Augmented and Virtual Reality. The brand — XR Central with its CUBE platform enabled businesses to create their own virtual 3D space that would allow visitors to experience products and services from the confines of their homes.
We got to interact with XR Central’s Co-founder, Anshul Agarwal to learn how their products in Augmented and Virtual Reality helped brands circumvent the massive challenges that were laid out due to the novel coronavirus.
What does XR Central really do?
Anshul revealed how they were initially a game-development company but around two years back, they saw the potential that possesses in a medium like AR/VR, and decided to shift their focus, “Two years back, we realised that virtual, augmented and mixed reality has unexplored potential when it comes to enterprises globally. The combination of storytelling, customized user experiences and the XR technologies has tremendous opportunity to accelerate the digital journeys of the enterprises.”
He added, “It finds its application in almost every business segment- Marketing, HR, Sales, Delivery, etc. Hence we saw an opportunity to focus on building applications that will be cutting edge and enable enterprises across sectors to accelerate their digital journey.”
The CUBE platform
The basis of XR Central’s virtual experiences is its CUBE platform that helps clients truly customise the experience without the need for coding or extreme technical knowledge.
Anshul explained, “CUBE enables enterprises to build experiences in the virtual spaces with the desired level of customization and engagements. XRC with its CUBE platform is helping its clients to move to the virtual world that will ensure their brand equity and sales move upwards.”
He revealed how the platform is extremely convenient and versatile for businesses to take on, “To use CUBE, no app or special device is needed. Most importantly to build the experience, no coding knowledge is needed for the host. The platform allows clients to create a highly customized 3D of a virtual space, that will be suited for working on a web browser. Each element in the 3D space will have a call to action that will run within the platform tab. No new tab will be opened up. It allows human to human collaborations such as video conferencing, audio, text chat, live support to offer a real-world experience.”
Executing virtual events during the pandemic
Anshul, with immense pride, revealed how they allowed brands and the masses to experience immersive 3D virtual events and art exhibitions from the confines of their homes.
Anshul explained, “With XRC’s CUBE platform we have been helping brands not lose touch with their clients and prospects by enabling them to create virtual spaces that ensure a greater brand experience and engagement when it comes to interactions between the client and the brand. Over the past 9 odd months, we have been able to execute a few of India’s first-ever fully immersive 3D virtual events and art exhibitions. We are working with the top two of the IT services giants in India to help them take their experience centres to the virtual world.”
Anshul shared the experience of one such virtual exhibition, “Recently we built a virtual supermarket for a tech giant. The experience had personalization to the next level — it had a personal selection, food item comparisons, shopping cart, allergy notifications and so on.
The challenge or I would like to call it as the opportunity for us was that the project involved integration with the backend of SAP Hana. Now we completed the integration of the virtual experience with the SAP Hana, this was very rewarding for us as it opened up many opportunities for us in the retail space for virtualizing brand stores, enabling a fully functional front end and back end for the virtual shopping experience. Yes! This is the future and we have created it.”
Challenge of a VR/AR Solution In India
When it comes to technology, India is one of the fastest adopters, but technologies like AR and VR aren’t as widespread in India as of now. We were curious to learn how XR Central bridged this gap, “VR and AR have been around for many years now. Despite the opportunities and potential that the XR technology has, brands have not made a shift towards these technologies due to the heavy cost and device dependency. However, with the rise of the technologies like WebGL, the XR technologies today are now being developed to be functioning on the web which eliminates the device dependency,” Said Anshul
He added, “Especially in India, now the web-based approach is slowly catching up and more and more brands have already started putting XR technology as a part of their growth strategy. In the years to come- XR is going to be leading the way brands to interact with clients and prospects, of course, AI will also be in close.”
Published at Sat, 09 Jan 2021 19:41:15 +0000