How Augmented Reality (AR) is benefiting different Businesses to boost the ROI
Ever since the launch of Pokemon Go, the interest in Augmented reality is gaining steam. People usually have this misconception that AR is just for games or other digital-only applications. Various sectors have now started exploring the possibilities of AR in other real-world applications as well. In this blog post, we will look in detail about such real-world applications.
Unlocking the Prospective of Augmented Reality Technology for Different Business Industries
AR in Furniture showrooms
Have you ever been in a situation where you wonder whether that center table you want to purchase for renovating your home will corroborate with the décor of your Living room? To solve this dilemma, furniture showrooms are using the power of AR.
The Wayfair app is one such app, which helps people in selecting the best furniture pieces for their homes. In this app, you just choose your favourite piece of furniture which you are planning to buy for your home and point your mobile phone to the area where you plan to place this furniture item.
The app then gives you a life-size version of how the furniture will look in the room.
Major furniture manufacturer IKEA has also forayed into the world of AR by launching the AR functionality in its app, the IKEA PLACE.
There are even apps that let you virtually build your entire house with all the details like windows, doors, and walls along with other information. The Housing sector is a big beneficiary from the rise of AR technology.
Imagine the possibilities, you are an architect, and you want to show how exactly the house will look to your client. Just build a virtual home on the computer and show it to the customer using features of AR technology. This will not only give a better idea to the customer about the end result but will also save considerable time and effort on your part in editing and re-editing the drawings.
AR in Education
AR can help students in understanding complex concepts by presenting them with the subjects in an exciting manner. For example:- a history class is one of the most boring classes in the education curriculum. To make this class enjoyable, you could show them a virtual movie about the battle of Normandy. They would vividly remember all the details.
Similarly, a biology class would become much more enjoyable if using AR technology, the student could visualize the internal organs of the body like the heart, liver, and brain.
Understanding the complex concepts of physics and chemistry can also be made easier using AR. A polytechnic institute in Portugal has gone even further and is using AR to teach it’s students Maths!
AR in Retail Industry
The retail sector is extensively using AR.
Businesses are solving a fundamental problem of the customer, trying out new clothes. Whenever a customer goes to an apparel showroom one of the major dilemmas that he/she faces is whether that beautiful apparel would look good on him/her.
Many purchase decisions are postponed(read dropped!) because of this dilemma.
AR is already solving this issue in many places. You could choose your favorite apparel, click your picture and superimpose the garment on you, voila! You look ravishing.
The apparel looks good okay, but what about the size, will it be a perfect fit? There are apps like Virtusize which have even solved even this dilemma.
The cosmetics industry is using AR to its advantage with a technology called Smart Mirrors.
These mirrors are proving their worth by helping to boost sales, in some cases, by a staggering 31 percent! It is very convenient to use this virtual makeup try-on mirrors as the company does not have to keep samples of their merchandise, while the customers can try on different styles of makeups without the hassle of applying each shade on themselves.
If the customer likes the shade only then he/she can take the decision of trying on the shade. These smart mirrors are proving to be game-changers in the cosmetic industry, and we are going to see these more often in retail cosmetic stores in the future.
Even the Eyewear Industry has started using AR. Customers can try on the sunglasses or spectacles and see how they look on their face before opting to buy them.
Imagine the possibility if you could use your smartphone to scan the barcode or QR code of any product and know every detail about it. For Example:- you could just scan the QR code of a Washing Machine, and you will have a life-size image of the product which will take you through a virtual tour of all the operations that are there in the washing machine.
Also Read:- Augmented Reality in E-Commerce Sector
AR in the Manufacturing Industry
The factories of Lockheed martin and Bosch are already using AR. Using AR and IoT, workers can quickly identify if the manufactured part is within the specified tolerance limits or not.
The same technology can tell the maintenance team in advance that which spare needs to be replaced in a particular machine. This technology can even predict what would happen if you do not change the spare on time.
Lockheed Martin is using the AR technology to reduce the production time of F-35 Aircraft. With Sensors and Cameras installed on their AR glasses, the workers can assemble the various components of this complex machine 30% faster, improving their accuracy by 96% in the process.
Imagine the possibilities you are wearing AR Glasses, and you walk up to a machine on your shop floor. The lens scans the holographic stickers on the machine and data obtained from various IoT sensors installed in the machine and lets you know about multiple parameters of the machine.
You could gauge the efficiency of the machine within seconds using this technology, helping you in deciding whether to scrap this machine and take a new one or to continue using this machine.
AR can help in reducing the downtime of the machines by assisting the technicians in identifying the fault. The cameras and sensors installed inside a machine will give information in detail to the technician and even offer suggestions to repair the machine quickly.
AR can even help manufacturing companies in training new employees, making them productive in much shorter periods than it was previously possible. For Instance:- Bosch has trained around 10,000 employees using AR. A subject expert can also provide training from a remote location; this would save considerable time and money wasted in traveling to the factory floor. This is a revolutionary technology that promises to reduce downtime, improve efficiency and make manufacturing faster, better and more economical.
AR in the Automobile Industry
The automobile industry was one of the early adopters of AR. MINI used AR in 2008 when they gave a print ad, which, when scanned with your smartphone, took you through a virtual tour of the car.
Automobile manufacturers are using this tech in building their cars. For Instance:- Volkswagen is currently using a technology called Spatial AR to know whether the design of a new car is feasible or not. This saves considerable time and money and also avoids costly errors which can cost millions to the company.
Service technicians of BMW wear smart head-gear to conduct maintenance in an automobile. The device guides them through the process, telling them which tools to use and when to use them. The AR technology thus helps in training new employees and reducing the downtime of the car, delighting customers in the end.
Car manufacturers are also using AR to sell more cars. Audi city, for example, is a smart showroom which helps the customers in visualizing the features of all models of Audi without having to see them physically. Imagine the possibility; car showrooms could save immense costs that they incur currently on keeping an inventory of various models in their showrooms.
Carmakers are also planning to include AR into car windscreens to help the driver in minimizing risks. For Instance:- your AR could quickly help you avoid traffic which it detects by suggesting an alternate route. Also, AR could update you on dangerous weather situations like cyclones and assist you in reaching home safely.
AR in the Home paints industry
Paint companies are also using AR to solve the eternal problem of selecting the best color for your home. Project color by Home Depot is one such app. The app superimposes your chosen color on the wall and lets you have a feel of how the color is going to look on your wall.
The possibilities with AR are exciting; it promises to bring a sea of changes to all industry sectors. As with any technology, it is going to become cost-effective in the future, and the first-mover in AR will have a definite competitive advantage over others in this growing field. AR is coming, and it is coming fast, is your business ready to take the lead?