After the pandemic, my appetite to visit busy shopping malls or hospitals dropped significantly. I got used to the convenience of being able to purchase everything online and to video chat with my banker or doctor, all from the comfort of my home. In addition, this allowed me to spend my valuable time on more enjoyable activities.
This got me thinking, what if we could expand these digital experiences even further by adopting technologies that facilitate the creation of our own 'digital twin'? A digital twin (or avatar) that could relieve us from a series of time-consuming and unpleasant activities that undermine an enjoyable experience.
Imagine a world where trying on different outfits is no longer needed because everything fits instantaneously? Or that visiting a doctor for a regular check-up does not longer require you to sit in a waiting room at the doctor's office? All in all, what if we could replace these unpleasant moments with exceptional experiences and opportunities for customers to create their own experiences from anywhere, at any time, through any technology?
Of course, creating a personal digital twin through a 3D body scan is not disruptive per se. Yet drawing upon the same conceptual analogy, the adoption and democratization through ‘simplified’ software and smartphones, could fundamentally alter various customer experiences.
Let’s take fashion, for example, e-commerce has become more ubiquitous and sophisticated since the pandemic. Customers have grown accustomed to a frictionless customer experience, along with rapid and preferably within a 24-hour delivery timeframe of various items. Thus, being able to bracket between sizes to address fitting. It’s fair to state that customers still prefer a try-before-you-buy principle and return approximately 50% of their ordered items. By allowing customers to upload their personal 3D body scan in the form of a ‘digital twin’ onto the e-comm website or app (or any other platform), the fashion industry could reduce costs (simultaneously increasing profits) and enhance the customer experience through personalized ML-driven recommendations based on factual data. The beneficial impact on the environment is a welcome bonus.
In healthcare, digital twins are used on a day-to-day basis, enabling medical professionals to practice health procedures. As technologies advance, a simple 360°-body scan with your smartphone could allow your digital twin to undergo a skin analysis, detecting anomalies or skin diseases. Assuming the ongoing advancement of 3D body scan capabilities and training of data, ML algorithms could go as far as recommending a further analysis by a doctor or certain skin pharmaceuticals, based on diagnostic analytics.
To take it even one step further, the concept of digital representation sounds acutely familiar. To all appearances, the metaverse is the next big thing; a digital environment, linked to the physical world through virtual, augmented & mixed-reality wherein users can interact through digital twins (or avatars). Assuming virtual retail environments will become normalized, various industries could capitalize on prioritizing an omnichannel customer experience. What if, 3D body scans and personalization of the avatar in the metaverse could create a seamless virtual customer journey? Imagine your near-identical avatar could visit the dermatologists’ office for a yearly check-up whereafter your e-comm pharmacy would automate the process of subscription collection and have your skincare delivered straight to your doorstep. Or what if you and your avatar could stroll in a meta-verse mall, try different outfits through virtual reality, and make purchases for both the virtual and physical world?
From a business perspective, enterprises will have the ability to collect highly useful direct customer data and feedback, enhancing the virtual customer experience indefinitely. Data privacy and security aside, the metaverse and personalized representation hold optimistic prospects to enhance cross-industry customer experiences and the promise of forever skipping the waiting line at the shopping mall, your bank, or your doctor’s practice (at least for a low-complexity consultation).
Any unpleasant experiences you wish you were able to skip and let your digital twin take care of 😊?
What triggered me to write this blog, The Blue Garden Event at ngage, I got a glimpse of what the future of body scanning and the creation of digital twins could offer in terms of personal convenience and business opportunities. This got me thinking about what this technology could mean too me in the (hopefully near) future.