Augmented Reality or AR has become the area of interest for many industries since the last few years. According to research presented on Statista, the global market size of augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality is forecast to reach $300B by 2024.
After decades of use in military and aviation industries after it was invented in 1968 at Harvard University by computer scientist Ivan Sutherland, AR is set to go mainstream.
In this article, we have compiled nine benefits of augmented reality that you need to know. Let’s dive in.
Quality and engaging entertainment
Application AR technologies have changed the movie, music, and gaming industry. AR-powered audio devices are capable of teleporting the user to a different realm. Movies like Avatar and Minority Report have already proved AR’s impact in the movie industry. Games like Half-life: Alyx and Dead Space have increased the number of gamers trying to go pro by buying gaming PCs online.
AR can also be integrated with television that can add another dimension to the audience’s experience. Instead of being passive spectators, the audience has now become a part of the show. Artists like 2 Chainz and Travis Scott have used augmented reality to perform and interact with their fans.
Improved social media
Augmented reality is helping people all over the world to better interact with each other through AR content, 360-degree videos, and interactive videos. Social media platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok are encouraging their content creators to generate AR-compatible content for their followers.
The increase in AR-powered short video content, usage of AR avatars in the metaverse, and using filters and effects during video conferencing show that AR is already infused in social media. The creation of the metaverse and everyone’s rush to buy digital property is another example of that.
Better education and training
The L&D industry has taken massive strides with the integration of AR technology to improve learning and training experiences. AR can help students with understanding concepts with the help of interactive whiteboards and models. Teachers can take advantage of AR and help specially-abled students learn thoroughly and accurately evaluate their performance.
Microsoft’s Hololens 2 is proving to take training and education to the next level. With applications in many industries including manufacturing and education, the US military also signed a deal with Microsoft to use the Hololens 2 for combat training.
Healthcare and well-being
The application of AR benefits healthcare professionals, students, and patients. For example, AccuVein helps doctors and nurses locate a vein accurately. As a result, there are fewer escalations, procedures are completed faster, and the possibility of mistakes is lowered.
Learning anatomy and physiology with the help of AR technology has helped countless students learn fast and institutions reduce cost. Practicing surgery, getting remote assistance, and realistic training are some ways that benefit medical students.
Exercising and guided meditation have become more effective with AR where countless people are staying healthy while getting tips from experts from their own homes.
Immersive buying experience
Augmented reality has given the opportunity to many businesses to curate personalized and real experiences for their potential customers. For example, IKEA has launched an app that enables its users to ‘place’ furniture wherever they want. Not only has it enriched their buying experience but also has prevented the possibility of its users buying things that don’t fit in their space.
The real estate industry is also not behind. Showcasing of properties has become much simpler where potential buyers can explore lots of properties from one location. Interactivity and virtual reality have also made it possible for both parties to save time and money.
Leaders in the cosmetic industry like Sephora, are boosting their sales by using augmented reality to help their customers ‘try’ their products before making a purchase.
Higher customer engagement
Apart from improving the buying experience of their customers, many companies are using AR’s playground effect to increase customer engagement. For example, a winery has used AR to tell fascinating details about the wine in the bottle. All you need to do is point your phone towards the label through their official app and watch it go live.
Another way to increase customer engagement and satisfaction is by giving them support and assistance through AR. Teaching customers how the product works builds transparency and trust. For example, Toyota lets people take a peek into the cars with AR.
Apart from businesses, universities and offices are using AR to welcome new students and employees by giving them a virtual tour of the premises.
Advanced safety technology
Companies like Mercedes Benz are implementing AR to improve safety, and comfort for their customers. For example, many cars are already fitted with a heads-up display (AR HUD) that superimposes a lot of information on the windscreen on the driver’s line of sight. Furthermore, AR-powered navigation systems have proven their might in helping drivers avoid obstacles.
Safety across different industries has improved with the application of AR. For instance, interactive manuals and guided training have reduced the number of accidents at the workplace.
Reduction in business expenses
Augmented reality enables businesses to cut a lot of costs in training, manufacturing, research and development, and product delivery. As a result, these products are more easily affordable with a lower delivery time.
Reducing dependency on experts, assisting customers, speeding up resolution time, and reducing the possibility of error repetitions are some ways in which organizations can save money. As a result, customers are more likely to get better products with better experiences at an economical rate.
Competitive advantage in your industry
Another reason for which many companies are pushing forward with AR technology is to maintain a competitive advantage. Perks like safety, reduced costs, higher customer engagement, immersive buying experiences, and more give businesses a stronger push forward.
Companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon are investing heavily in augmented reality innovations. For example, the high-end iPhones of 2020 contain LIDAR sensors in their camera. Most, if not all, companies have already integrated augmented reality into their roadmaps.
While the full potential of augmented reality is still being defined, the apparent benefits of AR’s application are already well known. For both businesses and consumers, AR will bring a better experience with reduced costs. The upgrade potential and rate of innovation have also dramatically increased in many sectors.
Only time will tell what more benefits AR can bring to the table.