Augmented reality (AR) is a innovative technology in the business world. AR is poised to play a significant role in the future as businesses seek new and innovative ways to improve their customer experience. Wouldn’t it make sense for more businesses to adopt this ground-breaking technology?The premise of AR technology is to create an interactive digital overlay on top of the physical world. To this point, it’s been primarily regarded as a fun, playful gimmick, but there’s a lot more to it.
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What Is Augmented Reality?AR, or augmented reality, is a technology that incorporates computer-generated images into our physical environments. Would you like to see this technology in action? Then, on your smartphone, perform a quick Google search for “Bengal Tiger” and select “View in 3D.” How cool is it to have a virtual tiger prancing around in your backyard? And don’t worry, this one isn’t going to eat you!
On a more serious note, augmented reality has numerous potential applications such as Augmented Reality Filter and can be used in a variety of practical and innovative ways in education, product visualisation, training simulations, and many other areas. AR technology is a rare and unique concept because it allows users to interact with digital content in a more natural and immersive manner, with the potential to revolutionise how we interact with the world around us.
Consider the following scenario: the year is 2050, and you have just had a conversation with your partner’s hologram. You may wonder how engineers would create such technology. Of course, using augmented reality! When you think about it, holographic projections are a type of augmented reality. But we’re not in 2050; it’s still 2022, and while augmented reality is still in its early stages, it shows great promise as a transformative technology.
Some Real-Life Examples Of Augmented RealityUntil recently, Augmented Reality was mostly used in video games, but it has recently been adopted in a variety of industries, ranging from training and education to retail and fashion. Snapchat is an excellent example of an early adopter of AR. It employs augmented reality technology to encourage users to have fun with selfies and group photos by providing filters that allow brands to promote their products. Thanks to all those crazy photo filters, you’ve probably seen millennials and Gen Z’s post pictures of themselves looking like dogs with their tongues out!
Google Maps recently integrated augmented reality technology into their navigation tool, Live View. If you haven’t used it yet, it will help you identify your current locations and show superimposed directions and digital breadcrumbs to show exactly where you need to go, all within the camera view of your screen. In terms of immersion and usability, this is far superior to a standard map view.
When discussing augmented reality, we must not overlook the retail industry. They use augmented reality to assist customers in viewing and selecting products available in the store, as well as quickly researching product information from the comfort of their living room. Augmented reality is also used in sports to display real-time statistics and to provide athletes with new training drills.
How Is It Different From Virtual Reality?When we talk about AR, we also bring up Virtual Reality (VR). But are they the same thing? Certainly not! Despite the fact that they are both immersive and reality-altering technologies, they are very different.
VR is a completely immersive experience that immerses you in a simulated environment that replaces your actual surroundings. You’ll be transported into a virtually programmed environment; imagine a zombie apocalypse or riding on the back of a dragon!
However, because AR is semi-immersive, users may not need to enter a simulated virtual environment. Instead, AR technology augments your existing environment with audio-visual feedback. Imagine seeing sunglasses in your online shopping cart overlaid on a virtual image of yourself on your phone, or a virtual version of your dragon pal from the previous example chilling out in your backyard.
How Is Augmented Reality Changing The Face Of Customer Experience?
Not Just A “Plaything”Contrary to popular belief, augmented reality (AR) is much more than a “playful experience.” It serves a larger purpose in the world of marketing and customer experience and will continue to do so.
Unlike anything else, AR technology immerses a consumer in a brand and its product, facilitating brand retention and engagement. You will not only make the overall purchasing experience more accessible, but also more engaging.
While augmented reality is still primarily used in the entertainment and video game industries, its versatility is growing in popularity. As the technology is studied and understood further, it will be used on a larger scale in other industries.
Serves Every Part Of the Buyer‘s JourneyBusinesses must find novel ways to raise consumer awareness of their value proposition and strengthen customer relationships. AR is a technology that can help businesses gain a competitive advantage and impress customers. During the awareness stage required to excite and attract new customers, AR technology can provide a novel branding experience. AR can also be extremely useful during the consideration stage of a consumer’s purchasing cycle.
At this point, the consumer begins to weigh their options carefully before making a decision, and using AR technology can tip the scales in your favour. Finally, when a consumer is in the purchasing stage, brands can use AR technologies to help remove any uncertainties and doubts, allowing them to visualise a potential product fit and make a confident purchase decision.
