Augmented Reality is a breathtaking innovative solution that assists in combining two worlds: digital aspect are introduced to real life. Surely this innovative technology could not have been unnoticed, yet it is unfairly mistreated and considered as a mean for creation of games only by too many businesses, the days of the beginning where we could barely imagine something greater than animated trains rolling around over a desk seen through the camera, visualized by smartphones. Those days are over.
Augmented reality solutions tend to advance and dominate the market. Growth of this technology by far succeeds even Virtual Reality development and headsets like Microsoft HoloLens are far more expected than their Oculus-like counterparts. In fact Augmented Reality solutions are expected to hit $120 Billion in revenue by 2020 if compared to $30 Billion expected from VR, which is a really impressive head-start. Why’s it so big?
Embrace the future!
For starters, users do not dive entirely into the world of digital technologies. They are granted with advanced possibilities here, in the real world. That is what’s really jaw-dropping. And, apparently it is this level of interaction that did the trick. Another great aspect is that Augmented Reality applications have reached far beyond mere entertainment. They are now commonly used in science, education, architecture and engineering. In fact, the first AR application (well, the one considered to be first) was created to assist Boeing engineers in their work and not to display funny dinosaurs that interact with real-life environments.
To have some background behind my words here is a little teaser-list of industries that already gain from Augmented Reality technologies and plan to continue investing in such solutions:
- AR in digital marketing: Applications that deliver pieces of digital world into reality are already hot and we have many examples of solutions that literally guide people towards commercially correct solutions. There are applications, for example that highlight directions, based on user’s location and surely they can guide to a public library as well as the nearest Starbucks place. Combine that power with smartphones everyone has or even AR headsets and you will see the future where printed ads fall into the past with despair. There are, as well other, deeper ways of marketing, L’Oréal, for example, has a free app that assists people with makeup. Users see their face through their device’s camera and apply makeup directly to that display.
- Direct Sales: many stores are already using AR mirrors that display sets of clothes and accessories people can try on without actually wearing them. Fast, smooth and accurate. And this list of examples may go on and on.
- E-Commerce and M-Commerce: ads and commerce platforms get more and more personal. People can now try out how a new t-shirt or a watch would look on them before purchasing it via internet. This approach significantly decreases return rates today, and simply imagine how big the industry will be in 5 or 10 years?
- Education: nothing beats interactivity in learning processes. If any student can read from a book and then visualize a 3-D model of what he has read about, interact with it, change it, shift or bend it – I’m quite positive such a student will learn faster. Colleges already have a race for AR as it attracts more students and, hence, brings more profit and even reduces expanses. How? By teaching in a better manner. There was an experiment once in Staffordshire College when students who learned to work with stone could learn through AR videos before they went to practice. This has resulted to 90% of students doing the gob right from the first time, if compared to 50% who nailed the task before AR was implemented in the curriculum. Such an approach dramatically decreased investments in supporting materials and visualized the potential of appropriate, up-to-date education.
- Engineering: People can model entire vessels or create buildings in environments similar to virtual ones with a slight difference. Everything, every last bolt is real. Designers and engineers can see and interact with objects that are so deep it would take entire teams to unveil them earlier. Constructors may, for example, witness all the wiring inside the wall or any machine, thus no damage will be caused to it while drilling or replacing a certain part. That sounds amazing.
Where is all this headed? A considerably young industry has already displayed vast potential and has its pioneers, but many businesses still have the chance to hop on the success-train. What’s stopping you?
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