Imagine you can transport yourself in a matter of seconds to the Colosseum in Rome, the Eiffel tower in Paris, the Statue of Liberty in New York, or maybe even the Upside Down in Hawkins, Indiana. Imagine you can insert yourself into your favorite video game, whether it's a game of golf in Pebble Beach or battling a dragon in Whiterun. Using extended reality technology at your next live event is memorable and will have people talking about your event for weeks, if not months after it has passed.
What is XR?
First, we must cover the meaning of XR (extended reality). XR is an umbrella term for any real-and-virtual collaborative environment. It covers terms such as VR, AR, and MR. XR can be used for various situations, such as virtual traveling before deciding on a trip destination, medical field training, and entertainment. It allows a user to experience a simulated reality ranging from augmented surroundings to complete sensory immersion.
What do you need to create an XR experience?
Before deciding what equipment one needs to add XR to their live event production, it's essential to determine what level of XR they want to offer and what experience they are after.
MR (mixed reality)
Mixed reality, also named hybrid reality, produces situations where physical and digital experiences coexist and interact. For example, the Microsoft Hololens is a pair of glasses that one wears and continues interacting with the physical world, all while having virtual displays in their field of vision.
AR (augmented reality)
Augmented reality is the use of a digital layer over a real-life backdrop. AR is most prevalent in its popularity with Snapchat filters and Pokémon Go. An example of this at a live event might be a cosmetic company creating an XR experience to engage their clients to try on makeup products virtually so that clients can see results in real-time.
VR (virtual reality)
Virtual reality is a fully immersive experience that utilizes as many senses as possible, often dominating a user's sight and sound. VR technology comprises headgear, image displaying eyewear, and haptic feedback gloves. This is typically what people think of when they hear VR/XR, as most of us are familiar with virtual reality in this capacity.
Determining the experience
Once the level of XR is determined, it is the next step to decide what experience aids your brand best. One of the reasons XR is so impactful is because it has a lot of influence over how people feel. XR has the beautiful ability to tap into emotions, in turn, leaving lasting impressions. How do you want your guests to feel leaving your next live event?
Do you want your guests to be entertained?
Do you want your guest to experience what it's like to perform on stage with your favorite band?
Do you want your guest to leave feeling knowledgeable about a program or product?
These questions should be asked when determining how you will use XR. From there, you can design the specific XR experience.
Why you should have XR at your next event
XR is something most people experience in small doses, unbeknownst to them. Most people, at one point or another, have used a Snapchat or Tiktok filter to see what they would look like as a blonde or bald. The average consumer would greatly value the ability to virtually sightsee a dream destination, try on cosmetics or a new pair of glasses without lifting a finger, or be fully immersed in a fantasy world. Few people experience XR to its full potential, and an opportunity like that is unforgettable.
Whether consumers know it or not, XR has become increasingly popular in mainstream living. Whether a simple AR filter or a full-blown virtual reality, XR is the perfect thing to have at your live event. Utilizing it to leave guests feeling like they had a unique experience is the best way to get people talking about your brand and wanting to come back for more.