The Future of Immersive Branding and Retail

by Christy Roland    01.12.2018 08:31 PM

According to the AT&T Foundry

Developing a point of view on what the future may hold

person using AR to shop on smartphone

In this fourth installment of The Futurist Report series, AT&T Foundry, Ericsson, and RocketSpace are taking an inside look into the cutting-edge technologies and startups shaping the Future of Immersive Branding and Retail.

Each report includes an industry-wide view from a diverse array of leading experts and features select startups at the forefront of technology. We dig into emerging trends and distill key insights that are reshaping entire industries and our world at large. We delve into the broader business implications of these technologies and explore indicators such as collaborators, investments, market demands and technological advancements.

We are pleased to share our point of view in The Future of Immersive Branding and Retail according to the AT&T Foundry.

Why Immersive Branding and Retail?

Brands and retailers are constantly looking for ways to make their marketing strategies more meaningful to consumers. Many brands are currently utilizing ubiquitous technology, like mobile phones, to ensure that they are reaching the right consumers at the most opportune times. By “immersive branding and retail,” we are referring to the personalized and engaging experiences consumers will have with retailers as relevant technology improves.

The confluence of technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics are able to turn a traditionally passive shopping experience into one in which the consumer is directly engaging with brands and personalizing their retail journeys. These technologies are going to have the capacity to further blend online and physical retail, making retail experiences adaptive to consumers as their product offerings and even environment change in real-time rather than remaining stagnant.

To better understand how consumer relationships with retailers will evolve in the coming years, we interviewed more than 25 experts in retail and technology that are driving innovations in the retail space. Using our interview findings, we developed five bold projections that showcase what the immersive branding and retail consumer experience could look like. AT&T Foundry intends to do its part in fostering innovation in the retail ecosystem, working on cutting edge technology that can make these projections a reality.

Welcome to the Future of Immersive Branding and Retail

Immersive branding and retail today

A Capgemini report on the future of retail stores claims that a “digital wave” could bring $2.95 trillion in profits to the retail industry by 2025. In order to effectively ride this “digital wave,” retailers will need to address the pressing demands from consumers, competition, and technology innovations to make all aspects of the retail experience more engaging, beyond consolidating the shopping experience to mobile devices. Despite the fact that hundreds of brick-and-mortar retail stores are closing,1 as e-commerce makes it easier to make remote purchases, the majority of millennial consumers still prefer to shop in-store2. Why hasn’t the simplicity of online shopping been sufficient for consumers? What about the physical retail experience is so appealing? What is currently missing, causing retail stores to shut down? The challenge will be to transcend the current retail experience into a more holistic brand experience, one that enhances consumers’ social lives and fulfills their personal values and needs.

chart about economic impact
Source: World Economic Forum 20175

The industry is starting to address this need by making marketing efforts more targeted and personalized for each consumer. E-commerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba have been incorporating personalized recommendations into their platform and have already realized the benefits. Amazon claims that 35 percent of their revenue comes from targeted product recommendations3 and overall, brands and retailers can see up to a 10 percent increase in sales when effectively incorporating personalization into their marketing initiatives effectively.4

While current personalization efforts are primarily being applied to e-commerce, the development of futuristic technologies like AR/VR and robotics will enhance existing personalization engines by incorporating all data points of the consumer, from how they like to engage with products, to what environment they want to be in while shopping. This will result in malleable branding and retail experiences, adapting to our surrounding environments according to what resonates best with each consumer and the purchasing method that is most convenient to them at that moment in time.

 

Brick-and-mortar stores replace commerce with immersive brand experiences

The future of brick-and-mortar retail will be a blend of the digital and physical world, combining the convenience benefits of e-commerce with the product exploration benefits of brick-and-mortar.

using AR on smartphone to shop for clothes

With the increase in digital purchasing channels, it is easier to forego the time-consuming processes associated with traditional retail by reducing the shopping experience to a few clicks. E-commerce, however, depends on consumers placing trust in the products they purchase as there is of the lack of physical interaction in advance of the transaction. E-commerce may provide convenience, but it reduces the intimate product exploration and emotional connection consumers develop with brands. Creating emotional connections to a brand has proven to be highly connected to increased sales and consumer advocacy for a brand.6 Therefore, retailers will need to invest in creating an immersive consumer experience to provide that emotional hook for their brand.

