What is AR?
AR or Augmented Reality is an emerging technology that places digital objects in a real-world space. That means when you are walking around you can see and potentially interact with these digital objects in real life. This gives brands the means to put a digital landscape over real-world locations so people using AR applications can explore their towns and cities and interact with them digitally.
This can be done right on your smartphone! Your smart device can be used as an AR device and place those digital objects into the real world. Which means your customers can do this too!
That being said other technologies to access this augmented reality are in production with AR glasses becoming more and more consumer friendly. All the big names in tech are working to provide technology to make AR even more accessible; we are on the horizon of a new way to interact with the real world!
What are the practical applications?
On your smartphone there are apps that can be used to “augment” your reality. Google’s “AR in Search” provides a way for people to place objects like dinosaur bones or an elephant in their living room and transform their home into a virtual zoo or museum!
AR is also used by Google to scan real world objects and help you identify them, it’s used by big online retailers like Amazon to help you see what a product would look like in your space, it’s used by game developers to provide mobile gaming experiences that have you traveling to points of interest in your city to interact with.
The applications are endless and only limited by your imagination and the current technology while it’s still emerging.
How does this connect with Marketing?
AR has already started making its impact on marketing! Pokémon GO is a popular mobile AR game that launched in 2016 and was extremely successful. It had players visiting the points of interest around them and showing up to real world locations. The developer of the game has started providing brands with the ability to place a point of interest at their physical store locations and guide the audience playing the game to that storefront. What a great way to get foot traffic and build positive interactions associated with your business!
Google Maps already has an AR feature built into it which any business can utilize to draw more foot traffic.
The technology that Amazon uses to help customers visualize their products allows potential buyers to place them digitally in their own spaces. You will be able to do that with your products too!
All of this can work together in a modern world as we approach “Web 3” (the internet of all these future focused products) and the “metaverse” (how we use and interact with these future focused products). Just like you need to have a place for people to find you online, and you want your business address listed on Google Maps, soon you will need to have a virtual location too. Just like you need to market online as well as physically, you will need to market virtually in AR and VR and in the metaverse eventually too.
Not ready to make the jump yet?
Look we all know that first mover’s advantage on new technology can be the springboard that launches your business to the moon, but it also comes with a lot of uncertainty on how that will affect your bottom line and whether or not the investment would be worth it.
No worries! This technology is not yet widely adopted by any means. Your options for marketing in AR are still very limited. You don’t need to rush out to hire a 3D artist to digitize all your products immediately. This is all really just a PSA that it is coming. I would definitely follow along with our newsletter and blog so we can keep you posted as more advancements keep coming.
Who knows, maybe someday soon this will move from our Future Technologies pages to our Products page!