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Is Customer Service AR’s Next Killer App?

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AR Insider

Of all of the developing AR use cases, customer support is on the under-exposed side of the spectrum. Though not as sexy as AR shopping and gaming, it’s a fitting and monetizable AR format. And as we’ve examined, the future of AR could be all about non-sexy utilities.

Specifically, AR’s use in customer services involves guiding consumers visually through a given support issue. This happens through a user’s upheld smartphone, enabling support reps to see and guide processes like fixing a sink or setting up a wifi router, including visual annotations.

This resonates with users because voice-only support can be painful….we’ve all been there. It also resonates with service providers because it boosts customer satisfaction and lowers costs. The latter happens through streamlining support calls and lessening home visits.

Beyond the utilitarian benefits that make this use case primed for potential AR killer app status, it’s in a category that we’re generally bullish on: B2B2C. Like in camera commerce and other AR enablement, tech providers equip businesses to deliver AR to their customers.

1. How VR could bring transhumanism to the masses

2. How Augmented Reality (AR) is Reshaping the Food Service Industry

3. ExpiCulture — Developing an Original World-Traveling VR Experience

4. Enterprise AR: 7 real-world use cases for 2021

Here are the highlights we’ve extracted. For context, answers were given in January 2021.

65 percent of U.S. consumers have required technician assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

65 percent of consumers agree that they would rather avoid technician visits unless absolutely necessary — down slightly from 75 percent in May 2020.

12 percent of consumers said that they’d avoid a technician visit at any cost.

61 percent of those needing assistance said that support was provided remotely in some way, either phone ( 29 percent), video chat ( 17 percent), or equipment dropoff coupled with remote support ( 15 percent).

44 percent of consumers claim they would prefer to resolve more issues by themselves than before the pandemic.

53 percent of U.S. consumers are willing to complete more remote guidance tasks than pre-pandemic.

61 percent prefer a company that is innovating with remote support tools. 42 percent say they prefer to get remote support, regardless of the technician’s safety protocols or vaccination status.

This makes AR a microcosm of a broader trend towards a post-Covid “hybrid” world of behavioral transformation. The common example is remote work, where many companies are now engineering an optimal operational mix that sits somewhere between old and new “normals.”

AR will follow that pattern if these data are any indication. And it will carry across several AR subsectors that were Covid-accelerated such as camera commerce and industrial remote support. The latter is essentially the enterprise version of TechSee’s customer service use case.

In all cases, it’s about a “ mere exposure effect” which Covid initiated. But the magic word above is “accelerated,” as AR-based transformation was already underway. Or to paraphrase John Buzzell: Necessity is the mother of invention but in this case, it’s the mother of acceleration.

Header image credit: PLATFORM

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Source: https://arvrjourney.com/is-customer-service-ars-next-killer-app-c458f5bc0027?source=rss—-d01820283d6d—4

AR/VR

The Pistol Whip Smoke & Thunder Update Arrives Next Week

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Pistol Whip: Smoke and Thunder

Cloudhead Games has been teasing Pistol Whip’s next campaign Smoke & Thunder for a few months now, dropping players into a wild west-themed experience with lots of additional content. Today, the studio has announced that the Pistol Whip: Smoke & Thunder update will arrive in a weeks time.

Pistol Whip Smoke & Thunder

Just like Pistol Whip’s first cinematic campaign 2089, Smoke & Thunder will feature five scenes taking players on a story-driven journey revolving around sisters Jessie (Victoria Hogan, Kingdom Come: Deliverance) and Tess (Avalon Penrose, Hades). In between each scene, the narrative will play out via illustrated cutscenes created by comic artist Fico Ossio, and colourist Raciel Avila. 

Smoke & Thunder won’t simply sport an original story and snazzy theme, it’ll feature tracks from The Heavy, Black Pistol Fire, Bones UK, Devora, and Magic Sword. There will be new pistols for that ultimate gunslinger feel, perfect for taking down the new enemies and final boss.

