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How will virtual / augmented reality affect store design in the years to come?

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are poised to change the physical and digital landscape of retail in the near future. First of all, judging by the amount of money invested in the various key players in the field and the sales estimates for HMD (head-mounted display) units available so far, virtual reality and augmented reality are here to stay. . This means that if you want to stay ahead of the curve, it is essential to closely monitor these new technologies and, when the opportunity arises, adopt them into your work process.

There is a key difference between virtual reality and augmented reality. With virtual reality or virtual reality, the entire visual spectrum is digital, so the world you are immersed in is completely digital. AR, or augmented reality, is about superimposing digital content on top of what is seen through transparent lenses. This means that the effective short-term uses of the two technologies will be quite different.

Augmented reality and virtual reality are all about data visualization, particularly rich images. This means that you can submit marketing, sales and offers data, highlight products, display product features and properties, illustrate product functionality and / or assembly when required. The opportunities for retailers are truly enormous. Soon BIM is expected to assimilate these technologies, as BIM is about modeling rich information and displaying that information in an immersive medium is natural.

Virtual reality is already being used, in some cases by leading retail companies such as Tesco, at the design stage. These companies place user groups in a virtual reality gaming environment and ask them to make purchases and then analyze user behavior. Then they iterate over their design and test it over and over again. In this way, they can test many design options before implementing them in real life. For this to be smooth, BIM is the best option. Retail BIM modeling in conjunction with virtual reality can speed up the process of visualizing designs and making informed decisions. With BIM, iteration is fast and cohesive and you can easily generate retail construction drawing sets that match what clients / prospects experience in VR. Virtual reality can validate not only the consumer experience, but also the structural and engineering aspects of a project. A valid set of retail construction drawings is one that can be implemented on time and within budget on site. When you have the ability to check for crashes in the Immersive VR Design, as well as review the 3D BIM model from any angle, the building process is sure to go smoothly.

Similarly, AR can have an impact on the physical design of commercial spaces. At the moment, initial AR experiments are carried out using tablet devices and are focused on searching for products (using virtual beacons). As technology evolves, we can expect retailers to reserve a physical space where custom virtual items will be advertised. The use of virtual objects means that you can rely on the buyer’s history, shopping habits, interests and personal physique, so that the user can see the items that are most relevant to him / her. The store may have such items in stock, or at least some of the options, with more available upon request. Navigational clues and item search techniques will also be more seamlessly incorporated into an augmented reality experience when a tablet is replaced by full-vision goggles.

What would this imply when considering retail construction drawing kit production? First, retailers must recognize the complexity of the design process and determine to what extent they can handle all or part of it in-house or if they must rely on specialists in the field. Outsourcing retail BIM modeling services means you can leverage a highly trained talent pool to generate quality, fast results. With retail, it’s all about experience, and if you add new emerging technologies to the mix, it’s hard to get it internally without significant costs.

Whether it’s real-time interactive visualizations of a retail BIM modeling project using VR or considering AR integration into store layouts, producing valid retail construction drawing sets requires professional people.

It is much easier for a company that is already proficient in retail BIM modeling to incorporate VR and AR prerequisites into their workflow and this in turn creates a great opportunity for retailers if they can outsource the skills of such a company.

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