Augmented reality acts like a magnetic force for businesses to attract customers, and that’s why companies are wrapping their heads by launching AR/VR applications that let customers stick to the end.
AR technology is everywhere, ranging from retail to entertainment to manufacturing. AR is there to change the whole world by bringing another wave of transformation.
In this blog, we will dive to let you understand what AR is, how AR is used in businesses, and the best examples of AR from world-class companies.
Table of Contents
What Is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is a technology that enhances the user experience by keeping the real-world focus in the loop. Today, there’s so much hype about AR, which has become part of everyday life.
Various tech giants are investing in AR/VR technology and shaping the world, including Google, Microsoft, Unity technology, Meta, etc. Several research studies found that AR is an immersive technology that enhances customer experience and transforms how businesses operate earlier.
The findings from Market research glorify that AR technology is flourishing and is expected to compound over and over by reaching $461.25 billion at the end of 2030.
With increasing users adopting AR technologies, businesses find potential to leverage AR technology in their business processes. One study from Statista revealed that there will be 1.73 billion AR users by 2024. So, investing in AR brings significant rewards for your business.
To sum up, Augmented reality is an enhanced version of the physical world, and users can experience augmented reality using augmented reality software.
How Is Augmented Reality Used In Business?
Augmented reality is used in a variety of domains as given below-
Research studies from Insight partners report suggest that the AR market in retail is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 24.8% from 2021 to 2028.
Augmented reality provides multifold benefits to retail businesses, which are as given below:
AR provides try-and-buy experiences to customers at a whole new level. With the traditional retail model, customers can only try hands-on products after purchasing them. Through AR, customers can virtually try the products with online shopping apps.
By integrating AR into mobile apps, businesses can provide unique experiences to users, allowing them to interact with products in exciting ways.
With the integration of AR in mobile applications, customers consider shopping more as a fun experience, and retailers gain a competitive advantage by bridging the gap between traditional retailing and online shopping.
AR reduces product returns as it allows customers to see how the product looks before buying something. Companies like Shopify experienced a 40% return drop because of AR and 3D visualization.
Various brands are integrating AR technology in their businesses, including IKEA, Topshop, Vespa, Adidas, Sephora, etc.
Augmented reality is shaping the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing industry used to rely on human-machine interaction, but now, with the advent of AR technologies, manufacturers rely on AR to automate simple yet repetitive tasks.
Here’s how AR is used in manufacturing-
Manufacturing companies can utilize the power of AR technology in providing product training for individuals and large groups. Employees can get immersive experiences by interacting with virtual objects in real time.
Usually, in the manufacturing domain, manufacturers face challenges in identifying the object’s location. While AR, in this case, proves to be a valuable tool for them, helping them to find the location of the object, view the 3D image of the object and provide navigation-related information.
AR tends to improve equipment maintenance by providing real-time information to technicians.
Machines that are used every day need regular maintenance. So, AR can help technicians by monitoring the state of machinery and detecting flaws, if any.
To provide unique experiences to customers, brands are integrating AR technology into marketing and sales strategies. Leveraging AR in their marketing processes helps businesses to boost customer satisfaction and increase in-store sales.
Here’s how AR enhance the value of the business in the marketing domain-
AR changed how brands conveyed products’ value to customers by bringing virtual manuals.
Companies like Hyundai and Mercedes are leveraging virtual manuals to satisfy the intent of customers. Moreover, Users can point their device camera at various parts of the vehicle and get insights about how to use it.
Without marketing, businesses won’t be able to reach out to their customers. A few decades back and since now, Businesses have been using physical cards to connect with their customers and spark conversations. With AR, everything changed.
For Instance – Nowadays, businesses use AR business cards for brand promotion and advertising. Using AR business cards, Customers can visit your business website and social media platforms by scanning a QR code using their smartphone camera.
AR makes it possible for businesses to create a buzz around their brand. Various brands, such as Pull & Bear, use AR filters on Instagram effectively and take advantage of AR to increase brand awareness.
For Instance – Uber, a transportation company, is using advertising campaigns to shock their riders by coming up with a virtual adventure at Zurick station. More importantly, that video went viral and hit 1 million views on their YouTube channel.
4. Logistics & Warehouse
Managing the complex processes in warehousing is a challenging task. While implementing AR is helping logistic companies to simplify their warehouse operations, transportation, and delivery.
Let’s see how AR is transforming the operations of logistics companies-
With AR, picking products from the warehouse now becomes effortless. Even today, most warehouses rely on a paper-based approach, which is, of course, a time-consuming task and is prone to human errors.
So, there comes the need for AR-based software that offers an extensive range of features, including object recognition, in-store navigation, bar code reading, etc.Transporting products has become easier using a QR code, which shows information about the items to be picked up.
AR has the potential to optimize transportation as businesses can now have an AR-equipped picker to look at the load and determine whether it’s complete or not.
Workers can now manage inventory and stocks by using AR wearables. Using AR wearables, they get detailed information about the product, and thus, they can perform tasks more efficiently.
AR technologies act as a goldmine for the healthcare sector. There are various apps and dedicated solutions for simplifying the work of nurses and doctors.
Using wearable, head-mounted displays, facilitates better interactions between the physical and virtual worlds, improving healthcare quality.
For example– Using an AR-enabled head-mounted display, the surgeon can examine the patient’s vitals without juggling between multiple devices. In addition, they can examine every part of the body to ensure that there should be a high surgery success rate.
There are various use cases of AR in the healthcare sector, including augmented diagnosis, augmented surgery, and augmented training & practice.
