“How Augmented Reality & Big Data Boosts Nascar’s Customer Engagement”

The 2019 NASCAR Burnout Experience was kicked off in a different way this year thanks to the demonstration of new technologies. NASCAR created an immersive and interactive experience for fans by using augmented reality devices. According to senior vice-president of NASCAR, Tim Price, the goal was to bring fans along with NASCAR enthusiasts as close to the sport as possible. He mentioned that AR is the perfect medium for them to engage with current and future fans. The aim is to bring the experience of NASCAR to as many fans as possible, even those that can’t always attend the events.

Clark further stated that this venture is an outreach effort. Together with their business partners, they can create platforms for customer engagement. The AR project wasn’t as clear-cut as it seems. It took many months of research but Clark said that it was worth the hard work. According to him, the technology is cutting edge. They are grateful for the support they have received from Apple and Google, their main delivery platforms. He praised the half a dozen developers along with their staff that showed such dedication to the project.

The video data that was used for the burnouts were simulated , not real-time videos, so it has to be stored in an offline data repository. The data had to be adjusted so that bandwidth constraints on users’ mobile devices were minimized. It involved capturing 3D rendering of the cars then creating virtual burnouts that simulated the burnout event. It was the company’s second augmented reality experience in two years. The feedback from their fans has been positive. They are now considering AR as a useful tool as part of their customer outreach strategy. They hope that this will create new opportunities for customers.

NASCAR is not the only company employing AR technologies in its customer outreach projects. IKEA is another big corporation that has started using AR devices along with apps to assist customers with their shopping experience. IKEA customers can use their AR technology to visualize how furniture will look in different places in their homes before buying it. Coca-Cola has also started using AR technology to assist retailers in visualizing what a beverage cooler or vending machine would look like in their stores. Like NASCAR, these companies also employed tech companies from outside to assist in creating new AR experiences.

The field of AR development and creation is growing at a rapid rate. IT companies are eager to jump in to help big tech companies develop AR apps or devices. Companies that have not yet looked into AR technology in their working environment should start doing so. This type of “back office” analytics could have a huge influence on customer engagement and it can increase worker productivity. It is the next frontier in big data which makes it easier to place the customer at the forefront by including them in engaging experiences.