Once the campaign is complete you can then head on over to the new Arcade mode to play both 2089 and Smoke & Thunder‘s scenes. The difference this time is the ability to choose whatever weapon and modifier you want for an endless stream of combinations.

Pistol Whip Smoke & Thunder

Don’t forget, as Cloudhead Games previously revealed, the Smoke & Thunder update will also include the new Styles sandbox system. This is where you’ll really get to mix up the gameplay experience in Pistol Whip, creating new setups with a preferred weapons type and five modifiers. This will see the inclusion of Brawler, transforming the previous No Ammo modifier into a new melee mode.

There is one final change to Pistol Whip and that’s the price. The Smoke & Thunder update will launch next Thursday, 12th August and will be free to existing Pistol Whip owners. The core videogame itself can still be bought for $24.99 USD across all platforms until 15th August. After that date, the Pistol Whip price will be increased to $29.99 to help support the creation of more content. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Pistol Whip, reporting back with the latest updates. 

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/08/the-pistol-whip-smoke-thunder-update-arrives-next-week/

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AR/VR

Deadly Defense Horde Mode now Available for Drop Dead: Dual Strike

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Drop Dead - Deadly Defense

Zombie videogames and horde modes seem to go hand in hand with each other, which Pixel Toy’s series Drop Dead knows all too well. Today, the studio has announced an expansion to Drop Dead: Dual Strike‘s horde mode offerings with Deadly Defense, challenging players with more undead delights.

Drop Dead - Deadly Defense

In Deadly Defense all players have to do is defend a deployed repeater from all those zombie hordes. Just like any horde mode, you need to survive as long as possible with the added bonus should you reach round 30, the repeater will successfully locate the infamous Dr Monday’s secret lair and thus complete their mission.

Becoming a popular zombie shooter for Oculus Quest since its release in 2019, Drop Dead: Dual Strike Edition offers a more colourful, comic-style take on zombie-slaying but is no less intense for it. Just like the other horde modes, Deadly Defense supports co-op multiplayer and of course, the dual-wielding Dual Strike is known for.

Pixel Toys actually began the VR Drop Dead series in 2016 with a far more basic Gear VR edition, followed by an Oculus Rift version in 2017. It wasn’t until the launch of Drop Dead: Dual Strike Edition that the series got its major interactive makeover, allowing players to pick and choose their arsenal; whether they fancied a classic two shotgun combination or throwing in a melee weapon for fun.

Drop Dead - Deadly Defense

While Pixel Toys is still supporting its comedic zombie shooter, most recently the studio is better known for affiliation with the Warhammer franchise. Warhammer 40,000: Battle Sister arrived in 2020 for Oculus Quest putting players in the shoes of Sister Ophelia, part of the Sisters of Battle. And just like Drop Dead: Dual Strike Edition, Pixel Toys added a horde mode to Battle Sister, fighting waves of demons, cultists, Chaos Space Marines and more.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of Pixel Toys, reporting back with further updates.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/08/deadly-defense-horde-mode-now-available-for-drop-dead-dual-strike/

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AR/VR

PlayStation VR 2 Leak Lists Rumoured Specs & AAA Game Focus

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PlayStation 5

Everyone might be clamouring to get their hands on a PlayStation 5 at the moment but there’s something else Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has that people want, details on the next PlayStation VR. While it’s currently dubbed PlayStation VR 2 – SIE hasn’t given it an official name yet – new rumours have arrived this week regarding the specifications of the headset as well as indicating a move towards proper console-quality titles.

PlayStation 5 VR Controller

A report this week by YouTube channel PSVR without Parole states that Sony held a closed-door, virtual conference for potential developers where the following details were gleaned from. Supposedly the new headset is internally referred to as Next-Gen VR or NGVR for short and will come with Fresnel OLED displays, providing a resolution of 2000 x 2040 per eye.

