Technology is advancing by leaps and bounds nowadays, so companies must find ways to implement new trends in their work methodologies, especially if they want to stay relevant in such a competitive market.
One of the technologies that has emerged recently is augmented reality and companies have found it necessary to implement it in their marketing strategies, as it increases the interactivity of consumers with brands.
But not all sectors have been given the same opportunities, and that’s where the key lies: in knowing which market your company is in and how you can take advantage of augmented reality in that industry.
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Business sectors that have taken advantage of augmented reality
Given the versatility of options for implementing augmented reality, it’s evident that different sectors were going to include it in their marketing and advertising strategies, but if you are not familiar with this technology, depending on the sector of your company, you can consider these examples:
1. Retail and e-commerce
Augmented reality has revolutionized the way retail stores and e-commerce platforms interact with customers, because by allowing shoppers to see products in their real environment before they buy them, AR has reduced the uncertainty associated with online shopping.
For example, fashion apps such as Virtual Try-On allow users to remotely try on clothing and accessories, which helps avoid returns and improves the customer experience.
In furniture and décor e-commerce, companies use AR apps to allow customers to visualize how furniture would look in their homes before making a purchase, increasing buyer confidence and reducing the likelihood of returns.
The automotive industry has embraced AR to improve both customer experience and operational efficiency because it allows customers to see how a specific vehicle would look in different colors and configurations, making it easier for them to make informed decisions.
In addition, technicians can use AR devices to access detailed repair information, which improves efficiency and accuracy in troubleshooting. In addition, manufacturers use AR at the design stage to simulate prototypes and test different features prior to production.
3. Tourism and travel
In the travel and tourism industry, augmented reality has enriched travelers’ experiences. Through mobile apps and AR devices, visitors can explore destinations in a more interactive and educational way.
Museums and historical sites use AR to provide additional information about exhibits and monuments. In addition, travel agencies use this technology to provide virtual tours of destinations and to allow users to explore hotels and attractions before booking a trip.
4. Education and training
In education, AR has transformed the way knowledge is learned and imparted. Some educational institutions and training companies use augmented reality applications and platforms to create interactive and immersive learning environments.
Students can participate in simulations and practices in a virtual environment that mimics real-world situations. This is valuable in technical and medical fields, where students can practice surgical procedures, experiment with equipment or explore three-dimensional models.
5. Health and medicine
In the health and medical field, it has had a profound impact, because healthcare professionals use AR applications to practice virtual medical procedures and surgeries. This allows doctors and medical students to practice and hone their skills in a safe and controlled environment.
In addition, AR is used to visualize medical data, such as MRI and CT scans, in a three-dimensional format. Patients can understand their diagnosis better and physicians can plan treatments more effectively.
6. Design and construction
In architecture and construction, it has also improved the way designs are visualized and presented. Architects and designers use AR to create three-dimensional models of buildings and structures.
In this way, clients and stakeholders experience what a structure would look like in its proposed location prior to construction. Construction teams use AR glasses to view plans and specifications while working on site, reducing errors and improving communication.
The technology has also been used to show what building interiors will look like once completed, helping buyers and owners visualize the space prior to construction.
7. Other industries
While these are some of the most exemplary industries for augmented reality, there are other sectors where it has been harnessed, such as:
- Gaming and Entertainment: using AR to create interactive and immersive gaming experiences, such as virtual monster hunting games in the real world.
- Advertising and Marketing: advertising campaigns incorporate AR elements to attract and engage consumers through interactive content and unique experiences.
- Food Industry: restaurants and delivery services use AR to provide customers with virtual views of menus and dish options, which helps with decision making.
- Real Estate: real estate agents benefit from AR by showing virtual properties to buyers, allowing them to explore the inside of a home before physically visiting it.
Why has augmented reality been so useful for businesses?
Bringing great benefits to different industries, it’s clear that the usefulness of AR is undeniable in different aspects. However, identifying and knowing what its uses are, as well as the benefits it brings allows you to better assess whether it’s viable for you to consider implementing augmented reality.
