Are you a Business Owner? Augmented Reality Benefits for Your Business
One of the most exciting developments in recent memory is the advent of augmented reality. Augmented reality is defined as the integration of real-world objects and information with virtual technology. This is done using applications that attach to your mobile device, computer, or even a camera. The benefits of augmenting your existing reality are numerous, as it can help to make your product offerings more inviting and appealing, while also keeping audiences' attention focused on your products and brands.
What is AR?
The technology of augmented reality (AR) adds layers of digital information to our physical world. Similar to virtual reality, AR uses the existing environment and adds to it rather than creating an artificial environment to replace the real one.
The most common view of augmented reality comes from social media filters. Users can interact with virtual objects in real-time and share images and videos of themselves interacting with the virtual world.
Other examples include apps that show the night sky's constellations, those that show how furniture would look in your home, and even ones that let you try on makeup virtually before buying it.
How does this technology work?
AR technology works by superimposing virtual layers of information over the physical environment. It does this by analyzing the data received from camera sensors as well as other input sources such as GPS and motion sensors. The data is then processed to create a composite view that augments the physical environment with computer-generated elements such as graphics, video, or audio (see below).
AR vs VR
Augmented reality and virtual reality development are often confused with each other. The two technologies have grown in similar ways and influence the same industries, but they are ultimately very different.
- Augmented reality overlays digital content on top of the physical world, altering our view of it.
- Virtual reality replaces the physical world with a simulated one that users can interact with.
AR Applications For Small Businesses
Augmented reality is on track to be one of the most important technologies in the coming years. Technology could change the way we interact with our world, but there is still work that needs to be done before we can see widespread adoption. While businesses are just starting to implement it into their strategies, small businesses are still a ways behind in implementing AR applications into their practices.
Here is a quick overview of how AR applications can be used for different business sectors:
Augmented Reality Benefits for the Retail Sector
The retail sector is seeing a lot of disruption with e-commerce increasing its share of the market. This has made retailers focus on creating a better in-store experience. One way they are doing this is by using augmented reality technology. For example, IKEA has implemented augmented reality in their catalog so customers can visualize what a furniture item will look like in their home before they buy it. Other companies have also used augmented reality to either increase the in-store experience or augment online shopping.
Augmented Reality Benefits for the Real Estate Industry
A recent report from Institute found that AR will have an $80 billion market in 2025. That's because millennials, now the largest group of homebuyers, are already using technology to research homes before they buy.
Startup development companies are applying AR technology to real estate by allowing users to visualize what different types of home improvements would look like. One such company, Smartvid.io, created an app that allows users to envision what they could do with a property before they buy it so they can avoid costly mistakes and make intelligent renovations.
Augmented Reality Benefits for the eCommerce Industry
The eCommerce industry has been using augmented reality for years. Brands like Ray-Ban, and Sephora have used AR technology to allow shoppers to virtually try out products before making a purchase.
Ray-Ban was one of the first brands to use Snapchat's AR filters — allowing users to virtually try on glasses without ever entering a store. In November 2018, the brand took things a step further by developing an app called "Virtual Try-On" which allowed customers to virtually try on glasses using their phones' front-facing cameras.
Augmented Reality Benefits for the Furniture Industry
Augmented reality is being utilized in the furniture industry to assist customers with purchasing decisions. It’s not surprising that this technology is being adopted by an industry that’s all about making visual decisions.
As a furniture seller, you can make use of augmented reality to help your customers see their purchases before they buy them. By enabling them to virtually place furniture items in their home and see what it looks like before they make a purchase, you can save your customers money and time while also increasing the sales of your store.
Benefits of Augmented Reality for Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Industry
AR is already making a big impact on the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry.
A travel app can use AR to provide information about a user's surroundings in real-time without needing to look at a map or ask for directions.
AR can be used to provide additional information about local tourist attractions that might appeal to travelers. The Layar app adds interactive content over images viewed through a smartphone camera and makes it possible for users to find interesting locations nearby. It has been downloaded more than 40 million times since it was first released in 2009.
AR can help tourists navigate foreign cities by identifying landmarks and other features of interest as they walk down a street. The Aeropack app for Android devices provides information about places, such as hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers that are located within a 1-kilometer radius of the user's location.
Benefits of Augmented Reality for Healthcare & Medicine
In the field of medicine, AR has also been making a name for itself. When it comes to the healthcare industry, AR promises a more streamlined and efficient system that will lead to improved patient outcomes. Currently, there are many ways in which AR is being used in the healthcare sector. Many innovative technologies in development aim to enhance the quality of health care by using AR.
How AR is Used in Healthcare
Currently, AR development is being used in healthcare in several different ways. One of the most common uses of this technology is to assist with medical training. This technology allows students to interact with anatomical models in various ways and visualize how they function as well as what goes wrong when things go awry.