Retailers will eventually shift away from commerce-centric stores and use them for unique branding experiences, creating community-driven, engaging brand experiences. In this sense, the retail stores will function as show rooms and social venues, with limited to no inventory because there will be a minimal need to facilitate commerce. The in-store navigation process will go beyond isolated interaction with the products as products are brought to life with technologies such as AR/VR and IoT. These technologies will be able to reveal complete information about each product, such as reviews, as a consumer captures the physical product with their mobile devices or their VR headsets. The entire experience will be highly personalized, providing recommendations for products as consumers navigate through the store in the same way e-commerce sites make personalized recommendations today. AR/VR and IoT can also gamify the shopping experience, providing activity platforms for consumers to make shopping more engaging and social as they navigate through the physical space. This will foster unique relationships with the brand for each individual, empowering brands to reach a wider spectrum of consumers.

“Consumers use physical stores for getting inspired rather than just making transactions. The challenge retailers face is changing their mindset to reinvent the physical space–not improve upon the existing one.” – Ben Gilchriest, Capgemini

Indicators

Brands and retailers invest in the “experiential economy”7

Many brands are creating engaging environments that downplay commerce to create high-impact experiences to build branding relationships with consumers. Nordstrom, for example, recently opened a concept store called Nordstrom Local in Los Angeles that provides spa services, bars, personal stylists, and more to create a luxurious experience associated with the Nordstrom brand. The location does not stock any inventory for purchase.

Immersive, shared experiences for social media promotion8
The pop-up concept Museum of Ice Cream has become a social media sensation, providing a popular activity for friends to explore immersive activities such as a “sandbox” with sprinkles, unique ice cream-related artwork for photos, and samples of local ice cream brands. These ice cream brands provide free samples as part of a greater marketing strategy.

Physical stores without inventory9
Bonobos is a menswear clothing brand that does not have in-store inventory, and instead stocks their stores with a limited number of items for people to try on. If a customer decides he wants to purchase an item, he can have it shipped directly to his door, as early as the following day. This reduces the cost of real estate for Bonobos and frees up retail staff to focus on providing good customer service instead of inventory management.

Startups

Oak Labs provides interactive fitting room mirrors for a seamless customer service experience. Through the smart mirror interface, customers can easily change the lighting of the room, request additional items and sizes to be brought to them, send retail associates messages, and get stylist recommendations.

Catchoom offers visual shopping solutions to help people make faster and better decisions via unique retail, product and marketing experiences as part of an omnichannel customer journey. Catchoom’s technology suite includes Image recognition, mobile augmented reality and fashion eCommerce-specific artificial intelligence software solutions.

Obsess is a VR platform that can be deployed in-store. Through VR headsets or 360-degree videos on mobile devices, consumers can be immersed in a brand experience that they would otherwise not be able to have in-store. Clothing retailers, for example, can provide a VR experience that can make consumers feel like they are watching a live fashion show.

Swirl is a location-based marketing platform for retailers that sends targeted messages to consumers’ mobile devices while they are shopping, according to where they are in the store. The solution also gathers behavioral data from consumers to provide retailers with valuable insights to improve upon the shopping experience.
 

Consumers drive their own branding journeys

Tools like the ARKit that are available to developers across different industries contribute to a future where AR technology is ubiquitous. As AR becomes more integrated with our daily lives, it will be easier to have these interactive experiences, wherever and whenever consumers will be the most impacted such as in their homes, in their local neighborhood coffee shop, or in a mall. While AR applications are primarily executed through mobile devices right now, we will eventually be able to have AR experiences without using mobile devices as an intercepting tool–alternative realities will be augmented onto the world around us or into headsets without us needing to look down at our phone screens. These devices will respond to the presence of groups and individuals, effectively merging the digital world with physical reality.

graphic of worldwide shipping

This will be enabled by public computing which will integrate screens and devices into everyday, non-technological surroundings such as walls of buildings that respond to not just one person, but everyone in its proximity. Devices will become increasingly public rather than private yet will alter content according to every individual in their proximity, providing information according to each consumer’s proximity to their favorite retail environments. Mobile phones will function more as remote controls for our surroundings, empowering individual experiences. Smartphones already have up to 30 sensors10, giving them an enormous amount of power to connect to surrounding technologies. Each individual’s smartphone will contain a profile on their identity such as a collection of behavioral and location-based data, that will mold the surroundings according to each profile. Smartphones will be able to connect with digital signage, for example, and change an advertisement according to the individual’s proximity to other locations, their typical retail purchases, and even their mood.

