When you hear the words augmented reality (AR), you may picture video games, mall kiosks experiences, or maybe even Pokemon Go. But this technology is not just for gaming and fun. Dozens of companies and organizations are now incorporating AR to improve product engagement, educate and train staff, and bring people closer together.
What is AR? Augmented reality is one of the most significant technology trends in recent years. The technology is accessed through smartphones or other AR-specific devices. When a user scans content, it changes the way they see the physical world through visuals, sound or other stimuli.
For example, when a user accesses AR, they may see an alien spacecraft landing from the sky in front of them. Or they may see a cartoon character looking back.
AR is already used in several ways you may be familiar with, however. For example, broadcasters use AR during football games to draw lines on the field and analyze plays. Stores like IKEA offer AR apps to see how their products will look in customers’ homes. Military fighter pilots see AR protections of their data on their helmet visor when flying.
AR in workplace training Many workplaces have already begun utilizing AR training, too. Fields like architecture, design and medicine use AR in training simulation to give employees a direct experience of their work. 3M has developed AR tools to train workers in welding and fall protection. Some surgeons use AR projects to aid in surgery. Additionally, in Singapore, airport crews wear AR glasses to see information about the cargo.
As the workforce grows more remote, other companies have utilized AR training. IDC, a global market intelligence firm, predicts that the market for AR training will reach $8.5 billion in 2023, and studies have shown that AR helps employees learn more quickly, build more vital teamwork and help enhance interpersonal skills. So this technology may very well be essential to all workplaces soon.
AR in marketing AR is the future of brand marketing, as well! Several high-profile companies have currently integrated the technology into marketing. For example, Marriott hotels uses AR to help their customers plan events without having to be physically present. Instead, the company brings the venue to the customer with VR to explore the space and plan their event without leaving home.
The car retail Vroom has integrated this technology into their car buying experience. They have a VR-powered showroom where customers wear VR headsets to browse available car models. Through this, customers can fully explore the car’s features and even take test drives.
The clothing company Lacoste recently launched its AR dressing room. When inside one of their stores, shoppers can enter the AR area. Using their smartphone, customers can see precisely how the clothing will look without trying anything on. The app also displays helpful information about each product.
AR can be used to bring any product to life. Some companies have integrated AR into their product labels, where a user scans the label with a smartphone to create an enhanced 3D experience. This allows customers to connect with products on a deeper level, share to social media and interact in new, fun ways.
AR in socializing As with anything new, some feel that technology like AR and VR can further isolate us as individuals, but the reality is that technology is a great way to connect people. There are several VR-based platforms just for socializing, such as VR Chat and Rec Room. These services allow individuals to meet with friends, socialize and create shared experiences with a more personal touch.
Studies have also found that AR can help assist individuals with disabilities, like those with autism, with socialization and social skills.
Are you ready to dive into AR? Visit our website to learn more about how we bring brands to life with our cutting-edge technology. You’ll find examples of our work and how we can assist your company. No special gear is required! All your customers need is a smartphone and a QR code.
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