Asking the question “Does your project identify a need your market doesn’t know it wants yet?” is really the million-dollar question. Every business (or business to be) would like to think that they have the answer to this.
However, the question should really be phrased as “Do we BELIEVE our project fulfills a need that the market hasn’t yet identified”. You see, until this prophesy has been realised, we cannot make such a bold statement as the aforementioned.
The problem with a belief is that you are only one half of the equation. We really need the OTHER half (customers) to come to the same realisation as us – and preferably at the same time too (Hallelujah for marketing…).
The first stage of answering this question is really the formation of the hypothesis. “I believe that X is true because of Y”. More specifically, we might state “We believe that full sensory immersive rooms, without the need for eye wear, will be relevant/desirable to XYZ, because…”.
Our answer may have been formed because we keep hearing the same set of requests or desires while talking to people, or whilst browsing online – we might have noticed that there is no current solution servicing these specific requirements. Alternatively, we may just have this belief because we have a deep understanding of the market, and this product/service is something we desire ourselves – so hopefully others will too.
Usually the next step in the process is to start some kind of validation process, we call this market research. However, I’m jumping the gun a little bit here. Smart Alternative Reality Area Ltd (SARA) does have a set of beliefs driving her. These beliefs are derived from both personal desires for the product and service, as well as from a deep understanding and intuition for the market and technology sector as a whole.
Having both a wide and deep understanding of the technology sector, combined with having been around for a while, allows for one to see emerging patterns as well as convergence points for the wider tech industry. Things that used to take a lot of computing power are now achievable with hardware that can cost pennies. Software platforms now exist that allow for large scale, inexpensive, distribution of your application – it is even possible to run hardware as software in the cloud.
One of our beliefs surrounding SARA is that within the next 5-10 years you won’t be able to differentiate between screen and reality. One of the key technologies driving this is called Lightfield, and through the development of the SARA platform we are aiming to be forerunners for the distribution of certain types of Lightfield content. Lightfield will ultimately replace how we all view and interact with display and capture technology.
Another belief is that people are going to need to experience nature or connect with each other in more natural ways than we currently do. We believe that SARA will be one of the leading platforms to enable these kinds of experiences and interactions. (Image © Smart Alternative Reality Area Ltd)