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Augmented reality in business: benefits and applications
Augmented Reality: a game-changer in the business landscape.
You are shopping for a shirt and trying on a couple to decide which suits you better. Take a tour of an apartment in Porto that you want to rent this summer. What if you are in the market for a new coffee table, and instead of flipping through pictures in magazines, you want to see how it looks in your living room? These are all possible scenarios we encounter at one point or another. Imagine you can do it from home without visiting any of those places. What’s the catch? AR and VR applications. Today we look closely at the prospects of Augmented Reality in the business world, its benefits, and ideas for application.
The sibling technologies, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are some technology trends on everyone’s lips this year. From the Olympics Opening Ceremony to Consumers Electronics Show (CES) n Las Vegas, tech giants like Facebook, Google, Lenovo, and HTC presented their gear. Predictably, Amazon also joined the game and is rumored to explore its AR technologies, and Samsung has products in the works as well. In such a case, it is time to take a deeper look at the value of AR technology in business.
The power of augmented reality in business
According to this report, the AR app market size is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2028, a massive rise from its current value of $42 billion. AR technologies and VR blend the lines between the physical and digital worlds. They offer a new way of interacting with customers, colleagues, train employees, and the world around us. Often referred to as sister technologies, AR/VR has enormous market potential only in the initial unlocking stages. Many companies look to implement AR to take products like mobile apps to the next level while improving overall customer experience.
How is augmented reality differs from virtual reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are presented via 3D high-definition video and audio. Both technologies stem from the same idea of immersing users in a digital or virtual environment. But while VR is entirely immersive, AR only partly overlays virtual objects over the real world. It uses everyday mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets and sensors and markets to detect the position of physical objects and determine where to put virtual ones.
Although augmented reality technology is still in its infancy, it has existed for a while. A Survey of Augmented Reality by Ronald T. Azuma that dates back to 1997 goes into full detail about the possible applications of AR. During relevant more than two decades after its publishing, the author detected at least six classes of potential use: medical visualization, maintenance and repair, annotation, robot path planning, entertainment, and military aircraft navigation and targeting.
Twenty years later, tech moguls are all in a race to present the best possible AR customer experience ever. And while it’s a long way to go until both AR experiences and VR rise to their full potential, current technologies give businesses a lot of opportunities to benefit from.
Benefits of AR technology
Though not fully bloomed, augmented reality has much to offer. Due to its features, the AR experience in business is more appealing to the market than virtual or augmented reality business applications.
Digi-Capital’s recent report shows that AR games and applications can reach a 3.5 billion installed base and up to $85-90 billion within 5 years. Meanwhile, VR’s numbers are 50-60 million installed base and $10-15 billion.
“This is only the beginning of augmented reality applications. By using the augmented reality app, we were able to contribute to business applications of ARKit and create a couple of concepts,” says Dmytro Skorokhod, iOS developer and ARKit expert.
Augmented Reality in business is much more successful because of its ubiquity, while VR is more focused. VR’s main forte is that it completely immerses a user into virtual and augmented reality business opportunities, making it an excellent tool for gaming or 3D films. According to the report, Augmenter Reality in business is a powerful marketing tool that can address the market of smartphones and tablets as they both cannibalize and grow it. The possibilities and fields of augmented reality apps for business are significant.
AR in business uses
Slowly but surely, augmented reality is changing the shape of commerce. Tractica predicted that by 2023 an installed base of actively used augmented reality apps will grow to more than 2.2 billion apps.
Augmented and augmented reality solutions can be applied to various industries. One of the most interesting cases comes from the manufacturing industry with the following:
In retail, augmented reality has a myriad of opportunities. It would help if you decided whether it would be an in-store or out-of-store experience. The first means customers will interact with an AR application within the store’s walls. This could be virtual fitting rooms to help customers decide on the size or color of a product.
Out-of-store experience means your customers can stay in their homes for an augmented reality experience. Like Converse, The Sampler app allows customers to try on a pair of sneakers virtually to pick a favorite model. EBay Inc. recently announced that it’s working on an AR kit to make shopping more fun and efficient. It will, for instance, allow sellers to select the right box size for a product by overlaying an image of a box over merchandise.
Since the Internet is the number one place buyers and renters look for new homes, Augmented Reality in business has much to offer for real estate agents. It can help customers experience homes differently, filter the ones they like and don’t like, and save time for clients and realtors. It is an excellent tool for construction workers as well. They bring blueprints and images to real life for clients to see how their prospective new home might look.
AR-empowered interior design applications are here to help make the right decision about the size and style of a new piece of furniture. One of the most famous examples comes from the Swedish retail giant IKEA and its IKEA Place AR app. It makes buying decisions easier by enabling you to “try on” their pieces in your room and take photos and videos of the result. It is so precise that you can even see the texture of the furniture.
Tourism and maps
For tourism, AR has a lot in store as well. Museums allow more in-depth information about the exhibits or even by overlaying your phone over a skeleton to see what a creature looked like. China is among the countries that grasped AR opportunities to create engaging shows and draw tourists. Street signs, road maps, mobile device apps that help navigate and explore cities, hotel room tours – the sky’s the limit here.
Training and education
Bringing AR technology into the physical environment of a classroom can make education more engaging, interactive and make even the most boring subject a bit fun. By using smart glasses or downloading and accessing apps on their phones, students can get more detailed information or step-by-step instructions and, most importantly, a better understanding of the subject.
One of the industries that can benefit from augmented reality is healthcare. From helping patients identify and describe their symptoms better, with apps like EyeDecide that can show the impact of, for instance, cataracts on the whole human body and eye and thus help a patient understand the symptoms. Or being useful to nurses in finding veins easier to finally assisting surgeons during procedures – they all seem like great ways of taking advantage of augmented reality.
To further prove that using augmented reality in business can virtually disrupt any industry consider Flirtar – the first augmented reality-based dating app. It starts like a pretty standard app; you can log in using your social networks, fill out your profile, and start a search. But unlike swipe left/right usual dating apps, you can scan your surroundings to find app users and a dating prospect.
These are only examples of a few industries that can be and are revolutionized by augmented and virtual reality glasses. Augmented reality in business e-commerce offers possibilities galore, and as it matures, the user experience will only be enhanced, as well as spheres that can make use of it. The only question is whether you want to be the leader or, eventually, the trend follower.
As we look towards the future, the potential of augmented reality (AR) in business is vast and transformative. The technology is set to revolutionize industries, from retail and real estate to healthcare and education, by providing immersive, interactive experiences that blur the line between the physical and digital worlds. As AR matures, it will continue to enhance user experiences, offering increasingly sophisticated and seamless integrations into our daily lives. Businesses that adopt and adapt to this technology will be at the forefront of this digital revolution, leading the way in innovation and in customer satisfaction, and engagement.
Moreover, as AR becomes more ubiquitous, it will likely spur the development of new industries and business models we can’t yet imagine. The technology’s ability to overlay digital information onto the physical world opens up endless possibilities for creativity and innovation. Whether it’s virtual tours of prospective homes, interactive educational tools, or even AR-enhanced dating apps, the future of AR is bright and full of potential. Businesses that embrace this technology now will be well-positioned to lead in this exciting new era of augmented reality. If you want to become one of such businesses, contact us immediately and tap into our AR experts’ expertise.
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