The National Army took advantage of AR technology in guiding its troops. It was way back before Facebook came up with launching filters for photos. So, you now understand that AI technology disrupts the military.
For Instance – AR technology is helping soldiers prepare for battle, dispose of bombs, or enhance their skills with the help of various weapons. Moreover, AR/VR tools are used to train recruits, provide immersive training experiences, and place them in mentally simulated environments without putting them at risk.
The main motive of the entertainment industry is to entertain people. With AR technologies, experiences become more interactive. No domain of the entertainment industry remains untouched, ranging from music, live events to movies.
Let’s understand this with another instance –
In 2017, a music festival (Coachella) was held in California. They experimented with AR for years, sending AR-enhanced welcome boxes to the participants. So, those who have already purchased a ticket can use a smartphone, and the box showcases a 3D screen with the festival ground and attractions.
4. Real Estate
Augmented reality is advancing the Real estate industry. The conventional way of buying the property involves going to the property agent’s office, doing some property tours, and spending countless hours finding the building you prefer.
So, AR has everything covered, allowing customers to take virtual property tours without leaving their space.
Earlier users took longer to invest in property because they were not satisfied with 2D images of the property. But, with AR, users can see the 3D images of the property, interact with it, and move the products from one corner to another. Thus, they are pretty sure of what they would get in advance.
For Instance – IKEA launched IKEA Place, allowing users to fit the furniture in their room virtually. It provides a photoshopping option to users where they can change the item color, save the AR images and share it with their friends before buying anything.
5. Education And Training
AR technology is increasingly adopted in the education industry. It was challenging for students and teachers to portray the concept and expand their horizons beyond what was highlighted in books and other references.
With AR technology, students can understand complex topics more easily through 360-degree videos.
For Instance – Google launched Google expeditions for students and educators as most educators won’t be able to take students to MT Everest. With this technology, students can see 3D objects in the classroom, and enjoy immersive school trips. Furthermore, the application provides 100+ expeditions to the students.
The future of Augmented reality in business is promising, and automobile companies are no exception. Using Head-up displays, AR can change the driver’s experience by providing instant information to the driver on the surrounding environment and road conditions.
Automobile companies are using AR-based presentation guides in car showrooms to provide insights to customers regarding different car parts and their functions.
One such Automobile company is Hyundai which helps car riders by providing AR-based presentation guides, helping them learn about car engine parts and their full potential.
AR plays a significant role in gaming by overlaying digital information in user surroundings. We all have grown up with Pikachu in grocery stores and spent so many sleepless nights catching Pikachu through smartphone cameras. But Pokémon was just the start, and there are more games than that.
With AR, users can play games, turning their home into a gameboard. A famous example of Gaming with AR includes Jurassic World Alive, wherein users need to catch dinosaurs, you can use your smartphone camera, and once you catch a dinosaur, the app generates a 3D image of that.
One study found that 71% of customers prefer to do online shopping from businesses that have been using AR. Moreover, trying products virtually helps businesses reduce their product returns and increase customer satisfaction.
Let’s understand this with an example – Sephora virtual artist app lets customers virtually try the products before purchasing. In addition, the app uses facial recognition technology to scan customers’ eyes, lips, and cheeks and determine how these makeup products would look on their faces.
How Can BigOhTech Integrate Augmented Reality Into Your Business?
You don’t have to mindlessly scroll because collaborating with us gives you a trusted partner that drives your digital growth. With a dedicated team of 20+ AR/VR experts, we are here to unlock your business game by providing innovative AR/VR solutions that adapt to your customer requirements.
Now, you might understand that various businesses are using AR to simplify their operations, improve customer engagement, and increase conversions. Businesses still unable to understand the real potential of using these technologies lack the game.
In the future, we will see more AR/VR technologies that bring huge transformations in various sectors. Think of AR as your business partner, and investing in these technologies provides long-term results for your business.
Q1. Can AR improve employee training and productivity?
Yes, AR can improve employee training and productivity as smart glasses now provide employees with step-by-step instructions. Workers no longer need to rely on experienced employees as they know how to perform each task. Moreover, AR training is cost-effective for organizations, and they no longer rely on creating physical training material or hiring expensive trainers.
Q2. How does AR enhance customer experiences in business?
AR is changing the way businesses interact with their customers. It provides a try-before-you-buy customer experience before purchasing. In e-commerce, return rates are 5x higher than in brick-and-mortar stores. But AR solves the problem by allowing users to scan the objects using a QR code, or users can try the product virtually.
Q3. How to implement AR in business?
AR can be implemented in a variety of domains in business ranging from Manufacturing to Automotive to military to entertainment and travel. Businesses can implement AR in 3 easy steps – 1. Do market research to identify customer needs 2. Assess the internal business challenges 3. Onboard an AR app expert
Q4. What are the benefits of AR in business?
Some of the benefits of AR in business are given below- 1. AR applications increase user engagement 2. It drives business sales 3. AR apps increase brand awareness
Q5. What industry uses AR the most?
Various industries are taking the full potential of AR, as given below- 1. Retail 2. Manufacturing 3. Healthcare 4. Marketing 5. Gaming 6. Education & training 7. Automobile 8. Real estate 9. Military 10. Entertainment
Q6. How much does AR cost in India?
Usually, the cost of developing an AR app ranges between $10,000 – $2,00,000. However, the cost of developing an AR differs depending on various factors such as the type of AR app, the complexity of an app, the timeline to create an app, number of specialists involved in creating an AR app.