The monetization possibilities for taking augmented reality from abstract possibility to commercial reality are huge. Everywhere that humans move through space and time -- an "AR journey" presents an opportunity to change customer interaction.
The Center for the Future of Work just published a widened aperture of the long game on augmented reality. Organizations across industries need to begin weaving immersive technologies into customer, employee, supplier and partner interactions – or risk irrelevance in the years to come.
What does all this mean for the jobs needed to build this out tomorrow? In a world of immersive AR technologies, activities that humans do well will be even more important. Recombination of skills will create new jobs.
We see new creative roles emerging. Imagine “AR journey builders” collaborating with engineering leads and technical artists to craft or otherwise harness an explosion of new, in-the-moment content by leveraging AI and algorithms to map tens of thousands of permutations and possibilities calibrated to individualized tastes.
It’s not difficult to imagine myriad teams needed to design, write, create, calibrate, gamify, sceneset and – most importantly – personalize the next generation of stories and AR journeys. These continually forming, swarming agglomerating teams will craft interactive “virtual vignettes,” leveraging prior-art from any filmic genre or vernacular imaginable.
If customers like their work, AR journey builders and their teams will be paid handsome bonuses. And the collective genius of their vignettes could be replicated by platform, ready for use, redeployment and recombination into additional situations and parameters, with royalties attached in perpetuity.
Much as composers, bricklayers and playwrights were in demand a century ago, AR journey builders might be thought of as their 21st century successors, transposed to the medium of augmented reality – equal parts “experience conductors,” “data overlayers” and “CX/UXwrights.”
The following categories provide just a few of the many examples possible.
- Remote writing of journey plots.
- Telepresence for journey builder squads.
- Ecosystems of field service technicians.
- “Be there” livestreaming of events and tourism experiences.
- Remotely helping people get better at things (fitness, health finances, etc.).
- Interior design.
- Work task training, workplace safety.
Caring for people:
- Remote caregiving and interactions (for seniors, disabled, etc.).
- “See what I see” in–the-moment troubleshooting.
- Remote “wing men/wing women,” meditation guides, biofeedback coaches, and mental health and wellness professionals.
All the World's a Stage in AR: Make Way for the Experience Economy
The potential for AR technologies to change our experiences as we move through time and space in our personal and business lives may also usher in the next chapter of what some are calling “The Experience Economy.”
Augmented reality will be a catalyst, and journeys everywhere will be an open door for creativity, self-actualization and experiences. Thinking about the future possibilities from a B2C perspective might look something like this:
- Want to know what it’s like to be on-stage with the E Street Band? Facebook/Rift will put you next to the Boss at the venue of your choice.
- Want to experience what it’s like to run a French vineyard? Airbnb will arrange it for you.
- Want to chat with Captain Scott in his hut in Antarctica? Khan Academy and HoloLens, working in partnership, have it all set up.
Say you’re a huge fan of George R. R. Martin and are on a five-hour plane ride from JFK to SFO. What if you could plug into your AR Game of Thrones immersive channel and dynamically interact with different characters, settings or kingdoms? When you get bored, how about switching to the Indiana Jones channel, or venturing into the world of Stranger Things, Harry Potter or the dancers of La La Land? And so on?
The rise of the experience economy means that even stalwarts among the traditional media and entertainment companies may – quickly – encounter Silicon Valley juggernauts as their biggest competitors.
Consider strategic initiatives like Airbnb’s Experiences (overseen by none other than Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky himself), which includes everything from exploring Havana’s music scene to visiting street markets in London. Though happening in “real reality” today, the sky’s the limit for initiatives like these in the augmented reality tomorrow.
Beyond the world of entertainment, we also believe AR will be used to resolve entrenched issues faced by people and societies today. Sample headlines aligned with improving work, health and policy decisions might look something like this:
- Want to know what climate change could look like? Using NOAA Data, Google Earth Has Modeled Any Timeframe within the Next 500 Years
- Want to see the future of your work? ZipRecruiter, in Partnership with LinkedIn, Can Show You Potential Career Pathways Over the Next 10 Years
- Want to see what your body looks like if you fail to stay healthy? Fitbit and Oculus Show You the Damage of a Sedentary Lifestyle, and the Value of Staving Off Preventable Diseases.
Plenty more examples will emerge of old processes, tasks and work being consumed by the new technologies of AR, in combination with algorithms, automation and AI. Today’s car companies could be tomorrow’s leading game companies. Moribund retailers could reboot as immersive space businesses. Hospitality organizations could supplant movies, TV and social media by delivering consumers’ wants and needs of augmented immersion.
Augmented reality will improve ways of working, relating with customers and generating value. The coming Experience Economy will couple imagination and creativity together, yielding large-scale abundance and discovery of new business processes, showing us a world augmented far beyond what’s been imaginable so far.
The new whitepaper from the Center for the Future of Work is entitled: “Augmenting the Reality of Everything”. It can be downloaded at: https://www.cognizant.com/whitepapers/augmenting-the-reality-of-everything-codex3050.pdf