Benefits of Augmented Reality
1. VR AND AR create a rich, immersive, and interactive user
Marketers have been saying,
‘‘Content is the king’’ until quite recently, but now with VR and AR, the users
have become both content consumers and content creators. With a personalized
headset and VR solutions, VR enthusiasts can travel to the place of their
dreams, attend their favorite sports game or experience certain emotions in
their body, mind, and soul as if those events are happening not only in front of
them but also to them. Similarly, augmented reality enables users to give a
personal touch to the published or online content that they ‘‘augment’’ with
the little help of customized smartphone apps and markers which provide extra
information. For example, in the supermarket, consumers learn as they screen
with AR apps what prices are on sale; they may also get additional data about
houses in their neighborhood which they want to buy or rent and they test
their knowledge about brands as they play the treasure hunt games.
2. Personalized content is tailored to user’s particular
needs and adopted fast
We are adopting technology faster
and faster. For instance, the telephone reached 50% of US households in several
decades, beginning before 1900, whereas cell phones achieved a 40% penetration
rate in just 10 years. It is estimated that virtual and augmented reality will
disrupt business models as they are the fourth major platform shift after PC,
web, and mobile devices. The main benefit of VR and AR would be that it creates
such value through personalized content and new business models.
CEOs and marketers who make
decisions in the companies will learn through time how to use these
technologies to the best advantage of their businesses. Digi-capital has
identified that 80% of AR/VR revenue by 2020 will come from AR/VR hardware
sales, eCommerce sales, ad spend, and mobile data/voice. If we translate these
revenues into numbers VR would amount to $30B and AR to $90B, whereas $120B
would be for AR/VR revenue combined by 2020.
3. AR AND VR allow readers to truly connect with the
In the world of publishing, the
prints will not disappear, they just evolve thanks to VR and AR, creating a new
storytelling medium and revenue stream. At the moment The Wall Street Journal
and InStyle is several of many brands that intend to integrate VR. The New York Times created a VR mobile app
that tells stories in an “immersive, 360-degree video experience.” In the VR film, The Displaced they portrayed refugee children and sent 1.2 million Google
Cardboard units. The unique storytelling and advanced technology built huge
anticipation and empathy during the launch. Although skeptics may emphasize
that the major barrier to wider adoption of virtual reality is that users need
to have gear and that big brands such as NYT had to send thousands of Google
Cardboard pieces to get their app downloaded, it is just a matter of time when
users will buy themselves headsets to access customized and captivating
content, in the same way as smartphones, became one of the top gadgets.
Augmented reality in publishing has
similar advantages over virtual reality as in other industries: no wearables
are required to adopt, on smartphones all the content can be accessed, and the
otherwise motionless content becomes life and boosted with extra information.
If you scan brochures and catalogs with an AR app you may make a purchase and
view styling tips. Disney created an augmented reality app that projects
characters from the coloring book while you are still working on them. Our
company made the white-label of Red Riding Hood as we brought to life fairy
tales for a showcase.
4. Virtual and augmented reality can reduce language
For example, Theatre in Paris
together with Atos and the French start-up Optinvent created the augmented
reality solution where theatre-goers were able to see subtitles simultaneously
with the theatre show. This intersection of cultural events and technology is
expected to spill over to other entertainment industries such as sports games
or concerts, making them accessible to those who do not speak the language.
All the communication technology we
have had so far, from the telegraph to the internet was an attempt to replicate
the fundamental human interaction: connecting face-to-face. Nowadays we
substitute the lack of face-to-face interaction on the internet with many
options (videos, photos, memes, gifs, texts) to create this wish-you-were–here
effect. Therefore, augmented and virtual reality may remove this last frontier
of missing physical contact with another person order to. What if Google
translates on steroids in the future to become AR apps with advanced markers
that translate simultaneously people’s conversations. Imagine people who can
share a location, visit their dream destination and even understand each other
in foreign languages thanks to VR.
5. Brand awareness gets increased via social shares
At the back of the mind of
marketers, too many emotions take place. Sometimes there is even a slight fear
that their brand message will get ignored. ‘‘To which extent are people aware
of our brand?’’ is one of the questions marketers keep asking themselves.
Virtual and augmented reality are the new channels for increasing brand
awareness because they have the personalized characteristics of social media,
yet people can experience content on a deeper level, from the first-person
perspective. Coca-Cola in Poland promoted the spirits of Christmas with the Oculus
Rift as the users could become Santa Claus for a day.
