Yesterday's near-future sci-fi tech is quickly becoming a reality.
And the gap between the physical and the digital is beginning to close.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are the next big thing, and they're already starting to make their mark on the world.
Websites have evolved a lot over the years, from ancient '90s Geocities web pages full of cartoon .gifs, to today's sleek and minimalistic design aesthetics.
It looks like the next step in this evolution is going to revolve around VR and augmented reality, enabling the digital world to extend its tendrils into what we think of as the “real world.”
Remember Google Glass?
That was only the beginning.
For forward-thinking brands, VR and AR are going to be essential marketing tools within just a couple of years.
In a recent article from Entrepreneur, the author discusses how these innovative technologies are already being used by some of the world's biggest brands.
1. Virtual stores in virtual reality
When we think of ecommerce, we typically think of logging on to a website store or using a mobile app to do all of our shopping. But virtual reality could be changing how we shop in the very near future.
Imagine putting on a VR headset and instead of browsing a flat website catalogue you could be walking through a virtual store or viewing things around a showroom.
Though implementing virtual reality on an ecommerce site might take time and money, it could be the way of the future — and a new way for businesses to gather information on how their customers shop.
2. Augmented reality
With newer, faster and more powerful smartphones hitting the market, websites are increasingly becoming more mobile.
Responsive design is no longer an optional feature for websites — it’s the difference between keeping your customers and repelling them to your competitors. And now websites need to take their capabilities one step further and begin incorporating augmented reality into their web designs.
Pokémon Go, the hit mobile game, brought augmented reality right into the mainstream and caught the attention of marketers looking for the next big thing.
Augmented reality is not the same thing as virtual reality.
In AR, users are offered graphical enhancements to the physical environment they’re living in. The eyewear industry incorporates AR into their websites seamlessly.
Sites such as Lenscrafters have specific websites that allow customers to virtually try on any eyewear product in the Lenscrafters’ stock.
If you work in the ecommerce space or sell items that need to be tried on prior to purchase, revamping your website to accommodate AR might be good to look into.
You can read more about how websites will change in the next five years over at Entrepreneur.