The Future of Augmented Reality
The buzz of augmented reality has been around for a few years now, but where will the developments be focused over the next 5-10 years. Augmented reality (AR) as a technology enables brands to be super creative, breaking down barriers and limitations. The main industries where AR will prosper in the future are Gaming, Entertainment, Retail and Social.
The developments in the Gaming and Entertainment space are somewhat obvious as the technology gives developers and content creators a platform for creativity. What gamer doesn’t want a more immersive gaming experience.
In the social media world AR is pretty much in its infancy, with Snapchat taking the lead with their Lens Studio AR development tool. The development tool by Snapchat allows brands to create World Lenses that place an augmented reality 3D object in the social space of a consumer’s photo or video.
But what about the retail sector. How can retail brands use augmented reality to their advantage, increasing sales and delivering a true omnichannel customer experience?
Augmented Reality for Retail
Personally I think you need a significant amount of brand loyalty for customers to go to the effort of downloading an app in order to experience the AR product they offer. A very good example of this is Converse and IKEA. Both brands have very loyal customers and extremely well established brands within their respective markets. For me the IKEA place app is the best example of AR within the retail space to date. Not only does it breakdown the bricks and mortar challenges that a predominantly in-store brand has, but it also enriches the overall IKEA experience via the use of technology.
Check out this video of the IKEA Place app.
Customers will start to Expect Augmented Reality
AR is definitely in its infancy and companies are only just starting to scratch the surface. That said, there are some interesting stats out that show AR is on the consumers mind. If it’s on the consumers mind now and still in its infancy, then at some point it will quickly become expected.
- 71% would shop at a retailer more often if augmented reality was offered
- 61% prefer to shop in stores that offer augmented reality experiences over those that don’t
- 40% would be willing to pay more for a product if augmented reality were part of the shopping experience
*Stats from osborneclarke.com
The future of Augmented Reality for Retail
The future is already here, but adoption of the technology has only just begun. A great example of AR tech within retail is Fx Mirror. It’s an app that automatically measures body dimensions, allowing consumers to switch between items quickly while fitting to their body shape. So this reduces the need for the consumer to queue up in changing rooms and reduces the barriers for both the retailer and consumer.
What are your predictions for the future of AR?
- It is predicted that the AR Retail market will be worth over $1.6 billion by 2025.
- Adoption of AR will increase within the general public
- More AR hardware technology will be developed
So what do you think?