Welcome to the Future: Exploring Augmented Reality

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Welcome To The Future Exploring Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) blends digital and real-life interfaces to create an unprecedented user experience. While the technology has been used for gaming and select retail spaces for a few years now, the need is shifting to include fully-integrated customer experiences for brands across platforms.

All-In-One

We tend to think about marketing avenues as single channels: print, web, social, digital, email, etc. However, AR on mobile devices allows us to tie in all of these channels in one place through the use of messaging, browsers, geolocation technology and apps.

Developers are able to turn anything from posters to products in the real-world into a personalized, interactive experience through creating an app, either downloadable from the Apple Store or Google Play or accessible through a unique web address. These apps then allow the user access to product and service information, the ability to physically visualize products in a specific space, and the opportunity to participate in how-to tutorials in real-life from the palm of their hands.

AR in the Wild

Here are some brands who are already leaving an impression on their users by taking advantage of this medium:

  • Lowe’s In-Store Navigation improves the concept of in-store maps. Not only does the navigator provide breadcrumbs that direct you to your product, it also provides item details you’d likely see in the online item description.
  • Lowe’s Holoroom takes interior design to a new level. You make interior design choices and then see how these combinations come to life in real-time.
  • Yelp’s iPhone app has an easter egg called Monocle that activates your phone’s camera and provides overlays of the same information housed in the app based on your actual proximity.
  • Aisle411 partners with brands to provide game-like shopping experiences. You can navigate through stores to the product of your choice while receiving up-to-date product information and personalized coupons based on your shopping history.

TL;DR:

The need to engage users, visually and physically, is a driving force behind the interest in integrating augmented reality into current brands. While still a relatively new concept, AR is being utilized in many campaigns already, and it seems like the technology is here to stay. As AR becomes more integrated into the everyday shopping experience, customers will begin to expect it; anyone who doesn’t adapt to the technology will simply be left behind.


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