XR series Webinar: Augmented Reality & 3D: Transforming Businesses

How Augmented Reality and 3D are creating opportunities for digital business transformation

XR series Webinar: Augmented Reality & 3D: Transforming Businesses


hello everyone thank you so much for being here uh Paulo great to have you and thank you so much uh for joining us

it's really really great to to have you part of this webinar my pleasure thanks for being all

right so I think we had like some issues with the platform but apparently we're live uh so again Pao very excited to

have you and thanks so much for joining us here um so maybe we can start by asking you a couple of questions I mean

you had a tremendous career in digital transformation and in leading different companies you know across the whole

digital transformation Journey um so maybe we you can give us a quick overview on how you started and you know

throughout your years of experience with Ikea what were you involved in in the

beginning and how this reshaped your your career throughout the year

sure sure thank you thank you NAD and and pleased to to be here and be able to

share some some of my experience um yeah I mean I my career is is uh is very you

know long and and that's that is a has always been with dig with technology and

it's fast phase and faster and faster phase of transformation so I'm for me

it's like a way of leaving uh but indeed in the in the 13 years

which I worked at Ikea I saw a real acceleration of of digital

transformation and what it means before Ika I work at consumer goods companies

as up to the C Level for PNG unever and

hinin but Ikea as a retailer with a full value chain can actually

maximize the impact of digital transformation because it has access to

all the data and it you know in in that capacity we have invested a lot in

creating digital Assets in order to be able to monetize them and make them you

know available to a wider and wider range of of customers and and that was

actually a pleasure to well when we met design hubs to you know to put together

uh the different uh different uh competences and and try to develop

something quick and and impactful at the same time that could uh really transform

the experience of consumers as and give insights to the the company on yeah what

uh you know what really technology can do in order to help um maximizing sales

maximizing conversions visibility of products people want to engage with

visual um a lot more than than test nowadays because they get so much more

engagement and information I'll stop here um because of

course I can talk for the about digital transformation forever but perhaps uh let me listen to your questions and try

try to direct me to what you want to know yeah sure uh so I mean we have a

very I would say um a different audience different category of audiences we have

we have subscribers from you know from marketing from digital transformation

and Innovation and we also have a lot of 3D artists here with us on the call so I'm going to try to ask different

questions and being able to provide the most information for all the audience and really make this session the most

informative as possible uh really just being able to provide information and

data to the audience here and make it as much as informative as possible uh so

thank you for mentioning that and yeah I do remember very well our interaction with Ikea when really they started

talking here about like IIA KSA and bahin with Alan for example when they

started um so just maybe step back Ikea has a huge uh Department that only does

3D model for Ikea's products and they they are I believe around 2,000 employees and they

range from 3D artists to to different uh you know different uh descript job

descriptions there uh having said that having these 3D models created for Ikea

it wasn't possible for them to use these existing 3D models on the web and across

their social media channels on their e-commerce platforms and inapp as well

so there was the need for like for us basically to optimize these 3D assets

for them to be used on the web as well as uh for marketing purposes and I I

also recall back then it was like 2020 and Co hit and we actually work to

optimize these 3D assets and integrate them on Ikea's e-commerce platform to

enable and Empower online Shoppers to be able to really understand what they're buying because all the Ikea stores were

closed back then so can can you a bit elaborate on that experience here and what was like the main challenges for us

you know to create and to optimize these assets and what are the key takeaways from this whole experience yeah yeah

absolutely now that's a it's a very it's a good recollection it's been a few few years ago but still um I think what's

behind that is that when like more or less every type of asset when they are

created in the first place uh rely we do think about um how to to

how they will be used right so the the format the standards especially in in a

very fast changing technological environment um

are can become an obstacle or an Ena for for sharing because there is no point in

having assets that cannot be shared that they cannot be shared internally due to

different standards definitions compatibility and and so on and and even more

external um and you can use you can think of this in both let's say the

frontend value Stream So towards the consumers but even towards the suppliers more or less companies face

the same problem right if you want to co-develop a product based on digital

assets or or digital TNS it's very

difficult if you can can't share those those assets so I I think U the the SEL

that's one learn yeah the selection of uh the St standards and and the the

ability to bring to keep um whatever standards are used compatible with the

rest of the environment in which we operate is a key factor to cut the the

the obstacles and remove the obstacles to utilize the assets um it's a little

bit like um think of think of a physical analogy like um screwdrivers or you know