Adds A Whole New Spin On Online ShoppingAs contactless transactions become more common, augmented reality can add value to a customer’s overall shopping experience. AR will be at the forefront of this transition, as online retailers seek to implement immersive digital shopping experiences that allow customers to visualise a product before purchasing it.
The ease of use and simplicity of AR technology will ensure its long-term viability, as it will be difficult to provide a comparable consumer experience through other means.
Consider this: how can you give customers the ability to manipulate and interact with a digital version of a product before spending a single dollar or even entering a retail store? Maybe, VR, but that would take us off on a different tangent.
IKEA is a great example of how useful this technology has been. They have created an augmented reality (AR) feature called IKEA Place that allows users to see how furniture would look in their homes before purchasing it. Customers can then decide based on how well the product fits their interior decor.
AR, on the other hand, can be used to create interactive displays that engage customers and allow them to try out new products. Sephora, for example, has introduced an AR mirror app that allows users to try on makeup using their smartphone camera.
A special mention goes to Expivi, which uses augmented reality in their 3D configurator tool to provide customers with amazing futuristic eCommerce experiences. Their interface is smooth, snappy, and intuitive, and it integrates seamlessly with the Expivi platform, allowing customers to view a customised version of a product in their environment with a few clicks and a quick scan.
The Expivi AR product configurator enables users to virtually visualise the fit of a product before purchasing it, resulting in a shorter purchase path. The tool also allows for real-time engagement and exploration of the product from all angles, resulting in an exciting and memorable shopping experience – it’s amazing what new technologies can do these days. Hence, why many businesses are hiring augmented reality companies to incorporate into their businesses.
Highly Personalised Marketing & AdvertisingAR can be used to deliver personalised experiences, allowing advertisers to communicate directly with users. Because AR places people in a virtual advertising environment, responding to each user’s unique surroundings leads to higher user engagement through customised messaging, the opportunity for personalisation is enhanced even further.
AR allows them to view a computer-generated representation of a brand’s product in their personal space, which is extremely effective for increasing brand awareness and retention. It doesn’t get more personalised than this, whether the consumer uses the front-facing camera to test virtual make-up products on a digital version of their face or the rear camera to place furniture in their living room to see how it looks!
Personalisation is essential for audience engagement and creating an emotional connection with the user, and AR provides the ideal environment for a one-of-a-kind customer journey.
How Can Businesses Use Augmented Reality?Jumping on the AR hype train, in our opinion, is recommended if your company can afford to use the technology to positively impact your product or service offering.
Consider the following use-case scenario: you are a large water tank manufacturer, such as Coerco. You could use AR to create a feature on your website or app that allows customers to see if the location where they intend to place the tank is suitable. This can be useful for customers who are unsure about making a purchase and could be the key to gaining more customers.
It is never a good idea to adopt AR or any other technology simply because everyone else is doing it. Because this will be a significant investment, it will cause more harm than good. Many factors must be considered before you can even consider using AR in your business. Some examples include implementation costs, applicable use-cases, plans for developing and applying the technology, and software infrastructure maintenance.
Here’s an interesting fact: 52% of retailers still don’t feel ready to embrace emerging technologies like AR. On the other hand, we have customers who love this technology and rely on it to help them make better purchasing decisions. So, should every retailer use augmented reality? The answer is no, because it is not suitable for everyone.
What Are Some Career Opportunities In Augmented Reality?AR is one of the most intriguing and rapidly evolving areas of technology. AR is changing the way we interact with the world, from entertainment and gaming to education and training. And, as augmented reality technology advances, the demand for AR professionals grows.
If you want to work in augmented reality, now is the time to start. You can become an AR pioneer and help shape the future of this exciting field if you have the right skills and training. There are numerous roles and opportunities in this domain, and here are a few that we believe are worth considering.
AR developers create the apps and games that bring AR to life, while AR engineers work on the underlying technology. AR designers create user experiences that make AR applications simple and enjoyable, while AR marketers use AR technology to promote products and services. AR salespeople sell AR devices and applications, while AR analysts research the market for AR products and services.
Finally, we must keep in mind that many jobs are being replaced as a result of evolving technologies such as augmented reality. This means that the labour force must train and upskill in order to adapt to technological changes and stay ahead of the competition, as these are the domains where jobs will be found in the future.
Contact us at Digitalfren and start your AR Developing Journey today.