Use of AR in the Mobile App Industry for Better User Experience

Telephones had a humble start — beginning their lives as nothing more than communication devices. Things quickly evolved for the phone, and today, billions of people depend on their phones for communication and so much more. Phones, especially with the advent of the smartphone, have transformed the devices into a connection with the world’s collective knowledge, directions, entertainment, and more. Smartphones give you access to calling and texting friends, social media, your favorite books, your bank accounts, all your photos, and as many songs as you can load onto the devices.

As a society, we feel lost without our smartphones, unable to connect with our friends and family, or browse the internet. For most people, when they leave home without their cell phones, they feel as if they lost an extension of themselves.

The evolution of smartphones has rapidly increased throughout the years. Starting merely as a way to call someone, users can now do infinitely more with the simple swipe of their finger. For those who were alive to watch the cell phone grow with advances in technology, it’s obvious why they are so valuable. However, for those who have never known a world without smartphones, it might be challenging to understand the significant impact smart devices have had and will continue to have.

How do mobile apps influence our daily smartphone use?

Smartphone technology is increasingly successful because, besides making phone calls and texting, smartphones provide directions via built-in GPS, take photos, play your music albums, keep track of your day-to-day appointments, and hold onto your list of contacts. While every smartphone manufacturer includes numerous built-in applications, users can infinitely multiply the power of their smartphones by installing third-party applications. By adding an application store on smart devices, manufacturers have opened an avenue for users to make their smartphones a daily requirement for work and entertainment.

The sheer number of smartphone applications available means there is something for everyone, regardless of how you use your mobile device. Nearly every occupation can find a use for mobile devices in their everyday operations, utilizing apps that are specifically engineered to make businesses run smoothly. Smartphones are now used for contacting others, in education environments, for finding dinner and keeping tabs on your friends through social media. Simply put, mobile applications have transformed our use of cell phones and the industries they affect, too.

Another way that mobile applications have influenced our smartphone use is through the rise of social media. Social media would not be the same if not for smartphone apps that give users instant access with a few taps on the screen. The growth of social media apps, and their desktop websites, has created an insurgence of new marketing techniques. Social media is one of the cheapest and often most effective ways for small, medium, and even large businesses to advertise to their target markets.

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality (AR), in some variation, has been around for decades. Still, it is only recently that the technology has been heavily invested in and developed to the point that it has been adopted into mainstream culture. AR has also become affordable, depending on the quality of augmented reality technology that is used.

Augmented reality is now a highly popular technology on smartphone devices. AR uses your device’s camera to communicate with computer-based image, voice, and other sensor-based input algorithms right on the mobile device. Augmented reality is a unique way for AR developers to present real-world images, details, and other interactive elements into the user’s real-world environment.

AR differs from virtual reality in that it does not include a new, fantasy environment. Instead, augmented reality inputs visual and sound details directly into a real-world setting. In other words, augmented reality overlays visual information onto the user’s reality inside the mobile device using advanced technology and the device’s camera input.

Why develop AR on mobile devices?

Augmented reality has become an essential communication mechanism wherein today’s companies implement AR in software products to entice new users and customers to their services. AR has reinvented the way applications both receive new information and deliver that information to the users through graphics, sounds, and interactivity.

Apps like Pokemon GO, Snapchat, and IKEA Place have revolutionized the way AR is used in mainstream society. These applications are only a small fraction of the number of apps on the market that utilize AR. Apps that use interactive augmented reality have the benefit of providing enhanced interactivity by meshing the physical world and the digital world.

But why should you use AR? Augmented reality provides a unique experience for every user. In gaming apps like Pokemon GO, users can catch and play with Pokemon creatures everywhere the users physically go. In Snapchat, users overlay augmented reality makeup and graphics onto their own faces to achieve new looks and interactive photos and videos. In IKEA Place, users can choose furniture that they are interested in and drag and drop the pieces onto live images of the user’s own home to see if they like how it looks. There are many more uses for augmented reality, and they are usually exceedingly simple in design and purpose. Augmented reality applications intensify user’s encounters with their worlds.

What are the benefits of augmented reality in mobile applications?

In furniture AR apps like IKEA Place and Amazon’s augmented reality function, customers gain valuable knowledge about products, its uses, and its availability. AR applications give users new, real-time information about products, rooms, and content.

Augmented reality provides a digital representation of an item, object, or entity within the customized context of the application. Consumers can change an object’s characterizations like size, color, and placement. Because of the malleability of AR functions, the fashion industry adopted augmented reality early and used the technology to change the way new looks are developed and brought to fruition.

