You’ve probably heard of augmented reality and have maybe even experienced it without realizing it. Augmented reality (AR) is increasingly becoming integrated into everyday life because it is handy, fun, and user-friendly technology.
What Is Augmented Reality?
Before we get into the benefits, let’s ensure we’ve got a sound knowledge of AR technology. AR is a portal from the real world into the metaverse. It is an enhanced reality that uses interactive image recognition software to enable digital elements to enter the physical world.
Note that AR is not the same as virtual reality. VR is a fully immersive experience, while AR combines the physical and virtual worlds.
AR uses 3D models of images, sounds, and other stimuli to create overlays for its intended environment. Augmented reality has endless possibilities. The best part? Those possibilities are right at your fingertips.
How Augmented Reality Works
Let’s get into how AR technology works. Augmented reality might sound like some futuristic term, but the future is now. AR is here to stay and has many uses in our modern world.
There are countless uses for augmented reality technology, but how does it work? The process is intricate, but we’ve got the basics for you.
- The AR-enabled device examines and identifies their environment
- AR technology creates a digital twin (an exact virtual 3D copy of a physical object) and prepares to simulate it in real-time
- Data ensures the digital and physical images are compatible with the creation
- AR device creates digital image overlay onto the physical environment
- AR technology is ready for user interaction
- The technology receives commands from users and follows them to create an augmented reality
Now that we’ve got the rundown of the operation, let’s go over all of AR's benefits in the business world.
Benefits in Business
From training to branding, AR has many uses in the business world. It is redefining what it means to train employees and interact with customers.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through the many uses for augmented reality in business like:
- Enhanced visualization
- Stronger communication
- Remote opportunities
- Better service
Remote Consulting and Expertise
While the pandemic taught us many things, remote work was one of the most significant changes to the business world. While in-person work can never be entirely replaced, AR was able to shine with its capabilities to connect the physical world with the digital experience.
Use AR to:
- Reduce site visits
- Promote efficient communication and workflow
- Improve service time
- Improve informed decision making
- Supply accurate models
Augmented reality is changing and streamlining the way businesses run. Processes that used to require in-person visits can now be done across the globe without anyone needing to leave their office.
If this sounds like something you’d like to incorporate into your business, check out AR apps like:
- TeamViewer Pilot
- Vuforia Chalk
Training and Collaboration
From the healthcare industry to the tech industry to the sports realm, AR provides tools to enable flexible and collaborative training solutions. Whether you need to onboard a new employee, train a current one, or want to give employees the opportunities to hone new skills, AR can make it happen.
Using AR can:
- Boost employee engagement and interaction
- Reduce massive, boring instruction manuals
- Provide real-time feedback
- Help visual learners
- Simulate real-world action
There are many augmented reality apps to help your business:
- Splunk AR
- Tech Trainer
- Complete Anatomy
- TeamViewer Frontline
Merchandise and Inventory
Almost every business needs some inventory protocol. Whether it’s a small business startup or a huge corporation, AR can make the process of merchandising and inventory more efficient than you could imagine.
With AR, businesses can:
- Speed up the inventory process
- Access real-time inventory and sales data
- Reduce back-of-house trips
- Promote customer engagement with virtual try-ons
Check out merchandise and inventory apps like:
- Shoe Planogram
- Endless Aisle
When marketing your brand, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd. Incorporating AR into your marketing strategy is one method that can offer you that little extra edge you need.
If you run an eCommerce business, you can use AR to promote the customer’s experience with your brand. Customers who visit your online store must enjoy their shopping experience. The easier you make the user experience, the better off your brand will be.
When considering AR as a marketing strategy, keep in mind that it should help your customers by:
- Entertaining them with an interactive, engaging, novel AR experience
- Educating them on the product
- Allowing them to evaluate and visualize how it could work for them
Studies show that 56% of shoppers feel more confident about a product after interacting with AR, and 61% prefer to shop with businesses that offer an augmented reality experience. IKEA Place is an excellent example of allowing shoppers to visualize merchandise before making their final decision.
From makeup to clothing to furniture, customers are more comfortable making purchases if they can try them on before buying.
If AR makes sense for your brand, it’s time to start brainstorming ideas for your next marketing campaign. And if you like incorporating an AR option, Illumix’s Virtual Try-On might be just what you need to set your brand apart from the rest.
Benefits in Life
Now that we’ve covered the work let’s get into the play. When you’re not in the office, there are still many ways to add a dose of AR to your real life. From practical to fun, augmented reality is a jack of all trades.
The world has opened back up, and it’s time to take the trip you’ve been waiting for. But where should you go? Let AR become your travel guide.
When you are making your travel plans, look for the following:
- Hotels with AR options to help you visualize accommodations
- Maps apps, like Google or Apple, with AR options to see the surrounding areas
- Self-guided tours in the room with facts, history, and information about that location
- Airlines that offer AR tours of the planes to choose your seats
Living in the digital age means social media is a part of everyday life. But social media is not just photos and status updates anymore. Many mobile apps have more capabilities than ever before.
If you’re ready to be more entertained by your social media, try the following:
- Photo filters
- Product try-ons
Whether you’re a teacher, a parent, or a student wanting to create a more interactive environment through education is possible with augmented reality. As more generations grow up with new technology at their fingertips, AR is here to keep tech lovers engaged by offering more opportunities than ever before.
Augmented reality can improve:
- Interest and engagement
- Interactive learning environment
- Content understanding through a more immersive experience
- Understanding and memory through visualization
- Sensory development
If this all sounds too good to be true, it’s not. There are many resources out there that can help you teach and learn.
When you’re ready to dig in, check out these ten awesome apps:
- Merge Cube
- Aktiv Learning
- Boulevard AR
- Touch Surgery
When you hear “augmented reality,” gaming is the first thing you might think of. We’ve gone through several uses of AR, and now the wait is over. Let’s talk gaming.
If we’re going by the record books, the Guinness Book of World Records has dubbed Fairy Tales (2009) the first AR game built for the iPhone. Fairy Tales is a game similar to Pokémon GO, in which the user goes into the real world, using their camera to see digital overlays and trying to catch as many fairies as possible.
Since 2009, hundreds of games have been developed, technology has advanced, and all you need is a mobile device or headset. Gaming is an excellent way to experience AR and take your mind off the real world for a little while.
If you love to play, take a look at these ten terrific AR-based games:
- Knightfall AR
- Zombie, Run!
- Pokémon GO
- Jurassic World Alive
- AR Sports Basketball
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Beer Pong AR
- King of Pools
- Ingress Prime
Life is all about balance, which is why we’ve taken you through the advantages of augmented reality in business in life. Whether you need to streamline the standards of your operation or want to have some fun, AR offers options.
If you’re interested in learning more about the metaverse and AR technologies, check out the rest of our site.
Here at Illumix, we specialize in building dynamic AR experiences that can enhance your brand. We’ve done the heavy lifting already. Contact us to learn how we can help.
How Does Augmented Reality Really Work? ⎸ Harvard Business Review
Augmented Reality in Business ⎸ Apple
How Augmented Reality Can — and Can’t — Help Your Brand | HBR
Augmented Reality in Education: Interactive Classrooms | Maryville Online
First Augmented Reality (AR) Game For The iPhone | Guinness World Records