This gives the headset a 4K display which also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) whilst the field of view (FoV) is 110-degrees – for reference the PlayStation VR is 100° and the Oculus Quest 2 is 90°. To further improve the image quality the NGVR will have foveated rendering and a system called flexible scaling resolution (FSR), both of which focus processing power on where the player is looking, so eye tracking will also feature.

Also, the rumoured headset-based haptics are going to be included to aid immersion as well as reduce motion sickness which could be an interesting development. Most of these details have previously been leaked in some fashion over the last few months, therefore starting to build a corroborative narrative for the upcoming device.

PlayStation 5

As for the videogames, the report suggests Sony wants to move away from “VR experiences” to focus entirely on console-quality AAA videogames. These would also be hybrid titles that could be played in VR or regularly on a flatscreen. This could work for some VR videogames but certainly not all of them. Players would also have the choice as to whether they download the VR or flatscreen version.

And for those who still love their original PlayStation VR titles, these could be remastered to make use of the new hardware.

Only two pieces of information regarding the PlayStation VR 2 have been confirmed by SIE so far. One was the reveal of the controllers back in March, with their adaptive triggers just like the new PlayStation 5 controllers. The new report does go onto say that the VR controllers will feature capacitive touch sensors to detect how far away fingers are. Additionally, the VR controllers will supposedly be packed with every headset, so no having to swap between various input devices.

The other piece of confirmed info from Sony is that the new VR headset definitely won’t arrive in 2021. As always, until SIE confirms any of this these details should be regarded as the rumours they are. For continued updates from SIE on its VR plans, keep reading VRFocus.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/08/playstation-vr-2-leak-lists-rumoured-specs-aaa-game-focus/

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AR/VR

Vertigo Games Acquires Time Stall Dev Force Field

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Vertigo Studios Amsterdam

Since its own acquisition by Koch Media Group in 2020, Vertigo Games has gone on to make several of its own VR-centric company purchases. The first was SpringboardVR and now Vertigo Games has acquired Force Field XR, in doing so the team will now be called Vertigo Studios Amsterdam.

Time Stall

The agreement sees Vertigo Games acquire 100 percent of the shares of Force Field for an undisclosed sum. Force Field was founded in 2015, creating VR titles including Landfall, Time Stall, Star Trek: Bridge Crew (Oculus Quest) and Coaster Combat. As Vertigo Studios Amsterdam the team will continue their focus on virtual reality (VR), currently working on an unannounced AAA videogame based on a well-known IP.

“With multiple AAA VR game productions in the pipeline for the upcoming years, Vertigo Games continues to rapidly expand. Known for their AAA production standards and pioneering VR game development expertise, we are thrilled to welcome the Force Field team to the Vertigo Games family,” said Richard Stitselaar, CEO at Vertigo Games in a statement. “Together we are a major step closer to building a global VR powerhouse that will bring even bigger, high production value, and cutting-edge VR games to players around the world.”

Coaster Combat was Force Field’s last VR title, released in 2020 for Oculus Quest. A single-player shooter where you ride various roller coasters shooting as many targets as possible or simply sitting back to enjoy the experience. The team’s first VR videogame was Landfall in 2017, a top-down tactical shooter with both a single-player campaign and multiplayer modes.

Landfall_Screenshot05

“Having spent years on the cutting edge of VR game development, creating showcase games and experiences for leading VR companies, we have built a world-class VR team capable of delivering best-in-class games,” Arthur Houtman, CEO of Vertigo Studios Amsterdam adds. “Today we enter a new phase of growth as part of Vertigo Games, who are not only one of the most successful VR game development studios, but also a leading VR publisher and part of the immensely diverse global Koch Media / Embracer Group, allowing us to fully leverage our company’s potential.”

Vertigo Games might be expanding its presence within the VR industry but the one project everyone wants to see is After the Fall. The post-apocalyptic shooter was due for release this summer, however, the studio revealed at the end of July that there would be another delay, pushing the launch back to later this year.

When Vertigo Studios Amsterdam reveals details of this new AAA project VRFocus will let you know.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/08/vertigo-games-acquires-time-stall-dev-force-field/

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