Guest Post By Author Serena Garner – Y Media Labs
About Y Media Labs
Y Media Labs is a full service digital agency on a mission to help our clients see what they cannot see themselves, and create incredible digital user experiences. We work alongside elite brands to uncover what we believe to be simple truths and most importantly, show them how an amazing experience can revolutionize the way they interact with their customers.
Pokeman Go! introduced the concept of augmented reality (AR) to the masses. By integrating layers of information and imagery over the physical world, AR for native app design and other digital products enhance user experiences in ways never seen before and likely in ways we have not yet imagined.
Here are just five of the exciting possibilities that augmented reality technology promises for the future:
More now than ever, people are shopping online, and the market will continue to expand for years. The single biggest pitfall, however, is product returns – currently the result of over 30% of actual sales.
The main reasons for these returns are clothing not fitting as planned and unmet expectations. With AR, companies are developing apps that allow consumers to see clothing on their own bodies or products right from the comforts of home. Doing so sets the appropriate expectations about a product and increases customer satisfaction as they truly get to “try before they buy”, even virtually.
Product and Information Search
Augmented reality can match the physical world to sophisticated mapping. As a result, the shopping experience will change with AR apps that direct consumers to specific stores that offer the item they need, map directions to get there, and even guide them inside the store itself to find the items. Comparison shopping and product research will be almost instantaneous as information feeds into an AR app to help make better buying decisions.
Product Design and 3D Modeling
AR has the potential to push the boundaries of creativity in product design while eliminating the time and money spent on 3D model prototypes. Augmented reality apps can realistically demonstrate a car interior design without the need for a test build. Space planners can see the results of their designs in real world environments. Traffic planners can demonstrate virtual scenarios for improving travel efficiency that go far beyond best-route recommendations of GPS apps.
Whether it’s business applications, shopping channels, or information-seeking, user engagement is a primary measure of success. By integrating game concepts into more areas, AR can improve employee morale at work, reinforce brand loyalty, or enhance employee, consumer, and student training.
By acknowledging behaviors with tangible and intangible rewards, AR can help increase interest and performance. This is accomplished through tracking team success rates, leader boards for competitive situations, or training scenarios keyed to specific job skills.
AR offers enormous potential for the healthcare industry. Everything from enhanced handheld diagnostic tools to surgery testing and planning will benefit from AR apps. Even remote areas with limited medical resources will have access to doctors who will be able to use AR for treatment assistance and recommendations.
The work environment will become more efficient and safe with AR apps that track production, monitor equipment at a glance, or suggest refinements to assembly lines. Employees will be safer with AR apps that track people in the vicinity of potentially dangerous equipment, monitor air quality, or guide them through chaotic work environments.
The Revolution Is Here
AR has already found ways to improve existing apps, from mapping systems that display routes overlaid on the physical world, gaming systems for leisure activities in most any location, and online shopping demonstrations that show how products will actually look. As consumers, employees, and other users become more familiar with the process, AR has the potential to be a multi-billion dollar industry that crosses all industry verticals and retains interest from everyday individuals.