Customers and employees are shifting from passive observers to active participants, and they’re transforming business as a result.
The most innovative companies are taking interactivity seriously. They’re thinking beyond the comments section on a blog, a funny social media manager on Twitter, or a livestream on Instagram. Instead, they’re using emerging technology to engage in world building to create realistic, interactive 3D experiences for their customers.
WebRTC makes real-time web interactions possible
Before WebRTC, real time video communication was a challenging proposition. Services like Skype and Zoom filled the gap, but they required application installations, adding friction to the experience.
Spotting the demand for an open real-time communication web standard, Google bought Global IP Solutions in 2010. Global IP Solutions contained the component parts needed to launch WebRTC (short for “Web Real Time Communication”), an open-source project with the objective to make browser-based real-time web communication a reality.
In other words, rather than downloading Skype and conducting calls through the application, participants would be able to enter a URL into any browser and instantly enter a video call. No muss. No fuss.
Real-time 3D streaming empowers audiences to interact with scripted content
While WebRTC is an ongoing project, the idea of streaming interactive content is already in full swing. In 2018, Netflix released its first interactive movie for adults, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. Throughout the film, Netflix prompts users to make decisions on the protagonist’s behalf.
Of course, the interactive content had its limitations. While users can technically choose different storylines, if they don’t choose the storyline the creators intended, they’d be advised they made the wrong choice and forced to circle back to make the “correct” one. With more powerful interactive 3D streaming tools, built for a great number of complex configurations, producers will be able to present increasingly intricate immersive experiences for viewers.
Real-time 3D streaming turns video games into a spectator sport
It’s no surprise that the video games industry is expected to hit $300 billion by 2025. An even more interesting story is the growth of esports, fuelled by the emergence of cloud gaming, which is expected to earn $1.8 billion in revenue by 2022. In some cases, producing video games is more lucrative than producing blockbuster films.
Once considered a pastime, playing video games has now become a way for experienced and entertaining gamers to make a living. In the past, gaming’s interactivity relied on playing other people. With platforms like Twitch, it’s expanded into watching people play and leaving commentary as they do.
Unsurprisingly, traditional rivals like Xbox (Microsoft) and Playstation (Sony) have torn down old walls to work collaboratively on beating tech goliaths. And for good reasons. Emerging competitors like Amazon and Google see natural alignment between their core businesses and this evolving industry. In fact, Google Stadia has dismissed the notion of a game console entirely, and focused on designing a high fidelity gaming experience specifically designed for the cloud.
This esports’ success to date – and future growth – relies on real time cloud streaming of interactive 3D content.
Interactive 3D content enhances the research process for consumers
Consumers value interactive experiences, because they offer a chance to see how a product “fits in” to their current life – or at the very least their aspirational life.
A cloud streamed, interactive 3D experience lets a car buyer see how a vehicle looks and moves in an urban environment or on campgrounds.
An interactive 3D experience allows a homebuyer to explore a space, see how their future home looks with upgrades before commiting to a purchase, and build their dream home in real time.
Streaming these devices through the cloud – rather than a dedicated device – makes these high-value touchpoints accessible to consumers where they spend the most time: scrolling on their phone.
Interactive 3D content enriches corporate training programs
Interactive marketing is nothing new. It encompasses familiar experiences like taking a car for a test drive at a dealership or fiddling with devices at an Apple Store. Consumers like to engage with brands, particularly through the products they buy.
But this has become a distinctly brick-and-mortar experience. In response to the existential threat of e-commerce, physical retailers have amped up experiences in their stores. Unfortunately, e-commerce brands are proceeding on the premise that brick-and-mortar retailers have some kind of monopoly over experiences.
Eighty-eight percent of marketers say that interactive content allows them to differentiate their brand from the competition.
But what exactly is interactive online content? It goes beyond a comments section that allows customers to chime in with thoughts on blog content or videos.
Instead, it’s the ability to enter an online experience like a 3D video and navigate the space, explore different environments, manipulate objects, drive cars, and more. In essence, it combines the flexibility of a choose-your-own adventure novel with the photorealism of a VR experience (minus the expensive headset).
This extends beyond commerce. Interactive content improves learning outcomes as well, especially for high skilled hands-on training where PDF content isn’t enough. Doctors, oil rig workers, airplane maintenance technicians, and more can practice critical skills as often as possible using high fidelity 3D models streamed directly to their personal device.
Want to learn more about real time 3D interactivity? Book a demo with a member of the PureWeb team today.