Augmented reality in business
Augmented reality is a set of technologies that combine the best features of computer vision and virtual reality. The technology, which was developed by several major companies, allows users to see digital content projected to the real environment within which it is being carried out.
Augmented reality can give a virtual and augmented view of the real world to a range of different audiences, who are able to make informed decisions and take part in business activities. For example, retail giants tested AR for flagship stores, which allows customers to see virtual items placed next to physical products. For instance, AR might make a shop more appealing to customers by replicating the feeling of being in a physical store. Beyond providing a new way of interacting with customers and stakeholders, AR offers many additional business opportunities, says Bernhard Kainhofer, managing partner at VR Interactive. “The business case for AR is compelling, and the technology is growing at an impressive rate,” he says. “The challenge for the sector is to identify the right technologies and deploy them effectively, in order to take advantage of the opportunities presented by AR.”
Augmented reality – the next big idea is right around the corner
AR is not just projecting a 3D object into a recorded space, instead, it is all set to change how businesses are carried out. As it is used more and more, the next big business idea of how to apply AR is right around the corner. This trend will only be enhanced by the augmented reality in business, as it enables users to e.g., more easily understand concepts, elements, or virtual or physical objects. The technology can also be used for virtual collaboration, allowing users to better train and exchange themselves with colleagues in the daily business by literally having a 3D view projected onto the reality – all powered by AR. The AR concept can be applied to virtually any industry, and can have a great impact on the way in which businesses operate.
Applications of AR in business
“Being able to bring AR experiences to life has been an important aspect of our business, as it allows us to provide the right environment for our users so they can fully grasp the implications of AR technology,” says Kainhofer. “By enabling businesses to step inside augmented reality, we were able to give them the tools they needed to successfully execute their AR strategy.”
To date, many companies from different industries launched AR-based business applications with various applications in mind – from gaming, to marketing, to professional training, to architecture to name a few ones.
- For example, an interesting case in point is the experience taken by augmented reality app companies publishing games in order to give AR users the ability to play with 3D models through realistic scenarios all across the globe, within which they could see and interact with the real world.
- While gaming is a major example of how AR has been utilized in the business world, there are other applications like professional training and internal communication between business units. For example, a company built a system to allow users to scan technical objects in a physical space, to create a 3D augmented view of the objects, which could then be pasted into an AR application. This business card system was able to enable a 3D augmented view in which users were able to visually interact with and exchange between business units from across the globe, easing internal communication and development in the company. This business card idea was born out of the need for a 3D augmented view of the technical objects to improve understanding, communication, as well as the need for interactively viewing these objects right at the place where they will be in after construction.
- Product marketing: another company launched an AR-based mobile app, which enabled customers to compare prices and try new items in-store. The AR application was very successful, and has been downloaded many times. That is just one example of using AR to improve customer satisfaction by retail giants. They realized that by adding in-store interaction with AR apps, we were able to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction, which is what AR is all about.
How AR in business might elevate your company – can augmented reality improve customer satisfaction?
From e-commerce to healthcare, from manufacturing to logistics, from finance to development, augmented reality offers businesses the means to elevate their products and services. The technology is not in its infancy anymore, and its scope and applications are very much in a sophisticated stage. However, as more companies adopt it, the investment into AR increases, and the business opportunities unfold.
How can my business use AR effectively?
The first thing to understand about AR is that you need to build a system with a precise purpose in mind. As such, be sure to consider its practicality when deciding on the appropriate use of AR for your company. Beyond that, there is a fundamental difference between the augmented and virtual world. The former is all about the real-time interaction with computer-aided design models, providing great application opportunities for AR in businesses.
The future is clearly digital, and augmented reality is an important component to the augmented view. The technology can help blur the lines between the physical and digital world, and give businesses the necessary tools to remain relevant in a rapidly changing business environment. Augmented reality is an important component when it comes to capturing and utilizing the attention of customers, and improving customer satisfaction through improved brand awareness and engagement.
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