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Beginner’s Guide to Augmented Reality Technology

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The best part of technology is the unlimited potential it has to create something that nobody has ever thought of, until someone does. To the average person, it seems as if technology cannot evolve any more. We constantly ask ourselves, “What could be next?”

The answer is augmented reality.

Augmented reality allows us to combine computer generated images and the real world, in real time. Some may confuse this with virtual reality (VR) technology. While VR similarly combines computer images and the real world, it is much less accessible to average users. VR often requires users to wear large, expensive headsets that take over the user’s senses and completely immerse them into the scene or situation.

VR transforms a real-life situation into a digital one, while AR places virtual components into our world. AR allows users to see virtual images overlaid with our own surroundings. Commercial and entertainment industries have already begun to embrace the new technology.

For example, the online furniture retailer, Wayfair, has created an Android app that allows shoppers to see how Wayfair’s furniture will look in their home before buying. According to dmnews.com, Wayfair saw a 57.2% increase in revenue in the third quarter when compared to earlier years. Wayfair is an e-commerce company and has experience in utilizing new technologies, but the mechanics are being used by others as well.

A few years ago, Coca-Cola partnered with the World Wildlife Federation to set up an AR experience that raised awareness about melting glaciers and what this meant for the polar bear population. At the London Science Museum, participants were able to step into a room that projected polar bears and breaking glaciers around them. Lexis Agency, a communications agency, reported that this campaign was successful in creating an emotional connection between consumers and the issue. Large companies such as Amazon and Target have also began experimenting with the new technology.

Whether we recognize it or not, AR is already used in our everyday lives. When watching a sports game, the lines and symbols that appear overlaying the game are made possible with AR technology.

This idea of augmented reality has inspired society to begin thinking about how technology can transform everyday parts of our lives. From shopping to entertainment and eventually industries like the medical field, AR and VR can prove multi-disciplinary benefits. According to Augment.com, methods using VR and AR have already been used to treat conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The newest Stephen Spielberg movie, “Ready Player One,” addresses the idea of technology taking over. The movie explores the futuristic idea of a world inspired by video games. The main character attempts to navigate this second world, but his actions in the VR experience have real world consequences. According to the Boston Herald, Spielberg said that he wanted to direct the movie because it asked the question “What kind of world could we live in just a few decades from now?” He also said that VR begins to blur the line between virtual life and a real one.

From a business perspective, AR can transform the way consumers approach their investment in a product or service. If consumers can immediately see how buying a product or service will influence their life, they may be more likely to purchase it. Not only does this give customers confidence in the product, but it does this in a conveniently accessible way, via a phone or tablet. This truly sets companies apart from others.

AR can seem out of reach for smaller businesses, but as technology grows, it is becoming more accessible. A few ways that small businesses can utilize AR is through interactive advertisements and customer immersion apps like that of Wayfair.

Customer expectations rise because of technology like this, prompting businesses to find new ways to reach consumers. Let us help your business in exploring new technology by investing in your own app. Get in touch with us at modernizedmobile.com or sales@modernizedmobile.com.

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