According to the 'rule of paw', one dog year is the equivalent of seven human years. 2020 feels very much like a dog year, the wave of digital disruption triggered by the pandemic has carried us well into the future. Virtual experiences are just one of the many disciplines that have been impacted. However there is more method than madness now and disruption has set the stage for development.
The pandemic has been a paradox, while it encouraged social distancing and isolation with people closest to us it also broke the shackles of geography and ushered a new era of collaboration. Our world has never been so connected, so agile or collaborative as it is now. We are no longer prisoners of geography, today people from across the world and disciplines participate and collaborate to create and produce virtual experiential campaigns.
The early days saw us scrambling to make sense of the virtual world. Live interactions and engagements quickly found themselves online as we literally zoomed into the virtual future. From education to entertainment and everything in between, every human engagement has been reimagined for the virtual realm. The early days were all about experimentation and innovation. Both, in terms of technology and experiences. As we got comfortable with the technology, we began to push the boundaries on the experiences we could create.
Collaboration became the new normal in this world, as artists, marketeers, CX professionals, production crews, designers, video platform technologists and commerce experts all came together to reimagine experiences. From fashion to finance, industries across the globe are exploring the world of live digital experiences.
A space that embraced the power of collaboration to create striking virtual experiences is the fashion industry. In many ways it has taken a lead in bringing creative commerce to the forefront of virtual experiences. Fashion Weeks have always been a very important part of the business of fashion and the pandemic ushered in the era of the virtual fashion week.
It began in March this year with the Shanghai Fashion Week, the first fashion week to go virtual. The SFW collaborated with China's e-tailing giant Taobao to innovate many firsts and create a global benchmark. The Latest production technologies created virtual catwalk environments for more than 150 shows that were live streamed across social media. The SFW was a collaboration between fashion designers, graphic designers, animators, production crews and tech partners from across countries and geographies.
Closer home, India based Big Thinx an AI company made headlines when they created a completely virtual fashion show in collaboration with Fashinnovation at the New York Fashion Week in June this year. The proprietary tech developed by Big Thinx automatically creates lifelike virtual avatars and digital clothing. The AI is capable of providing size, fit, and visualisation solutions with just two smartphone pictures that determine 44 precise body measurements of any person!
The virtual world has not just forced us to reimagine the experience but also rethink how we create those experiences. The freedom from physical limitations allow us to bring the best talent and resources from across the world to collaborate and create.
When German IT services company Amasol wanted to create a virtual platform to engage with their partner community they discovered Atthah in India. With teams of CX planners, graphic designers, animators and coders collaborating together across geographies and time zones Atthah has created an immersive 3-D platform with cutting edge features like avatars and proximity chat. The creative technologists at Atthah have reimaged the German company’s physical spaces as a virtual platform to aid workshops, training and enhanced networking with avatar to avatar interactions and gamified interactions. The fact that the platform is not built as a stand-alone virtual event venue, but as a continuous interactive platform to nurture a community.
Much like Amasol when the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry wanted to create a virtual events platform they reached out to the team at Tagglabs. During the pandemic the DCCI has hosted a series of virtual events that brings participants, tech, design and production resources from across the world in a unique collaborative model.
India is fast becoming a regional hub to support live digital experiences. The tech talent and production capabilities ensure that cutting edge productions are possible.
As experiences continue to evolve we are realising that the real disruption is in the space of collaboration. With the quality and calibre of talent that is available in tech, production, design and CX India is poised to become a regional power house in the space of creating and producing digital experiences.
The author is CEO, Geometry Encompass.