When most industries saw a slowdown in the pandemic, the augmented reality (AR) market saw exponential growth. With businesses worldwide trying to create a safe and immersive experience for their consumers, AR today has become the most sought-after solution. As per the Augmented Reality Market Size & Share Report, 2021-2028, the AR market that stood at USD 17.67 billion in 2020 is expected to grow by 43.8% CAGR between 2021 to 2028.
The augmented reality market is still at a nascent stage, and giants like Google, Apple, Sony, Microsoft are investing aggressively in the research and development of software and hardware to tap the growing market. Apple recently introduced ArKit 4 in WWDC 2020, the latest version of their open-source AR development tool with advanced features like location anchors, new depth API and, improved face tracking, enabling AR developers to exploit the potential of LiDAR hardware in the latest iPhones. Google’s ARCore has recently introduced publicly-made street view photos that allows user to add street view photos to google maps. Since their inception, these tools have helped developers ease into the AR market.
From social media to e-commerce to simulation training, AR technology has penetrated its roots in every industry today. Here are some popular augmented reality examples and use cases in the business world
- Manufacturing: In an industry where minor errors can cost big, AR provides an efficient solution for spotting manufacturing errors. Manufacturers now can create 3D virtual prototypes, find errors and rectify design before it has gone for production, saving both time and money. Boeing, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, today uses AR technology to ease the wiring and assembling of 786-8 Freighter. They leverage the Skylight software platform to create AR-enabled assembly. Through Google Glass touchpad, voice commands and head tracking interface, the technicians get accurate instructions at the right time. With the deployment of AR, Boeing has reduced their wiring assembly time by 25% and decreased the error rates to virtually zero. Porshe is using AR technology for quality checks.
- Education: AR is revolutionizing the education industry by providing immersive and engaging learning experiences for both students and teachers. Through AR, educators are now able to explain complicated concepts through interactive 3D models and gamification. Element4D is one such app that uses AR to make concepts of chemistry interactive and engaging. SkyView app enables the users to identify and learn about identify stars, constellations, planets, and even satellites by simply pointing their mobile device towards the sky.
- Healthcare: From training to diagnosis to a treatment plan, AR empowers doctors and health science experts to reimagine and recreate healthcare services, enabling personalisation and improving outcomes. 3D visualisations of organs help surgeons make more precise stitches and increase success ratios. Touch Surgery is a health app that specialises in surgical simulation that leverages the AR platform to let doctors practice surgery on virtual patients. HoloAnatomy, an AR app developed by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, helps medical students learn anatomy in an interactive format.
- Marketing: AR adds life to your ads and makes them pop. Marketers across verticals have realised the power of AR in marketing and are actively investing in integrating it in their campaigns to create interactive and engaging content for consumers. Out-Of-Home (OOH) installation to promote The Walking Dead’s fifth season, which transformed the tram stop into a scary shelter. And Absolute Vodka campaign that virtually teleported the users Åhus, a small village in Sweden, is an example of how brands have used AR to engage with their customers.
- Fashion and beauty: Augmented reality is transforming the fashion and beauty industry by delivering virtual assistance in the comfort of their homes. Users now have the luxury to try the latest fashion and customized makeovers virtually before they even step foot in a store. L’Oréal’s Modiface is an excellent example of AR within retail, with the feature allowing customers to try on make-up through the brand’s app digitally. Adidas added an AR feature to its iOS app that helps shoppers try on products and decide on a purchase without entering a store.
- Travel: The pandemic may have locked people inside their homes but opened a new vertical in the travel and tourism world by introducing virtual 360-degree tours of vacation destinations right from the user’s phone. Headout is a travel brand that uses AR to help travellers discover and book incredible tours and activities, events and local experiences. Florence Travel Guide has created an AR guided tour for Italy that enables the tourists to explore the city on the go.
- Navigation: AR-enabled solutions have become a big hit in navigation, both outdoor and indoor. Findmyway is a mobile application that helps users navigate through shopping malls. Heathrow Airport London introduced AR-enabled navigation to help travellers find their departure gate. Google Maps introduced the AR feature to assist users in accurately navigate within a city. Mapbox is another example of outdoor AR-enabled navigation that tracks the fleet in real-time and helps drivers find the best routes to take. KIA has introduced heads up display in their Seltos to improve drivers’ navigation experience.
- Ecommerce: AR technology has helped the e-commerce industry solve the two significant challenges- abandoned cart and product returns. AR eliminates the uncertainty by creating a true to life 3D experience of the products, especially in big-ticket items like furniture or appliances. Through AR enablement, Shopify and Ikea Place has increased their turnover and customer satisfaction manifold.
- Food and beverage industry: Augmented reality bridges the gap between consumer, product and product content. With AR, customers can visualise the food, its ingredient, and nutritional value before they place the order. Boston Pizza, Pizza Hut and many other F&B businesses have created AR menus to enhance their customers’ dining experience.
- Simulation Training- Whether it’s NASA training its astronauts or United airlines training their pilots, today AR technology is used across industries to create simulation training for employees, technicians and other professionals. Jaguar Land Rover is leveraging AR to train their new technicians without removing and reinstalling the vehicle dashboard.
- Real estate – In real estate, AR is being used to create Property Tours and 3D Real Estate Models to give the buyers a better understanding of the property. Stambol is one such brand that uses AR to create immersive AR and VR experiences for real estate.
The increased adoption of AR technology across verticals has propelled the growth of industry players like Magically, Niantic, Oculus and Lightbricks and helped them emerge as industry leaders. Despite the constant upgrade in AR technology, 3D modelling is still the heart of AR. Having a reliable 3D modelling partner like Ikarus 3D is critical for creating a captivating experience for viewers. With our lightweight, premium and photorealistic 3D models, you can build the most captivating AR experience for your viewers.