These new technologies are
beneficial even for celebrity brands such as Michelle Obama or Sir Paul
McCartney. The 360-video about the healthy routine that the Verge created with
Michelle Obama was identified as one of the best explainer videos marketers can
learn from. Fans of Paul McCartney could experience being with him on the stage
at Candlestick Park thanks to the 360 video that Jaunt produced.
Even new brands can get ahead strong
if they harness the power of AR and VR. When VR and AR apps make it possible
and effortless for people to extra share their experience on social networks
even more buzz is out there and friends-of-friends get interested in trying out
the same. Therefore, although virtual and augmented reality has not become
mainstream in marketing labs worldwide, very soon these solutions will get
their part of the marketing budget. They will appear with social media, the
most cost-effective marketing tool when it comes to profiling target groups and
providing to them exactly what they want.
6. AR AND VR help in customer buying decisions
As consumers interact with AR and VR
solutions, marketers can measure this engagement and activate certain metrics
over the other ones. Parents interacted longer with the ad for children's
construction toy when it was presented to them in the format of AR (83 seconds
vs. 12 seconds of traditional marketing). Because such solutions are tried out
longer as the purchase decision tool, the likelihood that the item would be
The ultimate purpose of any business
is to make sales. The ultimate purpose of an efficient and scalable business is
to make sales to satisfied customers who will come back again and again. Once
potential users have been wowed by the immersive and interactive experience of
VR and AR, their expectations from brands have increased. Brands that use these
technologies creatively will set a new standard of surprise and appear in eyes
of their consumers as the first choice.
Examples of Augmented Reality
Walmart – testing AR for inventory
In October 2020, Walmart announced that it would be turning
four of its physical retail stores into ‘test stores’ to try out new technology
(to enhance all stores to become both physical shopping destinations and online fulfillment centers).
An important element of these stores is inventory control,
with one test involving an app that is designed to speed up the time it takes
to transport items from the backroom to the sales floor. The app uses augmented
reality to do so, allowing employees to hold up a handheld device (which will
then highlight the boxes ready to go), rather than scanning each box.
This is one example of
augmented reality being used to enhance internal processes, effectively
creating a more seamless and faster workflow. Despite not being visible to
customers, Walmart says that “regardless, it’s the customer who will benefit”,
with the technology ultimately helping to enhance the customer experience by
putting more products on shelves, faster than before.
IKEA Studio app
Ikea’s design lab, Space10, recently revamped Ikea’s AR
offering to create a more functional and immersive experience. Previously, the
Ikea Place app allowed users to place virtual furniture in a room. Now using
LiDAR sensors in iPhones, the all-new Ikea Studio app enables users to capture
entire 3D room plans and re-design them, incorporating everything from windows
and door frames to wall colors and rugs.
Currently, in beta, Ikea Studio is not yet
linked to the Ikea website, meaning it offers a somewhat siloed user experience
(with no shopping functionality involved). According to Wired, however, this version of Ikea Studio was largely built in preparation for the arrival of
Apple Glass, which could create a more immersive and realistic AR experience.
Tommy Campbell, digital design lead at SPACE10, told Wired:
“We’ve made very deliberate decisions to paint the vision of Studio as one that
can exist on both the smartphone or in a glasses-like setting. We’ve also used
a new renderer reality kit from Apple that lets us achieve a level of detail on
these models that haven’t been seen before in IKEA’s AR portfolio.”
Amazon – hair coloring
at Amazon Salon
Amazon Salon, the e-commerce giant’s first-ever bricks-and-mortar hair salon was partly set up to trial new retail technology.
One example is ‘Point and Learn’, which as Amazon explains, means “customers
can simply point at the product they are interested in on a display shelf and
the relevant information, including brand videos and educational content, will appear
on a display screen.” To then buy the products, customers can scan the relevant
QR code on the shelf to visit the product page on the e-commerce site.
addition to this tool, customers will also be able to experiment with different
hair shades using AR technology, before actually getting their hair done. As
well as being a way to drive sales of its professional beauty products, the
Amazon Salon is largely a vehicle for testing AR technologies (which Amazon
could implement in other retail locations), and a way of gathering unique
customer data that could also be applied on its e-commerce site.