Living in the golden era of technology is a boon to our generation. Ours is the generation experiencing new innovations and technology first hand, and will be the ones left to tell the tale of development that took place in front of our eyes! From the introduction of the PC (which was known to be a luxury owned by only a few) to the world where everyone owns a smartphone which supports augmented reality, this has been a ride that none of us had dreamt of taking.
What is augmented reality and how does it work?
Augmented reality has become the latest buzz of our times. It is the future of technology and tech experts have been talking about it since 2012. Only now are people getting used to the idea of this new dimension of reality that makes use of digital technology to overlay information in different formats such as videos, images or tests, onto everyday objects in real world. Users can use their smartphones, tablets or headsets to look at the world through AR.
Although people might be confuse AR with virtual reality technology, augmented reality transforms static objects such as a magazine cover or any kind of printed advertisement into an immersive 3D experience using digital overlays. On the other hand, virtual reality uses a completely animated and computer generated world to immerse the user.
When the user points the camera, it scans the AR trigger to search for patterns of images or videos to be displayed over the view from the camera. As the user moves the camera, the overlay will also move, allowing the user to view the projection from different angles.
Is augmented reality really going to affect us all?
Augmented reality offers great deal of opportunity for every field that runs on digital marketing. It is sure to affect the consumers, as it gets introduced into the apps that will be used in their everyday lives. Google’s AR app, iOS measurement app, Facebook and many more brands are already deep into the use of AR applications for different purposes. The AR technology are being used in maps and tourism, teleconferences apps, medical apps, to have a real-time shopping experience and also in sports apps; it won’t be long before it takes over even the basic functionalities of any given app or a website.
Versions of AR technology:
Marker based AR: This technology uses 2D marked based triggers such as, QR code, Barcode or watermark. When the user points the device at one of these markers, it triggers the AR experience in the device.
Markless AR: A markless AR can use any part of the real world to launch an AR experience for the user. The apps that use the AR triggers can use GPS information to trigger AR when the device is at a certain location, or positioned at a certain altitude by the user. The best example of this will be the game Pokémon Go that was launched in 2016.
What’s AR used for?
Including information: AR can provide additional information to the users about the object that is being viewed, in a textual form or could be related 3D models and video animation. Many places have partnerships with different mobile brands, and create an AR app that can be used for uncovering additional information about the place. The best example of this use is the British Museum.
Virtual objects: AR helps you communicate with your customers and also allows the user to explore and try on your products. The best example of this is the new AR component added to Amazon app, which uses Apple’s AR kit to let customers place virtual objects around their house to see how the look it will go with their interiors, before they can buy them. The size of the products can be adjusted in the app, so that they match the dimensions of the room, offering a true-to-life sized view. Below is the reference video
Interactive and engaging experience: The AR technology has its novelty that makes the consumer curious and eager to use the same. The craze that has been offered by AR can be realized through Pokémon Go, the game that took over the world by surprise in 2016 and caught everyone’s attention. Along with that, Snapchat the multimedia messaging app started using filters for the pictures that used Augmented Reality in the year 2017, which again began creating a buzz among the consumers. So over and over AR has proven to be one of the major attractions for the consumers from all walks of life.
Future of Augmented Reality
As AR technology is still at its infancy, there has been an incredible boost in the number of people adopting the technology, proving its huge potential. In 2012, there were 188 million downloads of AR apps, which by 2017 had gone up to 3.5 billion downloads. The digital marketing industry is booming with limitless possibilities and many more untapped resources that are yet to be brought to their full use. The worldwide spending on digital ads is estimated to reach $229 billion this year and over $335 billion by 2020 which makes it one of the soaring industries of the world at the moment. And although augmented reality advertising has been mostly used by the early adopters AR industry is still here to leave a mark as it will gain more and more popularity as the number of AR users rises.
How does AR affect the way consumers deal with the brand:
Our take on it?
Augmented reality is the future of the digital world, and it won’t be long before the consumers get used to the ease that comes with AR. From clothes, to furniture, everything can be tried on in its physical form, before they finalize the product. AR has its uses in every aspect of marketing; be it providing additional information, entertainment, or helping with understanding the look and feel of the product in its physical form. Augmented reality is here to stay, and has a lot of scope that need to be tapped into.
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