Top 5 Benefits of AR in the Business World
Augmented reality is not a new technology; in fact, it is now more than half a century old, because it was originally developed by computer scientist Ivan Sutherland in 1968 at Harvard University. Using head-mounted displays for simulation in the military and aviation industries, it has been used for decades and improved by everyone from university labs to business to the military.
This market has been growing and each passing year has been one of great progress for this technology. That said, IDC predicts that AR/ VR spending will rise to $18.8 billion in 2021, a 78.5% increase over the 2019 forecast. Additionally, they expect most of the spending in the commercial sector.
What can AR do to help your organization? Well, there are many benefits of using AR to instantly improve your business. In fact, this article will show that numerous companies are already doing this and how it has provided them with real value.
Augmented Reality Brings Stores to Customers
AR is being used by companies such as IKEA, which uses this technology to allow customers to experience firsthand what IKEA furniture looks like at home. Being able to place a piece of virtual furniture in your home and see what it would look like is a unique experience.
Converse is also entering AR. Provide a shoe sample application that supports AR, so that customers can see how Converse shoes are on their feet. Converse and IKEA have created mechanisms for deeper engagement than typical applications that simply bring customers to market, because their AR applications allow users to visually experience products as if they already have them.
These fascinating apps answer the question of what this product would look like on me, or what it would look like at home. As another example, the app from beauty products company Sephora not only allows online shopping, but also includes an AR makeup area where potential customers can try blush, eye shadow, lipstick, eyelashes, etc. The product is virtually applied to the user’s own face through AR. You don’t even need a photo, because it’s done in real-time, and you don’t even need to click. Using the app is a fun (and tempting) experience, very interesting and useful for people who want to enjoy the in-store experience from the comfort of their couch.
AR provides a unique opportunity for immersive reality
Other content creators are studying AR in untested ways, such as creating AR-based social networks. Snaappy does just that—allowing users to create AR videos and location-based messages. Users can create and experience location-based AR in their own cities through the creation of other Snaappy members, and all members use the Snaappy app on their mobile devices.
Some business models, such as WallaMe, are attracting people in a way that brings them into the world in search of augmented reality experiences, just like Pokemon GO did a few years ago. It allows users to leave AR-based messages on almost anywhere in the real world. Once WallaMe friends have a location, they can go to that location and view it in real time.
Create a unique customer experience
The greatest advantage of augmented reality is that it creates a unique digital experience that combines the essence of the digital world and the physical world. Plus, it doesn’t require any special hardware or software to enjoy the experience.
Smartphones and conventional mobile applications are enough to experience augmented reality. In fact, the latest developments in AR even allow you to experience an immersive experience through a web browser.
Now how does the unique AR experience compare to other experiences? The most common audiovisual experience we know exists in the physical or digital realm. Augmented reality combines these two realities by placing digital components on top of physical components to create a mirage effect. For example, when users are near, they can point their smartphones at tourist attractions. When viewing through the screen, AR applications place digital clips on the screen, allowing users to simultaneously consume physical and digital information. A perfect example is the Apple Park Visitor Center.
Eliminates Cognitive Overload
Have you ever tried to repair a car using the reference manual? If not, give it a try and you will quickly realize what a bad idea it is. There is no objection to manuals and supporting documents, but in most cases, they do not help amateur users understand how to fix certain problems. Especially if it is a new model that is different from the prior car engineering and manufacturing design.
We refer here to cognitive information loading. Cognitive overload occurs when your working memory is used to process large amounts of information that you can easily process. When you can’t handle it, it creates frustration and hinders your decision-making. This is why amateur users cannot solve the problem by referring to extensive and detailed support documents.
Can augmented reality solve this problem? Augmented reality presents information in the form of perfectly summarized digital fragments. It prevents users from having to deal with too much information to draw conclusions. Whether it’s identifying components by size or looking at the popularity of starred restaurants, AR can help users make quick decisions without cognitive overload.
In a market where all competitors offer homogeneous products at the same price range, it is necessary for brands to differentiate themselves. For a long time, brands have been using traditional advertising channels and the creative possibilities in them to stand out. Augmented reality helps them go further through creative activities, positioning them in different ways in a crowded market.
Let’s take Nike as an example. The sportswear market is one of the busiest and densest. Although Nike has been around for a long time, it takes extra effort to maintain its market position to attract millennial customers—especially when its innovative products are highly competitive. Nike has consolidated its position as a global brand and marketing pioneer with AR applications. If you have been shopping for shoes lately, you will know how difficult it is to find the right shoe size. Sometimes, the brand size does not match its actual size. To help customers find their size more easily, Nike launched an augmented reality tool. The tool uses your smartphone’s camera to scan your foot and returns the exact size.
In a Nutshell
As a race, humans spend more time watching screens of various sizes. Our reality has been deeply integrated with digital experience. In fact, we have been programmed to classify brands as good or bad based on their ability to communicate digital experiences.
In such scenarios, it is necessary for brands to use mixed reality technologies such as augmented reality. After all, it is the only technology that can perfectly combine physical and digital reality.
To sweeten transactions, augmented reality also provides several strategic advantages that companies cannot ignore. Whether it’s to get noticed, differentiate yourself from the competition, or simplify processes for your customers, augmented reality can help.
With these obvious benefits of augmented reality, the question we must ask ourselves is not whether to use augmented reality but when.