Top 7 Industries that Benefit from Augmented Reality

Augmented reality boosted a few years ago when all the world was trying to catch them all. It doesn’t mean it didn’t exist before, but it was the moment the public tried and liked the AR app. 

A few years and a few thousands of applications later, the AR technology has reached a point when it is used everywhere. But some industries benefit from augmented reality the most.

1. Retail

One hundred twenty-two billion US dollars worldwide. That is how much revenue is forecasted e-commerce will generate by 2020 thanks to using AR experiences, according to ABI Research. Looking at the current trends in the retail industry, we can understand why so.

As customers’ focus shifted from offline to online shopping, there appeared a problem of making the right choice. People always hesitate about whether it would fit, suit, or how the goods look in reality at all. Retail companies have an excellent opportunity to solve this issue with augmented reality apps. Many adopt a try-it-before-you-buy-it concept and give their customers a chance to test, try, and compare the products. 

Sephora Virtual Artist, for example, allows its customers to pick the most appropriate color or shade of makeup; teaches them to use it properly; suggests buying the products in the same app. Timberland went a similar way but with a full-size screen AR in a mall, while Manor turned a magazine into an interactive catalog with prices on demand and video presentations.

2. Travel & Tourism

The travel industry has embraced AR in its full potential. At least, to the extent technology allows it today. Unlike retail, where the core idea is to show things in their best light, tourism and hospitality include many more options. Of course, it’s still about making the customer experience as full and pleasant as possible. 

Show, explain, lead, help, make the trip memorable, and the stay enjoyable is what AR apps are created for in the travel industry. The way service providers employ AR in their strategies goes from city guides and interactive maps to hiking routes and venue presentations. Such solutions as Hub Hotels by Premier Inn or Nhow Berlin Hotels AR experience bring brand interaction with the customer to a new level. Here are more examples of great ideas for AR apps in tourism.

3. Healthcare

Virtual reality definitely dominates the healthcare industry, but there’s a place for AR as well. The biggest advantage of augmented reality is its simplicity if compared to VR. There is no need for special equipment such as an HMD in most cases.

Augmented reality in healthcare serves mostly as a visualizing tool. As simple as it may sound, there are plenty of options on how to introduce AR into doctors’ work. This TED talk shows how using a laptop and a web camera, one surgeon can assist and guide another while kilometers away from each other. AccuVein is one of the most successful applications of augmented reality in healthcare. It helps medical staff to locate blood vessels projecting a map of those onto the skin of the patient. Though it does require a specially designed tool, it remains a great example of a simple and effective AR technology implementation.

4. Education

83% of information is learned through sight. Visual aids are not desirable when teaching or training. They are an absolute must. A variety of visuals goes from marker drawings and handout cards to multimedia boards and, of course, augmented reality.

AR solutions for education aim to introduce an element of gamification into the learning process both in and out of the classroom. The technology takes advantage of the power of visualization immersing learners into a vivid interactive experience that is fun and educational at the same time. 

British Museum did a great job with their A Gift of Athena AR experience: not only children but adults as well will enjoy exploring the exhibition with multiple mini-games and informative descriptions of items. Classroom AR can be used to make books alive or learn to spell while catching letters.

5. Marketing & advertising

This is it. Marketing is the very industry that gets everything it needs from AR. There is a whole set of reasons why augmented reality is a perfect tool with promotion and advertising campaigns.

The main one is that it works. It makes people remember the experience. It makes people talk about the brand. It makes people want more. Do you remember that super-creative thing Pepsi did with a bus stop? Eight million people have watched this experience online. Needless to say, the campaign was a success.

StubHub went another way: instead of creative, it chose a practical approach. SuperBowl fans, who intended to buy their tickets, got a chance to see the stadium and nearby area in AR. The app was really helpful when choosing a seat and planning the visit. The experience definitely contributed to the brand image in the most positive way.

6. Entertainment

The one it basically started from. Pokemon Go! is a phenomenon that boosted AR and made people talk about it. Years later, it is still here with millions of players around the world.

Interactive gaming is an obvious way to use augmented reality for entertainment. But definitely not the only one. There are many options on how to amuse people with the help of a smartphone and a little bit of magic.

Augmented reality can relocate the customer into their favorite movie right in the middle of the street. It is enough to hold a camera upfront and see the action happen as if the actors are here. You may not even notice, but AR is an integral part of Instagram and Snapchat. Masks and filters in these applications are a great example of the mass adoption of AR technology. Nobody can already imagine Instagram without a dog mask.

7. Industry

The times of bulky blueprints and complicated manuals are over. They will still exist, of course, but now in a digital form.

Augmented reality has shown great potential in manufacturing and maintenance areas. Having a visual representation of all the schemes, diagrams, and data cannot but make work easier. Many companies have already tried and tested it. Boing, for example, equipped its technicians with AR glasses that let them see the wires inside the fuselage as if it is open. A Vuforia-based app called Chalk allows people to fix some issues with a real-time remote consultation between the technician and the expert. No miscommunication — everything is clear and precise with the augmented reality feature.

The seven above are the industries that matched with AR the best. Still, technology use does not end on those: many other spheres and fields are making steps towards embracing augmented reality. So if you have a brilliant idea of an AR application that seems unconditional, give it a shot. And we can help you to make it work. 

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