Who can ever forget the Pokémon Go that made everyone go crazy! The mobile game garnered attention from every corner of the world, broke a spate of records and became a global cultural phenomenon. According to the Guinness World Records, the revenue of Pokémon Go was the highest ever of any game in its first month, at $207 million. So why is that game so popular? Answer is Augmented Reality. And why AR is needed for an AR app and what it means for businesses.
What is AR?
Augmented Reality enables us to get an enhanced experience of the real-world by overlaying digital information. AR is already being used by many brands for launching new marketing campaigns, products, viral marketing, and the potential opportunities are endless.
Different types of AR
Projection based AR:
Projection Augmented Reality or spatial augmented reality means delivering digital info to users within a stationary context. `This features projectors that project beams of light onto a work surface and on to some parts.
Projection based Augmented reality or spatial augmented reality is most commonly used in logistics, manufacturing and in production where tasks can be done in station, that is, users need not have to go to the workplace or move around in larger space. It is best used in assembly, disassembly, part knitting, welding, gauging, logistics, inspection, welding, and more. There is also no need for monitors or screens as the instructions appear directly in the task space.
Marker based AR:
Marker-based AR uses QR codes or other similar unique patterns with enough visual points or static images, generally called trigger photos. When a user scans the image or the photo with their AR mobile app, the app recognizes the marker in the physical world and places additional digital content like video and animation on top of it.
Markerless augmented reality also called as location-based AR works by detecting the user’s location. The AR app reads the data from the smartphone’s GPS, camera, haptic sensors, digital compass, accelerometer and location and positioning services and identifies the mobile device’s location. The location triggers the AR elements. For example, travellers or tourists visiting new countries can discover the most popular sightseeing tourist spots in real-time; they can navigate in the unknown territories effectively. For instance, just by pointing the device’s camera in the street, a person can find the nearest burger joint or a restaurant, or even translate the street’s name into their native language.
Ways to use AR in mobile app
Training and education:
One of the hot technologies that offers promising opportunities is Ed Tech, which includes Artificial Intelligence, game-based curricula, virtual classrooms, adaptive learning, and so on. Augmented Reality supports interactive learning, helps in enhancing the learning experience, promotes faster learning. With AR, educators can teach the most complex subjects without having the learners buy expensive equipment and materials.
With AR apps, educators/teachers can design their own content, plan lessons, prepare interactive quizzes, puzzles, and much more that make learning exciting and fun. AR in medical education helps learners practice surgery and medical procedures on virtual patients.
AR is helping online shoppers with “try before you buy” digital experience. Whether you want to know how the bathroom vanity fits well or check the size of your favourite brand’s shoes, AR apps make it possible for customers to visualize the products before their purchase. AR also greatly benefits retailers who are facing huge costs of returns. Interestingly, a study on the purchase behaviour of shoppers revealed, 76% of them would be buying more products if there was a “try before you buy” option.
Repair and maintenance
AR technology is increasingly being leveraged in manufacturing and automotive industries for preventive maintenance, corrective maintenance, predictive maintenance, compliance checklist, self-maintain cars, optimize the process of prototyping and assembling cars, assist technicians in car repair and more. AR apps reduce human errors, costs and downtime, increase fix rates, compliance, operation speed, profits and operation speed.
Marketing and advertising
AR is a game-changer in this field. Including AR into your marketing strategy can bring in a dedicated fan following whether brands are looking to increase their mobile app downloads, increase frictionless customer engagement, increase foot traffic in stores, enhance brand awareness, and facilitate smoother customer journeys.
For instance, the popular multinational beverage giant as part of their AR campaign encouraged users to submit videos of unbelievable scenarios in the real-world. Commuters and passersby were taken aback on seeing the bus shelter with giant robots, man-hole with tentacles and more. surprised passersby and commuters of a bus shelter.
The result? The viral campaign generated more than 4 million views on video-sharing platforms, 35% year-on-year revenue; the news reached more than 385 million people.
AR is a potential brand building tool, indeed!
AR goes one step ahead and helps in “hyperlocal advertising” where customers are not just informed about the right products of their interest as in digital ads, but are also guided with an immersive experience of products right on their phone screens.
The fact that Pokemon Go became a global sensation proves that AR is redefining the gaming industry. According to a study, the AR gaming market is estimated to touch $285 billion by 2023. It is bringing in new opportunities for obsessive gamers and game developers replacing the traditional consoles.
Tips to build AR mobile apps
- Choose the AR platform whether it is for Android, iOS, or Windows computers or MacOS. The technical specifications and requirements may be different for each.
- Decide on the type of AR you are going to create based on the industry domain
- Make sure to include an image recognition, and 3D recognition and tracking features. Image recognition allows the AR app to identify objects, places and images, while 3D recognition and tracking helps it understand larger spaces around the user.
- Decide on where the user’s data would be stored – local or cloud. If you add too many markers, it is better to have it on the cloud so that the app doesn’t consume more space on the device.
- Include a GPS feature, especially for location based AR.
- Work out well on the costs for toolkit and app developers. The rates might again differ based on the AR type. For example, developing a location-based AR requires additional tools like compass, GPS, etc.