Augmented Reality, abbreviated AR, might begin to feel like the trend that never dies – we’ve been talking about it “hitting the scenes” or “changing how we interact with technology” for years, and yet its full potential still hasn’t stepped up to the plate. We’re still waiting for it to wow us and change the way we experience the world.
Bring on the AR technology!
Pokémon Go did show us how augmented reality could be fun in the gaming world – but other industries are still waiting for it to become useful for them and display it’s true ROI power. With the fast success of Pokémon Go we can at least be rest assured that the consumer public is more than ready to embrace this new technology.
Recently, the Entrepreneur talked about how Augmented Reality would shape the future of E-Commerce, upgrading the shopping experience as we know it today. Entrepreneur states that “The biggest hurdle customers so often face is determining whether a certain product is right for them. AR offers shoppers the confidence that may motivate purchasing decisions. Retailers, then, should be looking for ways to integrate AR into their stores. That will allow customers to view the in-depth information available online — including reviews, related products and price — while simultaneously looking at the actual physical product via a smartphone.”
Being able to shop from the comfort of your own home gives consumers a way to try before they buy… or even avoid driving to the store at all! Some recent examples are IKEA giving you the ability to place augmented reality furniture pieces throughout your home, or LEGO giving you the ability to see the final product in 3-D atop the box itself before purchasing, or even envisioning Converse shoes on your feet in real time.
Again, these features could be considered “gimmicky,” as AR uses have been more prominent in recent years, but consider the options on how to make sure to add a “useful” experience to your AR app. Consider the ability to add that product you are interacting with to a cart to checkout and having it shipped to your doorstop, or if the app can then make suggestions of other shoes, clothing, or makeup options based on the ones you are trying on in the digital world. And don’t forget the importance of customization to the Millennials – being able to choose style preferences, colors, and patterns after trying on some virtual clothing. AR can offer that personal shopping experience we’ve all been waiting to have during our buying process.
With the Augmented Reality Market expected to grow at 65% annually on a global level through 2021 via mobile devices, smart glasses, and head-mounted displays (HMDs), it’ll be exciting to see the possibilities that are in store for us all. Even more recently, the expectation for AR hardware accessibility going mainstream will soon be answered according to a post on tech blog Apple Insider. Apple “was granted a patent that enables ear speakers, cameras, and a heads-up display (ostensibly for AR purposes) behind the edge-to-edge screen” currently scheduled for the eighth generation of iPhones. Expect the demand for quality AR content to continue to increase in demand in 2017 like we haven’t seen in previous years.
What about travel and tourism?
So what exactly does this mean for augmented reality in travel and tourism? We are glad you asked!
According to Hospitality Net, “BEST WESTERN Hotels & Resorts began trying out back of house and guest facing AR elements for younger guests in 2015 was one of the first signals this new tech was going places. In that case, AR paired with the Disney Movie Experience allowed little kids to include themselves in scenes alongside Disney stars. The experience’s effect was phenomenal. As an example of where pre-experiences are for instance, Reel FX VR teamed up with Hilton Hotels and Resorts and GSD&M to take you on vacation in Virtual Reality.”
As we at Graydient Creative know, introducing a potential guest to your property typically starts with your website. How well you digitally sell that experience directly translates to your booking conversion success rate. With that said, consider using an AR application to offer prospective guests the experience of visualizing the property, exploring individual rooms, and searching for nearby attractions in an immersive and interactive manner. With the ability to easily include links to an external webpage within an AR experience (the button would launch your native internet browser with the link included), you can seamlessly allow the user the ability to book your stay immediately after they’ve been immersed in your virtual vacation experience from their very own living room.
Another consideration is offering an augmented experience while at the hotel itself such as the award-winning and nationally recognized “Pfister Augmented Reality Art Tour” that Graydient Creative created for the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, WI. We were able to offer a new and interactive way to educate and engage the traveling guests, or local Milwaukee residents, on some of the hotel’s vast Victorian art collection.
Let us be your guide!
As the world of AR changes and evolves as rapidly as the rest of the fast-paced world of technology – you could easily get lost in how it could apply to your own company and direct sales efforts. That’s where we would love to help you. Offering consulting services, or AR/mobile app development services – we’ve survived and thrived throughout 3 years of practical AR applications across multiple platforms and devices. We offer a wealth of insight into what works, what didn’t work – and what made the biggest impact for our clients. So reach out to us today and let us know how we can help you embrace the emerging world of augmented reality!