Guide to Using Augmented Reality in Business with Examples
Now, augmented reality in business is an influential instrument marketing specialists and business owners use to attract customers and grow their popularity on the market. Every business area has tried augmented reality and somehow integrated it into their strategy, from retail to recruitment. Let’s find out how to use augmented reality in business and browse through some notable examples when AR helped particular companies with their objectives and goals.
What Is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality in business is a technology that enhances real life with the added virtual elements that people can see using their smartphones or special equipment. Augmented reality finds countless applications in the business world, ranging from marketing and manufacturing to training and logistics. With such a range of applications, AR has an untapped potential that almost any business endeavor can apply and benefit from.
Difference Between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Many people heard about virtual reality more and can think of virtual and augmented realities as one element. However, these technologies have one main difference that distinguishes one from another. Virtual reality allows people to place themselves in virtual settings using their smartphones or virtual reality glasses. In contrast, augmented reality enhances real-life with technologically created elements. Thus, it allows using technology to place virtual images in a person’s house settings.
How Is Augmented Reality Used in Business?
Businesses from different industries started to introduce augmented reality to their customers long ago because every industry found that they could customize this technology for their exact needs.
Every retail company’s goal is to convince more customers to choose their product among the others. They found that using AR technology can lead to more purchases and then leading to more profit. For example, only the feature of product preview allows placing the 3D models of the products in the users’ actual surroundings to feel them and make a more conscious purchase decision.
The manufacturing industry started to look into the human-machine interaction long ago. The factories depend on the humans working inside them and controlling all processes, but many things can be delegated to the computers. These manual processes, like advanced AR training for the staff, quality assurance, and data analytics, give people more space for productivity.
Marketing specialists are always searching for ways to market their products more effectively. They were undoubtedly the first ones to use AR for business in an attempt to try something new. There are many uses for augmented technology in marketing, like augmented packaging or AR-enhanced advertisements.
Even though many processes in the logistics sector require human attention, AR technology allows making some things easier for workers. For example, transportation of products was made easier with the QR-codes showing information about the items that were picked up and the AR glasses that allow identifying products for delivery.
A report shows that the warehousing operations are taking up 20% of logistics workers’ time in their positions. The AR allowed reducing this time by providing workers with technology like augmented reality smart glasses to see the best routes through the warehouses and identify items meant to be picked.
Employee Training and Education
Augmented reality business made the HR industry easier with AR training. The employees can undergo advanced training when stepping into the new role or upskilling with the technology. Just imagine how more accessible education can be when you can read about the situations you will encounter at work and experience them.
Like with employee training, recruitment personnel can use AR to interview potential candidates and have a more detailed look into their skills and potential. For instance, recruiters can develop AR games to assess candidates’ skills and immerse them in real work simulations.
Remote Technical Expertise
The industry is still developing the best ways to use AR and has excellent potential in this area is remote technical expertise. The companies combine live video streaming with AR technology to make important events remotely. The most useful this type of AR business is customer support.
Design, Modelling, and Creating MVP
AR takes the modeling to another level because, with the technology, designers can see the 3D models of their creations. When the designs are taken off the screens and into the natural world surroundings, it allows us to see their every possible fault and needed improvement.
What Are the Advantages of Using Augmented Reality in Business?
71% of consumers say that they will shop more often from the brands that are using augmented reality. As a result, the AR business’s popularity is growing at unimaginable speed, and the reason for that is the numerous advantages for the companies.
Enhancing human decision-making
Machines can help us manage processes and create new products, but only people and their decisions are responsible for results. The technology can ease manual processes and handle data calculations that require a big team of people to finish. AR enhances human work, making it more efficient and productive.
Interaction-driven customer experience
An excellent customer experience is what every brand desires to achieve. The companies want their customers to be excited by using the product and experience the best that product has to offer. The AR allows taking this process to the next level giving the customers a chance to feel the product more closely and build better relationships with the brand.
Cost optimization and time-saving
Time is the most valuable asset we have. Every aspect of the work depends on how much time the company has and how efficiently it uses it. AR helps in all the product production stages and allows businesses to work faster and earn more money. In addition, investment in AR technology helps to save money in the long run.
Nowadays, the market has to offer millions of products that customers can choose from. You can hardly find a product that doesn’t have an analog that might be less expensive or have a more potent marketing strategy. The AR is still new for the customers, and it fascinates them and makes them want to try the product that brings them joyful emotions.
40% of consumers confirm that they would pay more for the company’s augmented reality product. It means that businesses can increase their gain by investing in AR-enhanced solutions. There are so many ways to use marketing with augmented reality that companies can easily choose one that suits them best.
Communication efficiency between employees and departments
AR can break barriers between teams working in different countries but on the same product. With the augmented reality business applications, employees can collaborate on the same project from other locations without losing their productivity level and gaining the result.
Big data for analysis
AR in business is suitable both for gathering data and analyzing it. All business owners know that data is an invaluable asset for company growth. The more information they have about customers, the market, and their competitors, the faster they can advance their product for the target audience.
Best Examples of AR in Business
Many companies explored augmented reality business opportunities and found their best use in every niche. Therefore, we gathered the best examples for every industry.
