Holographic Displays as an Alternative to VR/AR Headsets

In november, Looking Glass was excited to join Accenture France at the Tech for Retail conference.

Looking Glass’ COO and President, Rob Kodadek, met with Vincent Guigui, one of Accenture France’s leaders in VR, AR, and Metaverse strategy. The two shared a lively, insightful conversation around the movement away from VR alone in retail environments. See highlights from their conversation below. 

We are here to talk about the potential of holographic content. At a high level, holograms make content more realistic. What we are doing at Looking Glass is taking powerful pre-existing 3D content, content that Accenture is already building, and turning that into holograms.

Rob: With this 3D content, we can build experiences that are either jaw-dropping visually, or which bring a new level of visual information or interactivity to the consumer experience. 
This can take place in-store by leveraging our bigger 65” and 32” displays at the storefront or behind the register. But beyond that, this experience can continue at home, and can even scale via our content’s compatibility with AR & our platform for embeddable holograms, called Looking Glass Blocks. 

Vincent: I have been excited about the potential for extended reality (AR, VR, and metaverse) to disrupt retail. For a while, the problem has been that VR, an incredible technology in the right setting, has some major shortcomings as a solution for immersive in-store technology. We’ve seen that in-store retail may require a headset-free experience.

Rob: Why does in-store retail require a headset-free experience? 

Vincent: The goal of in-store immersion is to ultimately bring the consumer back to the store itself with a greater level of engagement. VR headsets are complex. There is friction in using them. A great immersive metaverse experience must be on-demand. It must be phygital, or, in other words, bridge the gap between digital and physical experiences. It must be easy to use, and it must be easy to share. While VR can be a couple of these things, it is not particularly well-suited to provide them all.

Now, Rob, I wanted to ask you: how do you think Looking Glass can add value to a vision of the immersive retail experience that is truly 3D and meets all the requirements I just stated?? 

Rob: At this point, nobody is wowed by 2D displays. They are flat and mundane. Today’s displays have already maximized the utility we can get out of resolution improvements. The human eye cannot observe resolution improvements beyond 8k. But people will always crave more realistic media. To get more realism, we need to go to the third dimension. Beyond the display, our joint solution allows people to consume the experience in a unified way, both in-store and at-home. I guess the term – phygital – is picking up momentum.

Of course, to get to 3D media, you need 3D content. Vincent – how are brands building content for the metaverse, and how is Accenture helping them do this? 

Vincent: There are 3 main points brands need to focus to create a successful experience: Experience Design, Content Creation and Integration.

With our knowledge of the retail domain, we help our client decide and design either v-Commerce experience, Digital Configurator, Immersive Fashion Show, Metaverse Product Showcase, whatever is relevant for their targeted audience and objectives (enhance brand visibility, increase product sales…)

Additionally creating an experience requires content meaning Digital Twin of products or places which the consumer will interact. Our 3D Design teams across the globe provide tools and expertise in object scanning, 3D modeling, 3D optimisation and 3D interaction to create the most accurate and enjoyable experience.
Last but not least, Integration. Pulling actual and live product information like model, variant, color, stock – which are usually stored in a corporate database – requires a specific communication channel with the experience which will then provide insightful analytics to inject back into a CRM for example. 

Rob, based on what you have seen so far, how is the presence of holograms making an impact on the market? How is it exhibiting the potential to change consumer purchase behavior?

Rob: There are so many products that are simply commoditized, but consumers want to have life-like experiences to develop deep, loyal connections to brands. Imagine a world where you can represent every product in your store in a lifelike way, without having to stock inventory and spend money on transport. Imagine if you could effectively change what you have on your shelves in minutes!

On top of that, imagine a world where you could provide a cohesive experience in and out of store. A company like Accenture can provide content pipelines, and holographic devices like Looking Glass displays can bring that all to life. It’s a joint opportunity to create excitement for a consumer at any moment throughout the customer journey. 




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