We've already seen plenty of shopping potential for mixed reality headsets, from holographic car showrooms to trying on clothes and picking out furniture. Very few of those ideas have been put into actual practice, but we're getting closer, and consulting firm Valorem is making headway. They created HoloTire for the Microsoft HoloLens to demonstrate the advantage of experiencing a product in mixed reality.
I'm hard-pressed to think of a more boring product to put on a holographic pedestal than a tire, but it's HoloTire's sole bland object that actually proves the value of the experiment. If you can make tire shopping interesting, you've likely found a way to make shopping for any type of product interesting. And in a strange twist, you actually don't need to find yourself a HoloLens to understand why.
Imagine you could look at every angle of a product in 1:1 scale and inspect its detail without the difficulty of lifting it or managing anxiety over breaking it? What if you could talk to the product to learn new information, initiate a demonstration, or have the product answer questions about itself? It's hard to miss why it's compelling to say "Hey tire, show me your treads!" and watch the tire provide an actual demonstration.
Applications go beyond a fun shopping experience. This same use-case works as a learning tool as well and has applications in teaching and training. While a simple proof of concept, HoloTire offers a look into how the very simplest version of shopping in mixed reality can significantly elevate the experience.