When most people hear the term “augmented reality,” they think of games. Sure, technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality make excellent gaming platforms. But augmented reality is growing up, and it is proving to be the next frontier in business innovation.
Our workplaces are becoming increasingly more digital every day. Think of what meetings are like these days: Everyone looks at their phones and laptops instead of each other. New augmented reality (AR) systems are going to bring the human element back into meetings by producing minimally invasive technology that allows collaboration because it doesn’t consume all of your attention.
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How Augmented Reality Fits in Different Verticals
There are many possible applications for augmented reality in a variety of markets.
In real estate, for example, people on the market to buy homes can use AR tools to look at the interiors of houses by simply pointing their phones at them. Home builders can use augmented reality to show clients what a house under construction would look like with one style of kitchen or bathroom versus another. Furniture retailers can even use the technology to show shoppers what a piece of furniture would look like inside their homes.
In retail workplaces, augmented reality will give customer service professionals the ability to better serve customers. Already there are virtual reality mirrors that can allow shoppers to virtually try on clothes without actually entering a dressing room. There’s also an application that allows people to try on nail polish before they buy it. Another application gives people looking through printed catalogs the ability to make purchases by pointing their phones at items they wish to buy. All of these applications are meant to create a more positive and hassle-free shopping experience, which will in turn revolutionize an industry that hasn’t seen much technological change since the dawn of online shopping two decades ago.
Travel is probably a less obvious industry that is set to be disrupted by augmented reality. Virtual reality, of course, is a popular way to “travel” to places you might not otherwise get to see. But AR apps can help you navigate places you’re actually visiting without the need for a tour guide or interpreter. You can already use your phone to get turn-by-turn directions; with augmented reality those directions are overlaid on the street view in real time, so they are easier to interpret. You can even get recommendations for sites to see and places to stop for lunch.
In any industry it can be difficult to keep up with the changing times, especially when things get predictable and comfortable. But it’s important to remember that, for your customers, “comfortable” translates to “boring,” and boring has been the death knell for many an industry.
You can learn more about how augmented reality could revolutionize the digital workplace across multiple sectors from this infographic. Are you ready to embrace the change that is coming?