Augmented reality (AR) technology is revolutionizing the way we interact with our surroundings. It’s no longer just science fiction, but a rapidly growing field that has captured the attention of tech enthusiasts and businesses alike. AR overlays digital information onto the real world, creating an immersive experience that blurs the line between what’s real and what’s not. From entertainment to marketing, education to retail, AR is transforming various industries by enhancing human perception and providing new ways of engaging with content. In this blog post series of 7 episodes, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about introduction to Augmented reality technology — its history, how it works, different types of AR experiences available today, the benefits for your clients and more! So, fasten your seatbelts as we take you on a journey through this exciting world of augmented reality technology!
WHAT IS AR?
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes digital information onto the real world, creating an interactive and immersive experience for users. It involves using devices such as smartphones, tablets or headsets equipped with cameras and sensors to capture the user’s environment in real-time, then overlaying computer-generated images on top of it.
HOW TO USE AR?
To use AR effectively, you need to understand the technology behind it and its potential applications. Firstly, users need an AR-enabled device such as a smartphone or tablet with a camera to access augmented reality features. Secondly, they need to scan a QR code giving them access to an AR platform (mobile application, website or Instagram/Facebook accounts) that allows them to interact with virtual objects overlaid on real-world environments. Then, scan the environment or makers (see the different types of markers on next chapter “AR TYPES) with your camera and all the magic will start! For instance, IKEA’s Place app lets customers visualize how furniture will look in their homes by using their phone cameras to place 3D models of furniture in real-time.
Moreover, businesses can leverage AR for marketing purposes by creating interactive ads that engage customers through immersive experiences. For instance, Pepsi Max created an augmented reality bus shelter ad where commuters could see UFOs and robots attacking the city through the glass walls of the shelter.
There are several types of AR, each with its own unique features and capabilities.
1.Marker-based AR uses predefined markers to trigger digital content, such as 3D models or animations, when viewed through an AR-enabled device like a smartphone or tablet.
2. Marker-less AR, also known as location-based or GPS-based AR, allows users to interact with virtual objects based on their physical location in the real world. Projection-based AR projects digital images onto physical surfaces like walls or floors using projectors and cameras to track user movement.
3. Another type of AR is recognition-based AR which recognizes specific objects or images in the real world and overlays relevant information on top of them. For example, Google Lens can recognize landmarks and provide information about them while scanning barcodes can reveal product details.
4. Finally, there’s superimposition-based augmented reality which replaces parts of the real-world environment with virtual ones. This type of augmented reality is commonly used in movies where special effects are added to create realistic scenes.
HOW THIS TECH CAN HELP OUR CLIENTS?
Augmented Reality has the power to revolutionize sales and marketing campaigns. According to research by Retail Perceptions, 61% of shoppers prefer stores with AR experiences, while 40% would pay more for a product if they could experience it through AR (source: here). This indicates that AR can be used to enhance customer engagement and create immersive shopping experiences that increase sales.
Many businesses have reported successful AR projects that have led to increased sales and improved marketing activities. For instance, IKEA’s “Place” app allows customers to virtually place furniture in their homes using AR technology, resulting in a 98% increase in the time spent on the app and a 600% increase in online orders for products featured on the app.
Similarly, Sephora’s Virtual Artist App uses AR to allow customers to try different makeup looks without physically applying any products. This resulted in an 11% increase in average basket size for those who used the app compared to those who didn’t.
Another example is Dulux Visualizer, which utilized AR to visualize and test different paint colors in the users’ home. The project generated 20 millions engagements, nearly 3 times higher conversion rate and an average of 4 minutes interacting with the AR tool.
These examples clearly demonstrate how successful implementation of AR projects can lead to significant benefits for businesses looking to improve their marketing strategies or boost sales numbers.
By providing customers with immersive experiences, companies can create lasting impressions that drive engagement and loyalty. With the rise of mobile devices and AR-enabled technologies, there has never been a better time to explore the potential of this innovative technology. Whether you are looking to showcase products in new ways or create interactive brand experiences, augmented reality has something to offer for everyone equipped with a mobile phone. So why not take advantage of this game-changing technology today? Start exploring the possibilities of AR for your business and see how it can transform your sales and marketing efforts in exciting new ways! In my next blog episode, I will introduce you all the powerful benefits of the AR tech through really cool examples so stay tuned!
Fabrice Biundo / XR Innovation Consultant at Ogilvy Consulting