the alen key of Ikea for example right if if you need always a specific thing

to be able to you know to turn a screww or whatever or a vault um it's of no use

you need to have you know compatibility and uh that the other obstacle I would

say that comes to my mind is is more organizational so and with all maybe the

regulation behind assets and who owns them how do we secure that they are

protected they are you know not ending in the in the wrong place or in the

wrong hands and and sometimes there is some bureaucracy in it but it's not so

simple as a problem so the only ship of the assets is another obstacle that you

might find in your business to yeah that that can prevent

the speed of of leveraging these tools like 3D and

reality um it also has to do with the attitude of companies some of them are

more Risk Takers and and like to maybe try and and you know share and maybe

less be less um conscious or or protective on on where the assets end

up but it is a real problem to to have be able to protect your your

properties yeah defin yeah um like spot on like organization of these assets and

traceability of course as well as being able to share the the content are like

two main takeaways I would say for being able to reuse the 3D asset and Paulo If

I may like add on here what you just mentioned and not just for Ikea but

we're very much like involved in the fashion industry as well here and we talk with some of the leading Brands um

and this is like a very big challenge for all these Brands specifically in the digital product creation value chain

where the 3D model get gets created Creed and gets approved for production

but then what happens like how can we re reuse this 3D these 3D assets how can we

share them how can we collaborate on this 3D content across all our teams and

this is like a very big challenge that the fashion industry is facing today and and this is like something that I

believe is a big opportunity uh for like several companies and here I'm talking about maybe design hubs is like well

positioned because we have been developing a very comp competent uh and

scalable 3D viewer with extreme high quality product visualization and now

integrating this technology through a digital asset management system that would enable you know streamlining the

whole value chain from content creation management and Publishing aligning all the teams together so how do you think

how much of an importance would you think that uh this is going to play

and again to tackle these two two points so being able to share the content

across teams and manage the content and as well as protect the content so having

like this single asset of true like the source of Truth platform basically how

important is it in your opinion and how would it help you know in the evolving

uh Tech world when it when we're bridging this with fashion and digital transformation yeah

I mean definitely in in in a in a short sentence it is super important it is a

very critical topic for people to be reassured on and also to actually build

upon and and I think this is going to get even more challenging with the

disruptive impact of AI of J and I you know because because now U

well first of all more and more consumers are getting used to multiple realities yeah so so that's way of

living nowadays you know start people from metaverse to you know augmented

reality mix realities and so on not even gaming yeah so and not only

consumers but also coworkers people in the business so I

I'm I'm starting to wonder um how AI can be a

boost of of augmented reality and 3D uh thanks to the ability of all of

them to work with with visual visual content um and also to their reach into

the creative space we and and also of course I'll

come to also to some risks that I see but in terms of positive or potential or

you know business potential I think this can be a disruption because um the the

the sheer definition of a 3D asset when with its you know accuracy

and other features can be questioned when I intro when I have a tool that at

just the launch of a prodct can create aasm any or whether it is an image a

video whatever with very in a very realistic way so then who owns what what is the

you what is the definition of the asset itself there are also the maybe the dark

side or you know the risks of of yeah

threatening the AI threatening the the 3D AI based business

models in in that the the suspicion the confusion between fake realities and and

and mixed realities and and real realities like that becomes blurred and

or becomes even more more let's say distance from New and

confusing for people um there is also a shortening a short cutting of the

connection between people and their imagination right so so I I don't know

how this will turn out but for me it it starts with the idea of who

owns this content and ends up in another world that that it's now difficult to to

read to frame because it's such in in a high speed of

change I don't know yeah if you already have experience certainly you can get a

boost if you can generate if you can inject AI into the generation of

content 3D content um of VR but I don't know if you have already

started playing with this we haven't been in touch uh more more recently yeah uh great Point Pao and uh we actually

have uh we actually have experienced uh you know and starting playing around as

well as experiencing these tools that enables you to create 3D models either like text to 3D or providing a couple of

to this a gen AI tool and for it to provide you the actual 3D model so yes

we have used it and uh you know see seen the output of of these Technologies um

it looks like promising from an initial standpoint however when as you know like

when we're talking with big Brands and retailers here the main and you remember when you were at Ikea one of the key

requirements and the key requests for big Brands like Ikea is to have extreme

high quality and true digital twins of these products so being able to mimic

the physical product in a digital environment Unfortunately today the

technology such as gen AI doesn't enable us to reach this type of quality yet and

um I don't know if it would at some point in the future maybe in the next three to five years and the the way we

see the approach that we're taking at design hubs is using these Technologies

like gen AI to be to actually help 3D artists to create a much more efficient

workflow to cut down 3D modeling time and Hance operational efficiency and cut

down cost to 3D models and by using these Technologies we will we will be capable of reducing the 3D modeling time

