Augmented reality experiences are transforming how businesses interact with customers, prospects, and even employees. From retail stores to advertisers to industries (whether automotive, heavy, or otherwise), enterprises harness the power of augmented reality to increase efficiency, try new ideas, and train their staff, among other things.
But the thought of using this visual communication technology can feel like stepping into the unknown. Is it suitable for your business? Is it worth the investment? And what is the most effective way to use what is called AR (Augmented Reality)?
So here are six ways companies can already use augmented reality.
CONCEPTION AND DESIGN OF NEW PRODUCTS.
Imagine that you are designing a new vehicle. Many considerations then come into play: You want to adopt a style, a particular design and promote innovation without harming the functionality of your product. Developing an augmented reality app can make this process easier, allowing you to visualize the different features of the car before actually committing to creating a prototype. The automotive industry is already using augmented reality for this purpose.
It is not necessary to manufacture prototypes to see the advantages and disadvantages. Before investing in the following steps, any expensive new product to demo can be more easily viewed and tested through augmented reality.
HELP CONSUMERS FIND THE RIGHT PRODUCT.
One of the biggest challenges of shopping online is that you don’t know what your item will look like or what product you already imagine in your living room. This kind of questioning slows consumers down during their purchasing phase.
Companies are trying to solve this problem by 3D modelling the products they want to sell. Augmented reality can let you try on clothes, glasses, jewellery, and more by overlaying the 3D models on an image of yourself. It can be done online by using Virtual Tryon on a smartphone camera. Similarly, you can virtually position a new sofa in your living room to ensure the size and colour are right, again thanks to AR.
If augmented reality proves to be very useful for online sales, stores in physical points can also benefit enormously from it. Some MAC cosmetics stores are equipped with anti-reflective mirrors having an additional surface allowing to visualize in augmented reality on the reflection of the customer what rendering would give such or such product. It lets you try out a new lipstick without even touching a tester.
IMPROVE OVERALL PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY.
Augmented reality can be beneficial in identifying possible improvements to different design processes. Automakers are testing the suitability of their manufacturing processes using augmented reality systems, and thus, they can improve the safety and durability of their vehicles.
Using augmented reality to imagine and test new scenarios, processes, or workflows can make things much easier for businesses that feel traditional processes are slowing them down. The more scenarios you can test, the more likely you will find the most effective solution.
AUGMENTED REALITY FOR MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS.
Some augmented reality games, such as Pokémon GO, have had tremendous success engaging consumers in brand-related augmented reality experiences. Many companies have seen themselves represented as real steps in the hunt for Pokémon. Some offered discounts and coupons to visitors, while others were just happy to bring in new customers through the game itself.
But Pokémon GO isn’t the only augmented reality game. Some companies are even creating scavenger hunt-type games or interactive experiences to spark new interactions. Advertisers leverage augmented reality ads that appear to consumers when they play their favourite video games. Augmented reality advertising spending is estimated to have reached $12.8 billion in 2017.
The advantage of augmented reality is that it can be located to the nearest meter. If you own a store and want people in your neighbourhood or just down the street to spot you more quickly, this solution enables highly targeted advertising.
TRAIN EMPLOYEES USING AUGMENTED REALITY.
Surprisingly, 40% of employees who receive insufficient training eventually quit their job within the first year. It means a direct link between training and the retention of trained employees.
Augmented reality can help you with this. Training using augmented reality can significantly reduce costs, for example, in heavy industry. Many security rules impose, for example, a limited number of employees in the same place. This limit can be circumvented with augmented reality: going to an empty room and integrating 3D models into it; thanks to augmented reality, it is possible to recreate the room with virtual equipment that employees will see through their augmented reality glasses. Therefore, more risk since everything is fake. It makes it possible to train more employees in one go, thus relieving the trainer, which will de facto cost the company less.
AUGMENTED REALITY FOR EVENTS.
Difficult to organize events for gigantic places such as stadiums. Proposing activities commensurate with such vast places means the intervention of many actors: dancers, choreographers, pyrotechnicians, etc. An alternative to all this organization is offered by augmented reality.
Take this example. You download the appropriate application and geolocate yourself. The application launches, and you then perceive a tailor-made show for the stadium where you are. A huge flaming lion appears in the stadium then walks on the blazing lawn… The scenario at the end of 2019 at the L’Estudiantes stadium in Argentina (and no, it’s not a hologram ! ). A sensational event, at a reduced cost, and unique for each viewer because augmented reality considers the location of the person viewing.
If any of these six uses sound right for your business, it’s time to take the next step by exploring what augmented reality can do for you.