Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Is there a market for using immersive technology within experiences?
As a company, we first need to establish if there is a need for immersive technologies within our services, and if there is a market which our improved business model will slot into. We carried out a survey with out customers on what their overall experiences have been when they engaged with our services, and if they think immersive technologies would improve their experience and enable them to become more immersed within the environment we are creating. Additionally to this, we have been completing market research on companies who already use immersive technologies within their experience based events/services and looking into the growing economy of immersive technologies within the UK.
We first looked at the need of immersive technologies within our current business model. A survey filled out by our customers told us that "the murder mystery is immersive, but audience members could be further immersed by creating realistic scenes" (Anonymous Participant 12, 2020). This supports the need for us to further immerse our customers within our experiences, overall creating a more engaging service. Additionally, some of our customers felt that we "could include more props to make the crime scene more realistic" (Anonymous Participant 4, 2020). Some examples being; "weapons.. Corpse.. Blood" (Anonymous Participant 4, 2020). Due to our current business model, we are not able to involve certain props and set pieces into the space (this is because of legal reasons), however, by using immersive technologies, we would be able to dress the scene virtually for our customers to experience and interact with. Overall, from our results of this survey, we have identified that there is a need to modernise our services by updating the technology we currently use. This would result in us being able to enhance our business model by involving more actors and set design with our small team.
Furthermore, we conducted some market research on companies who are currently using immersive technology to improve their experiences for their customers. We came across Wild Goose, National Dance Company Wales and Gabe BC who is an arist. What all of these companies and artists have in common is the use of immersive technology and the element of a live experience also. They are all using technology to enhance their companies services, not letting the technology be the service itself. This is what our company strives for; combining technology and live performance. By being able to intertwine the two to create one immersive experience. During our market research, we also found a company called Gliding Revolution from Texas, who already use AR within a team building experience. We did attempt to contact them, however we got no reply, but from looking at their website we can see that they use specific types of Augmented Reality to make the experience and simple and easy to use for their customers to use. However, even though the technology may be simple, it allows their customers to enter a world of fantasy within the real world. This supports our need to modernise our current business by involving immersive technologies. Another correlation which was noticed, was the use of their services, nearly all of these companies used their services for team building events. Therefore, confirming that there is a market for our murder mystery experiences to be modernised using immersive technologies, as there are other companies using their immersive technologies for team building also.
The immersive economy within the UK is ever growing from the technology being used to the experiences being created. People are more likely to spend money on experiences rather than physical items, according to "The Immersive Economy In The UK" (2019) which was a study completed by Immersive UK and Digital Catapult. Memories and happy emotions are heightened from experiences with good company, rather than a product which is purchased, as the heightened happiness wears off (Digital Catapult, 2019). During their study, there were 49 specialist immersive companies which they spoke to within Bristol and the South-West. Out of these 49 companies 25% of them were from the media and arts sector. This was the largest percentage compared to all other sectors (Digital Catapult, 2019). Therefore, this reinforces that there is a market for immersive companies, especially within the south-west, as there is a growing number of companies being established every year who use immersive technologies for the arts sector.
In conclusion, the immersive sector of the UK is ever growing and the use of immersive technologies within our everyday lives is slowly growing also. Research and development projects are pushing the use of immersive technologies and how it can improve our experiences from entertainment to learning. Overall, as a company, if we want to stay relevant and cutting edge, then we will need to improve our technology and modernise our approach with our customers to ensure that we are always new, innovative and changing with the times.
Anonymous Participants, 2020, Clwstwr: AR Murder Mystery, The White Tent Company, 28 February 2020, South Wales.
Digital Catapult, November 2019, The Immersive Economy In The UK, London.