How augmented reality is changing the business world
It all started with Pokémon Go. Although augmented reality app development has been popular for quite some time, no one really knew the impact it could have on the business world until the Pokémon Go frenzy happened in 2016.
When the game launched, millions of kids (and a lot of adults) were running around their local streets and towns, holding up mobile devices and trying to capture invisible creatures. Never before had a mobile game developer held such attention from not only a captive, but completely obsessed audience.
The success of Pokémon Go made it apparent to other types of businesses that in order to attract and hold the attention of today’s generation of mobile obsessed consumers, they’d have to get very creative. Augmented reality products became part of a lot of companies’ marketing plans soon after. And the number of tech companies developing augmented reality solutions skyrocketed.
AR is already infiltrating many other types of businesses besides gaming. However, it seems to be most prevalent in three distinct industries. Here’s how this technology is transforming retail, education, and healthcare businesses.
Augmented Reality in Retail
When it comes to the world of retail, the augmented reality marketing trend is rising. More and more companies are creating new applications or adding augmented reality features to their current mobile apps.
Swedish home furnishing giant Ikea recently launched “Ikea Place,” an app that allows users to see Ikea products in their home simply by pointing a mobile device in the exact spot they want the furniture to go.
BMW has an app that lets you get the showroom experience in the comfort of your own home. You can even “climb inside” the cockpit to view the interior of the car.
By incorporating augmented reality advertising into their marketing outreach, retailers such as these are not only connecting more deeply with their customers, they’re also making huge leaps ahead of their competitors.
Augmented Reality in Education
There are two things that AR does that makes it work so well as a tool in education: it holds the attention of the user and it makes the learning experience interactive.
Because most students are already heavily active in mobile gaming, bringing that level of attention into the classroom has enormous benefits for both teachers and students. Teachers are using 3D AR modeling to explain complicated math problems. Physical education instructors can get students to be more active by turning gyms into augmented reality playgrounds and landscapes.
Students learn best and retain more knowledge when they are actively participating in the learning experience, rather than just reading or listening to a lecture. Through augmented reality, a student can actually stand in front of the ancient pyramids or walk along the Great Wall of China. They can be placed in the middle of the Battle of Gettysburg. They can walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The possibilities are endless.
In 2016, Google debuted its “Arts & Culture” app featuring augmented reality. Using the app and a Google cardboard headset attached to a mobile phone, users can visit museums from all over the world in 3D and interact with several of the exhibits. This capability and the app itself went unnoticed for the most part. That was until January of 2018, when the “Find Your Museum Selfie” game went viral and the Arts & Culture app found itself at the top of the download charts for both Android and iOS devices.
Whether it’s in the school systems, the local library, books, newspapers and other forms of educational media, augmented reality is having a huge impact. It’s allowing “smartphones” to actually make us “smarter people.”
Augmented Reality in Healthcare
We are currently witnessing a number of ways that technology is changing the world of healthcare. Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and even simple health monitors and other types of wearables that are popular today are all disrupting the world of medicine. Many organizations are taking this technology to its next logical level, which is augmented reality.
For example, AccuVein is helping nurses all over the world get intravenous injections (IVs) done on the first stick through the use of AR. Dentists are using augmented reality to show patients what new cosmetic procedures will look like in advance.
And the sky seems to be the limit when it comes to all the ways the medical industry can utilize Google Glass technology… from automating the note taking and chart updating doctors and nurses do every day to helping new moms with breastfeeding problems. While Google Glass may not have been much of a hit in the consumer market, it has certainly found its calling in HealthTech.
In conclusion, augmented reality is set to disrupt practically every industry. Thanks to the prevalence of high-speed internet networks and higher-tech mobile devices, AR is going to become as common as text messaging and social media. We are way past “seeing the future” when it comes to augmented reality. We’re living it more and more every single day.
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