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I want to start off a bit different today.

We have already reached edition #11 and you have been amazingly supportive so far. I truly appreciate each and every one of you for investing your time to read what I have to share.

Over the past 10 editions my team and I have learned a lot – and a huge part of that comes from your feedback. We have received criticisms, compliments, and suggestions, and all of that is important to help us keep improving 🙏.

Anyone who takes the time to write us a message, whether by sending an email or responding to a poll, is directly showing that they care about what we’re building.

And we are building some cool stuff, and the subscribers of The Wild West of Web3 will always be the first ones to get access.

And in case you missed any of our previous editions, click here to find them.

Thank you. And I mean that. OBRIGADO!

Now, on to the actual opening for #11.

Immersive Web: Where reality and virtuality collide

Imagine a space where the boundaries between reality and virtuality blur, creating a new realm of interaction.

Picture an environment that offers a seamless fusion of the digital and physical worlds, offering endless opportunities for brands, customers, entrepreneurs, and everything in between.

In an era of constant upgrades, this is a paradigm shift that redefines our understanding of what the internet can be.

Today, I invite you to explore the Immersive Web with me and find out why big brands are leveraging it, and how it will reshape our virtual interactions.

Amongst the several topics within Web3 (Metaverse, cryptocurrency, blockchain, NFTs, etc.), this is easily one of my favourites.

This is an exciting topic and you’ll certainly see me revisiting it, both here and on my LinkedIn.

There are a ton of applications and use cases when it comes to Immersive Web, and I hand picked some of the most interesting ones to discuss with you today.

But for starters, let’s try and understand why this is way more than “just a new tech”, but rather, a natural evolution.

It’s about time we have a better way to interact online.

In comparison to what we used to have 10 or 20 years ago, our overall online experience is considerably better.

However, “better” doesn’t necessarily mean “damn, that’s fuck*ng amazing!”.

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about this on my LinkedIn:

As someone who logs countless hours on Zoom/Google Meet calls every single week – maybe you can relate – I can say I’m not the biggest fan of the overall “staring-at-a-face-in-a-square” vibe.

On top of that, most of my shopping and interactions with brands I like are done online – and the experience is not always fantastic or memorable.

A paradigm shift – and not just new buzzwords for you to memorize

“The immersive web, also referred to as the spatial web or web XR, encompasses websites navigated in three dimensions using a conventional web browser. These websites can be accessed through virtual reality headsets, delivering a more engaging and interactive online experience”

sauce: drawandcode

That’s all, folks! Thanks for attending Mr. Pink Beanie podcast.

🕡

🕜

Just kidding 😁.

Stick with me.

The definition above – while not wrong – doesn’t fully explain the real impact Immersive Web can (or should I say “will”?) have on how we connect, shop, learn, play, browse, attend to concerts, and enhance our digital experiences overall.

Right now, you might be thinking:

“Oh, cool, so it’s about virtual reality? I have seen those goggles”.

And that’s a 100% valid question.

But before we proceed any further, it must be addressed:

This IS NOT just about VR/AR.

It encompasses various layers of immersive experiences, such as WebGL, real-time 3D engines like Unity/Unreal, and others. AND VR/AR.

Again: It’s not just about the visuals.

The immersive web engages multiple senses. As a customer you can hear the sounds of the newest car released (and test-drive it within a virtual environment), visit your favorite brand’s new interactive showroom, or attend to a sport event, all without leaving your house.

For companies and brands, it’s a brand new (and better) toolkit for:

→ Product launching
→ Advertising
→ Virtual classrooms
→ Virtual prototyping
→ Virtual showrooms
→ Creating better customer journeys
→ Recruitment and employee events

(and many more, but this list would be too long)

I got your back: we’ll talk more on opportunities for brands before we finish this edition.

 

Redefining interactions: Immersive Web vs. the Status Quo.

Okay, so we now agree that the Immersive Web offers a level of engagement that traditional technologies can’t match, right?

While Web2 platforms offer static, one-way interactions, the Immersive Web paves a two-way street. It’s not just about consuming content; it’s about creating and interacting with it.

The quality of interaction is another highlight. Traditional technologies offer pixelated-squared-boring video calls and often laggy interactions. In contrast, we can now explore high-definition, real-time engagement that brings a sense of clarity and immediacy to our interactions.