Brand Wannaby has shown a great example of understanding its audience that leans toward online shopping. For some customers, the inability to try the items on might be a blocker to proceeding with a purchase. The company decided to innovate its approach by developing and releasing an AR application called Wannaby Kicks that allows customers to try the shoes at home using the smartphone.
Fashion and Beauty
Fashion and beauty are two industries where AR technologies can change company-customer relations once and for all. Take the watch company WatchBox as a great example of integrating fresh AR solutions. The company has decided to develop a platform that will make customers closer to the product and allow them to try their chosen item on in the comfort of their homes.
What could be better than controlling everything that is going on in your flat when you travel using the phone? The landlords often feel they lose sight of their property when they are away from the location. The AR decided to solve it with the development of the digital twins. For example, Vera by ReasonAI accelerates commercial property sales by streamlining the property staging and personalizing interior models in real-time. With Vera’s help, real estate agents can transform buildings into AR counterparts and provide accurate 3D visualizations for all interested parties.
Paint company Dulux found an intelligent way of increasing sales and gaining more customers with augmented reality. What does their target audience consider the most when purchasing paint for the house? Of course, how the color will look like on the walls. Dulux developed a Visualizer app for the customers to use their smartphones and apply paint colors on the walls of their homes using augmented reality.
Working in the construction industry requires attention to detail and great expertise. Yet, even with all these, you still cannot know that the final product won’t have mistakes. So the GAMMA App developers thought of a way to see the possible errors in construction before finishing the project. The project benefits included rework prevention, tracking the construction process, and improving the construction plans in the early stages.
The augmented reality for businesses worldwide found its place in every industry, and automotive companies are no exception. For example, Toyota developed an AR application to allow customers to try customizing and choosing their dream car model without the necessity of going to the salon. Moreover, Toyota also released a custom AR solution to simulate the driving environment, contributing to their comprehensive program on providing a safe driving environment.
The healthcare industry has long benefited from the proper application of AR technologies. Dedicated apps and web solutions are released to simplify the work for nurses, doctors, patients, and drug producers. AR also benefits healthcare education, and the HoloAnatomy app proves that. The application developers found a way to combine AR with 3D modeling. As a result, users of HoloAnatomy wearing special AR glasses can see the most detailed visualization of the human body.
The main goal of the entertainment industry is, in fact, to entertain. So the companies are constantly thinking of new ways to do it. For instance, in 2017, the famous music festival set in California, Coachella, decided to surprise the participants with AR-enhanced welcome boxes. So every person who bought a ticket could use the smartphone on the welcome package to see the 3D model of the future festival’s setting.
Everybody heard about Pokémon Go, of course, but did you know that there are more AR games the industry has to offer? For instance, the fans of the Walking Dead can try playing the Walking Dead: Our World. Using their smartphones, the players can see the zombies roaming around their surroundings and catch them.
We tell the facts when we say that AR can be applied to any industry. Even the history lessons can be more fun with AR applications. For instance, Experience Real History (ERH) combines fun and education by developing a boarding game with cards enhanced with AR. Players can use their smartphone camera to make images on the card come to life.
Travel and Tourism
When you come to a new city, you can be confused about where to go. Where is the nearest attraction? What food place should I pick to try the local dishes? The World Around Me app solves these problems by allowing tourists to use smartphone cameras and locate the surrounding areas.
The technology made navigation so much easier already that we didn’t even know it could use any more improvement. However, it did improve with AR. For instance, the product ARCity uses augmented reality to make navigation between places even more to the point. Not to mention that even Google Live View of Google Maps apply AR technologies to show an accurate direction to a specific location.
Food and Beverage Industry
The favorite way to use AR for food and beverage companies is to develop augmented reality activation. For instance, the WE/AR Studio has created a custom AR experience for Budweiser that boosted the company’s exposure to social media. Users of this dedicated AR experience could activate the label using their smartphone cameras, capture AR-enriched content, and share it on social media with their audiences.
You might not believe it, but AR trends greatly influence the dating industry. For example, the first augmented reality application recently appeared on the market. Flirtar is just as good as its competitors, but AR makes it better. Among all the app’s cool features, users can scan the surrounding area and find other users from online to offline in a minute.
How to Implement AR in Your Business Step-By-Step
Creating the augmented reality solution for business isn’t easy, but it can be easier if you research and see what steps you should take.
Step 1. Research and preparation
The first step is the most important, though it is often overlooked. However, research turns on everything else. After researching the process, market, and customers’ needs, you can see what product to offer. In addition, you need to plan the whole development process, including the specialists needed, required tools, and time to complete the project.
Step 2. Development
After you have a team of specialists and the development process plan, you are good to start. The team of experts you hire will know what to do, so your responsibility as a product owner is to manage the process.
Step 3. Analyzing the results
The work on the project doesn’t stop after the launch. A significant part of the product is analyzing how it works. Did you succeed? What can you improve?
Many companies want to add augmented reality solutions to their strategy, seeing how popular and effective AR technology is. If you plan to make AR one of your core instruments, creating a house team of experts is best to develop and support the solutions. However, if you just want to try whether AR will be a good solution for your audience, you can hire a company with expertise in the technology.
We/AR Studio will help you through all of the stages of development of AR products — from understanding what solution you need to developing and analyzing its success. Contact our team at email@example.com to pick just the right solution for your business endeavor.