Augmented Reality (AR) is often seen as the less popular brother of Virtual Reality (VR). However, many businesses are beginning to adopt the technology and discover it's many powerful uses.
First off what is it?
While VR takes the user to a whole new place, AR deals with the real world. The official definition states that AR is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.
Like with VR, AR has received a big push from the gaming industry. The biggest and most popular example of this is Pokemon Go, which put virtual creatures for the player to capture right in front of them through their smartphone device. AR has been a big thing since 2013 with Google designing Google glass, a pair of smart glasses that display information for the user free of hands.
Other examples of leading brands using Augmented Reality to engage with their customers are:
Facebook and Snapchat project playful face filters onto the user
Specsavers invite their potential customers to 'try on' glasses from the comfort of their homes
Ikea encourages users to place furniture into their homes.
These examples demonstrate how AR benefits the user, allowing them to test out the product from their couch. A convenient and powerful tool making a real impact in the marketplace.
Augmented Reality is also being adopted by the manufacturing industry. Companies are using wearable AR, like Google glass, to improve efficiency and ultimately profitability. The AR allows the employees to stay in one place and receive instructions on processes rather than move around to get the information they need.
AR is a fledgeling tech that is making big strides so far this year, so who knows what will be next. Virtual tape measure perhaps?