Still not convinced? Check this out:

Video Conferencing vs. Virtual Meetings: From flat screens to 3D interactive spaces. Imagine discussing quarterly reports in a virtual boardroom, complete with interactive charts and real-time data feeds.

Online Shopping vs. Virtual Stores: It’s not just buying; it’s experiencing. I for one would love entering a virtual fitting room where you (your avatar) can try on different outfits and get instant feedback from AI or human stylists.

E-Learning vs. Virtual Classrooms: From watching videos to interactive, experiential learning. How exciting would be to enter a chemistry lab where you can conduct experiments in a risk-free, virtual environment?

Social Media vs. Virtual Social Spaces: From scrolling feeds to walking through interactive spaces. Imagine a social media platform where you can host virtual parties, complete with DJ booths and interactive games.

Telemedicine vs. Virtual Healthcare: From video calls to interactive consultations. Visit a virtual doctor’s office where you can get a full check-up, all from the comfort of your home.

As I said at the beginning of this edition, we are dealing with a rich, vast subject, so these are only some of advancements we (customers, brands, and companies) can already have a taste of.

Here’s how a company I advise (https://journee.live/) is exploring opportunities within this ecosystem, with a focus on applications for brands and industries.

Source: Journee, 2023

Relevance in today’s world

Besides the comparisons we have explored, maybe the more important “indicator” is the fact that several major companies are already taking steps towards Web3-based initiatives – including Immersive Web.

Remember that at some point, MANY people doubted and joked about Social Media becoming vital in brands’ strategies. So when it comes to “relevance” as the title says, just think how important those channels have become – and we are now dealing with the next step toward the evolution of the consumer-brand interaction.

Here are some of the most exciting examples of big brands exploring the Immersive Web:

Ralph Lauren: The 888 House

Ralph Lauren takes us on a virtual journey with The 888 House, a digital store set in a Joshua Tree-inspired landscape.
This project is a digital expression of the brand’s new ‘RL 888’ handbag collection.

Visitors can explore the space, shop the collection, and even immerse themselves in Ralph Lauren’s iconic style.

Clinique: The Clinique Lab

Clinique Lab takes virtual shopping to the next level. With a custom avatar, you can explore product storytelling, gamification, and even get personalized engagement.

The global reach is impressive – available in 36 countries and 21 languages.

Deutsche Telekom: Mobile World Congress 2022

Deutsche Telekom’s virtual booth at the MWC wasn’t just a booth – it was a full-on event. They had lectures, networking, and 3D exploration.

The engagement was real, as users spent an average of 25 minutes in their 3D space, diving deep into the content.

ALO YOGA x ROBLOX: Alo Sanctuary

Alo Yoga didn’t just create a virtual space; they built an entire wellness ecosystem on Roblox. With a focus on mental health, the sanctuary offers guided yoga and meditation sessions.
The experience is a massive hit, registering over 96 million visits so far.

A few months ago I had an insightful chat with Angelic Vendette, who was Alo’s head of marketing and currently advises the company. We delved into how Web3 is revolutionizing their approach to marketing.

If you’re curious about real-world blockchain and NFT use cases, click here to listen to this conversation.

H&M: Virtual Showroom

H&M’s virtual showroom is a fashion-forward experience for fashion enthusiasts and eco-conscious individuals alike. Hosted for a total of 2,170 hours, the experience has welcomed more than 2.2k visitors, each spending an average of 13 minutes exploring the space.

I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, so I wouldn’t bet against all of them.

Let’s now dive into some other real-world applications for Immersive Web, starting with a huge German company.

Spotlight: BMW I VISION DEE at CES 2023

BMW steps into the power of Immersive Web

BMW has always been a trailblazer in the automotive industry, but with the I VISION DEE, they’re taking it to a whole new level.

Unveiled at CES 2023, the I VISION DEE is designed to be a digital companion that seamlessly integrates into your daily life. Imagine a car that not only gets you from point A to B but also adapts to your habits, curates your entertainment, and even suggests destinations based on your preferences. It’s like having a best friend who knows you inside and out, coupled with the efficiency of a personal assistant, all wrapped up in the sleek design of a BMW.

