What is Augmented reality?
Augmented reality is a technology that blends the real world with computer-generated virtual elements. In other words, augmented reality aims to combine the physical world with the virtual world through a computer-generated virtual overlay – 2D or 3D. In augmented reality, the virtual overlay is projected in reality either through people’s smartphone camera or smart glasses with the objective to make virtual and physical world interact together. This is often done with the help of computer vision and machine learning.
Moreover, in 2020, augmented reality became ready for its mainstream adoption for both corporate and small brands alike. This was because of its ability to quickly create an easy in-house augmented reality campaign. Due to which it became more accessible to both giant corporates and small brands. Strongly indicating that augmented reality is not a short-term gimmick but a long-term branding experience.
According to Engine Creative:
Over the years, the needs and uses of augmented reality has seen a rapid spike. This is mainly because of its innumerable possibilities to use. This technology – augmented reality, is widely used in various different industries such as the entertainment industry, healthcare, retail, education, military and defence, tourism, automobile and more.
Example of augmented reality uses
Some of the most famous uses or application of augmented reality in the recent past includes:
POKÉMON GO APP
To better explain the uses of the AR technology, it is nearly impossible to speak about it without mentioning about Nintendo`s Pokémon Go app. The well-renowned game was initially launched in 2016 and it became an instant success. Using the augmented reality technology, Pokémon Go allowed its users to catch their favourite Pokémon by looking through their smart phones in the real world – but with superimposed images. An app purely based on GPS and maps enabled its users to proactively search for their favourite Pokémon through their phones in gardens, streets, mountains and all over the world; significantly indicating that only good experience is required for mainstream adoption.
IKEA MOBILE APP
Ikea, famously known as a conglomerate that designs and sells ready to assemble affordable furnitures, kitchen appliances, home accessories and other services – in the tech world is also known for being one of the first companies to use augmented reality. In 2012, Ikea was experimenting with augmented reality, a technology that was meticulously used and incorporated in their new mobile app – Ikea Mobile App or Ikea place. An app that allowed their loyal customers and potential prospects to select different products from their wide range of catalogue to help their target audience get an idea or gist of how a product (table, chair, home accessories) would look at their home in real life. On doing so, through their mobile app with augmented reality technology, Ikea`s target audience can now have a real-life idea on how a respective product namely a chair, table and others would look in their house or whether it matches the interior design of their house prior buying. (link)
LORÉAL MAKEUP APP
L`Oréal, a leading global personal care and cosmetics company launched its makeup genius app in 2014 using augmented reality technology. ISimilar to Ikea mobile app, L`Oréal makeup app allowed the users to virtually apply or test makeup in terms of different shades on themselves before actually buying the product. On doing so, it gave an idea to the users on how the product would actually look on them after they bought it. Once consumers finalized the product, they were directed towards the shopping cart for final transaction.
In 2014, when L’Oréal launched the genius makeup app, it was an instant success especially among the Chinese consumers, which immediately garnered millions of downloads right after the launch. Additionally, using augmented technology in their makeup genius app helped L`Oréal to drive more demand for their products, largely because it allowed their consumers to try before using the product.
According to Reydar, in 2019 L`Oreal E-commerce sales were up by 49% despite being launched in 2014. Thereby strongly implying once again that AR is not a short-term gimmick but a long-term branding experience.
Source (https://www.reydar.com/augmented-reality-facts-stats/) – Reydar
AccuVein is a global leader in vein visualization. The objective of AccuVein is to help healthcare professionals to efficiently identify or see the peripheral veins on patients’ skin prior to drawing blood, IV infusion, blood donation and others. As a result, AccuVein launched their AccuVein AV400, a vein illumination system. This handheld scanner or medical device was created using augmented reality technology. By projecting the handheld scanner over the skin AccuVein AV400 help`s healthcare professionals to see the exact number of veins with regards to its location and type on patients’ skin surface. On doing so, doctors and nurses are able to hit the mark the first time correctly while drawing blood or starting an IV infusion. This handheld scanner or medical device also enables doctors and nurses to verify vein patency and avoid valves.
(To know more about AR and its role in the healthcare industry, click here. )
Future of Augmented Reality
With more and more mainstream industries and businesses namely healthcare, education, tourism, automobile, gas and oil, military and defence adopting the augmented reality technology, the need and uses of this hands-free, interactive technology has only increased and is expected to increase more.
To emphasize on it, here are some interesting key statistical facts predicted for augmented reality: