Next generation technology has jumped out from science fiction stories to reality. The augmented reality phenomenon is sweeping consumers and businesses, driving them to the ‘real digital’ world. The sudden surge of augmented reality (AR) solutions in recent years can be ascertained with the fact that this technology is allowing customers to visualize products in a manner which is almost similar to owing the product and garner the experiencing, even before purchasing it. The coming years will witness augmented reality becoming more sophisticated and cost-saving, which will serve as an impetus for businesses to adopt this raging phenomenon across verticals.
Augmented reality is estimated to be a major economic driver for the tech industry. Studies suggest that by 2020, the market for augmented reality will reach $100 billion. In the past few years, augmented reality applications have made their way in the entertainment industry around the world which is, in turn, has heightened user’s experience. The term augmented reality has several connotations attached to it, but in essence, it is all about combining data from the physical world to a virtual world, created with digital tools. Hence, the user sees the reality subtly overlaid with computer-generated information. Augmented reality can be seen through a variety of experience. It could either be a room with 3D modeled furniture, or a street with a virtual route on it, or a kid’s birthday where the room is crowded with Disney characters. Augmented reality has opened avenues of creativity and mental stimulation.
Augmented reality is soon going to change the shape of commerce. It will soon prove to have a bigger market in time to come. Let us understand how businesses are already leveraging this technology to provide an ultimate user experience.
Augmented reality application developers are constantly enhancing the new experience for both online and offline shopping. Any table or smartphone can be an AR platform which can create a shopping environment for its customers. A notable AR application company provided Harley-Davidson an iPad-based application which helps in providing a virtual experience to the customers by assisting them in ‘trying out’ body types, lights seats and other options for a custom bike design. Another e-commerce furniture retailer has leveraged augmented reality technology to create a 3D shop which replicates the experience the shopping in a traditional store. This platform provides the customers to try an item before purchasing, hence giving a complete user satisfaction.
Industrial field services
By deploying smart glasses and a mobile application, a company provided a real-time augmented reality collaboration solution to Israeli’s national water company which helped to streamline field repair services in Israel. The solution enabled field engineers to have access to real-time remote help from vendors and experts located anywhere around the globe. The smart glass ensures that the engineers’ hands are kept free to perform simultaneous fixes. Application of augmented reality in the field can drastically improve safety, help in syncing operations and reduce the pressure off engineers who can’t possibly be a maestro in all tech related domain and infrastructures. Augmented reality can emancipate a mobile workforce, linking workers to experts and professionals around the world.
Modeling and Design
Businesses are using augmented reality to help consumers visualize products at scale using tablets. Instead of creating high-cost prototypes, consumers/clients are provided an AR experience which showcases a side-by-side comparison of new and products. This gives the client a better understanding and impact of the new product. AR can be used a boost to early-stage product designing and development which helps designers to access the product and its functionality more precisely.
Education and Training
Augmented reality has gained momentum, especially in medical education. The ar-based application enables medical students to learn using a 3D holographic anatomy program which dives deeper into the human body. AR in training gives an immersive, multi-sensory experience which is more effective than traditional methods like classroom lectures and textbooks. It results in effective training and increases the speed to mastery.
Maintenance and Repair
Hyundai was the first mainstream automaker which launched an augmented reality fuelled owner’s manual. With the help of a smartphone or a tablet, users get information about maintenance, repair, and features. Augmented reality allows for inexperienced people to identify problems in their vehicles and perform repairs with the step-by-step guidance by using the AR overlays. This has led to increased customer satisfaction and reduced downtime and other associated costs.
Augmented reality is one such technology that will change the face of smartphone applications and gaming. Augmented reality based apps are growing at an unprecedented pace and this provides businesses an opportunity to attract customers. Such applications are making the user experience more refined, creative, vivid and interactive hence help businesses to drive a new level of customer engagement.