Augmeted-reality has grown exponentially these last few years. It has grown beyond QR codes and now is compatible with virtual reality technology for a truly spectacular experience.
What is Augmented Reality Content?
Augmented reality uses existing reality and physical objects to trigger computer-generated enhancements over the top of reality, in real time. Essentially, AR is a technology that lays computer-generated images over a user’s view of the real world. These images typically take shape as 3D models, videos and information.
The simplest way is using your phone – where what you see through the camera has digital elements added to it. The best known example of this is Pokemon Go – but it has also been used to guide people around places, with virtual signposts added giving directions, or in art galleries to bring up information on artworks as you look at them ‘through your phone’.
Using Augmented-Reality Content in Business
There are many innovative ways that augmented-reality content can be used in business. One of the most well-known applications of augmented reality is SnapChat and its filters. One of these well-known filters is the favourite dog ears and tongue. For those who don’t know, these so called “Snap Lenses”, use facial recognition algorithms that overlays your face with cute filters. These react with animated graphics when you raise your eyebrows or open your mouth. The simplest of all the AR approaches (as face is the easiest part of the body to recognize, it has 2 spots – black and white ones, that work for recognition) turned out to be the most successful – as youngsters worldwide love it.
How can you incorporate this into your business?
Like all things that go viral, SnapChat has found an effective way to make money off these “Snap Lenses”. You can get premium ones for .99 each, and brands can sell their custom-made stickers to be in Snap Lenses for 24 hours. The prices are seemingly high – from 10 and up to $75k for just one day! So if you are looking to develop an app with some Snapchat-like features – here is a great hint to use.
In discussing the latest and future technologies, virtual reality and augmented reality are often mentioned in the same breath. And oftentimes, they’re used interchangeably, despite all of the differences between them.
VR uses 360-degree video to move you from your current environment and into a new digital (virtual) world. On the other hand, AR transforms your current environment by adding digital information to your line of sight. VR replaces your reality, while AR enhances it.
Of the two techs, AR is expected to record more spending by 2022, and it seems to be catching on at a higher speed. More brands (25 percent, compared with 21 percent) are showing interest in incorporating the technology, while others are already in the game. The most recent contribution is Apple’s new iOS 11 operating system and iPhone X announcement in September 2017.
5 Ways to Incorporate Augmented Reality Content into Your Business
- Staff Education & Training
Training and educating your employees using AR can be a highly immersive and interactive method of learning. Here, the trainees can play through AR scenarios as many times as they want to thoroughly understand a concept or a procedure. Furthermore, using AR for training creates an interactive and immersive experience across multiple senses, which can really help the trainees grasp things better and learn faster. By using multi-layered graphics even, the most complex processes and methods can be simplified for the trainees. AR can easily increase the depth of the training programs, thereby helping businesses impart wide knowledge in their staff within a short time.
- Customer Service
AR is sure to improve the efficiency by transforming the way in which customer-facing staff work, especially in the retail industry. Customer service agents can use AR to freely interact with their clients and help them buy products that precisely cater to their needs. Some companies are already using tablets to provide their customers with an AR experience, which clearly explains the product features or offers a demo of the product to the customers, thereby helping them make informed decisions.
- Extended Office Spaces
Altering plain office spaces is one of the most popular AR functionalities that is expected to gain much popularity in the near future. Apart from the regular tables and chairs in an office, the rest of the place is usually bare and mundane. Using AR smaller office space can be made multi-functional without any major investments. By using AR glasses, businesses can empower their employees to see a room extended with different views and visualize digital whiteboards on all four walls, which can be used by them to scribble and share their ideas better. Therefore, brainstorming sessions will become fun and interaction with teams from across the globe will be quick and more productive.
- Displaying Products
Showcasing products effectively has become the new business mandate in today’s competitive business environment, especially after the boom in the e-commerce industry. AR allows users to examine the products carefully, understand their features and functionalities, and then decide whether to buy the product or not. AR is being used majorly in the real estate industry and even by people who are planning to buy furniture, to check whether the products will look good in the place they intend to have it.
- Remote Collaboration
AR is one technology which can completely change the way teams from different parts of the world collaborate. Usually, during meetings, the teams spread across various geographical locations are not able to communicate effectively, which often lead to miscommunication, distraction and other complications. However, this challenge can be easily overcome by using AR, as it can change the way teams interact with each other. Therefore, AR makes meetings more engrossing, interactive, and fun. Even some of the subtle things like facial expressions and eye contact, which can be clearly noticed using AR, make such business interactions more effective.
Despite media claiming the fields of AR and VR to stay unexplored yet, there already are apps that benefit from augmented reality development. App creation has become one of the main money making trends for augmented reality content. Therefore, once you are willing to invest for the cost to develop an AR app, the idea behind it has to be as creative & futuristic as ever, to bring the results every business owner hopes for.