360-Degree Videos To Lower Costs

Purba Das, senior business journalist, EFY

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  •  Use of 360-degree videos for corporate training is best suited to large-scale enterprises that often organise training sessions for their employees across the country or overseas

Enterprises are often scouting for the next best technology for their businesses. After all, managers want their companies to become profitable—be it by cost-cutting or implementing systems that help them connect with their customers better.

That’s exactly what the creative agency behind Flipkart’s Treasure Hunt campaign had on its mind. To promote Flipkart’s annual Big Billion Day sale, Dentsu Webchutney, the creative agency that executed the campaign, used a 360-degree technology to give customers a tour of Flipkart’s head office in Bengaluru where customers had to hunt and earn their treasures, to get discounts on the products listed on the website.

“For us, engaging with our users with a compelling story is as important as sales. We constantly like to push the frontiers—be it with our service, technology or consumer engagements,” Shoumyan Biswas, vice president-marketing at Flipkart, had said some time back.

This is just one example where 360-degree cameras have been used to get some exceptional response. We explore here other benefits from using this technology.

Lower your surveillance cost

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The most important application of 360-degree cameras is security and surveillance. Nowadays, most companies install surveillance cameras to ensure safety and security of their assets. And the need for upping the security will only grow more.

Small-scale enterprises need to spend at least Rs. 100,000, while medium-scale or large enterprises spend Rs. 1 million to Rs. 1.5 million on the entire surveillance solution for their office premises. Usually, cameras installed are the traditional pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) type that have a narrow field of view and require additional components to monitor an entire area, which makes them more susceptible to mechanical failures. Also, these cameras have a higher chance of missing out a critical activity as they cannot capture an all-round view of a particular area at the same time.

With 360-degree surveillance cameras, that is not the case. 360-degree cameras use a fish-eye lens to capture an all-round view of the field under surveillance. Thus these cameras can substantially bring down the expense incurred on surveillance, as enterprises would require fewer number of cameras to be installed over an area. For instance, if an area within the office premises required two PTZ cameras to get a full view of the area, it would now require only one panoramic camera for monitoring the entire area.

A 360-degree camera being used for surveillance (Image courtesy: YouTube)
A 360-degree camera being used for surveillance (Image courtesy: YouTube)

These cameras are especially useful for logistics, retail, entertainment and other such enterprises that see movements of a large number of goods and people.

Corporate training

While use of 360-degree videos or immersive videos is not new, corporates are exploiting their potential in other applications too. One such application is corporate training.

According to experts, corporate trainings imparted using immersive videos turn out to be far more interactive as they break the monotony of flat, plain-vanilla videos. Besides, 360-degree videos offer a real-time experience to trainees, giving them a better understanding of the subject under discussion. These videos are also considered to be cost-efficient as they eliminate the need for an in-person trainer.

Use of 360-degree videos for corporate training is best suited to large-scale enterprises that often organise training sessions for their employees across the country or overseas.

Reduce cost of investment

For healthcare sector, 360-degree videos are a definite boon. In a country such as India where people cannot avail even the basic medical care, 360-degree videos can help healthcare providers save many lives as services become cost-efficient. For instance, in a tier 2 or tier 3 city, a hospital chain need not set up an entire hospital but rather partner with a local hospital, provide it with the requisite equipment and train as well as supervise local doctors to diagnose and even carry out surgeries. Thus, for hospital chains, 360-degree videos completely eliminate the need to set up a full-fledged infrastructure that includes building and staff among others. Their trained doctors can do the job through 360-degree videos.

Enhance brand value

Let’s go back to Facebook’s Treasure Hunt campaign that used 360-degree videos to engage with customers for their annual Big Billion Day sales. The campaign managed to increase the retailer’s Instagram user base by a whopping 350 per cent while it garnered nearly 750,000 views and over 21,000 comments within the first two days itself. Other brands too have tried the immersive video technology and achieved success in their initiatives.

Better customer connect

Companies can use 360-degree videos for their products on display online, giving customers a virtual touch-and-feel experience. This helps not only give customers a better understanding of the product but also win their trust. This is especially true in the case of high-value items such as diamonds and smartphones.

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