Welcome to the third and final blog in our series on Augmented Reality (AR).
In case you missed it, our first segment introduced AR technology and its impact on markets across the globe, while our second blog explored AR’s potential when it comes to marketing, today. Today’s final instalment delves deeper into the practical use-cases for AR today, along with some of the loftier examples of where its tech could take us.
Do you remember the introduction of the world’s first touchscreen phones?
If you had one, you were of course, lucky enough to be able to afford an extortionately expensive high-end smartphone. You were also probably unlucky enough to be pestered by people who wanted to ‘have a go’ for themselves.
Arthur C. Clarke said, ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ And touchscreens certainly had enough magic to magnetise the masses. Now, AR is taking a similar step from the realm of the mystic, into reality. And the timing couldn’t be better.
From the everyday, to the extraordinary: there are opportunities for the world’s biggest brands, most digital-savvy marketers and forward-thinking businesses.
From ‘business-as-usual’ collateral to ‘anything but ordinary’
In the age of the smartphone, you could be forgiven for thinking business cards have largely become redundant. But if the line ‘Are you on LinkedIn?’ doesn’t set you on fire, an AR business card could be a stronger opener when encountering potential business contacts in the wild.
Upon scanning your business card, the recipient could be greeted by a showreel video of your products, a short introduction to your business, a tour of your office locations or even live and up-to-date special offers – in fact, there’s limitless potential.
And best of all, creating an AR business card could be a lot simpler than you think. Prototypes already exist which simply work by the recipient scanning a QR code on the card with the camera on their smartphone – no special apps or software necessary!
It goes without saying: this tech doesn’t need to be contained to your business card. Product catalogues, service leaflets and even your quarterly reports can all be brought to life with some clever AR, making your brand not only more appealing – but more engaging, too.
Slow fashion with a quick impact
For those of us who treat clothes shopping like a competitive sport, aiming for a new P.B. each time we hit the rails, life could become simpler with the introduction of augmented reality.
One option, which many of us will already be aware of, is ‘virtual try on’ – both online, with the assistance of your laptop or smartphone camera, and in-store through specially-AR-activated mirrors.
L’Oreal was one of the first businesses to introduce AR ‘smart’ mirrors at beauty counters, offering consumers the option to try on cosmetics with ease – and my guess is this will only become more prevalent after the hands-OFF-your-face impact of the pandemic.
The gameification of the home (and office) makeover
Virtual try-ons aren’t just for people, either.
If you’ve visited the Ikea website recently (who hasn’t during lockdown?) you can now ‘try on’ furniture, wallpaper, tiles and more to visualise products in your home. And the same principles can be applied to commercial premises, too.
So if you’re selling high-end office furnishings, commercial signage, or even an air conditioning unit, you can easily make your products more impactful by introducing them directly into your customers’ lives – even if it’s virtually.
This doesn’t need to be just about chasing Pokemon. You can create a treasure hunt for adults which introduces a new level of interactivity between your brand and your customers anywhere you have a physical presence.
For example, if you’re attending an expo, you can place AR locators around your exhibition stand to deliver information about your individual products and services. You’ll stand out from the other exhibitors at the event, and be able to engage your visitors more effectively, keeping them attentive for longer so your employees can follow up the conversation too. And, again, it’s a great conversation starter.
If your business has a retail presence, you can replicate this experience in your showrooms – or even choose to implement an AR window display which could be used to great effect on social media, too.
A bespoke combination for a bewitching impression
So imagine this. You hear the clunk of your letterbox and head to collect the post. There’s a small, shallow cardboard box with a bold message printed on top.
GRAB YOUR PHONE AND GET READY.
You open the box, and a leaflet drops out: SCAN ME. Opening your phone’s camera app, and capturing the QR code, you’re taken straight to a video, introducing a teaser on an Amazing New Productᵗᵐ.
Upon further inspection, the leaflet introduces you to the brand behind the ANPᵗᵐ – you even watch a video about the team and see they’re local. In fact, their interactive office location map shows they’re just a mile away, where you can pop into their showroom for even more information.
It might sound otherworldly. But at Proctors, we’re making virtual, reality today. We can help you to create an irresistible campaign, whether it’s wowing shareholders with your next quarterly report or enticing new customers with clever interactive artwork in a viral social campaign.
Talk to us, and let’s discuss your possibilities at firstname.lastname@example.org.