What is 3M Home?
3M Home is 3M’s first virtual customer experience platform and the next step on our road to digital transformation.
Through 3M Home, 3M meets customers and partners in a virtual environment to collaborate on customized product solutions and tomorrow's innovations – in real time from anywhere in the world.
Developed by 3M Germany and 3M Italy in 2021, 3M Home’s fully immersive and virtual space delivers experiences not possible in the real world, taking customers to places that would be not readily accessible, such as inside an operating room or inside a physical product.
“Technology is fast evolving in ways that blur the difference between reality and virtual worlds.”
Why is it important?
At the core of 3M’s culture is a focus on customer-inspired innovation, which makes interaction with customers critical. But the global pandemic has transformed the way we work: Remote work became the norm, and in-person meeting opportunities and live events rarely took place. Before the pandemic, 3M headquarters in Neuss, Germany, had approximately 8,000 customer visits per year. So the move to remote work posed quite a challenge.
3M Home was born from a vision of a new way of working that allows people to meet safely and remotely, but also offers new experiences and spaces that make it possible to develop customized solutions. “3M Home lets customers discover 3M and its solutions through totally new lenses,” explains Marc Routier, 3M Vice President South East Europe Region, President Italy.
How is it impacting the world of 3M today?
As mixed reality becomes more common across society and enterprise, 3M Home makes it possible to take employees and customers literally anywhere in a virtual space without the effort or expense. A situation that may have been seen as a detriment – not being able to meet in person – became the catalyst for an innovative solution and a competitive advantage for 3M and its customers that explores connection and innovation.
“3M Home lets customers discover 3M and its solutions through totally new lenses.”
How does 3M Home bring the metaverse to life?
Currently, access to 3M Home is by invitation only. With the help of a VR headset, the 3M employee and their customer enter the virtual 3M world, much like joining any standard video call. However, here, they move as avatars in a virtual space through the rooms relevant to them.
At present, 3M Home consists of eight virtual rooms, with more rooms in development. In six of the virtual rooms, customers experience how 3M products are applied in locations including an operating room, a mouth, a road crossing, a loft, a café and a production plant.
In two additional rooms, customers can learn more about 3M as a company.
“With 3M Home, we can help our customers re-imagine what’s possible with a fully virtual experience.”
What problems is it solving in our world?
3M Home will allow 3M to demonstrate more than 55,000 products in the company's portfolio – with solutions in the areas of Transportation & Electronics, Health Care, Consumer, Safety & Industrial – within the context of how the products will likely be used and developed.
Whose problems are being solved?
3M Home has the potential to solve problems for virtually every customer, potential customer, or partner of 3M. The possibilities are endless. According to Dirk Lange, 3M Vice President & Managing Director Central Europe Region, “With 3M Home, we can help our customers to re-imagine what’s possible, with a fully virtual experience.”
Big picture: What could it mean for our future?
The possibilities offered by 3M Home are virtually unlimited. “Technology is fast evolving in ways that blur the difference between reality and virtual worlds,” says Kevin Gilboe, 3M Director & Head of Design, International. “In this ever-growing space, a key question for brands is: ‘Will we own how we show up in the virtual world, or will someone else define that for us?’ When thinking about the idea of value proposition and customer experience, the spectrum of possibilities continues to grow.”
Explore more from 3M in Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality from 3M Futures.