How to Boost Your Business with Augmented Reality
To begin, let’s clarify what augmented (AR) reality is.
AR is the real-time integration of a user’s environment with the digital information. The main difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (VR) is the environment in which they work. VR creates a totally artificial environment, AR uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top.
Augmented reality technology is widely used in the gaming industry. However, this is not the only area where it’s growing rapidly. In fact, AR has already penetrated into all spheres of human activity. The popularity has resulted from the obvious advantages that both customers and business owners discover when using it.
Let’s take a closer look at this topic and find out which business areas benefit from using this breathtaking invention the most.
Image Source: Woodside Capital
As we can see from Woodside Capital research, there are many industries in which AR technology is very popular:
- Video Games
- Live events
- Video Entertainment
- Real Estate
AR market size in billion U.S. dollars / AR market size in millions of users(Source: Statista)
According to the Statista, the size of the AR market is around $5.2 billion now, and we expect amazing growth up to $162 billion by 2020. This information is very exciting and it brings us unbelievable advantages.
So, let’s take a look what opportunities AR provides for different business areas.
Augmented Reality In Video Games
Games that use augmented reality technologies are becoming especially popular. They are based on the interaction of users and game characters, which makes games more fun, combining the familiar reality with an unreal world and opportunities. Integration with augmented reality in games will only grow and this will allow us to have a closer connection with the player.
Games for children are also successfully using augmented technology. For example, Meet the Animals animates the book characters and shows short animated scenes. It can help introduce fun into children’s studies.
AR In Live Events
Sky's the limit when it comes to new opportunities in offline events and AR. Conferences like Mobile World Congress, Global Consumer Electronics and Consumer Technology Tradeshow, Super Mobility Week, Defcon and others have long been using augmented reality. But integration increases each year and new opportunities arise for demonstrating the capabilities of company’s products.
It may completely remove the need to produce huge layouts for an exhibition, conference or other large-scale events. With the help of augmented reality, you can easily demonstrate the smallest details of the project on a phone or tablet. This applies to various business areas and types of events.
AR In Retail
E-commerce is growing steadily thanks to the in-depth research and product comparison. And yet, physical stores still have an important advantage: the ability to let customers see, experience, smell, or try the product in real life.
For many digital brands, such as the eye-wear retailer Warby Parker, stores have become “exhibition halls.” Augmented reality allows retailers from bricks and mortar stores to take these ideas to a new level. A virtual element can provide a platform that will improve communication, and offer deeper interaction and better personalization.
As a result, brands that effectively implement AR will be able to provide differentiated interaction with physical products and a richer customer experience than that offered by their online competitors.
Today, several far-sighted retailers are at the first, introductory stages of using AR for purchases. On a number of independent platforms, these companies are experimenting and trying to understand their audience. As the field grows in the next few years, several dominant players will emerge and companies will need to figure out how to integrate AR into their strategies.
Once the environment ripens in four to five years, AR will become a well-used platform for retailers and marketers and companies. In the long term, it is clear that companies should use AR to attract customers through four separate phases:
- creating awareness;
- increasing attention;
- transformation of remuneration for actions on key decision points and purchases;
- construction of long-term loyalty.
As retailers take these important steps in the upcoming years, they must experiment with key tactics and strategies.
One more good example, our client – Kantar Retail, which is a leading retail and shopper consulting business, and a part of the Kantar Group. Their solution aims to research the experience of real buyers in the virtual stores. The main goal is to offer the clients a quick, realistic and confidential research using virtual stores.
AR In Healthcare
AR can significantly improve the quality of treatment. Firstly, the risks associated with minimally invasive surgery can be reduced by keeping the most important information front and center for the surgeon. The doctor can wear smart glasses during the procedure and focus on the task, which minimizes a large number of errors.
Secondly, when it comes to effective treatment and prevention, it is extremely important to train patients. AR applications can help to better illustrate the impact of disease on the body or, for example, educate families on how to monitor their health.
Painful or unpleasant procedures, such as taking blood, can be made simpler thanks to Augmented Reality technology. For example, take a famous AccuVein, which is a pocket scanner that illuminates veins on a person’s skin, and helps nurses and doctors find veins before injecting.
For Doctors, this technology will be very useful for educational purposes, allowing trainee doctors to better visualize the health problems that they will treat. Secondly, augmented reality will significantly increase their ability to diagnose and treat conditions, allowing them to access data in real time and patient information faster than ever before.
AR In Engineering
Manufacturers began to study the advantages of AR, which can be used in production. This industry is just emerging, but the possibilities are already fascinating.
Manufacturers want to quickly assemble thousands of components in an exact sequence. And for each new product, a new set of assembly instructions is required. These instructions are often provided as a PDF-file, which are difficult to work with and are quickly becoming obsolete. The projection of the assembly information on the display can be quite new, in a complex assembly, the AR-applications are already verified and tested.
Additionally, augmented reality can be used to support the maintenance of production equipment. For example, Mitsubishi Electric is developing technical support technology, using AR technology.
It is based on a three-dimensional model that allows users to confirm the order of verification on the AR display, and then enter test results with their own voice. The company expects that this AR system will be used for various maintenance activities, and can also be used for inspection of water treatment plants and electrical systems building.
Thanks to telepresence, an expert can look into the eyes of a technician who is actually doing maintenance. This allows experts to offer support and conduct inspections from anywhere in the world. Instead of training every technician or machinist, companies could use AR technology to supplement the existing knowledge of their employees with engineering expertise.
It also creates new opportunities for learning. You can transfer training information directly over the actual parts and assemblies. Thus, it will allow you to combine work and training.
Quality assurance (QA) offers many potential applications for extended reality.
Some manufacturers have already begun to explore the possibilities offered with AR for QA. The idea is that employees can photograph parts or assemblies on inspected vehicles, and then compare these images with those provided by the company’s suppliers, using the AR supplement.
Functions that do not conform to the specification can be highlighted with an overlay, which allows technicians to quickly and intuitively identify the problem.
AR In Real Estate
Augmented reality can display 2D images in a three-dimensional property creation. The object can be seen at different angles, and show in greater details how different floors are assembled and provide a detailed layout of apartments.
With the AR application on a smartphone or a tablet, you can select a specific property and view its details. Planning furniture placement will be much more convenient: you can get an idea of where to place your furniture just passing by the house, by pointing your smartphone at it. You can also access additional information such as price, sales status, contact information, even photos and virtual parts.
One of the best ways to attract potential buyers is through interactive brochures which provide all the necessary information about the sale of real estate via a mobile application.
- Improve user engagement
- Greater publicity
- ‘On-the-go’ experiences
- Increase business intelligence
As you can see, augmented reality has quickly become a part of our lives. Helping both dedicated specialists and app users, it is now part and parcel of our daily routine. In a few years, it will be difficult to find an area where it is not used. Investing in an AR project is clearly a safe choice. If you already work in any industry, you can increase your profit by expanding the sphere of operation with the help of AR. If you’re a newcomer in business, you are free to choose whatever you like.
We are ready to help you implement this exciting technology into your business. So should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us!