Besides fulfilling our childhood dream of being able to run around and catch Pikachu, Pokémon Go introduced everyone to augmented reality (AR). The technology allows programmers to overlay real world objects with digital information. While augmented reality is unique, many confuse the technology with virtual reality. Virtual reality involves putting on a headset or device and being transported to another realm. Augmented reality involves an event being triggered by anything from a smartphone to wearables. With this flexibility and the ability to track interactions, augmented reality has many business cases. Here are just a few of the use cases.
The fight for mindshare is more competitive than ever. Potential customers have become accustomed to seeing traditional marketing methods such as television, online, and billboard advertisements. To capture a person’s attention and create interest, a company must differentiate their marketing. Augmented reality allows companies to present their materials in an engaging format all while tracking interactions. From simple messages to ice tea cans, the technology has been shown to effectively market products and services!
Regardless of what industry a company operates, training employees can be difficult. For employees working with their hands or in a controlled environment, the difference between everything running smoothly and a mistake resulting in a loss of millions of dollars is whether an employee remembers their training materials. To combat this problem, augmented reality technology can overlay instructions and provide information in real time to assist with any job.
While software sales reps can easily demonstrate their company’s products and capabilities, reps who are in more industrial industries or sell larger products have a difficult time. Augmented reality allows for products to be displayed in a 3D format with information integrated into the presentation. By creating an AR marker out of an image, the experience can be easily taken from one location to another and increase sales!
The fitness industry may seem like a weird application for augmented reality, but the technology can transform the industry! Instead of simply reading about the correct way to use a machine or complete a workout, an AR instructor can appear on the workout equipment and demonstrate how to properly complete an exercise. Augmented reality can also transform simple workouts. Running will never be the same when a screen shows you exploring mountains in Switzerland or being chased by zombies.
Facebook brought social interactions online. Tinder brought dating online. Augmented reality will bring digital information to real world social interactions! Coupled with facial recognition software, information can be displayed next to a person’s head. A person can customize this information to display anything they want. What we are talking about isn’t just floating information, it’s augmented reality!
In the medical field, understanding key pieces of information can be the difference between life and death. For doctors who need to collaborate across large areas, providing this information can be difficult. Augmented reality allows for information to be delivered in a 3D perspective with important aspects marked or processes demonstrated. Doctors will be able to collaborate more effectively by viewing AR information.
Collaboration isn’t the only medical benefits of augmented reality. When it comes to surgery, one wrong move can result in death. Surgeons traditionally have relied on information presented before the operation to guide their decisions. AR headsets and apps allow for surgeons to see information and instructions in real time. These headsets will allow for surgeons to be more effective and to save more lives.
The military sector has been using augmented reality for some time, but the applications are wider ranging than the current implementations. Identifying targets and processing information in the field can be difficult. An AR viewer can identify targets and obstacles while providing information to aid in decision making. The same type of markers that identify enemies can also be used to identify dead drops by only qualified recipients. Augmented reality can be applied to various aspects of the military.
Some of the largest furniture retailers have already started to include AR functionality into their mobile offerings. Traditionally, customers were only able to view pictures of the products. Now, models of the furniture can be overlaid onto any space to provide customers with an in-home view of a potential purchase. Along with furniture shopping, augmented reality is improving the process of shopping online for clothes. People can see exactly how different designs and colors of shirts and other clothing will look on them before purchasing anything. This advanced functionality will be able to drive sales for online retailers!
Architecture & Interior Design
The ability to present information in a visually stimulating way can transform architecture and interior design. AutoCAD drawings can be instantly converted into 3D AR projections that allow the user to highlight and mark notes directly onto the projection. When choosing between interiors such as wallpaper or windows, a designer can instantaneously switch between colors and selections in an AR viewer. Customers will be able to see more options and make more informed decisions all while experiencing a more interactive environment.
Those were only nine use cases for augmented reality. With the ability to create an augmented marker out of almost anything, the technology can be applied to almost any industry. The real question is, how can you imagine using augmented reality?