The world today is flush with touch technology and IoT-enabled devices. The perception is that nothing is off limits when it comes to interactive experiences. Mobiles and laptops that were once considered enablers of experiences are today perceived as barriers for seamless and immersive interactions. Multisensory environments that allow for delightful customer interactions are going to lead in the future. Thanks to the advances in technologies such as IoT, analytics, machine learning and cloud, reaching out to customers today is a completely new ballgame.
The Use Cases
Airports are a case in point. With over half the population living in urban areas today 1, public spaces like airports are obviously going to be crowded. This poses a challenge to offer great experiences to flyers. Enter face recognition technology – the security screening process can be simplified like never before. Put artificial intelligence into play for resource allocation and crowd management would never be an issue.
Now, let’s consider reaching out to customers in unique ways. Imagine a smart offering by an airline that leverages voice and gesture controls; mixed, virtual and augmented reality; and hologram projections to transport a customer into a virtual world where experiences are as realistic as they get. Picture being able to fly in a virtual airplane to some exotic place. The potential customer would be instantly sold to the idea of such an air travel.
First Adopters are Already Here
Steve Jobs once said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to sell it.” Amazon, with its IoT- and analytics-enabled smart stores, seems to have adopted this thought well. Amazon Go store’s system can recognize a customer entering the store. It realizes when a product has been taken off or put back in the shelf. It can move those products to a cart and charge the customer’s online wallet for all the purchases. What can be a more seamless customer experience? In essence, forward-looking companies have already begun exploring smart spaces but it’s not too late for the rest to catch up.
The Privacy Challenge
The implementation of safeguards such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union makes it is convenient for individuals to avoid tracking of their information. However, smart spaces powered by technologies such as facial recognition are highly dependent on individual data. The way forward – services that are compelling enough for people to share personal information. Of course, data security precautions must be in place.
At ITC Infotech, we see immense potential for smart spaces, as more businesses become aware of their transformational capability. Given the pace of the current market evolution, businesses must partner with established technology consultants like us to start building their smart-space strategy before it’s too late.