AR applications are used by companies to reach a more advanced technophile market. Utilizing augmented reality in applications and advertising can separate a company from its competition by allowing consumers to interact with a new product or service fully.

Conclusion

The appeal of smartphones for accessing the internet is that you aren’t tethered to a computer or WiFi network. Most smartphone users have data access through their phone carriers, which enables users to go online nearly anywhere. This expanded access to content has changed the way consumers approach their use of the internet.

The advent of the era of the smartphone was a highly valuable development for both users and businesses. Smartphone users daily interact with the native applications on the device as well as the countless third-party apps available. Mobile devices have magnified the way consumers engage with social media, games, time management, and businesses.

Through smartphones, companies can place their advertisements in front of a more significant segment of their target market on entertainment applications, social media platforms, and built-in web browsers. Now, with the ability to insert augmented reality into their applications, companies are rethinking their presence on the smartphone. New digital technologies have changed the way companies work.

AR takes everyday encounters and changes them for the better, making ordinary activities more exciting and stimulating. Augmented reality benefits users and businesses and has opened newer better marketing channels. AR provides a creative way for companies to engage with consumers and keep them informed of new products, services, and developments within the company.

Businesses of all sizes have embraced augmented reality and its power because developers have made AR accessible and mainstream. Now is the best time to develop an augmented reality component for consumers.

Top Applications of Mixed Reality Today

Mixed reality is the combination of both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Mixed reality includes situations where both physical and virtual items can exist and interact continuously. Similar to AR, in mixed reality, pictures or recordings are overlaid onto real-world images on a screen through the use of cameras, glasses, or, commonly, headsets. The ability for physical and virtual items to interact gives MR technology countless uses in applications.

Because of the increased advancements in mixed reality and augmented reality technologies, companies are jumping on the opportunity to reach new customers, meaning that the demand for AR and MR apps is set to reach $4 billion in 2020. With this, it’s easy to understand why new uses for AR and MR in headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 are drastically increasing the mainstream use of these technologies. HoloLens 2 is a wearable, holographic PC that has planned applications in schools, universities, and many other industries.

The most common uses for AR and MR include social media and gaming. Applications like Snapchat, Pokemon GO, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite have made augmented and mixed reality use more familiar and accessible than ever.

How is mixed reality being used?

Mixed reality is not quite as mainstream as AR and VR. Still, it sees rapid advancements to make it easier for users to access MR apps and for companies to develop new mixed reality uses for everyday practices and advertising.

MR gadgets like the HoloLens 2 are not found as frequently as typical VR headsets and AR elements built into apps like Snapchat. However, technology is always relentlessly expanding and finding new uses for MR as well as AR and VR. The use of mixed reality is going to expand as new users adopt the technology into their everyday lives quickly.

Most of today’s MR use includes specific objectives and includes advanced applications within a variety of different fields and industries.

MR in Education

Mixed reality is seeing a boom in education usage. Schools and universities are adopting technology to improve students’ access to new materials and their capacity to learn. Students can also customize the way they learn.

With MR 3D projections, students can interact and control digital objects and materials in a way that significantly impacts and improves their learning experience. Mixed reality can overlay 3D objects into classrooms to allow students to observe and measure items they wouldn’t usually see. Students thereby increase their understanding of the world around them.

MR in Entertainment

VR and AR entertainment has been around for a long time, often in rudimentary variations. Virtual reality is probably the most accessible and mainstream version of changed reality, outpacing AR, and MR developments. However, expanded reality games and other entertainment applications like Pokemon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has advanced the world of AR and MR, motivating app developers to add more options for gamers. There is little doubt that enhanced reality gaming will disappear any time soon.

In the gaming industry, the possibility of blending games with films opens a new way avenue for mixed reality to become mainstream. For example, Netflix has developed You vs. Wild, which is an interactive series wherein the user makes critical decisions that help the main character survive and complete missions. You vs. Wild uses an advanced variation of mixed reality to enhance the watchers’ experience with the show.

MR entertainment is also advancing with the help of organizations like Magic Leap, Lucasfilm, and Industrial Light and Magic, all of whom are diving into the world of MR entertainment to increase their fan base.

MR in Healthcare

Mixed reality has made its way into the healthcare industry, providing countless potential applications. The best example is healthcare education, where MR allows medical students to see within a patient without performing any procedures. Another is called over-the-shoulder medical procedures. Students are instructed remotely by specialists as the students perform complicated medical procedures.

MR is also associated with intelligent learning where 3D models of bodily systems are presented to the students for them to see and learn about each system in a virtual setting. Mixed reality replaces 2D images, increasing the interactivity of learning and the chances that medical students are better prepared to handle real patients.