1. Improving customer experience
AR allows companies to create interactive and immersive experiences for customers, which enhances consumer relationships. Through virtual product trials to games and tutorials, it offers customers a unique way to interact with products and services.
- Makeup apps that allow users to see how they would look with different cosmetic products.
2. Product visualization and personalization
It allows customers to visualize products in their environment before making a purchase. This is especially useful for sectors such as furniture, fashion and décor, where customers can see how products would look in their own home before purchasing them.
- IKEA Place allows users to see how IKEA furniture would look in their home through their device’s camera.
- Eyewear stores that allow customers to virtually try on different frames to find the ones that best suit their face.
3. Training and education
It’s used in companies for employee training, especially in technical and service industries, because it allows workers to learn through simulations and practice in a virtual environment before facing real situations.
- Medical applications that allow students to practice surgical procedures in a virtual environment before doing so on a real patient.
- Factory training simulations that allow workers to practice operating machinery before doing so on the shop floor.
4. Remote technical assistance
It also allows experts to provide real-time assistance via mobile devices. Technicians can receive visual guidance while performing repairs or troubleshooting, reducing downtime.
- Manufacturing companies use AR glasses to allow technicians to receive remote expert instructions during repairs and maintenance.
- Live support applications where users can share their view through their device’s camera and receive guidance on how to solve problems.
5. Interactive advertising
Advertising campaigns can include AR elements that are activated by scanning images with mobile devices, giving brands a unique way to interact with consumers and increase engagement.
- Brands using QR codes to trigger AR experiences when scanning print ads, which can include interactive content, exclusive discounts or games.
6. Design and prototyping
In industries such as architecture, engineering and product design, AR makes it possible to create virtual prototypes and visualize designs before taking them to the production stage.
- Product design companies use AR to create virtual prototypes, allowing designers and customers to see what the final product will look like before production.
7. Industrial process optimization
In the industrial sector, it can provide workers with real-time information about key processes, machines and parameters, improving efficiency and safety.
- Some factory workers use AR glasses to receive precise instructions and real-time data on the machinery they are operating.
- Logistics companies use AR to guide employees through the process of picking and packing products.
8. Tourism and travel
In the tourism sector, AR is used to provide visitors with additional information about points of interest, history and cultural details when exploring new places.
- City tour guides that provide virtual tours with historical information and cultural details about places of interest.
- Travel apps that allow tourists to scan monuments for rich information about their history.
9. Promotion of events and activities
Companies can use augmented reality to promote events and activities in innovative ways, attracting the attention of potential attendees.
- Live events offering AR applications to provide additional information about performances, artists and activities to attendees.
10. Data generation and analytics
AR can collect data on how users interact with virtual elements, helping companies to better understand customer behavior and optimize strategies.
- Applications that record how users interact with AR elements, providing insights into which content is most engaging and how users move.
Challenges of using augmented reality in a company
Like any company, before making a decision about implementing a new technology you must weigh the benefits and obstacles to overcome, such as these:
- Upfront costs and technology: implementing AR may require significant investment in hardware, software and application development.
- Development and customization: creating custom AR applications for a company’s specific needs can be a complex and costly process.
- User experience and training: Successful adoption of AR relies heavily on user experience. Users may find it difficult to understand how to use AR applications and take full advantage of the functionalities.
- Integration with existing systems: Integrating AR applications and solutions with a company’s existing systems, such as inventory management systems or e-commerce platforms, can be a technical challenge.
- Security and privacy: AR may involve capturing and processing real-world and user data.
- Usability experience: AR applications must be intuitive and easy to use to ensure a positive user experience.
- Technological limitations: the quality and accuracy of AR may vary depending on the technology used and environmental conditions.
If in the face of these limitations you believe in the ability to overcome all the challenges, then you have a new tool for your company, which, if incorporated, could keep you as a reference and innovative company in your area, but is it worth it for you to be one? That answer can only be given by you.