Pokémon Go was one of the most widely hyped phenomena when augmented reality (AR) first started to gain traction in 2016.
According to Statista, the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market is expected to reach to $192.7 billion by 2022, after starting at $6.1 billion in 2016.
Predictions estimate the combined market size of AR/VR will increase in revenue more than 50 times by the year 2022.
Augmented reality displays on a smartphone’s camera screen and overlays virtual objects over a real-world image it captures. This technology uses computer vision-based recognition algorithms to augment graphics, videos, and sound.
As AR continues to trend, it’s helping industries like retail and e-commerce to education, healthcare, and real estate improve, making the user experience more memorable and enhancing user engagement for better customer retention.
Due to its popularity, many startups, organizations, and entrepreneurs have already adopted this technology. In fact, around 546 startups are already listed as contenders in the AR reality race, AngelList revealed.
Uses of AR Technology in Different Industries
AR technology can be found across many diverse industries.
AR technology serves the healthcare industry by improving the quality of treatment a patient receives and helping medical professionals to enhance their performance by breaking down complex medical concepts into interactive 3D forms.
AR has the potential to improve the efficiency of medical training, right from performing complex surgeries to operating MRI equipment. MedCognition created Persim, the very first patient simulator designed specifically for the pre-hospital professional.
AR technology is also disrupting the world of Retail by helping customers with virtual “try-on” experiences to understand how a product would look like on the person or in a room.
AR technology has been widely adopted by cosmetics and the eyewear brands to deliver a new level of interaction between customers and products and delivers an exquisite customer experience – both online and in-store.
American Apparel, for instance, created an AR application for customers to customers to scan signs in-store and get product details like available color options, price, and customer reviews. They deliver a more cohesive experience to their customers by allowing them to watch videos of models wearing American Apparel products.
The gaming sector has been among the most eager to embrace augmented reality. Pokémon Go was the most popular game that developed using AR technology. AR tech for gaming improves user engagement with multiple interactive activities. This technology improves user experience and develops a more entertaining environment for gamers by making virtual objects seem real.
The success of AR is particularly evident when applied to mobile apps in the gaming and entertainment category. Within a year from launch, Pokémon GO passed the shocking figure of 750 million downloads and $1.2 billion in revenue by the summer of 2017. This massive adoption rate indicates that smartphone users worldwide are using AR.
From elaborating visual presentation to offer aerial views and 3D renderings, AR technology is helping to real estate agents to create virtual tours for property buyers that help them to make a more informed decision.
In the past year, augmented reality technology has been gaining traction in the real estate industry by helping to envisage any empty room or space in the way buyer want to decorate it.
Commercial Real Estate AR app, for instance, helps users to scan commercial properties in their locality and get details like available spaces, amenities, pricing and so on directly from an application. This app also allows users to communicate directly with real estate agents.
Travel and Tourism
AR technology delivers Geo-AR experience to the users of the travel and tourism industry. It enables users to interact with 3D models and interactive maps to get real-time information and direction about famous places, hotels, pubs, and memorials. AR’s object recognition and automated image tagging features enable users to see the augmented content in the real world.
With Markerless AR, this industry able to map directions, find nearby places, etc. to deliver better user engagement. For travelers, there are some fantastic apps like BuUuk that displays nearby restaurants in the camera view and shows special deals. Kabaq is another AR application that shows new restaurant menus with an interactive 360-view of each dish, ingredients, and correct portion size.
Augmented reality has also found a strong foothold in education, with schools and learning centers using it to help students to learn and understand their surroundings. AR tech has also been used in the classroom to provide practical knowledge of especially science and math and other subjects like astronomy and music as well.
Some of the exciting education apps like Elements 4D, Quiver, and Math Alive engage students with learning material to energize their everyday lessons with three-dimensional overlays.
Why Should Businesses Invest in AR App Development?
There are many reasons why businesses should consider investing in AR app development.
AR Is Used by Millions of People
Snapchat is one of the best examples of AR’s popularity. Even Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg see a big future for AR beyond the success seen in Pokémon Go within the gaming industry. Thus, Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, is also introducing some of the amazing features of AR to its properties.
AR is likely to find its way to yet more industries as it can add a great deal of value to the user experience.
AR Is the Best Technology for Marketing
Many business opportunities are opened up when AR technology is implemented in the marketing domain. When used creatively, this technology generates more loyalty and commitment to brands and products.
AR technology provides an opportunity to interact with people while they are walking around the store with a smartphone in their hands, checking out prices and product features. It provides store-keepers with a tool for developing personalized content related to discount offers through which they can create a completely new user experience.
For example, IKEA’s Place app enables potential customers to see how a dining table or bed will look in a particular place of their homes.
AR Offers Three-Dimensional Thinking
AR technology can be used by businesses to create a 3D effect of their brand/product to deliver unforgettable AR experience for their customers. Now, businesses can also create an advertisement in 3D rather than 2D to interact with customers personally.
Through AR, businesses can establish an immediate and sensory-driven connection between the brand and consumers by forging emotional interaction. When customers see relevant objects in the AR tech version, they develop a deep connection with the brand. Ultimately, this leads to an increase in sales.
AR Can Establish Repetitive Engagement
Repeat engagement is another advantage of augmented reality technology. For example, Pokémon Go users repeatedly playing a game that results in the exposure of the brand among the players.
Establishing repetitive engagement works as an effective advertising method for businesses, as they only require AR app development cost and other advantages can be reaped by repeated exposure.
This kind of interactive strategy acts differently than ‘traditional’ advertising.
Make an Investment in AR Technology for Your Business
As evidenced by the points laid out in this article, businesses have much to gain by investing in augmented reality technology.
AR can catalyze very rapid development and create experiences that attract users and keep them engaged.