Another important use of AR in the medical field involves surgical procedures. This technology allows surgeons to visualize internal structures before performing surgery and make educated decisions about how to proceed based on the information they have gained from these visualizations.
Augmented Reality Benefits for Manufacturing and Engineering Industries
One area that has found success with augmented reality is CNC programming. CNC programming is incredibly complex, especially with modern 5-axis milling machines. It can take days to program just one part, and mistakes can be costly. Augmented reality can help in two ways: first, by overlaying important information like dimensions or tolerances over the top of the part; and second, by providing 3D models of parts for reference.
This allows more information to be stored onscreen than would otherwise be possible when working on an actual part. It helps prevent mistakes by making sure that all information needed is easily available during the most stressful time — right before machining a part for the first time.
How Augmented Reality Benefits Your Business
In the past, AR technology has been used for military and medical purposes, but with the recent release of smartphones and tablets, AR has become more accessible to the masses.
A significant benefit of using AR is that it can improve your brand image. Here are some of the benefits of incorporating this technology into your business:
Augmented reality improves your customer retention and marketing
When you’re selling online, the only thing separating your products from those of your competitors is a digital screen. You have to make the most of this screen to stand out and encourage people to buy from you instead of them.
Using augmented reality helps you bring your products to life because it makes it easier for people to picture themselves using them. They can see the intricate details, imagine how they feel, and get a sense of how they might look at them – all things that are impossible with straight photography.
We use digital devices for almost everything — information, entertainment, communication, productivity, and shopping. AR takes this to a deeper level by focusing on enhancing our everyday experiences through technology.
It allows you to occupy an unexplored space in your industry and make an impact on potential buyers.
Using augmented reality in e-commerce can put you ahead of the game. Consumers are increasingly looking for immersive, experiential brands. Augmented reality is a powerful tool that allows you to occupy an unexplored space in your industry and make an impact on potential buyers.
A few companies have already taken advantage of this technology, allowing consumers to virtually try on products before they buy them. This is particularly useful when it comes to eyeglasses, where a poor fit can be uncomfortable or even dangerous.
For example, LensCrafters' Virtual Try-On app lets customers take a selfie with their phones and see what different glasses look like on their faces. Warby Parker, another eyeglass company, has a similar app called "Virtual Try-On."
Other e-commerce retailers use augmented reality to give consumers a sneak peek at how something will look in their home before they buy it. Wayfair, for example, has an app called View in Room 3D that allows users to overlay images of furniture into photos of their own homes.
It allows you to create an interactive catalog presenting all your products in 3D.
Augmented reality developers can create an interactive catalog presenting all your products in 3D. Because we use products, this is easy for us to do. We can present the whole product range, including some models that are not even produced yet. This makes it easier for the clients to select the model they want and minimizes the possibility of errors when ordering specific parts of a given product.
Another thing that’s very useful is the ability to create a visual guide that helps the clients assemble the products themselves. It’s an inexpensive solution to ensure customer satisfaction and make the life of the customer service employees easier.
Augmented reality can help improve your brand image
When you offer an interactive and personalized shopping experience, people remember you for it. The more positive brand experiences customers have with your store, the more loyal they are likely to be. Loyalty translates into repeat business, which could translate into higher profits for your business.
It’s fun and exciting.
AR makes a game out of browsing. It’s new and unusual, which makes it exciting for consumers. When they use AR to interact with your brand, they will feel like they’re part of something special — which will make them more likely to associate positive feelings with your products or services.**
It increases engagement.
When consumers use AR to shop or browse your products or services, they’re forced to be more actively engaged with your content than if they were just passively reading about it on a website or blog post. Because AR requires their eyes and hands, it keeps them connected longer and in turn, gives you more opportunities to connect with them on an emotional level — something that email campaigns, social media posts and other forms of passive marketing cannot
It's a fantastic way to promote your brand and engage customers
Imagine you are walking down the street and see a poster for a new movie that has just been released. You want to know more about the film, so you pull out your phone, open up an app, and point it at the poster. In a flash of animation, the poster comes to life on your screen and begins to play a trailer for the film. This is augmented reality (AR) in action and it can help build stronger relationships with customers by integrating your brand into their surroundings.
While augmented reality is still in a developing stage, its potential for use in the business world is undoubtedly impressive. Applications like Layar allow retailers to share information about their products with customers; field workers can use similar apps to ensure they are performing their jobs efficiently and effectively; even consumers can use it to gain pertinent information about the products they buy at stores. That's not to say that it's an uncomplicated technology — successful implementation will likely require more work than simply downloading an app, and there are still some kinks that need to be worked out. But if you're willing to put in the time and effort necessary, you can take advantage of many of augmented reality's benefits for your business.