Augmented Reality technology is mature enough to change how business activities are conducted and to defy consumer expectations. Brands are now developing new uses for AR, sprucing up the shopping experience and making something extraordinary out of the most mundane of environments.
AR has more than half a century of history now. As early as 1965, MIT researcher Ivan Sutherland created what is considered as the first VR head-mounted display system. Called the Sword of Damocles, the headset was tethered to the ceiling above the user’s head.Edgy shares three ways businesses are using AR to spruce up shopping.Click To Tweet
AR and VR are a little bit like tequila and mezcal. Too much will make you puke.
Just kidding, sort of.
All tequila is mezcal but not all mezcal is tequila. The distinction isn’t quite the same, but VR is totally dissociative as your entire visual, auditory, and even tactile environment is replaced with a simulation. AR modifies your current visual environment, making a virtual imprint on the real world.
Concrete examples of the applications of AR have been slow to materialize and have only begun to emerge very recently, especially in gaming, event communication, and brand marketing.
AR is an enhanced visualization interface that overlays the real world with images and various types of data. As such, it could prove to be potentially useful to businesses, regardless of their business line.
Here are three ways brands are tapping into AR’s huge potential:
1. Enhanced Shopping Experience
Several major retail brands are using AR to enrich customers’ interaction and experience,
and increase sales. Lego, for example, implemented AR kiosks into their retail locations (the Digital Box) so customers can scan the kit and visualize how the finished product looks before purchasing it.
The clothing company American Apparel launched an AR app, Shopping Assistant, to give shoppers the opportunity to see their product in different colors as well as learn more about the product itself.
2. Home Visualization
Apart from previewing a retail purchase, AR also facilitates the consumer’s experience by allowing them to try the product in a personal environment from the comfort of home before buying it.
IKEA, furniture and home accessories group, launched the AR catalog, an app for iOS or Android that allows customers to preview furniture in a given room. In this way, the customer could fearlessly choose the right size, color, and material.
Hopefully, this cuts down on returned goods.
3. Augmented Printed Items
AR also offers ingenious B2B printing solutions for professional brand marketing. You can customize your business cards, brochures or calendars by adding an interactive AR dimension to them
For example, a business card can be “augmented” to add rich content well beyond the old ink-on-paper: to allow access to more information, such as an interactive logo, a welcoming message or a presentational video.
Disney has developed 3D coloring books to let children see their colorings rendered live on a 3D model of the character.
What other applications do you see for AR in business?