and cost by more than like 60 to 70% but we like we don't see um like gen AI

replacing 3D artists specifically in the like fashion and the retail industry

where these big Brands require to have very very high quality of product

visualizations like high quality 3D assets and this is today not uh achievable with the current gen AI

technology uh so yeah this is to answer a bit your question on where we are today and that's and then yeah like a

bit about this this topic um and maybe do you have any any points here on on

this topic do you want to add anything yeah let's say I have a my personal

opinion you know I think we discussed this in the past is that um to you know

although you probably now have an advantage because you go for high quality and um and that's still

considered quite important I think there is a risk that in the long run this

let's say aim for perfect qu quality might actually slow down and and become

in itself an obstacle so I wouldn't be too obsessed with um perfect images even

from an Ikea perspective I don't work for Ikea any longer but I I still see um

that maybe the strive for Perfection is only visible or the super quality is

only visible by a few very educated eyes and the mass consumer can't even see the

difference you know if you go over a a certain uh quality level um I I might be

swearing to you know into a a place of of lovers of of top

quality 3D but um I I'm I'm trying to put myself

always in the mind of the many consumers will they be able to tell the

differ especially since they are looking at things through a very small screen

yeah so you know what impact compar what is the break even between investing on

Perfection of images and speed of development cost of development so

that's always a balance to keep in mind in my opinion um and also um another

thing that comes to my mind is to um always stay curious and and with the new

technology try on see if if it's you know remaining flexible and and dynamic

to embrace new technology when it comes around because these windows are becoming shorter and shorter and uh if you get locked in your

own technology you might have actually a problem later um and this applies to

every compact so not not only about the signs here um but still the the digital

assets remain extremely important so I'm not saying forget assets you know every

time we generate a new AI based thing and that's it

uh still is there nature change can

gen uh with its an ability to interpret context and visuals and put them into

into a certain environment make the existing digital assets obsolete or or

less less I can see some some questions by

the way streaming I don't know yes uh so

we can leave like the Q&A uh for the like the remaining um like five to 10

minutes of of the call but please like everyone feel free to type in your uh

questions and we'll go through them one by one at the end of the call and we'll try to answer answer all the possible

questions um so yeah please feel free to type in your your questions and we'll answer them at the end um yeah Paulo

definitely like I agree always being always having an open mindset and always

be curious are like some of the key qualities of any organization and if you

really want to stay on top of your game so I totally agree on that and you know that this is one of our um I would

say missions as well if to really always focusing and staying ahead uh so now

taking like a bit talking a bit on the side here and uh you know you're a

leader uh in digital transformation uh and like I mean you spent more than 14

years at Ikea leading their digital transformation and now you're like the CIO at Bolton Bolton group so you have

like an amazing amazing experience and expertise in this field and as you know Paulo there are so many organizations

across the globe and now talking about fashion brands for example that are struggling a bit with the digital

transformation and going a bit deep here on the 3D digital transformation because

now before the design the designs were used to be hand sketches now they're

using like Club browse Ware and other type of 3D engines to create their designs and there's a little a lot of

conflict within internal teams as well trying like to go like innovate or stay

you know with the old processes so uh I here want to get your opinion as a

leader in digital Innovation what key qualities do you think are essential for

driving Su successful digital transformation in large organization yeah a great question great

question I think there are a few uh maybe just before diving into them

one overall perception I have is that um

many companies are are still too slow in in and too I don't know afraid or or

sometimes paralyzed in embracing digital transformation so this this

internal resistance or or yeah you know

lack of confidence becomes an obstacle in itself

so maybe that leads to to something that I think is is really important which is

that companies need to increase their digital maturity their cous you know

curiosity and and the the ability the even internal competen is to understand

what is happening and and here I'm especially talking about traditional B brick moral company in fact companies

yeah the the long the longer history you have the harder this is because you have

the majority of the team that has grown up and been successful in a GRE Immortal

environment and you know most of them struggle to understand the potential technology so this is one change one

important change aspect that people in my respons in my role need to Foster

within an organization to to help people understand that um in in this type of

world at this speed in which the technology develops we need to experiment much more

we need to try out yeah and I think again what what you you mentioned our

experience together with the AL man you just to give to share some background I

got to know design hubs in during an accelerated program that the as group

launched uh and as group is very connected to Ikea as the exclusive

franchise in the region and um and you know that that was a great great

experience because also we you know that helped and forced You by ourselves to

think differently and and and try to put together an experiment in a very short

time and and you know that was feys so we managed to overcome most of the

obstacles and and make make simple uh versions of of their care products

appear online in in a different Flor in a in a 3D you know fashion uh many companies