The Infrastructure of Mixed Reality

MR is commonly associated with a special headset, but it is also built out of complicated frameworks that require sensors and cameras to create a full picture. Some MR technologies incorporate movable sensors that are used remotely, while other technologies, like Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, include everything inside the headset.

The infrastructure of mixed reality headsets natively includes sensors, cameras, infrared locators, and trackers. Headsets provide a complicated yet simple interface between the user and the virtual world.

Going forward, many MR applications will include running information through the cloud, which can consist of a heavy burden of data transmission. Thankfully, MR technology includes broadband advances like 5G and MEC to lower inactivity speeds. This means that users’ VR, AR, and MR applications are stored in the cloud with easy access provided the correct equipment is used for retrieval.

Conclusion

Mixed reality technology and uses aren’t advancing as rapidly as augmented and virtual reality, but it is quickly becoming more prevalent in every day enhanced reality use. MR is currently used in industries like education, healthcare, and entertainment to allow users to engage with a different version of their world for both expanded learning and intensified gaming. As MR advancement continues, it’s reasonable to expect further migration of MR into mainstream society.

However, to ensure its timely use in business and personal use, MR requires more advances in infrastructure. Transfer speeds, dormancy, register, and capacity elements of mixed reality need to rapidly advance if MR is going to become as prevalent as augmented and virtual reality.

Augmented Reality Will Change the Way You Do Business

Augmented reality (AR) is the latest and perhaps most significant marketing trend to develop in recent years. More and more businesses are shifting their focus away from traditional marketing campaigns and diving into the world of augmented reality. Why? Because AR technology opens new channels for advertising and marketing opportunities. AR marketing can tap into customer markets that might seem out of reach with traditional methods.

The concept of marketing with augmented reality is becoming more mainstream and is seeing an increase in both use and new developments. However, there are still many companies who are not using or are under using augmented reality, which is potentially costing them significant returns on investment.

What is augmented reality?

AR technology is a combination of virtual objects with real-world environments. AR is different from virtual reality in that augmented reality does not immerse the user into a fantasy world. AR uses the real environment a user is in to enhance their engagement with virtual objects, makeup, creatures, and more.

Augmented reality adds to the existing world instead of creating a new world by digitally overlaying virtual objects onto the real world.

How is augmented reality used?

Augmented reality is developed by superimposing digital information in a real-world environment. The goal of AR is to provide an interactive experience for users where they can perceive both the real and the digital at the same time, all through the use of a camera on a mobile device.

AR gives users a new type of experience that companies everywhere are tapping into, and many businesses are now incorporating augmented reality into their digital marketing campaigns. There is, naturally, a constant trend of consumers purchasing, using, and engaging with new technological advancements. Companies can use this trend to their benefit by staying on top of modern technology, including the changes in the enhanced reality world.

What are the benefits of augmented reality?

  1. Rich and immersive experiences. Augmented reality provides customers with the chance to interact with digital objects right in their own homes. For businesses selling furniture like IKEA and Amazon, augmented reality capabilities mean that consumers can place furniture around their home to analyze the product and see how it fits in their house. AR gives customers more information on the products and significantly helps in the decision-making process.
  2. More avenues for advertising. AR allows unprecedented opportunities for companies of any size to advertise in more engaging ways. Through augmented reality, businesses can introduce new products and services and build brand awareness. Companies can showcase their latest developments and show consumers exactly how their brand can fit into the customer’s life. Gone are the days of heavy content, webpage banners, and other traditional marketing campaigns.
  3. Blend gaming with marketing. With augmented reality, marketers can add a gaming element to their advertisements that taps into the consumer’s competitive and child-like side. Applications like Snapchat include AR filters that are entertaining for how they make the user look, and for the game the users play inside the filter. Customers experience the brand in a new way and are left with lasting impressions that can convert into sales.
  4. Personalized experiences. Integrating augmented reality directly into an established application or website can boost a company’s conversion rate and shorten the length of time a customer takes between showing interest in a product and purchasing it. AR allows consumers to personalize their experience with the brand, placing objects directly into their environment or onto their own image to help with the decision-making process. IKEA, Amazon, and makeup brand Sephora all have an AR marketing element that lets users digitally try products before buying them.

What are some examples of AR in marketing?

  1. IKEA Place

Customers can place digital copies of furniture into their homes to see how it will look and to check where they would like to place it.

  1. Pepsi

Pepsi developed an AR campaign that lets customers use an augmented reality window beside a bus station’s wall to view UFOs, tigers, and robots.