Having a greater capacity to interact with products will lead to more data points that brands can use to adapt to consumer needs. Consumers will have the power to customize the brand experience and alter the consumer’s environment in real time according to their desires.

“The next evolution will move from devices in our hands to devices on our faces. These devices will need to collect data on the emotional responses of consumers to experiences, so brands can make informed decisions on how to connect with consumers.” – Graeme Cox, Emteq

Indicators

Power is becoming more robust for optimal data collection11
Edge computing transfers data between devices more quickly than traditional cloud computing and is expected to be a $33.75 billion industry by 2023. According to Haseeb Ahktar, solutions architect from Ericsson, the “industrialization of edge computing will allow for the streaming of high bandwidth content on devices for users.” This will be crucial as devices increasingly function as public “data centers” like digital signage that collects data on consumers to create personalized experiences.

Large corporations integrate AR/VR into their businesses12
Companies like Facebook and Amazon are investing heavily in AR/VR, which will turn AR/VR from a futuristic concept to an everyday technology. Facebook believes the future is centered around AR/VR over smartphones13, enabling people to interact with the world around them instead of looking down at a phone, and has already acquired 11 AR/VR companies14. Amazon has also adapted a new feature called AR View to help consumers visualize products.

Social media advertising is dying15
Pop-up and social media ads have been prevalent throughout the digital age, yet they are not resonating with younger consumers. In fact, Generation Z and millennials are so irritated from being inundated with mass digital advertising that 56 percent of respondents said they have cut back on or stopped using social media because of unsolicited digital marketing.

Startups

Immersv is a digital advertising platform for brands and performance advertisers offering 360-degree VR experiences that drive deep consumer engagement. Leveraging the Immersv Ad Engine and Immersv Labs design team, it uniquely enhances traditional video ads. Immersv campaigns have proven to be very successful, with an 85 percent view-through rate.

Zappar makes AR/VR experiences for large brands. Zappar can turn almost anything (print, POS, product, packaging, place) into an interactive delivery channel serving video, animation, games, competitions, additional information, data capture mechanics, social shares and more. They add a new visual dimension to the world seen through mobile devices as a digital discovery channel, making every touchpoint an engaging, and measurable short-form experience.

SubVRsive is an extended reality studio that brings stories to life using VR, taking the consumer out of the 2D advertising world. They work with brands to create immersive videos and provide strategy and development services to help bring brands and their products to life.

HiMirror is a smart beauty mirror that helps users reach their skincare goals. The HiMirror offers in-depth, personalized skincare analysis based on the evolving condition of the skin, local weather conditions and other factors such as acne, wrinkles, and dark spots. This voice-interactive smart mirror has additional features, including a media center consisting of current news stories, along with ambient make up lighting, video tutorials, or a virtual make up feature.
 

Our subconscious will do the shopping for us

Retail has typically required consumers to treat shopping as a deliberate activity–they need to enter an online or physical retail environment, explore their options, go through the payment process once they’ve made a selection, and transport them home.

Because purchases are generally made intentionally in-store or online, consumers are presented with a relatively limited set of products in a single retail space–products like groceries, hardware, and apparel items are usually in three very different establishments. What if we were able to purchase products as we’re exposed to them during the course of our day, outside to the context of retail? Image recognition technology is helping consumers select products outside of the retail space and choose where and how to purchase them. Joy Tang, CEO of computer vision startup Markable, says this evolution of advertising will change the way consumers shop, helping them “figure out what they want faster than before, and expose them to products they otherwise wouldn’t have known were a retail option.” Consumers will be able to click on a product someone is using in a television show and get full information about what it does and where to buy it.

Routine shopping and repeat purchases will be hassle-free because product discovery and exploration won’t be part of the buying process. There are already solutions in the market that allow consumers to reorder products with the push of a button. As we discussed in the previous Futurist Report16, AI will have the capacity to analyze consumption patterns and send products to consumers before they even realize their inventory is running low. As these capabilities expand, consumers will not even need to push a button, because the platform used for data collection will be intelligent enough to know what consumers want, before they even know what they want themselves.

Transactions for these repeat and routine purchases become effortless as retailers and brands tuned into consumers’ needs. Retailers will be able to charge them based on their consumer profiles, validated through image recognition, biometric and blockchain technologies.

