Business Applications of Augmented Reality
Benefits of Applying Augmented Reality (AR) to Business
Augmented Reality (AR) tech has established itself as an effective business tool that can make a difference in the lives of your customers, suppliers, and employees when applied correctly to solving real business challenges. Some estimate that the AR market’s value is going to reach $100 BLN within the next 5 – 10 years.
While not every tech-savvy company has yet tapped into the power and potential of AR, the early adopters are sure to reap significant benefits, whether they come from retail, medical or manufacturing backgrounds. Read on to find out how you can, too.
The Ubiquity of AR
Why do we believe AR early adopters can win big by building their very own AR-powered solutions? The hardware needed to enable AR is already widely available as smartphones and tablets have been in use in business settings for a long time. Using AR is easy and intuitive, which means the learning curve isn’t steep at all. And, as the world becomes more globalized and people (especially in business) get even busier, having access to business services and environments through one’s smart device simply makes sense.
In the next few years, we will be trying on prospective furniture, shoes, clothes, and (gasp!) mates with the help of iOS or Android AR applications, without ever stepping outside the comfort of our homes or offices. Eventually, as more advanced sensors capable of touch, smell, or taste become a reality, AR will gain wider applications in our personal and business lives. The companies that facilitate this type of convenience for B2C and B2B customers, are those we will want to work with.
Maturity of AR and CAR
Unbeknownst to many, Commercial Augmented Reality (CAR) technology goes all the way to the 1960s, though it only grew on a wider scale in the last two decades. For example, the NFL has been using AR features to enhance TV viewing of football games in the United States since the late 90’s.
Two major components make up AR and CAR solutions and apps: the hardware (including sensors and receptors), and the software (apps and algorithms). The more advanced these two components get and the smoother their interactions, the better and more useful the AR experience can become, both in business and in consumer applications.
Commercial Augmented Reality Applications
Today, the market offers unlimited opportunities to apply AR to a wide
number of sectors, verticals, and industries. All it takes is a little bit of
imagination and a reliable software partner.
Let’s look at some use cases for commercial Augmented Reality applications:
Healthcare and Medical Applications of AR
Augmented reality technology can not only assist doctors and surgeons in complex surgical procedures and operations but is also a useful tool for training medical students in experiencing them first-hand before working with real patients. This helps accelerate learning and reduces the risk of mistakes during patient interventions.
Manufacturing and Production Applications of AR
AR can be a useful tool in designing, building and running modern manufacturing facilities. Using virtual maps and augmenting real-world environments can save time, increase architectural accuracy, foresee potential caveats, and explore the most effective options for placing equipment.
Retail Applications of AR
Retail environments have long made use of AR to enhance the shopping experience for customers. Traditional brick-and-mortar stores are converting to a digitized, click-and-mortar model, in which virtual, 3D shopping experiences offer consumers the ability to try before they buy, increasing confidence in the purchase decision, and in turn – customer satisfaction. AR-enabled smartphones and tablets enable enhanced shopping experiences on the go.
Education Applications of AR
Using AR to train students or employees can have tangible business benefits, saving time and resources, offering a higher depth of understanding, ensuring training consistency, and supplying unlimited opportunities to practice beforehand. In addition to medical training, augmented reality apps have been successfully used in software development, electrical engineering, and industrial manufacturing training environments.
Logistics Applications of AR
With the help of AR tech, businesses have an opportunity to increase efficiency and cost savings across the area of transport and logistics. Industry leaders DHL and Amazon are said to be taking advantage of AR headsets in their warehouses, helping workers find the most efficient routes to stored items that need dispatching. Here, using AR results not only in productivity gains for the business but also increases employee satisfaction.
Building Your Own AR App
Now that you’ve seen how powerful AR technology can be, what are some
of the considerations when developing your own Augmented Reality solution?
First, without a doubt, is finding the right development partner to work with.
Verhaert Digital has wide-ranging experience in building
successful, enterprise-scale applications in B2B and B2C.
Second, to work smoothly, AR apps must register images independently
from the device’s camera and its own images as it needs real-world measurements
to be accurate. There are several mathematical models and methods that can
achieve this result and those must be decided on during the early phases of
Furthermore, combining AR with geolocation features, not unlike the
popular game Pokemon Go!, can give your app an added boost, and should be
considered if it adds user value.
Finally, AR applications must be user-friendly, whether they’re B2B or
B2C apps. In the end, they will be used by people and they must make their
lives easier in order to achieve the desired stickiness factor that all app
developers aim for. UX and design thinking must be integrated into all phases
of the AR application development process.
Thinking of building
your own commercial AR applications? Contact us for a free consultation, we’d be happy to help.