The tech behind it

BMW didn’t go it alone; they teamed up with Journee, NSYNK, and Usaneers to create an immersive mixed-reality driving experience. What’s unique here is the absence of any VR or XR gear. Instead, they used a colossal LED wall to simulate a lifelike driving experience that transitions from the real streets of Las Vegas to a surreal metaverse landscape.

Joytopia – A quest to Dee

To extend the reach of the I VISION DEE, BMW and Journee developed an interactive online game. With guidance from Arnold Schwarzenegger, users can explore different levels to uncover the car’s unique features. The game serves as a digital extension of the I VISION DEE, allowing a broader audience to engage with the brand in a fun and meaningful way.

🎯 Quick hits – What brands can learn from this:

Adaptability is key: BMW’s I VISION DEE is a masterclass in personalization, adapting to the driver’s lifestyle and preferences.

Mixed reality for the win: The project attracted over 16,123 visitors at CES, showcasing the power of mixed-reality experiences in customer engagement.

Gamification works: The online game ‘“Joytopia – A Quest to Dee” has engaged 45,051 users, each spending an average of 4 minutes in the game.

Celebrity power: Leveraging a well-known figure like Arnold Schwarzenegger can add an extra layer of engagement and excitement to your digital initiatives.

BMW’s Ongoing Journey in the Immersive Web

Don’t think for a second that BMW’s I VISION DEE is a one-off experiment. BMW has been laying the groundwork for these kinds of immersive experiences for a while now.

Case in point: their 2021 initiative, “Joytopia.” When the pandemic disrupted their plans for the IAA Mobility event, BMW pivoted to a digital-first approach. They created an entire metaverse where users could explore BMW’s vision for the future, all from the comfort of their own homes.

And let’s not forget the star-studded launch featuring a Coldplay concert. It was a hit, pulling in over 150,000 visits on premiere day from more than 30 countries.

So, what’s the takeaway? BMW is not just in the business of making cars; they’re in the business of crafting experiences. They’re setting the pace in the industry, showing us that the future of brand engagement is interactive, personalized, and, above all, immersive.

From Text to Tech: the rise of immersive interactions

Remember my Linkedin post from the start of this newsletter when I talked about V1 and V2?

We better talk about V3, right?

Not long ago Lex Fridman (Research Scientist, MIT) interviewed Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Meta) in a very “unique” way.

Yes, one can say it’s “still video and audio”, but the level of immersiveness is completely different.

As Lex says: “This is crazy, it makes me feel we are actually in the same room.”

Once – not “if” – this type of interaction hits mainstream, a world of possibilities and opportunities will become available (and I honestly don’t believe it will take that long).

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: these advancements don’t have to be overcomplicated. This clip is a testament to how straightforward things can be:

iCommerce: The retail revolution

1) Imagine walking into a virtual store, trying on digital outfits with your personalized avatar, and making a purchase, all while chilling on your couch.

2) Picture this: You’re at a virtual concert, vibing to the music, and you spot someone wearing a killer jacket (or a Pink Beanie). A quick tap, and it’s in your cart, ready to be shipped to your real-world doorstep.

3) Or how about this: You’re in a virtual art gallery, captivated by a painting. You decide you want it for your living room. A swipe and a click, and a real-world replica is on its way to your home.

That’s iCommerce for you: cutting-edge tech like AR and VR meets the hustle of creative devs and the vision of groundbreaking brands, all spiced up with the e-commerce we know and love.

iCommerce is not (just) a digital storefront; it’s an interactive universe where you can touch, feel, and interact with the products, thanks to available tech.

It’s the closest you can get to a physical store without stepping out of your house.

Here’s a quick rundown of why iCommerce is the real deal and why it should be on your radar. Add the following to your wishlist 🛍️:

🛒 Virtual becomes reality: 60% of consumers believe that shopping in virtual worlds will become the norm. So, if you’re a brand, it’s time to get your game on.

🛒 Trillion-Dollar playground: The global retail e-commerce market is expected to hit $2 trillion by 2030. Imagine carving out your slice of that pie through iCommerce.

🛒 Data goldmine: iCommerce generates significantly more consumer data points, but in a privacy-preserving manner.