Indicators

Virtual assistants free up our hands17

Personal AI assistants are becoming an integral part of consumers’ lives, making it easier to purchase and explore consumer products through voice commands. Of all smartphone users with AI assistant capabilities, 98.6 percent use the feature an average of 10 times per month.

Computer vision identifies product images we encounter outside of retail18

Solutions have been developed to help consumers find products that don’t necessarily fit into a search box. Pinterest Labs, for example, helps consumers find products they like by enabling consumers to point their cameras at any given object and receive information about where to purchase the product. Etsy also purchased Blackbird Technologies to incorporate a visual search function as well.

Smart devices deliver products straight to your refrigerator19

Walmart is trying to compete with Amazon in the grocery delivery space by working with August Home to deliver groceries directly to consumers’ refrigerators and cabinets. The solution gives delivery workers single-use access to someone’s home to make the delivery. They then unload the groceries and stock them so consumers can come home to a fully stocked kitchen.

Startups

Markable helps retailers make it easier for their customers to easily find desired fashion items and discover new products. Customers can scan an image with a particular style and then get similar matches of products available for purchase. The solution can also be embedded into videos, so consumers can instantly see where fashion items in videos come from and where they can purchase them.

Fyusion enables more engaging branding and retail imaging, captured from smartphones in HD, and viewable on any device. Capturing in 3D provides immersive experiences for product exploration, plus gives images deeper power beyond what’s possible with photos and videos; from changing backgrounds and adding rich data tags, to creating VR/AR-ready assets. No professional photographers or retouching are needed.

SMARTASSISTANT is a cloud-based digital advice technology, which allows businesses to create and integrate digital advisors that offer decision-support on websites, mobile sites and apps, as well as in-store kiosks. Digital advisors engage users in interactive conversations to understand their needs before guiding them to the right products or solutions. SMARTASSISTANT provides varied products for the entire customer lifecycle and different business departments.

Forkable is an intelligent learning platform for office lunch programs that customizes meals based on each employee’s meal preferences and gets smarter with consistent feedback, so they never have to think about what they want for lunch again. Meals are delivered and once consumed, employees can rate the meal which helps the system more efficiently create personalized meals in the future.
 

Virtually try it before you buy it

The traditional in-store and online shopping consumers have been using to learn about products will fade as technology enables us to shop in a virtual world. Shopping will take place in an augmented version of our usual world, where mixed reality becomes the new reality. Consumers will only pay once they receive complete information about what their product experience will be like.

woman using VR headset to view house

Select innovative brands20, like Sephora, Estée Lauder, and MAC have already introduced AR “try-on” mirrors, and furniture retailers like Lowe’s have adopted 360-degree videos and 3D imaging technology. These unique, innovative services will soon become ubiquitous, helping consumers avoid false expectations before buying expensive home appliances or a gym membership. Shopping will become an adventure in a space where consumers experience different product compositions, simulating real-life needs before making the final buying decision.

These experiences will be tailored to every single customer. Retailers will integrate computer vision with AR applications to enhance product knowledge so that consumers have complete information on a potential purchase. Every product detail will be at our fingertips with mobile devices, large touchscreens similar to the Samsung 837 experience center.21 Online virtual stores will allow us to invite friends to our personalized space to shop together as avatars.

Increasingly, consumers will be invited by brands to virtually test product prototypes before the actual production which will lead to more personalized offers for consumers and a significant cost reduction in product development. Instead, brands will be able to invest in new gamification solutions that boost engagement and sales.

“Fifty percent of customers are interested in experiencing products in AR, especially high consideration type of goods like furniture. The costs to produce the 3D experience are significant, but will get lower in 3 years and we will also be able to experience soft products like clothes in 3D.” – Sonia Schechter, Marxent

Indicators

Retailers offering a seamless experience in-store will take the lead22
Retailers increasingly embrace interactive features to differentiate their in-store offer. Marie Claire partnered with Mastercard to introduce several fashion innovations to better serve the consumer. The fitting rooms feature smart mirrors by Oak Labs that can interact with the sales assistant, find a matching accessory, or pay on the spot. The store also offers interactive technology for finding products or skin care recommendations via facial analytics.

Technology enhances a personalized omnichannel customer experience
Consumers will choose brands that offer quality omnichannel service including an engaging AR/VR experience, and a dedicated human or robot sales assistant providing detailed information at any point of the customer journey. Furniture manufacturers IKEA and Lowe’s are pioneering an online and in-store spatial visualization of products. Fashion retailers offer AI-based tools for body scanning to make the choice of clothes or accessories more personalized.

