Whether in video games or surgery, augmented reality has the potential—if not yet the promise—to spur transformation. The consumer push for AR technologies is already in motion—MarketsandMarket expects augmented reality hardware and software sales to spike from $15 billion in 2020 to $77 billion in 2025. And Crunchbase lists more than 2,600 companies working with the technology.
A report from Futurum Research shows that 69% of surveyed consumers expect to use AR and VR technology to explore products in 2021. With potential customers prepared to adopt AR solutions, businesses can explore augmented reality marketing to create a better user experience.
The Zurich-based company Wayray is developing an augmented reality platform that turns a car's windshield into a full-fledged interactive video display. The platform projects a holographic image onto the windshield, giving drivers information access to maps and information on potential hazards, waypoints and the location of available parking spaces.
Augmented reality can work in the workplace, too. It can turn ordinary windows into information portals. Office windows could show weather data, news feeds and upcoming events. Heavy machinery operators could view precise instructions about where and how deep to dig.
Retailers could use augmented reality to display enhanced information about items in a storefront or share live updates about promotional offers, and some have found creative ways to leverage it during the sales process. Harley-Davidson has an app that lets prospective buyers customize and virtually test-drive motorcycles. Realtors are using augmented reality to show clients what spaces will look like when fully furnished; some augmented reality programs even let prospective buyers design spaces by moving and resizing windows and doors. Ikea's mobile app, Ikea Place, lets visitors see what furniture would look in their homes without leaving the showroom.
AR marketing can also improve conversion rates and reduce returns by minimizing post-sales surprises. ThreeKit, a product visualization platform developer, surveyed more than 1,800 American adults and found that 60% of them were more likely to buy a product if it was first shown to them in a 3D or augmented reality view.