Once upon a time, a long time ago, mobile phones entered our lives…
Do you remember the days of playing Snake on the Nokia 3210? In the 15 years since, mobile manufacturers have battled to be first to market with the latest state-of-the-art technologies.
The importance of mobile-optimised applications and websites has continued to grow as smartphones get smarter and tablets become more popular. Even laptops are becoming redundant. The latest research from Gartner found that worldwide PC shipments declined by over 10% in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year, which is the fifth consecutive quarter of decline. Not only is this a direct consequence of the uptake of tablets, it is also down to the large and incredibly high-resolution smartphone touchscreens that are now available.
So what’s next in the world of technology? Disney, a brand built on making fantasies a reality, has presented a new form of virtual reality through ‘tactile feedback’ touchscreen technology. Disney Research created a means for users to ‘feel’ the edges, texture, ridges and protrusions of objects in videos on a touchscreen device. It even allows users to ‘feel’ 3D objects in real-time, via the camera on a device.
As well as being incredibly cool, the potential behind this revolutionary idea is immense. One day museum visitors could ‘feel’ historic exhibits without damaging them, or zoo visitors could ‘feel’ the scales of a crocodile without fearing for the loss of a limb. The real-time capability is also helpful for visually-impaired users who can ‘feel’ their surroundings without putting themselves at risk of harm.
Ultimately, consumers will be able to interact with vehicles online – by ‘touching’ surfaces inside and out – before they buy. With 3D touchscreen technology, it may one day be possible to not only view the interior of a potential new car from the comfort of the living room sofa, but also ‘feel’ the texture of the leather interior. The consumer could fall in love with the feel of their potential new car before even stepping foot in the dealership. The first step along this road is to utilise mobile-optimised tools like NetDirector Assets – Interiors which enables consumers to view a 360-degree panorama of the interior of the car they’re interested in.
This is just another link in the digital buying chain, moving us towards the point where online car sales are commonplace. To quote Walt Disney himself: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”