How Augmented Reality is Reshaping the Future of Business

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Recently, we received a question about augmented reality technology and its uses in business. The question, paraphrased, asked what NarraSoft thought of visual augmented reality (AR) as a way to increase a business’s conversion rate and web traffic, as well as reduce product returns.

Because the asker is a business owner, we thought, “Why not write a blog post about it?” We’re sure the idea of augmented reality and its uses have crossed the minds of other business owners, too.

Here, we will elaborate on our answer to the question and tackle related topics we think will benefit businesses like yours.

The Uses of Visual Augmented Reality Technology & How They Reshape the Future of Business

Here’s how we answered the curious business owner’s question. We said augmented reality technology is looking to be the norm for businesses in the future because of its uses.

In addition to this, we answered the following are only a few of the fundamental reasons why AR is reshaping the corporate landscape:

  • Users can virtually check whether a piece of furniture complements and fits their space, resulting in fewer product returns.
  • Interested buyers can try on different jewelry pieces and items of clothing from the comfort of their homes.
  • Novel product ideas can be simplified and understood better with AR technology.

All of these examples attest to the power of AR technology in helping buyers make an informed decision before purchase, thereby boosting web traffic and reducing the rate of product returns.

But what makes visual augmented reality great for business is how easy it is to work with, especially with the right augmented reality development team.

Image credits to Canva

How Visual Augmented Reality Technology Works

All you really need to make visual augmented reality work are skilled digital artists, expert software developers, and AR software development kits.

Software development kits (SDKs) are software tools developers use to build applications for very specific uses, like AR functionality. Instead of building a software application from scratch, developers get to bypass a ton of coding by using the pre-written code in SDKs.

It’s a prime example of augmented reality and artificial intelligence, two separate technologies, working together. SDKs allow people to experience digital art through AR technology.

But how do we access augmented reality-enabled 2D or 3D art? Today, technology is advanced enough to give us access to something as complex as AR through portable devices, such as our smartphones.

There are two common tracking methods to trigger the appearance of augmented reality art:

  • Marker-based tracking: uses picture markers or ID-encoded markers to call on AR graphics
  • Markerless tracking: uses specific parameters registered in the app’s database to call upon AR graphics

And both of these are employed by most, if not all, AR apps on our mobile phones.

A Mobile Approach to Augmented Reality Uses in Business

In business, the more easily you reach your target market, the better for your brand. This is why big brands are omnichannel, enabling customers to find them whenever and wherever it’s convenient. Most of the time, that means being accessible on mobile devices.

Augmented reality technology often employs an omnichannel approach, especially when it comes to its uses in business. You hear about brands like MAC having AR technology on their website so buyers can try on lipstick shades before making a purchase.

Or something a little too on the nose would be business cards whose design acts as marker-based tracking to call on AR graphics showing relevant information about the business.

Our smartphones are portals to the expansive world of augmented reality. They’re accessible, portable, and practically an extension of their owner. By looking closely at the elements of augmented reality, its practical uses, and a smartphone’s capabilities, we’ll see just how applicable they are to any business operating in whichever industry.

Image credits to Canva

Industries Benefiting from Augmented Reality

In an article in Harvard Business Review (HBR), the writers argue there’s a real need for every organization to integrate an augmented reality strategy.

They posit two ways in which a business may derive value from augmented reality technology — AR as the end product itself and AR as a useful tool throughout the production and value chain.

Gone are the days when AR’s sole use is in entertainment and video games. Now, there are concrete ways augmented reality is shaping businesses.

Examples of AR Uses in Business

Manufacturing: Augmented reality technology aids manufacturing by reducing the amount of waste resulting from the process. Because AR allows users to view a finished product and simulate its functions, there is less need for physical prototypes. Plus, manufacturers and designers can simultaneously and efficiently collaborate on a physical product’s design, all while being apart and simply using their mobile devices.

Real Estate: Real estate is one of the industries desperately in need of remote access technology, especially since the pandemic hit. With AR or VR to assist users in home-viewing — without having to leave the comfort of their couch — shortlisting properties becomes all the more convenient. Granted, it won’t substitute physically going to and seeing houses, but it’s an effective way to minimize travel time and cost.

eCommerce & Retail: eCommerce and retail brands can celebrate the fact that smartphone users and those not averse to AR technology love having augmented reality to guide them in decision-making. According to a study by Snapchat, AR is a powerful tool in retail. People like to use AR throughout the consumer journey, whether they’re looking for furniture, makeup, or apparel. So for brands requiring consumers to try on their products, why not give the option to virtually try these on?

AR in business isn’t simply there to impress your audience. It’s a practical, accessible, and flexible piece of technology valuable to any company — driving real results and bringing in real benefits.

The Benefits of Using Augmented Reality in Business

From training employees to assisting consumer journeys, augmented reality technology seems like it’s done it all. The visual nature of AR makes life easier not only for business owners but also for the people benefiting from their work.

In a nutshell, we can sum up everything by saying AR is all about enhancing the customer experience. Augmented reality technology does this by:

  • Allowing users to feel what it’s like to own something before it’s theirs, which provides them with a way to decide whether your product is right for them.
  • Reducing dissatisfaction among customers by setting expectations for what your product can do for their needs.
  • Optimizing your company’s operations and enhancing your workforce’s skills, ultimately translating to an overall positive customer experience.
  • Increasing customer engagement through AR-enabled marketing and gamified experiences.
  • Giving your target audience the opportunity to associate positive emotions with your brand.

In Summary

What makes AR so compatible with business is how applicable it is in virtually any field. Add in the fact it’s accessible through our mobile devices, and you’ve got a winning strategy.

Today, we see AR technology being used in manufacturing, real estate, and eCommerce, branching out from capabilities in gaming.

Through AR, businesses give their target audience a way to visualize and appreciate products better. In the long run, it enhances customers’ experience and impression of the brand.

Elevate the Future of Your Business by Partnering with NarraSoft

At NarraSoft, our experience in augmented reality art creation has enabled us to fulfill one of our missions as a company — to help SMEs grow their brand and close the gap between them and their customers.

Reach out to us today if you have any questions about the work we do. Or chat with us if you’d like to start working with our team today. Email us at sales@narrasoft.com or send a message our way through our chat box or contact form!

Justine Jordan

Justine Jordan is a content and copy writer. She has written for a popular business daily in the Philippines and for various startups across the globe before transitioning to work for NarraSoft. She graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a bachelor's degree in journalism.