Digitally exploring environments and destinations becomes a standard service23
Spatial visualization will become a required service for choosing a holiday spot, hotel room, seat on a plane or a rental car. Zanadu, the Chinese luxury lifestyle travel platform opened its cutting-edge Travel Experience Space in Shanghai, providing 360-degree virtual reality experiences to show the variety of travel destinations but also to provide an immersive experience of the trip and accommodations leaving the client satisfied, with clear expectations.

Startups

Sayduck is a 3D and AR visualization platform for online furniture stores. It enables people to visualize what a product looks like in their home with advanced 3D modeling – from any angle and the different product finishes. This interactive experience strengthens the customer’s decision to buy, helps increase sales and reduce returns. The 3D viewer application can be embedded to any furniture retail site.

Marxent sells real world products such as kitchens and furniture using AR and VR applications for the furniture, home decor, and new home construction industries. Their 3D Furniture Cloud provides content management and 3D products to engage shoppers with highly configurable visualization experiences, including a 3D Room Planner that works across platforms including in-store VR Showrooms, Mobile AR (ARKit, ARCore) and Web applications.

Trillenium builds AR online stores for fashion and shoe retailers. The software enables consumers to see how the shoes or clothes fit via their mobile phone screen. The startup developed another VR tool for immersive travelling called Windowless Aircraft which enables passengers to experience a flight without the walls and windows of a plane.

Trupik is a visualization platform for online apparel retailers that enhances product presentation and enables consumers to virtually try on products on a 3D mapping of their bodies. The solution gives consumers the ability to mix and match multiple different outfits in a short timeframe in a realistic, virtual environment.
 

Self-aware stores will take care of the customers and themselves

A smart store that automatically takes care of the logistics and ensures perfect customer service is becoming reality. Many retailers like Macy’s or Urban Outfitters are focusing on building personalized, ambient surroundings, backed by top technology logistics solutions and accompanied by customer service with a personal touch.

men talking on robot video screen

Shopping at a large store in the future will feel like coming to a neighborhood store. The shopping assistants, humans or robots, will recognize the customer and know everything about the customer immediately. The self-aware store will create profiles for each customer and enable the retailer to customize the brick-and-mortar journey. Advanced IoT and beacon technology will help retailers understand consumer preferences, adjust the store setup and the approach to each customer, while improving the service with every new visit. Data will be gathered at all customer touch points, analyzed and applied across the omnichannel and tailored to the specific consumer. Retailers will use more the recently discovered space of targeted in-store advertisement.

Mobile solutions, touch screens with AI cameras and robots will become a powerful medium to provide tailored information while freeing up hands of the retail staff. There will be no more need to check and refill inventory, look for products or answer simple questions about product location or functionality. The retail assistants will be able to dedicate their time solely to the customer and take on the role of informed advisors. AI will make self-checkout invisible, credit cards and cash may disappear and be replaced by payments with the phone completely.

The role of retail staff will be customer-centric with a mission to provide personalized service and become a subject matter expert on products and services. In-store tablets and connected solutions will help in this respect and provide the customer with an accurate recommendation tailored to specific needs. As a result, return numbers will get near-zero or be eliminated completely.

“An autonomous store will feel like an extension of our home. It will be open 24/7, enable automatic checkout, remove all the usual in-store friction and offer a personalized experience. Retailers will enjoy significant cost savings while making it more affordable to run smaller, more localized stores.” – Alberto Rizzoli, Poly

Indicators

Personalized advertising based on in-store real-time data analytics24
Retailers are able to provide the consumer with a relevant ad or offer depending on where the customer is in the store, thanks to a series of sensors as well as data collected from the consumer’s mobile phone during the visit. Coca-Cola partnered with Google and developed an in-store advertising system based on smartphone activity. It uses the customer profile and browsing history to adjust the ad and lead the customer to the right Coca-Cola product.

Robots and chatbots providing personalized guidance in-store and online25
Intelligent, interactive robots are able to add a unique shopping experience while ensuring a complex service for the customer from store navigation, product specifics, speaking different languages or keeping physical stores open 24/7. Bots will be able to connect the online and offline data, so that if you visit an online store first and then come to the physical store, they will recognize you and know your preferences.