  1. Sephora

Sephora now includes an app that allows consumers to try on makeup before they buy it. Using the front-facing camera, customers can take selfies while wearing digital makeup.

  1. BBVA

BBVA gives consumers the chance to search homes and view details about the house and the potential cost.

How WebAR Will Change Advertising

Augmented reality (AR) has been around for some time, gaining its moniker around 1990. However, the technology wasn’t heavily invested in or advanced until more recently. A few short years ago, AR took flight and began to take the internet and application world by storm. AR is considered a valuable addition to the enhanced reality lineup, and technophiles often use the technology in their everyday lives. Web-based augmented reality is quickly becoming more mainstream, and developers are adding more AR abilities than ever before. A company called 8th wall has created a platform that will help speed up the accessibility of WebAR.

Web Augmented Reality (WebAR) is increasingly more advanced and is an excellent way for businesses to convert their existing web pages to enhanced WebAR interactive sites. WebAR can change the perspective of customers toward the company or product they are researching and completely restyle the look of a website.

WebAR – what is it?

WebAR is an advanced technology that merges real-world environments with augmented reality experience. The underlying technology is similar to any other website, allowing developers to create an AR experience inside a typical website or application. WebAR sites do not require a mobile app or wearable device to use. Consumers can access and use WebAR by visiting an enhanced webpage on their browser.

What does WebAR bring to a website?

Up until recently, augmented reality required an application other than a company’s webpage for consumers to view the AR enhancements. Now, WebAR removes the need for a secondary app, allowing users to engage with AR directly on a business’s webpage. With WebAR, companies can reach a wider audience and grow their brand recognition by providing a faster, more effortless AR experience without needing to download an app.

WebAR websites can run on browsers included on Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac platforms. WebAR advances make it easy for companies to build a cross-platform AR capability without creating a different app for each operating system.

WebAR enables students to learn new concepts more naturally and faster, homeowners to visualize new products in their house, and consumers to see how services, products, and even makeup will affect them. Online shopping, in general, is easier than ever — it only takes a few clicks on a computer or swipes on a mobile device to order new products. Most online shopping on mobile devices is done through apps, but what if a business could tap into a new market that prefers not to download an application? Through WebAR, consumers can shop from the convenience of a webpage and experience the thrills of an AR experience without ever having to spend their time downloading an app.

The consumer decision journey is the process a customer goes through from when they first show an interest in a product to when they buy the product. The length of time from interest to purchase varies. Still, if the customer has to download an app during this period, the company loses valuable time to make an impression and convince the consumer to purchase. By providing WebAR in a browser, companies gain back some of the decision journey time.

How are things changing for WebAR?

The current influx of AR capabilities directly onto smartphones and applications means that AR is here to stay. In 2017, Apple introduced the ARKit, and Google added ARCore software kits to their development lineups. These kits allow developers to create stunning augmented reality applications and cemented the concept of AR as an integral part of smartphone use. The addition of AR development kits spurred developers, brands, startups, and others to invest in AR and advance their own AR app and browser offerings. 8th Wall has created a powerful toolkit to create enriching Augmented Reality experiences that work on any browser. They have made it easy for content creators and developers to publish their own AR experiences seamlessly; while also integrating with popular 3D frameworks such as three.js, babylon.js and Sumerian.

How can the advertising industry benefit from WebAR?

Marketing efforts are already heavily concentrated on social media, gaming, and shopping applications. Through the use of WebAR, marketers gain a new element of advertising with which to work. WebAR offers new and exciting ways to promote products, services, and brand recognition and adds innovative ways to advertise to mainstream consumers.

For example, Sony Pictures released an AR experience for the movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The application, Spider-Verse Web AR Experience, lets users interact with various people and objects from the movie right in their own home. The Spider-Verse Web AR Experience is entirely web-based and does not require an application to function, thus increasing usage and making easy marketing of the movie.

As WebAR advances, consumer conversion will become easier. Because WebAR works on mobile browsers, the conversion will increase through the use of interaction and better calls-to-action. WebAR makes advertisements more entertaining compared to page banners, popups, and side-bar images. The technology offers a leg-up for increased engagement by changing old and tired variations of ads into exciting augmented reality enhancements.

Instead of splashing giant advertisements on websitesacross the internet, businesses can use WebAR to offer fresh, interactive ways for consumers to experience the product, service, or movie.

Conclusion

WebAR has seen rapid growth and advancements over just a few short years.

The best element of WebAR is that it reduces the chances of losing consumers during their decision journey. By eliminating the need to download an app on a mobile device, companies allow customers to get the full benefits of an AR experience without wasting any precious time. This can increase conversion and customer retention.