Why your company should adopt Augmented Reality (AR)

Over the last few days, both Allstate and SnapChat have released new tools built on the back of Augmented Reality. Which begs the question, why?  To understand why there has been a investment in Augmented Reality, or AR, we have first to understand what it is. "AR combines the real world we currently live in with virtual elements. The computer-generated augmentations are projected on top of reality in a way that is supposed to help us with our different tasks and help us with being more efficient in our day today(1)" AR has already been in use for years but as mentioned in a previous blog, did not hit mainstream users until Nintendo released PokemonGo in June 2016. This mobile game unveiled the practical application for AR in gaming, and opened up a new world of applications.

Fast forward to last week:

  • Snapchat, which is a social media platform, last week created  SnapOriginals. In the move to create more exclusive content, 12 short original shows have been released on the platform. Though this is a small number of "tv" shows, the fact that Snapchat is even experimenting with new media streaming has something to say about increased interest from the general population.
  • Allstate, an insurance company that services 16 million households (2), has debuted a feature called "Escape Route." The feature will let parents and children use their smartphones to mark a starting point in the house, trace a virtual route through their home. The app will enable better planning for families as well as provide additional materials regarding fire safety from their blog.
  • Artemest, an e-commerce startup that specializes in luxury Italian furniture, launched an app which is designed to better visualize objects and showcase the alignment of potential products. The user will be able to "place" objects at specific locations in a room and better imagine how the new furniture will fit into the room.

AR technology offers a more dynamic user experience - one reason why adoption has been gradually growing. What this indicates is that companies are not just experimenting with augmented reality, but that AR is starting to mature and flourish. These examples vividly demonstrate that industries as diverse as e-commerce, insurance, and social media are already adopting this technology.  AR has a bright future ahead of it, and it will be interesting to see what other ways AR will become intertwined with our lives.

References:
  1. https://www.colocationamerica.com/blog/history-of-augmented-reality
  2. https://www.allstate.com/about.aspx

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October 15, 2018

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