Businesses today are eager to leverage Augmented Reality (AR) to provide a unique and proactive user experience. Building software products and hardware components with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is not a new trend anymore – many product and service companies are successfully using this technology to enable users to digitally experience the quality and dependability of their offerings.
AR merges the digital and physical elements and adds a “virtual layer” to the user’s real-world to improve comprehension. AR software, headgear, eye gear, and other AR-based products are widely used today for gaming, teaching, remote monitoring, and more. It is predicted that by 2024, there will be 1.7 billion mobile AR devices worldwide, a significant jump from the 200 million devices observed in 2015.
Revolutionizing the User Experience With AR
Leveraging AR has multiple use cases, depending on the situational context and the industry in which it applies. From interactive learning to gamification, here are the top four practical and quantitative benefits that are translating to the technology’s growing popularity:
Mitigate cognitive overload
Decision-making can suffer from cognitive overload, which happens when your working memory is forced to process a lot more information than it can handle normally. Augmented Reality shows easy-to-understand digital bits and helps users make quick and easy judgments. This is true whether they wish to find a tiny machine accessory by size or rate a restaurant’s popularity.
Provide unique user experiences
A positive user experience is the icing on the cake in a time when customer centricity is at the heart of many businesses. Augmented Reality’s biggest benefit is that it lets people have unique digital experiences that combine the best of the digital and real worlds. Integration of Augmented Reality in applications has unlocked a truly immersive experience. For instance, when a tourist points their phone at a historical monument, they can view the history, interesting facts, and other information directly on their mobile screens.
Enhancing user engagement
Another key aspect of providing a positive user experience is improving user engagement. Engaging users can translate to high customer retention, satisfaction, and loyalty to a business. The challenge is to deliver them exciting information at the right time. AR in mobile apps can be used to direct the users’ attention to product labels, advertisements, catalogs, and retail signs.
Marking your brand as unique
The industry is getting more competitive by the day, with multiple brands offering similar products or services. Every brand needs to stand out to make an impact on its users—and that’s where Augmented Reality helps. Nike and Lenskart are some common examples that have leveraged AR to make the shopping experience for their customers truly immersive and enjoyable. For instance, ‘NikeFit’ uses the customer’s smartphone camera to assess foot morphology and makes future online and in-store purchases easy. In a similar way, Lenskart uses AR technology on mobile and web apps to make a 3D mesh of the user’s face in seconds so that they can virtually try on different styles of sunglasses and eyeglasses.
Top AR Use Cases in the Industry
Businesses in the B2B industry are slowly realizing the true potential of this technology and how it has the potential to transform user experience and improve business outcomes. AR is not a short-lived trend. Adding a digital layer to the current world, or in other words, a “phygital” experience can add value to customer interactions and experiences. The key industries witnessing AR growth are field services or customer support experiences, automotive, healthcare, retail, e-commerce and gaming, sports & entertainment. Here are some of the best applications of AR across verticals:
Automotive Industry: Better Driver Experience
Augmented Reality is here to make navigation and entertainment systems better and to improve the safety of vehicles and the driver experience. AR dashboards that work with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), real-time street signs and accident warnings, and AR entertainment systems are some other examples. As a result, drivers receive instant information about their surroundings and the condition of the roads. A great example of a progressive infotainment system would be MBUX by Mercedes, which uses a blend of Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The system allows the driver to choose the information they want to see on a specialized screen located in the field of view. Moreover, the ‘Ask Mercedes,’ and iOS AR application help car owners to learn more about their car capabilities and their use via instructional videos and manuals. Driving simulations is yet another example that uses a combination of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (often called Mixed Reality) to simulate a real-world driving experience to train drivers in various scenarios without any physical risks.
Remote Assistance in the Manufacturing Industry
AR integrated with training applications makes expert multitasking possible. If a field technician is troubleshooting equipment remotely and gets stuck, they can connect with an expert and present a visual representation using AR instead of verbal descriptions. AR-based remote assistance makes it easy for technicians to access training manuals, tutorials, and diagrams while setting up and fixing equipment. For instance, during remote assistance, experts can simply circle the screws to be removed rather than explain which ones. This enables organizations to achieve faster issue resolution, cut operational costs, and reduce training times.
Technology experts believe that AR is a game-changer for the healthcare industry in three primary areas – medical professionals, education, and future research. In fact, the global augmented reality in the healthcare market is projected to reach $4.23 billion USD by 2026. AR helps medical students learn complex topics with ease without having to use huge textbooks. Medical imaging AR applications give doctors access to more options for diagnosis and treatment, which in turn improves the quality of care and experience for their patients. For example, AccuVein is a handheld device that uses AR technology to scan the vein network of a patient. The device converts the heat signature of a patient’s veins into an image superimposed on the skin, making them much easier to locate and helping physicians succeed in many procedures. AR-enabled simulations of different patient scenarios on mobile devices also help nurses improve their soft skills like social skills, leadership skills, teamwork, and more, so they can connect with patients better.
The world is becoming more digital than ever. With the advancement of technologies like AR, digital experiences are set to become more immersive, enabling companies to take the extra step towards enhancing customer experience. Augmented reality is transforming customer support experiences and field support services that have been the worst hit because of COVID-19 and lockdowns in various countries. As more businesses invest in AR, the question will not remain whether to leverage AR or not, but when.
Zimetrics is a data technology company that has helped multiple businesses across industries to leverage Augmented Reality and gain competitive advantage. If you’re planning to invest in AR, talk to our experts today to learn more about the technology and how we can help you deliver immersive experiences to your customers.