June 27, 2023
Though Apple Vision Pro is slated for release sometime early next year, companies haven’t been biding their time when it comes to extended reality or spatial computing. For several years now, companies have been testing the immersive waters and even fully integrating AR/VR/MR (XR) devices into their workflows.
These organizations are in the best position to take advantage of the impact of Vision Pro; in a way, they’re growing their capabilities as the metaverse grows into whatever it’s going to turn into. Here are five recent examples of global companies using or planning to use XR.
Airbus: Design Viz x Remote Collaboration x Sales & Marketing
Airbus is planning to use Mixed Reality for remote collaboration with customers, more specifically to help air lines design their cabins. The aerospace firm recently debuted this immersive interior customization concept, which would allow customers to “essentially step inside” a 3D model of their aircraft and provide live feedback to the designer(s). Users can make real-time changes to the configuration, seat types, materials, colors, etc.--all around a better way for clients to both visualize the craft before it’s built and provide input. The program should go live in 2025 in time to be used with the A320 family of aircraft and hopefully open the door to more mixed reality solutions.
Airbus has been experimenting with XR for several years now, including using HoloLens to provide hands-free work instructions during assembly and even a training program for Japan Airlines in 2019.
LVMH: Sales & Marketing
Switching gears, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is working with Epic Games to create new immersive customer experiences for its luxury brands like Celine and Dior. LVMH will use Epic’s 3D creation tools to generate virtual fitting rooms, product carousels, and fashion shows along with AR-fueled experiences to “engage more effectively” with younger generations. Managing director Antonio Belloni also mentioned the creation of new collections, ad campaigns, and its maisons’ websites.
UPS: Training & Safety
UPS has been utilizing VR headsets to prepare its delivery drivers “for any traffic situation” in an effort to boost safety. The logistics giant began testing VR in 2017 and has since made it integral to training at its North American facilities.
Today, trainees can put on a VR headset to practice road safety before driving a real truck. Users are transported to a virtual city, where they learn to watch out for pedestrians, parked cars, oncoming traffic, and other potential hazards.
To be clear, VR has not replaced traditional training methods at UPS. Instead, it serves as a complement to hands-on and classroom training, designed especially to appeal to younger workers. UPS was also an early user of Google Glass in 2015, testing the device to reduce the labeling on packages.
Crocs - Sales & Marketing
The footwear brand worked with experiential commerce platform Obsess on the Crocs Jibbitz Experience, a metaverse store featuring a 3D “Jibbitz Customizer” with which shoppers can create a pair of custom Crocs. Users can add up to 26 Jibbitz charms to different models of clogs, then buy the physical version of their 3D design right from the virtual store.
Each of the five departments in the metaverse store contains charms around a specific theme. Users can also collect 3D Jibbitz using an arcade-style claw machine game in order to win a physical charm.
This isn’t Crocs’ first foray into the metaverse. In 2021, the brand partnered with Bitmoji to allow customers to outfit their Bitmoji avatars with digital Crocs and Jibbitz charms. And last year, they opened a virtual store as part of the launch of rapper Saweetie’s line of Jibbitz charms, complete with a digital avatar of the rapper herself to greet shoppers.
Volvo - Augmented Instructions & Safety
Volvo Group recently launched an AR safety app to support first responders in an emergency involving one of its electric trucks. Electric trucks make transportation more sustainable but the high-voltage systems that power them require “new safety parameters and routines.”
The free Emergency Response Guide app is intended to aid emergency services in quickly and safely securing the site of an incident involving an electric Volvo, Renault, or Mack truck. With AR overlays and 3D models, the app shows the locations of high-voltage cables, battery packs, etc. and provides step-by-step instructions for safely shutting down the electric vehicle’s power supply. Volvo Group has already tested it in a variety of real-world scenarios, receiving positive feedback from real first responders.
The Volvo brand is no stranger to XR. Just last year, the automotive company announced a partnership with Unreal Engine to bring “photorealistic visualization” into its next generation of electric vehicles. Volvo homes to improve the human-machine interface (HMI), or the way car owners interact with their vehicles. Check out more automotive XR use cases.