If you think that ignoring the AR trend for your business will still keep you safe from the evolution of tech… think again. There’s something amazing that happens when the real world and the virtual world combine, and one thing about business in general, is that you must always be changing with the technology landscape. And, the augmented reality landscape is a digital transformation you definitely want to get on board with.
For anyone who may not be familiar with the term “AR,” or “augmented reality,” this is a cutting-edge technology in which digital objects are superimposed into the physical world. Augmented reality is commonly experienced in two ways: through a smartphone or AR smartglasses.
The most well-known mass adoption of AR technology was with the unprecedented success of the mobile app, Pokemon Go. A game developed by the company Niantic Labs, raking in an estimated $600 million in revenue in just three months from its initial launch, according to App Annie. This kind of popularity shows consumers ready to not only adopt this technology, but to look for even more experiences.
Outside of gaming, AR technology provides many opportunities for businesses to vastly improve their relationships with customers, as well as innovative ways to alter their own internal processes. It holds a lot of potential, and can offer even more in value.
In fact, according to Deloitte’s 2018 Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Report,
“Over 1 billion mobile device users will likely create AR content at least once in the year 2018, with at least 300 million doing so monthly, and tens of millions weekly.”
Think about that. A billion augmented reality enabled devices are out there, with mobile AR becoming the primary driver of a $108 billion virtual reality/augmented reality market by the year 2021.The core advantage for businesses is that there is so much hardware readily available, through smartphones and tablets, that moving into development should be a seamless endeavor. It should also be a no-brainer.
Popularity of AR stems from audiences getting involved in learning, and using products or services, in ways they never could before. It’s much more entertaining when compared to more traditional mediums, such as video or audio.
It’s a perfect time to make your move.
How Businesses are Already Using Augmented Reality
New innovations in AR are happening quickly, and they are providing exciting opportunities for a variety of markets and verticals. It’s a chance to create something unique, personalized, and stand out in a way that’s more engaging. This gives customers that extra impact that your competitors probably don’t have yet.
Retail and Commerce
IKEA is an example of cleverly using AR through their mobile app created with Apple’s ARKit. The most common pain points when shopping for furniture is knowing if a furniture piece will not only fit into a space, but also knowing how well it will actually look. IKEA alleviates these issues by instilling confidence in customers during the purchase process by letting them actually see their furniture in spaces prior to purchasing anything.
Another example in the retail space is Treasury Wine Estates’ brand, “19 Crimes.” They recently used AR to bring to life the stories of 19 historical criminals on each label, by animating their own individual monologues.
Other examples of AR at work include training employees via an immersive experience that provides layered graphics and/or instructions to do specific tasks or simulations.
One such company driving this initiative is Honeywell, in which workers are trained via experiential learning by interacting through virtual environments, aiming to improve skills retention by 100%, while reducing training time by 60%.
Manufacturing facilities leverage AR by also overlaying illustrative graphics over machinery or equipment, showing step-by-step information to make repairs. Or, to also receive hands-on virtual training.
For the industry of tourism, AR can be used to provide more informative and interactive tours simply by holding up a mobile device. You can consider walking through the Smithsonian and finding out even more information regarding specific artifacts, or see exhibits in action.
How will you future proof your business?
As you’ve probably noticed, it’s getting harder and harder to really capture people’s attention these days, mostly because they seldom like to take their attention away from the mobile devices that provide them with such captivating experiences. Now is the time to use this social trend to your business’s advantage. By offering an unmatched experience, while you can, you undoubtedly put yourself well ahead of your competitors.