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Mixed reality will have as big an impact as iPhone

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The founder of immersive production studio REWIND has predicted that mixed reality will have as big an impact on the world as the iPhone did when it was first released in 2007.

Sol Rogers, who is behind augmented and virtual reality work for the likes of Red Bull, Sky and Lexus, said technology is "democratising intelligence" and that mixed reality will have the same disruptive effect on businesses as Apple’s device has.

“If you remember the iPhone 1 coming out, no one realised what a fundamental shift it would have on every type of industry and business,” said Rogers in an interview with Creativepool. “No one thought about having an app or app-based business to run; Airbnb wouldn’t exist [without it]. The platform ignited a whole new industry and mixed reality is going to have the same impact.”

"If 100 million people saw your thing, did that many buy it? The answer’s no.”

Rogers said he believes brands and agencies should be excited about the opportunities the technology will bring but to be strategic about what can be achieved. Over the past year or two, REWIND has been focusing on solving “hard problems” for brands and making software for more B2B and enterprise clients rather than trying to wow the masses.

“The advertising and entertainment spaces are phenomenal but there’s a low number of consumers there, everything has to have a larger reach to be pushed further,” explained Rogers referring to people who are in a financial position to buy into new tech. “Advertisers really have a problem with numbers and often they are blinded between quality and quantity – if 100 million people saw your thing, did that many buy it? The answer’s no.”

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On the other hand, Rogers explained that by adding value to 10,000 people who you encourage to change their buying habits and go with your product is a more important investment.

“I can make something for 10 people for an automotive brand and it it’ll make their job 10 times more efficient which could save them hundreds of millions of dollars a year by solving one small problem with the application and technology. As a company we’re leaning into that quite heavily.”

“In the next five years, 78% of car sales will be to millennials and they don’t go to car dealerships."

One area REWIND has targeted is the car sales space with Salesdrive, an immersive platform for dealers that provides virtual test drives. The intention with such technology is to show people how products can help their lives in a practical way rather than hard selling to them.

“In the next five years, 78% of car sales will be to millennials and they don’t go to car dealerships. They go once to look and haggle on price. It used to be you went five times, so how do we get that demographic to engage? We think immersive technology is the way forward.”

REWIND’s website advocates the message that ‘Nothing’s Impossible’ and Rogers echoes the sentiment by concluding: “Mixed reality allows us to make amazing creative decisions; we’re not bound by reality anymore or cost in the same way.”

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