What is a mixed reality, or MR? Prepare yourself because this could soon become a buzz-acronym within the CRM industry, according to Microsoft executive Stuart Greif. In short, mixed reality combines the best elements of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Both AR and VR headsets are expected to boom in terms of sales over the next five years, but the value of these headsets goes beyond their utility with gaming platforms.

Several industries may find a use for AR glasses, which have practical applications

in industries like medicine and construction (not to mention the military). However, there are also uses within CRM, particularly for companies that have guest-facing staff in the travel and hospitality industries.

As the demands on CRM teams to deliver a more personalized service grows, so mixed reality technology is being trialed in certain segments of the travel sector. MR can allow staff to match client data to the person they are seeing as part of their day-to-day activities.

Airlines are now trying out MR for cabin staff, enabling them to view a range of passenger data as they interact with them in real time. Such information can include details of their route, diet preferences, duty free purchasing history and many other aspects of that passenger’s interaction with the airline and its partners.

The actual deployment of such facilities is open for speculation. Microsoft will not discuss specifics. Privacy issues and the lack of human interaction are just a few of the many qualms being raised but, as with all ground-breaking technology, skepticism abounds.

It may come as a shock when flight attendants you have never met in your life seem to know as much or more about your travel and buying habits than you do, but consumers will have to expect a much higher level of detailed customization in their interaction with CRM personnel as we race to the future.

Key Takeaways:

  • Changing demographics will make it more acceptable for companies to be able to deploy such technology unlike older generations, younger clients who have grown up using social media have fewer issues about keeping data private.
  • Mixed reality technology is also on the verge of being introduced in law enforcement to support the review of crime scenes by forensic teams.
  • Microsoft’s early stage headsets are currently only configured for virtual reality but the real breakthrough is that they are equipped with their own integrated sensors.