To celebrate his 30th birthday, brand manager Taylor decided to get a tattoo on the inside of his wrist. He wasn't sure if he should go with a dramatic illustration of his spirit animal, the wolf, or a flowing script rendition of the phrase, "Carpe Diem."
Which would be best?
Augmented reality (AR) to the rescue.Taylor downloaded an app called Inkhunter. He uploaded images of his two choices and used the augmented reality app to show a realistic depiction of each tattoo inked on his wrist.
A good definition of AR comes from Technopedia.com. "Augmented reality (AR) is a type of interactive, reality-based display environment that takes the capabilities of computer-generated display, sound, text, and effects to enhance the user's real-world experience." And every day, more and more enterprises are finding ways to use AR to engage with their audience.
For marketers and creatives, AR is a big opportunity to connect printed collateral, signage, tradeshow displays, and packaging with online assets, helping you activate brands, educate potential customers, and increase conversion.
Smartphones and tablets have built-in cameras. Using software to activate the camera lens, devices can read and recognize a symbol, image, or object and launch the AR experience. There is no single technology standard for anAR user interface today, but that could change in the future.
AR experiences can link users to videos, websites, games, 3D graphics, or interactive information. For example, a museum could use this technology to enhance self-guided tours. When patrons scan a painting of a medieval banquet, they activate "markerless tracking" linking the picture to an AR experience. That could be anything from a 3D pop-up telling more about unusual food served at the banquet (pigeon pie, anyone?) to technology that allows viewers to replace one of the faces at the table with their own.
Savvy consumer product companies, including Kellogg's, GAP,Sephora, Amazon, and Gucci, have already embraced AR technology to enhance their customer's experience. They are at the forefront of the movement for this ever-expanding tool.
As reported by Marxentlabs.com, the BRP Digital CommerceBenchmarking Survey reported that 32% of retailers plan to embrace AugmentedReality fully by 2022 and 48% of consumers shared they would be more likely to shop with retailers that utilized AR technology.
Retailers, both long-established and trendy, are using AR. IKEA was one of the first. They implemented AR apps to grant customers the ability to see products in their homes before purchase. The IKEA AR app helps potential buyers determine if the desired furniture pieces will fit into their space ahead of time, thus preventing frustration and returns. Home Depot employs theProject Color app and their online Color Center to let consumers virtually try a myriad of paint colors in their own home before committing to a final color choice. Build.com features an AR app that allows users to see what faucets, light fixtures, and hardware look like in their actual home.
What if you are marketing for products like software, manufactured goods, education, financial services, or a non-profit? Using AR technology can broaden your user’s experience and increase revenue potential. Creativity is the key, no matter the market.