Sales assistants providing smarter customer care thanks to technology26
A number of brands including Kate Spade, Coach or Frank and Oak embraced a specialized software Tulip.io to keep their sales associates perfectly informed and connected to make the customer shopping experience exceptional and smooth. The mobile platform includes several apps that help associates with selling, allow check out anywhere in the store, help with one on one communication with customers as well as internal store communication.

Startups

Linc developed a customer care automation platform based on commerce-trained AI, machine learning and natural language understanding. It helps retailers and large brands resolve customer support requests in real-time and provide personal recommendations via branded chatbots, voice assistants along with enhanced email, web and text. This solution helps drive additional revenue through upsell and yields conversions from return to exchange.

Glimr identifies shoppers offline behavior through the use of ibeacons and geodata and helps brands understand which stores a shopper has visited, allowing brands to communicate in a more personal and targeted way. Glimr connects the online and offline worlds so that brands can retarget shoppers who have shown interest in their product after they have left the store.

Bots and Us developed a social robot that can interact with customers in retail stores, help them navigate the store find and find products improving the customer experience. Bo can take over basic logistic tasks and provides merchandising, inventory or occupancy tracking. The robot provides a 24/7 service so it is not tied to regular working hours.

Rover provides a platform for retailers to create mobile campaigns in the browser delivered to an app without labor-intensive resources. They can create a sponsored activation for an event, a mobile campaign experience or an interactive trivia game. Rover also helps retailers manage beacons, geofences and configurations and sends location-triggered, scheduled and instant messages.

Conclusion

Retail has the potential to become holistically intertwined with each consumer as technology makes it easier to interact with customers throughout the course of daily life. Retail will expand beyond the confines of the brick-and-mortar environment, reaching the consumer whenever and wherever needed.

Consumers will take an even more active role in creating and driving a more immersive and personalized retail experience, that they craft based on previous buying habits and on a dynamically created consumer profile. Expansion of technology beyond mobile will enable the creation of a retail journey story unique to each consumer. Retailers will need to aggregate the various emerging technologies in order to actively engage with this story and remain adaptable. This will ensure that they stay relevant to their consumers, regardless of drastic changes in trends over time. We look forward to pursuing innovation in this ecosystem to empower consumers to continue expanding upon their immersive branding and retail experiences.

“Experiences will be hyper-personalized with opt-in and automatic authorization, combined with a cloud profile in a secure way to communicate with an individual. Blend all that with the promise of 5G and edge computing and you can imagine a sci-fi like scenario in which contextual info, relevant offers, and immersive experiences based on your history, preferences and location are delivered to you seamlessly as you move about your day.” – Jeff Bradley, AT&T Communications

AT&T Foundry

At AT&T Foundry, we assemble diverse teams to explore bleeding-edge technologies, solve high-impact business challenges, and create empowering services for our customers. We continually look for innovative players to work side-by-side with us as we tackle some of today’s biggest problems.

AT&T Foundry is set up to take great ideas and to bring them to life. In fast-paced and collaborative environments, teams from across our business and the industry work together to explore new technologies, to solve business challenges and to power new services for customers.

The innovation center is a high-tech hybrid of cutting-edge technology and constant collaboration. It is a welcoming environment that not only collaborates with third parties, but also with diverse teams throughout the business. We act as a nerve center where all parts of the company can work with our teams to take the innovation process to new levels. We support those with whom we work with the right mix of technology, design resources, and expertise. Our approach lets us move ideas to the marketplace up to three times faster, cutting development time from years to months.

http://about.att.com/innovation/foundry

Ericsson

As the sponsor of AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, California, Ericsson works closely with AT&T collaborating on its next generation opportunities. Ericsson has a seat at the table with AT&T where we explore the future together.

Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society—a world leader in communications technology and services. Our long-term relationships with every major telecom operator in the world allow people, business and society to fulfill their potential and create a more sustainable future.

Our services, software and infrastructure, especially in mobility, broadband and the cloud, are enabling the telecom industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve the user experience and capture new opportunities.

With approximately 115,000 professionals and with customers in 180 countries, we combine global scale with technology and services leadership. We support networks that connect more than 2.5 billion subscribers. Forty percent of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks. And, our investments in research and development ensure that our solutions and our customers stay in front.

Founded in 1876, Ericsson has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX stock exchange in Stockholm and the NASDAQ in New York.

http://www.ericsson.com

RocketSpace

RocketSpace is a technology campus headquartered in the heart of San Francisco. Since 2011, the company has been helping tech entrepreneurs, startups, and corporate innovation professionals bring the future to market. With 18 unicorns and counting, select startup alumni include Uber, Spotify, Practice Fusion, SuperCell, Hootsuite and Leap Motion.

RocketSpace’s Corporate Innovation team has helped more than 170 brands worldwide transform into modern corporations—including Schneider Electric, Converse, Tata Communications, Royal Bank of Scotland, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Samsung, and ABinBev. RocketSpace clients create new opportunities from inside and outside their organizations to ensure they are leading the disruption in their industry and not being disrupted. From financial services, to telecommunications, pharma, consumer electronics, retail, energy, and beyond—RocketSpace’s innovation expertise spans every sector and industry.

The world is moving at unprecedented speed as we are living in an era of exponential change. Technology innovation is disrupting traditional business models overnight.
RocketSpace knows disruptive trends, business models, and startups that impact corporations today, tomorrow and beyond. With access to nearly 200 startups on its San Francisco campus and access to hundreds of thousands around the world, our team focuses on bringing together corporates and startups for mutual benefit. Our work is helping to bring together the strengths of corporates and startups to fuel
next-generation innovation, together.

http://www.rocketspace.com

Full Interview List

AT&T: Jeff Bradley, Senior Vice President
Blippar: Alana Kalin, Director of Partnerships
Bots and Us: Andrei Danescu, CEO
Capgemini: Ben Gilchriest, Innovation Lead of Global Digital Services
Eevo: Alejandro Dinsmore, CEO
Emteq: Graeme Cox, CEO
Fringefy: Amir Adamov, CEO
Fyusion: Stefan Holzer, CTO
GeoCV: Anton Yakubenko, CEO
Immersive Rehab: Isabel Van De Keere, CEO
Immersv: Mihir Shah, CEO
Infime: Inbar Carmel, CEO
IrisVR: Shane Scranton, CEO
JanusVR: James McCrae, CEO
Kwik: Ofer Klein, CEO
Linc: Fang Cheng, CEO
Markable: Joy Tang, CEO
Marxent: Sonia Schechter, CMO
Oak Labs: Healey Cypher, CEO
Obsess: Neha Singh, CEO
Rover: John Coombs, CEO
Sayduck: Niklas Slotte, CEO
SMARTASSISTANT: Markus Linder, CEO
STRIVR: Derek Belch, CEO
SubVRsive: Johannes Larcher, CEO
Sur3D: Alejandro Lozdziejski and Martina Möring, Co-founders
Swirl Networks: Hilmi Ozguc, CEO
Trillenium: Steve Hrvoje Prpic, CEO
Vivid Vision: James Blaha, CEO
VRVCA: Sean Yu, Vice President

Appendix

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4. Ariker, Matt. Heller, Jason. Diaz, Alejandro. Perrey, Jesko. “How marketers can personalize at scale.” Hbr.org. November 2015.
5. World Economic Forum. “Insight Report. Shaping the Future of Retail for Consumer Industries.” Weforum.org. January 2017.
6. Zorfas, Alan. Leemon, Daniel. “An Emotional Connection Matters More than Customer Satisfaction.” Hbr.org. August 2016.
7. Pinsker, Joe. “The Future of Retail Is Stores That Aren’t Stores.” Theatlantic.com. September 2017.
8. Pershan, Caleb. “Inside the Museum of Ice Cream, Showering SF with Sprinkles This weekend.” Sf.eater.com. September 2017.
9. Bonobos Guideshop. https://bonobos.com/guideshop
10. “The future of smartphones: A combination of sensors, machine learning and virtual reality.” Venturebeat.com. February 2015.
11. “Edge Computing Market Accruals to USD 33.75 Billion By 2023 at 35 % of CAGR: Confirms MRFR.” Prnewswire.com. August 2017.
12. “More retailers are adopting AR and VR technology.” Businessinsider.com. July 2016.
13. Evangelysta, Benny. Lang, Marissa. “Facebook moves toward augmented reality future.” Sfchronicle.com. April 2017.
14. Molla, Rani. “These are the companies investing most aggressively in AR and VR.”Recode.net. April 2017.
15. Damiani, Jesse. “VR and AR will be the death of pop-up ads and pre-roll videos.” Qz.com. September 2017.
16. “The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Consumer Experience.” AT&T Foundry. Rocketspace.com. September 2017.
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