Verve Champions Innovation with SoCal Designers

The event focused on how virtual reality is impacting consumer experiences across a wide range of industry verticals.

Innovation, a term with interpretations as varied as the ideas produced by those who embrace it, is a critical component of success in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. Companies that encourage, foster and facilitate innovation are able to stay ahead of market trends, differentiate their products from competitors, and maintain an enthusiastic, energized and loyal workforce.

Verve is investing heavily in innovation efforts within the company, and externally in the community, sponsoring and serving on the boards of organizations such as EvoNexus, Mobile Marketing Association, and most recently, UX Speakeasy.

UX Speakeasy is a professional and social group for people in the San Diego User Experience (UX) Community, and is the local chapter of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). The group consists of Interaction Designers, UX professionals, Human Factors Engineers, User Researchers, Content Strategists, Information Architects, Visual Designers, Usability Professionals, and Experience Strategists. It strives to connect and strengthen the local San Diego UX community, share ideas, and host a number of valuable educational opportunities.

Kicking off their new Distinguished Speaker Series, Verve’s Innovation & New Products team hosted the SoCal design community at Verve’s new facilities in Carlsbad, CA during the UX Speakeasy group’s July meetup. The theme of the event was “Let’s Get Virtual!” focusing on the current state of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), and how related technology is impacting consumer experiences across a wide range of industry verticals. The event consisted of hands-on demonstrations of a range of AR/VR experiences, a keynote address, and panel discussion with leading experts and pioneers in the AR/VR field from academic, scientific, and corporate backgrounds.

OSSIC VR Demo

The opportunities new technology such as AR and VR can afford to advertisers seeking to provide memorable brand experiences are immense. “Because VR is an entirely new interaction platform, people will be exploring and looking for new ways to interact with their environments,” said panelist Per Nordgren, founder of RedLemonArt. The more consumers engage with a brand experience, the more likely they are to promote and support the brand through their purchase behavior. Jason Riggs, founder and CEO of OSSIC shared a similar notion: “We’re breaking the rectangle [with VR]… you can now explore, and there’s a big difference between the rectangle version of media and full, exploratory VR media.”

The future of mobile technology, including the power of location-based experience and the level of immersion it may afford to brand experiences is limitless and exhilarating. Dr. Jacquelyn Ford Morie, co-founder of USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies offered her vision of where the future may lead: “Augmented reality can offer unique and engaging experiences that can only be consumed in a very specific location. In the future, augmented or virtual objects will be dynamically interactive with real world people and places; they will be part of the new reality.”

Don MacArthur is Verve Mobile’s Director of UX Strategy, in the Innovation & New Products group.

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