struggle with that even with the experiments they have lots of hurdles and business case approvals and so on

before they actually able to uh authorize a trial of that you know of

that conent uh I one of the brands in the Bolton group people don't hear about

the Bon group the differ because we don't talk about it we talk about the brands but and we do have some cosmetic

brands for example that could really uh well in which let's say there is a trend

starting of try on Virtual try on of makeup and like that and and I can can

feel also here the resistance to try these new things I think fashion in my

opinion is is indeed extremely slow in adoption of these

possibilities and um I have some friends working in fashion and I can see that

they are so still rooted in the old fashion old way of doing things with

the with lot lots of lost opportunities so I think it's about

change of culture it's about experiment

you putting what having the the guts to to try out things projects that you have

not experienced before um in an Innovative spirit and and see the result

and then evaluate and you know take your take stock something is not going to work

fine you Le you never fail um with those principles I think you know the industry

all the industries that can benefit from this can take speed and be more

conscious to choose certain certain technology certain roots or certain

Partnerships uh to their advantage the last thing you should do because everybody is doing a digital

transformation every single comp right so it's not a matter of if I should do

it or not right it it's how how I do it in my way what is the idea way of

digital transformation what is the B way this is what companies should look for

not just saying well am I should I be involved in this or will it impact us

that's not that's not a productive question yeah incredible Insight Paulo

thank you for sharing that and again it's really about U like education and again starting from the

top like really from the executive level executive position and going all the way

through the organization and as you mentioned each company would use it and would implement it based on its own

principles and cultures and that's the only way actually to do it and and the final point you mentioned is that at the

end of the day all the companies would have to go through this digital transformation or else they like they're

not going to exist in the at at some point in the future so so yes uh thank

you for saying this this Insight um Paulo do you have any anything you want to share before we start answering some

of the questions here uh the questions of the audience do you have anything you want to discuss or share with the

audience um well the only thing is is because you mentioned the role of

Executives and and sponsors you know I see them as sponsors so to work with um

with Executives in in decision making roles in company

is extremely important because the way they talk and you know and

you leas with people is going to give a strong message

to whatever can be considered as important or not so to to educate so to say at that

level is is extrem important and I do see that executives are becoming more

even you know outside technology fields are become more curious because they hear their bombard with the impact of

technology but that can have also confusing like I don't know six months ago everybody was talking about

metaverse now nobody's talking about metaverse and everybody's talking about Ai and it's only six months right so you

can imagine a person that doesn't understand either of them because he's busy with or she's busy with something

else they are going to get really confused and say okay you told me just six months

ago that that it was the Met era and now no's talking

about yeah definitely uh yeah definitely I completely agree with you uh again

having an open mind and being always open to you know new technologies and

what's in the market um it's like it's always beneficial and staying like uh

keeping a curist mind curious SM as well um so like we have a couple of questions

from the audience maybe we can start by uh uh by by Paul Paul mango is asking

you Paulo from your experience what Innovative strategies have proven most

effective in capturing the attention and interest of new customers when introducing augmented reality

experiences H interesting question um it's

I I cannot say that we have had um that I have had a direct experience with this because at least in the way talking

about Ikea in the way we deliberately introduced this has been a

little bit more silent or Word of Mouth based um than than marketing the the

introduction I think more recently you can see that for example Ikea is talking

about that but still in smaller circles and not in the mainstream um then if I open open up to

to more um more companies I think really

the to show to to talk about real consumer value is for me the main the

main the main way so in the end consumers have to go beyond the gimmick

right to say well oh fine nice I now I I can turn I can spin a product around or

display a product in my own environment in my own space um they they can do it

once or twice as a game or as a gimmick to show their friends but it doesn't stick unless you make it part of a real

life experience and and I think n you would remember the the effort we did in

for example embedding that into the the where during your journey it was you

know it was a short life project we didn't really deeper into that but if you make it part of your journey of your

shopping Journey For example uh it it sticks much more and um it connects to

the the purpose of the customer why of why the customer is going through that journey and um and

then probably the result is that they wouldn't even realize that they're going through this

experience it's just they just say well if they telling a friend they they're

maybe talking about the total experience more than oh I've seen this brother spinning around or or displayed in my

room so that's that's U maybe yeah my answer to embedd it into the

real life Journeys yeah definitely and making uh like making it seamless uh through the

