Meet the Speakers
As Co-Founder and Managing Director, Dirk Christoph, has contributed to making Innoactive® one of the principal service providers for Augmented and Virtual Reality Applications in Sales, Marketing and Training. He helped conceive the Innoactive® Virtual Reality Showroom Concept, which enables companies to immersively present their products, inside a roll-out ready VR PoS System, while simultaneously, reducing retail space requirements, lowering cost and improving sales performance. He is passionate about the disruptive power of virtual technologies and is looking forward to help shape the future of Commerce.
At DIGILITY Dirk will offer an exciting workshop "Virtual and Augmented Realities - The Future of Commerce?“ and he will present the learnings and best practices after one year of operation of the VR Showroom at Media-Saturn stores. "We believe Virtual Showrooms are a complete game changer in terms of brand and shopping experience. They are giving businesses the chance to go digital and explore entirely new business models using VR / AR instead of being at risk to someday be disrupted by it."
At our interview Dirk gave us some fascinating insights into his visions about the future of VR and AR in sales and marketing, how shopping will look like in a few years and why the DIGILITY is THE place to be.
Dirk, from the business perspective, which trends in virtual and augmented reality are the most promising to you?
Virtual reality applications in business have come a long way in a very short amount of time. While initially innovators started out VR mostly in the realm of marketing, we now see businesses trying out VR in a variety of use-cases. What excites us most is, that businesses start to grasp the immense business potential VR and AR holds for them. The strongest trends we noticed are driven by needs from sales/marketing, or from the industry.
A clear advantage in sales for example, is that the people will be able to virtually experience the products in 3D, in the comfort of their own homes. Especially when furnishing a home, the shopping experience can cause major anxiety: will the items fit together in size, colors and textures? Helping shoppers with decision making would clearly help retailers differentiate themselves from their competitors, but most importantly, would increase their sales and reduce the return rate. Specifically for us it is amazing to see the disruptive power you can achieve when virtualizing products and helping consumers to experience them using AR/VR.
Virtual and augmented reality already thrive in many businesses. How do they influence the working processes of companies?
I think for now we are only scratching the surface in terms of what is possible. From what we have seen, companies are just beginning to see the influence of VR/AR on their processes. However we have seen one mayor reoccurring theme: many companies are increasingly realizing that they need to start thinking in realtime ready 3D assets, and move away from static 2D/3D. We have seen it especially in our work with the virtual reality showroom for Media Saturn: the retailer installed the VR showroom at two of its points-of-sale, where the shoppers could configure their dream kitchens. This implies creating realistic-looking environments, with high-fidelity replicates of the real-life products, so virtualizing those products is essential.
In terms of processes, it has become clear to us that industry players have a lot to gain. Industry 4.0 is still being shaped, and we think that VR/AR will play a major role in training scenarios, factory planning, prototyping and design review. Eliminating the need of physical space and the costs afferent to it will stand at the core of the adoption of the technology. But the power of VR/AR doesn’t end there: simulating processes in a realistic virtual space, enabling people to manage heavy machinery without risks, or simply connecting stakeholders to align on common topics, will transform the way people teach, or design processes and products. We are already part of the transformation with several companies within the industry sector and are excited to be fueling the progress.
In which ways does your company support other companies to use AR/VR?
We are very excited about the latest developments in AR and VR, and even got ourselves a bunch of HoloLens devices. We think eventually the innovative power and benefits of AR will be immense in real-life situations. We are currently supporting various clients in completely revolutionizing their processes in retail and industry. We sit together with our clients, listen to their pain points and discuss the possibilities to solve them. Because of the diversity within our team, with expertise not only in AR and VR, but also in industrial design, app development and connectivity, we are able to conceive complete pipelines for our customers, from hardware to advanced software solutions, blending in their existing structures, or completely disrupting their processes. So far our focus has been in furniture retailing and industrial support and we are excited to see a growing interest in these fields. However, we are open to exploring new use-cases too.
With whom of our other DIGILITY speakers would you like to get a cup of coffee?
Even though I would have to drink a lot of coffee, I would really enjoy having a cup of coffee with every single one of them. It would be great to have time to sit down with friends like Dirk Schart (click here for more information about Dirk), or close partners like Martin Wild (here you can get more information about Martin). I would be equally delighted to meet new people and have inspiring conversations with industry leaders and innovators. We are excited to hear about what they are working on and we are always glad to share our thoughts and ideas as well.
In two sentences: WHY DIGILITY? (Why are you personally joining us? Why should stakeholders and decision makers come to DIGILITY in Cologne?)
Why Digilitiy? Because Digility is uniquely and strongly focused on anchoring VR and AR into the real, physical world. I think it is THE place to be, if you are looking to successfully shape the digital future of your Company.
Thank you, Dirk, for taking your time to answer our questions. Looking forward to drink a cup of coffee with you at DIGILITY! Maybe decaf?