Monica Talan, Founder, CryptoConexión
Walmart made global headlines a few days ago when it launched two new virtual games on Roblox, marking the entry of one of the leading consumer brands into the Metaverse.
The approach is brilliant: engaging with the generation of “Metaverse natives” – kids that are not only digital natives but that are growing up moving seamlessly between the “real” and “virtual” worlds, buying digital assets and even creating digital merchandise or “verch” and monetizing it. It also speaks volumes about the momentum we are seeing in B2C efforts in the Metaverse.
But the announcement that I believe has a greater long-term impact was made by home improvement retailer Lowe’s. The company unveiled its “interactive retail digital twin” and announced plans to open its virtual 3D product catalog in the coming weeks.
What’s a digital twin? A digital twin is a virtual representation of a real-world object or entity that uses real-time data. This combination of real-time data with the virtual representation is what makes it so powerful. This video from GE Digital will give you a better idea of the potential this technology offers.
Why is this more impactful? Because it moves the virtual experience from gaming to real-life application with both employees and consumers. As Cathy Hackl and John Buzzell share in their book, “The Augmented Workforce” (which I highly recommend), we are currently in a period of behavioral transition which was greatly accelerated by the pandemic. The ability to bring together the power of 5G, IoT, blockchain, AI and AR/VR will accelerate the use of technology in new environments. And that is exactly what Lowe’s is doing.
The game changer is the ability to integrate IoT, AI, machine learning, software analytics to create digital simulation models that are then brought to life using AR and VR, making it available at retail stores for employees and customers, and seeing results in real-time and either scaling or adjusting as needed. Lowe’s announced the roll-out of the digital twins in two stores and plans to have a 3D catalog available, bringing both its employees and customers into this virtual world.
Of course Lowe’s is not the first to use digital twins, but from what I can tell it is one of the first to be doing this in a retail environment, allowing employees to tap into the power of data to improve the customer experience. And this is only the start. The true potential lies not only with CX but also at B2B and EX, something I am sure will be addressed at the upcoming Metaverse Spectrum Business Conference and Expo which will take place October 24th. It is one of the few events focused solely on B2B where we will hear from experts, learn, and see more user cases leveraging the power of these new technologies. To learn more, click here.
About the Author: Monica Talan is a seasoned communications professional and entrepreneur working to onboard individuals into the decentralized world, creating educational content and programs focused on blockchain, crypto, Web3 and the Metaverse.
Join Monica at the upcoming Metaverse Spectrum Business Conference & Expo on October 25th.