🛒 Sustainability FTW: Digital shopping minimizes return rates and curbs energy consumption, aligning with the growing consumer demand for eco-conscious brands.

🛒 Hyper-engagement: Brands can increase retention rates and customer satisfaction through models like Direct-to-Avatar and AI-powered customer support.

Whether you’re a brand looking to level up or a consumer craving more from your shopping spree, iCommerce is your next stop.

And if you need a trustful partner to explore this space, BorgoLabs is here for you.

PINK BEANIE’S TAKE:
Much more than just a virtual billboard

We have explored some of the amazing things Immersive Web allows, from a gamified initiative by an automotive giant to enhanced 1-on-1 connections with super realistic feeling.

Now, I invite you to come with me and dive deeper into something close to my heart since I started my career: how brands can leverage new tech and cultural shifts to create next-level experiences.

Brands are always on the hunt for that “it” factor that sets them apart.

It’s not just about flashy visuals; it’s about creating a 360-degree, multi-sensory experience that resonates with consumers on a deeply personal level. We’re talking about a digital realm where brands can not only tell their story but also let consumers become part of that narrative.

Brands can create shopping experiences where customers are not just scrolling through product images but actually walking through a virtual store and learning about the different fabrics; or they can set up exclusive branded events without the regular real-world limitations. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Why brands can’t afford to ignore this

So, let’s get real. The Immersive Web isn’t just another checkbox for brands to tick off; it’s a whole new creative environment.

Think about it: instead of just serving up ads or content, you’re inviting your audience into an interactive world. It’s like hosting a party where the experience is (or can be) tailored to each guest. You’re not just collecting clicks; you’re gathering rich, nuanced insights into what makes your audience tick.

Brands have a new – and exciting – way of creating unique, memorable experience that resonates. That’s how you build a brand in the Web3 era, my friends.

🎯 Open for all: The Immersive Web is platform-agnostic, making it accessible to everyone, everywhere.

🎯 Personalization at its best: Brands can use first-party data to offer a truly personalized experience. The more you know about the consumer, the better you can interact with them.

🎯 Two worlds: By blending the physical and digital worlds, brands can offer a seamless consumer experience that amplifies their message and drives emotional engagement.

🎯 Gen Z is leading the charge: With Gen Z spending approximately 5 hours a day* in immersive experiences, brands need to catch up or risk being left behind.

*Sauce: McKinsey, 2023

Not to mention that Immersive gaming like Roblox, is where Gen Z is spending most of their attention, rather than social media.

So, what’s the bottom line? The Immersive Web isn’t just a trend; it’s the future of brand engagement (and not only that as we saw earlier in this edition). And it’s happening right now.

Brands that hop on this train early will be the ones shaping the narrative and reaping the rewards.

Immersive Web: Ready to unlock new dimensions?

Hey, we’ve been on this incredible ride through the world of Immersive Web, from virtual shopping sprees to interactive car customizations. It’s a universe that’s expanding fast and I’m stoked about the endless possibilities.

So, here’s the deal: I want to know how much further you’re willing to venture into this specific topic. Are you still window-shopping, or are you ready to deep-dive into the limitless potential of Immersive Web opportunities?

Your voice matters, and it’ll help shape the kind of content and experiences we bring to you in the future.

(Note: You might need to switch tabs to answer this poll, and trust me, your input is golden.)

Merci / dank U / danke schön

On edition #7 I announced I’d be speaking at Web32 in Antwerp on September 27th. And now I gotta say: WHAAAAAT A BLAST BELGIUM 🧇 !

That was my third time speaking in the country, and second time in a row speaking at WEB32 and once again, it was fuck*ng awesome!

And if you think I can bring value to your event, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team through this link.

Alright, folks, that’s a wrap on this conversation about Immersive Web.

I have said this already, but here it goes again: this is a vast topic and there’s no way we’d cover it all in a single edition – even in a long-ass one 😅.

In upcoming editions, we’ll revisit this exciting environment. Now that we’ve covered the basics, we’ll zoom in on specific industries.
So be ready for discussions on the Automotive industry, Fashion, AI, and much more.

See you in #12!

#LFGrow
Diego Borgo

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