InContext Solutions, a Chicago-based provider of web-based virtual reality (VR) shopper and retail solutions, opened its first East Coast office and VR innovation center in Summit, N.J.

The office features InContext’s HIVE (hi-immersion virtual experience), which is a VR lab that offers hands-on experience with technology and high-end wearable devices. The office also entails ShopperLab, a collaboration and demonstration space that allows retailers and consumer packaged goods companies to create and test new shopper experiences in hyper-realistic virtual stores.

“VR is an amazing technology, but to understand its disruptive potential, you have to experience it first hand,” says Mark Hardy, chief executive officer. “We have seen such success with the HIVE in our Chicago headquarters, and we wanted to bring that experience, along with ShopperLab, to our East Coast clients, giving them a better understanding of where VR is going and how new technologies can improve critical parts of their businesses.”

InContext Solutions’ virtual simulations allow retailers and CPGs to create and modify new concepts and test concepts with consumers before investing in production or transforming in-store experiences.

With VR technology, retailers and CPGs can:

·  Shorten innovation cycles. Redesign spaces in real time.

·  Reduce costs. Eliminate capital expenditures, labor, travel and other costs associated with setting up physical test stores.

·  Increase customer loyalty. Create and validate localized engaging shopper experiences.

·  Access real-time data. Shopping patterns and preference change quickly, so relying on data from last year or another market reduces profitability potential.

·  Communicate more effectively. Virtual technology uses imagery to communicate expectations on store layout and product placement.

“Expanding our presence on the East Coast strengthens our ability to help global brands make faster, smarter and more profitable decisions,” Hardy adds. “Our team and proprietary VR technology uniquely position us to give clients the tools and support they need to create and execute a targeted, engaging shopper experience.”

The East Coast office joins InContext Solutions' first VR lab, which opened in February.