consumer Journey uh the consumer shopping Journey For example thank you Paulo

moving on Pascal has a question asking you Paulo do you have any advice for

retailers who still haven't followed the trend of 3D and

AR um well yeah this is a maybe bit easier at least from my perspective um

for me this the the best advice is uh you are taking a big

risk uh because if something can be done if I

simplify my my experience or my view is that if something can be done it will be

done right so you can wait at your par that um yeah to to see what everybody

else is doing but once that is working and successful well you're out of the

game so for me it's almost like a survival advice yeah be curious be there

shape the way it fits this technology fits your business and and try to use it

and try to make it happen not taking a passive approach and

just wait and see is basically saying abdicating and saying well I'm out I'm

out of this and and then taking a high risk of being our business

yeah definitely I completely agree with that and also there's there were so many use cases where you see different

companies actually like like being left behind because they

were waiting for others to use certain Technologies and then uh it worked for for the other companies but they were

too late to the game and they were left behind and they haven't uh capitalized on these opportunities so yeah

completely agree with you on that Pao uh maybe now so Muhammad yes we'll actually

be sharing a recording of this session after and we'll be sharing with with all

the attendees uh a question from Rya what is the most important impact AR and

virtual Tron can have on brands that

adopted I think personally I think the most important impact is is to um make

it well make them help them skiping some steps and be more immediate so it's a

sort of instant gratification even though even before you buy it right

instant gratification goes a long way in making people act on their inputs right so if

you can shorten that distance and say well I feel like I'm having I'm having

this eyeg glasses or makeup whatever U you know fit myself uh well that's

already inst notification if even if it's just on the screen right and from

then from there from that starting point it's easier to make the jump into

conversion U I think that's the the biggest potential I

see so bringing consumers uh one step closer to the product and removing the

doubt from the online shopping journey and then this would actually increase the conversion as you were mentioning

yes yes I I remember this is know on the

surface might have nothing to do but um I I used to be I used to play iido or

you know practice iido when I was young and uh and they one of the techniques

that the master would would use from time to time is to close your eyes well

look at the one technique close your eyes and see yourself doing it right and

and it's amazing how it works what if you can't see yourself doing a certain technique you there's no way you can do

it uh it doesn't mean that if you can see yourself you can already do it but

it's a a necessary condition right so I think it's a very similar moment when

you see yourself with your this glasses on you you have a different perception

and then you are much closer to a decision and that that's just one metaphor

no very very nice uh very nice example and it's basically it's like owning the

product before actually owning it yeah that's perception of owning it before

actually owning the physical uh product and that's is what AR and virtual Dron

actually does see an interesting question from Richard yeah I was about to uh I was

about to mention that uh so from Richard um what are the upcoming trends that go

beyond simple view in your room example use cases with multiple products or

models yeah yeah and here actually that captured my attention thank you Richard

for sharing because I can see I can share an example that I I know about in

Ikea you might have heard about which is really going beyond that and already

with designs of the time we did play with multiple products and that's one scenario but what they did now is to

acquire a company called geological labs in which basically there is an AI

powered interior design because in the end uh the concept behind this is you

have to listen to the customer as usual to Consumer uh needs so when a consumer

is trying out a piece of furniture in their space right they what they are actually doing is

um to well their need is to have a better home is to have a better you know

design of their rooms and and so now the this this tool that they are just

launching can actually scan your room um map with your preferences and uh and use

of course the the digital assets that uh they have fed the room with the the tool

with and um and then make an entire design of your room set of your room

room even you can even use it to delete existing products from the image uh

which is technically more difficult to do than because the tool has to recognize that's a chair and and take it

off but now it's possible and and uh and then you know help the users Beyond just

one product just one item and say well how many of us are interior designers

not so many right uh so what they really some some most consumers actually need

is is not only do it yourself and place a product but give me some ideas give me

some inspiration of how I can transform this Ro using whatever assets you have

and displaying them in a in a logical and let's a realistic

way that's one those case yeah and I believe I I remember

that we were at this transitional stage when we were part of the accelerator it's as you mentioned when Ikea acquired

actually this company geom magical Labs I think yeah very interesting us um we do

not have any further questions from the audience uh Paulo thank you so much uh

for for being here it was really a an amazing session um outstanding

information that you shared with us and with the audience really enjoyed the conversation and we hope to to have you

again sometime soon thanks so much for your your time we really appreciate it thank you thank you have a great a great

time thank you okay take care


Nadim Habr

Nadim Habr

Designhubz CEO | Forbes 30u30