Benefits of Augmented Reality for Business and 7 Fields for its Use
Over the past few years, augmented reality technology has evolved from something out of science fiction to an everyday instrument that is actively used across various fields. In this article, we shall try to figure out how to use this technology in the context of creating AR-apps for business, and for which niche it is relevant in the first place.
To begin with, let’s remember what “Augmented Reality” is, in case you do not
completely understand the terminology. With regard to mobile devices, everything can be explained quite simply. With the help of a built-in camera, the gadget “sees” the surrounding environment and displays it. AR-app algorithms process this information and overlay virtual objects in real-time mode.
Here are some statistics and forecasts regarding this technology market growth:
Despite the fact that many still associate augmented reality with entertainment apps, its potential for business is huge. Let’s look at niches for which AR-apps can be particularly beneficial and where they are being used right now.
Education and Science
High interactivity levels make Augmented Reality technology an excellent choice as a basis for developing apps for learning purposes. This is particularly true if the primary target audience is children, for whom the level of involvement is of great importance.
You can “revive” fairy tale characters, help them learn the alphabet, send the child on a journey to the amazing places of the world and provide a new stunning experience of board games.
Also, AR-apps can be aimed at helping to develop various practical skills. For example, Enter Sketch AR helps you learn how to draw at a fairly simple level.
First, you need to draw a few “crosses” to calibrate the drawing surface. After that, the app shows different stages of drawing, for example, a unicorn, projecting them onto a sheet of paper.
AR-technologies can be used for medical diagnostics when using the information obtained with the help of high-precision diagnostic devices for the overlay of data. Yet more exciting is their use for teaching medical university students. This simplifies complex operations and allows you to visualize organs in space by demonstrating them using the holographic look.
Interesting case: the Psious Inc. company has developed an app to simulate situations that provoke phobias, for example, claustrophobia, airplane flights or spiders. A person suffering from a phobia goes through a phased adaptation to a stressful situation under the specialists’ supervision.
Architecture, real estate, interior design
That’s where there is plenty of room for realizing the technology potential at a decent level. For example, an architectural agency can provide a client with a future object demonstration from any point either inside or out at the stage of its construction. Similarly, the same can be offered by a developer who offers facilities in a new building during its construction process.
But most opportunities for creating a WOW effect have specialists engaged in interior design. You can immediately estimate the layout of furniture, interior items, choose the color and type of items corresponding to the client’s wishes and designer’s idea. Landscape designers will find this very useful too.
Next Generation Instructions
Even experienced craftsmen and mechanics are sometimes faced with difficult situations when repairing cars and other devices. Imagine how much can it be simplified for ordinary users, when they have interactive AR-instructions aimed at the step-by-step training of such tasks.
It would be possible to easily repair a car, fix any appliances or to assemble furniture – even for the first time. And the application field is not limited to repair – the usual paper instructions will finally be replaced by something more useful.
Navigation and the Travel Industry
The use of mobile maps in augmented reality mode will greatly simplify the life of those who find it difficult to find their way with the usual GPS navigation. The program will lay virtual dots over the real environment and lead you to your destination like a real guide.
Geolocation integration with an AR Kit will provide a new experience to tourists, who will be able to navigate easily, even in a completely unfamiliar city. Any person will be able to get information about any building, and see the ancient buildings, which used to be there thousands of years ago, superimposed over the modern city square.
Retail and e-commerce
That’s where the prospects for using augmented reality for business needs are truly impressive. This is an opportunity to take the interaction between the buyer and the product to a totally new level, changing the usual ways of making purchases.
Imagine that you just need to point your smartphone camera to the Lego on the counter of the supermarket to see how it will look like assembled. Such a live demonstration is capable of making a great impression not only on the child, but also on the parents.
In order to view the products “live”, there is no longer any need to waste time visiting the store. One of the first retailers to provide its customers with a catalog of products in AR-format was IKEA. With the help of a special app you can see how the furniture will look like full-size in the interior of your home:
Imagine what opportunities AR-technologies offer to digital artists and other creative profession representatives. Following the results of 2017, the Ukrainian AR-app “Ink Hunter” was included in the list of the best mobile apps according to Apple. This app allows you to “try on” the tattoo you like by having a look at how it will look like on your hand before going to the tattoo parlour.
It works quite simply: Draw a square smiley face (reference marker) on your hand or other part of the body, select a tattoo from an available catalog and the app will immediately turn it into a picture.
Having found the right angle, we take a photo and can quickly switch different tattoos and adjust their appearance so that they look even more realistic. There are several display options for this, including transparency, contrast and filters.
Benefits of Using Augmented Reality for Business
In addition to the new user experience, AR-apps open up opportunities for innovation. Virtual and augmented reality is in trend now and it’s better to take advantage of this, rather than wait until it’s done by your business rivals.
Here are a number of advantages that businesses can derive from the use of AR-apps:
- the technology is new, unique and noticeable, which allows you to surprise customers;
- more active interaction with the brand due to the high interactivity and involvement level;
- the possibility of a higher level of personalization compared to using the usual media content;
- improving the employee training effectiveness through work processes visualization;
- increase sales by eliminating doubts regarding the practicability of purchase (for example, trying on clothes);
- interactivity increases retention, motivating users to interact with your app over and over again.
Very soon people will be able to try on clothes without physically putting them on, and see how a repair in the house will look before it is even started. In the near future this technology will become an organic part of our everyday life, so it’s worth mastering AR for business needs right now.
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