Have you ever walked through a mall and wished that somehow your feet would propel you to the right store with the exact item you were looking for? Well, with augmented reality you’ll be able to experience just that.
How about a new grocery store—isn’t it frustrating when you’re trying to shop on a budget but the veritable cornucopia of brands makes it almost impossible to find the best deal? Augmented reality will solve that problem.
Oh, here’s one. Imagine exploring a strange city. Sure, there’s GPS on your phone, but that doesn’t really help you because while you can see the streets, you’re trying to find a certain coffee bar, one which apparently doesn’t register on your phone.
It’s enough to make you want to stay home, isn’t it?
It sure is, until now.
We’ve entered the age of Augmented Reality (AR), which is changing the way people interact with their world forever.
Okay, I admit it. As someone who grew up watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation” I have a secret fantasy that of course involves experiencing a Holodeck. I mean, if you could walk into a virtual room that appeared to be a real, living-and-breathing world that you could experience without fear of pain or death, wouldn’t you want to try it out?
Of course, you would!
But the idea of a real example of virtual reality seems paradoxical to most people.
Yes, we’ve seen amazing advancements in technology in the last year alone; however, there’s something magical about the idea of a virtual or augmented reality that seems too good – and too futuristic – to be true.
But If you are one of the many who (understandably) feels the technology akin to AR is a fad or a sham, it’s not. It’s real folks.
AR, which is defined as “A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view” is changing the way people look at that world, and it’s changing the way we view every industry, game, and everyday challenge.
Consider the picture on the right.
In the picture, we can see a city street. But on the smartphone, you see that there are icons that – in real time – tell you more information about your surroundings than you would get with your eyes alone.
And that’s what’s special about Augmented Reality. The technology itself, ever-evolving, enhances what we already know, at the time we need to know it, to improve, (or augment if you will), your experience of reality.
So imagine yourself in that strange city, looking for your hard-to-find coffee bar. As you glance from building to sign to street to building, you’ll be given the information you need to find what you’re looking for.
Now, instead of avoiding a strange city, it becomes kind of…fun to take on that adventure.
One of the primary ways that businesses sell their products and services is by helping others: offering to solve a specific problem, producing a necessary product, providing useful and relevant information.
With AR technology, many different industries – retail, medical, even the arts – can evolve their marketing paradigm. Here’s how. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
When you think of the world of art, of paintings and museums, do you think about technology?
Probably not, right? I mean, when we think about famous paintings, we think of the greats of hundreds of years ago: Picasso, Da Vinci, Dali, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Botticelli. Works of art that have endured throughout hundreds of years of philosophies, generations, values, communities.
Have you ever strolled through an art museum only to discover that the silence and solemnity and majesty of age-old works feels intimidating, foreign, and almost scary? Or, have you ventured through modern galleries that showcase upcoming artists, but you aren’t quite sure what you’re looking at and why what you see on the wall is “good art”?
For those of us who may not be experts in art, AR technology can help paint a realistic picture of the artist, the history, and the piece so that we know what we’re looking at and what we may want to purchase.
Consider the photo below:
With AR technology, we now have the capability to walk into a museum or art gallery, focus on a picture or piece of art that catches our eye, and learn everything we need to know about the piece, the artist, the time-period, and the medium. In fact, if you want to purchase a painting from a gallery, contacting the artist becomes a simple click away with an AR application.
No longer does art, or any other product, have to be a mystery to consumers who are truly interested in expanding their horizons.
But there are other industries (infinite, actually) that can benefit from AR. For the purposes of length, we’ll discuss two more here: Medicine and Furniture.
Have you ever second-guessed your doctor, or wondered if he or she could have make a mistake? Of course, we all do that at times. It’s only human. But with the technology available to us, medical practitioners can now use augmented reality as a way to reinforce that “gut” instinct and medical knowledge learned in so many years of school.
Likewise, can you picture the last time you were at a furniture store? Imagine the myriad of options – it’s so difficult to buy a piece for your own family room when something is missing: Your Family Room.
But with AR, you can now see how the furniture will look before you step out of your house. And that makes for a relaxed and informed buying experience.
And of course, let’s not forget the incredible excitement that the gaming world underwent upon the advent of the ground-breaking Pokémon Go, a game that took control of the world with its amazing AR creatures.
AR is here to stay, it’s getting better by the day, and it can help you connect with your customers, the community, history, art, and the world around you.