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Mobile Augmented Reality – a Powerful Ally for Businesses Competing for Consumers’ Attention

A recent study sponsored by consultancy firm TKM indicates that mobile augmented reality is effective in capturing and maintaining consumers’ attention.


We live in a world where, according to Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon, “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”. It is a world ruled by attention economy. This means that people have so much content to consume that they become oblivious to it. For brands, it means working harder than ever to attract consumers’ attention with their marketing and brand messages. But, according to a recent study, they can make their work easier and more efficient using mobile augmented reality.

Mobile Augmented Reality – Making Content Available Virtually Anywhere

In the study sponsored by consultancy firm TKM, author Katherine Le explores ways in which mobile AR fits into people’s new patterns of content consumption. And it appears to be a perfect fit.

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Thus, the power of mobile augmented reality is in its ease of use by consumer and its ubiquity. Practically, there are no boundaries when it comes to overlaying AR content onto the real world. Adding the fact that mobile phones have become so prevalent at global scale, it results that mobile AR is the key to retail marketing in the attention economy.

The Current State of Mobile Augmented Reality and Future Predictions

Katherine Le’s study focused on the United Kingdom in terms of statistics of mobile phone ownership. And the results speak for themselves. In 2017, 96% of the UK population over 15 had a mobile phone and 79% a smartphone.

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As for mobile augmented reality, there is an unmistakable growing trend for consumption at global level. While in 2018 mobile AR reached US$3 billion in revenues, in four years the forecast is that it will reach US$75 billion.

How Does Mobile Augmented Reality Create Bonds Between Consumers and Brands?

Mobile AR has already proven its ability to capture and maintain attention. To support this claim, the author cites the case study of Gadget Flow, a website showcasing new tech. After ARKit implementation, the site owners checked the traffic data. And they found that “time on the page for customers using Augmented Reality is 2-3 times greater than for non-AR shoppers”.

And the study author goes on to explain how mobile AR fits with the consumers’ daily habits. Namely, the technology provides answers to consumers’ demands, such as:

  • Empathy – consumers want brands to empathize with them and understand their values, needs and lifestyles;
  • Immediacy – people want instant gratification for their needs, and AR provides that in the form of product previews;
  • A connection between the digital and the physical world – consumers now have multiple channels of accessing information and want a seamless connection between them.

On the other hand, brands can use mobile AR to influence the customers’ journey and steer them in the right direction. This can be done by providing content that delivers the right quantity of information at the right moment.

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At the same time, mobile augmented reality has the power of integrating into the consumers’ lives. It can give them utility and personalized interactions with brands. And this, in turn, attracts and maintains attention – the Holy Grail in the current market conditions.


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