When it comes to new technology, it can be easy to assume that new developments are either just a fad that’s sure to fizzle or the very thing that shapes the future of retail. Mobile devices and social media are only two examples that are recent enough to remember, but even the Internet itself is a prime example of how technology can literally change the world of retail.
Given path to purchase changes and the way customers are differentiating the way they experience brands between the physical and digital world, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the next wave of change is taking the form of AR, or Augmented reality.\
Global Market Insights predicts that the AR market is expected to nearly double in size by 2024 with the vast majority of companies utilizing some form of augmented reality to connect with and engage their customers. Forward thinkers and industry disruptors are ahead of the curve, having already embraced augmented reality in their business models.
AR works by using computer vision and tracking through your camera to anchor a virtual object to a physical point in your environment. As you move your camera around it, or closer and further away, the object is able to maintain its scale and location in your view of the real world.
Companies like Apple and Google are investing huge amounts of capital into Augmented Reality, or AR .
Augmented reality (AR) is set to be the next step in the evolution of computing, and will arguably be the most intuitive and collaborative computing experience. In fact, much ink has been spilled on AR’s limitless potential, while countless hours of screen time have been dedicated to imagining how AR can better our lives. Even among our customers, we’ve noticed that both application developers and business decision-makers see AR as a tool for enhancing productivity.
Almost every industry is poised to transform with AR. However, there are some prominent verticals that have already integrated AR in their daily workflow processes:
- Travel: This is one of the primary consumer-centric segments for using AR devices and systems. Travelers often need information quickly, whether it be about a particular destination, routes, ordering transportation, or restaurant and accommodation recommendations. AR apps are helping travelers access this information. AR apps can bring printed materials to life and even filter and personalize information depending on the current location and requirements of the user. AR can help hotel owners and travel agencies to better engage with their customers by offering special offers, discounts and reward points which can be accessed by scanning their brochures, and ensuring better brand recall and higher ROI on advertising expenditure
- Retail: In the retail sector, smart phones, AR-powered glasses or virtual mirrors are helping customers virtually try on different apparel, makeup and accessories. This method has immense potential, especially in e-commerce, and is already being adopted by several online shopping portals.
- Healthcare: Healthcare is among the leading industries undergoing a radical transformation as more and more healthcare professionals are using AR tools and technologies to solve complex healthcare problems. Augmented reality is helping doctors examine patients across geographical divides. Doctors can even resort to less-invasive surgeries with the help of AR devices and provide substitutes that can help with diagnosis and treatment.
- Real estate: Realty and construction is another industry where AR is making serious headway. Instead of showcasing 3D models on 2D screens, architects, designers and engineers can now present their work to clients as an enhanced holographic. This helps visualize every little nuance of a new space. Instead of poring over cramped floor plans that provide little detail about the value of the space, AR is helping give a more immersive walk-through to clients and help them in their decision-making.
This is the power of augmented reality that has opened up new realms of possibilities for business owners across the world. This paradigm shift is helping business owners save precious time and thousands of dollars, thereby enhancing their ROI significantly.