What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is a type of technology that allows users to see real-life environments with a digital augmentation overlaid on them. AR combines three important elements: real and virtual worlds, accurate 3D registration, and real-time interaction.
Unlike Virtual reality, which is a simulated experience, augmented reality only enhances the real-life scenario. It makes a simple walk in the park seem like a true adventure.
What is Augmented reality used for?
Augmented reality had a lot of applications in various fields, including retail.
Some of the most common uses of augmented reality are:
- Archeology: Alcheologs augmented archaeological features onto the modern landscape which allowed them to formulate possible site configurations.
- Entertainment: One of the most popular AR applications was Pokemon Go. The worldwide phenomenon combined a game with a fitness activity (walking).
- Design and planning: Augmented reality can be used as a collaborative tool for design and planning in the built environment.
- Retail: Brick and mortar stores can use augmented reality as a tool for gamification. Also, make-up stores and fashion retailers use AR apps that show customers how the make-up looks on their skin or how a blouse is going to fit them.
Why is Augmented Reality important?
This technology can enhance any real-life environment which provides a lot of opportunities for different industries. It’s a great technology that can also be used to promote certain products inside the store.
Since it is a fairly recent technology, customers will be surprised by it which will lead to better customer experience and engagement.
Examples of augmented reality in retail
One of the best examples of augmented reality in retail is the collaboration between Kohls's and Snapchat. By using augmented reality they created Kohl's Augmented Reality (AR) Virtual Closet. Users can try out different clothes virtually and even make a purchase inside the Snapchat app.
Another great example is the one from Argos. Argos Augmented Reality powered shopping app allows you to see how different pieces of furniture would fit in your house before you make a purchase.