According to the experts, AR is the next big thing. It is predicted to reach the $200 billion (!) mark by 2022, which is pretty impressive. But what can augmented reality do for your business today? Is it worth investing in, or maybe the technology is just too undeveloped at this stage? Here are the facts: the first big breakthrough happened back in 2016 when the world-famous Pokemon Go game was released.
Since then, AR has grown into something much bigger. Essentially, it’s an interactive experience, one that can be used not only for making exciting games but also for taking your business to the next level. It doesn’t take away from the real world. Instead, it complements it, adding images, videos, sounds, and text to it. Just imagine what benefits that can bring!
AR for Business: The Basics
What’s the #1 goal for any business? To grow and to prosper, of course! And, customer satisfaction is at the very heart of that. Now, with AR, you can boost sales by offering never-seen-before interaction for potential clients. This is exactly why big corporations around the world are rapidly embracing this new technology. The same is true for startups too, by the way.
Relatively small companies with limited budgets can use augmented reality in business and reach an audience that they could’ve never reached before. These days, almost 50% of the world’s population owns a Smartphone or a tablet. And, since AR is available through even the cheapest mobile devices, you can see why it’s so important to start incorporating it into one’s business.
Augmented Reality in Different Areas
Alright, now that we’ve figured out what AR actually is, let us go ahead and talk more about what it can do for you in different areas/industries. Over the recent years, it has proven to be extremely helpful in education, military, healthcare, the entertainment industry, and more. Here’s what you can expect to get with it.
#1: Education and Training
It’s safe to say that AR makes education a lot more exciting. This is especially true for elementary school students that have the attention deficit disorder. Augmented reality can help both the teachers and the students by bringing them together. 3D modeling, for example, allows teachers to turn complex concepts into something that all the kids/teenagers will understand easily.
Visual representation is, without a doubt, incredibly important both in education and training. On top of that, AR supplements “boring” books and texts, making them interactive and more vivid.
#2: AR in Military
Arguably, the army gets to benefit from AR the most. In training, it helps the commanders to prepare their soldiers for what they’ll face in a real war. Diffusing bombs, helping a fellow soldier in need, using advanced machinery – it is all possible through augmented reality with absolutely no harm to the combatants. Furthermore, AR provides an advantage on the field as well.
#3: Manufacturing Solutions
In 2021, most forward-thinking manufacturers are implementing AR. It is especially helpful in the so-called supply chain industries. Thanks to AR solutions, operators can be more efficient at controlling the processes and squeezing all the “juices” out of the equipment. Right now, many companies are using augmented reality to tag their products – that makes it easier to locate, pack, and deliver them.
#4: Healthcare Applications
At first, detailed patient history was the only thing that AR provided to surgeons. Today, it’s a lot more integrated with many hospitals around the world and can diagnose, aid in sophisticated surgeries, and automate a long list of key processes. It also greatly improves training/practice for medical students, making it highly realistic. They get to experience real-world situations in augmented reality without causing any harm to real patients.
#5: Social Media
Since the day it was created, social media has always been about fun. And with augmented reality, it becomes even more exciting. Mostly, AR adds funny filters in real-time, altering photos and videos in many ways. AR-driven stories and 360-degree videos are just some of the examples.
#6: Marketing and Advertising
If you’ve got a strong marketing team on your side, augmented reality will help you develop brand-new, highly effective strategies for conquering new markets and making loyal customers. For example, potential clients can use their phones/tablets to learn more about physical products in local stores. Discounts, sizes, available colors – AR is more than capable of displaying all that information through a mobile device.
The most advanced apps even let you see how a certain furniture element (like a bed, for example) will look when put in a bedroom, living room, or any other space.
#7: The Gaming Industry
As I mentioned earlier, Pokemon Go was (and still is) one of the most successful examples of augmented reality. Today, there are literally hundreds of similar games that encourage the players to find hidden objects in augmented reality when traveling to real, physical places around the globe. By taking interactivity to the next level, these games become more engaging, among other things.
Have you heard of virtual try-on apps for mobile phones? They’re becoming extremely popular because the experience is next to none. First of all, the customer can check how a certain item (like a hoodie) will look on them before paying for it. On the business side of things, retail-oriented AR apps drastically reduce the return rates.
When it comes to the world of entertainment, the possibilities that augmented reality brings are truly breathtaking. Audio, video, multimedia – AR is an incredibly powerful tool in the hands of a true artist. Movie directors can implement elements of augmented reality into their movies. AR-powered headphones and earbuds are also pretty cool.
#10: Real Estate
How exactly can AR aid in real estate? 3D views, for example. Augmented reality makes even the most regular rooms look so much more “alive”. For example, big brands like Ikea and Curate are already using AR to make their products and, well, real estate more attractive to the clients.
#11: Travel and Tourism
Last, but not least, we’ve got tourism slash travel. Interactive maps, 3D models, and accurate info (updated in real-time) make travels a lot more fun. With AR, tourists can find the best restaurants, hotels, and other locations with ease. Again, augmented reality provides a better experience for the users, which also benefits the businesses.
And that concludes our journey into the world of augmented reality. As we learned from this guide, it can introduce a long list of benefits to your business if you know how to use it. AR can speed up operational processes, aid in quality assurance, and even help you to significantly cut the production cost. Today, we discussed what augmented reality has to offer to marketing, gaming, real estate, healthcare, and manufacturing.
This technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and the companies that “master” it first will have a dramatic advantage over the “old-school” enterprises that prefer to do business the traditional way. If you want to learn more about AR and what it can do for your company, product, or service, check back with me more often for the latest posts!