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How Augmented Reality (AR) Can Elevate Your Business to the Next Level

In the swiftly changing landscape of e-commerce and technology, staying ahead of the pack is not merely advantageous; it's crucial for survival. Augmented Reality (AR) has risen as a formidable force, poised to transform how businesses engage with their customers and streamline their operations. As we delve further, we will explore how AR can not only meet but surpass the expectations of today's consumers and distinguish your business from the competition. Are you ready to discover how AR can elevate your business to new heights?


What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

Augmented Reality (AR) involves using technology to enhance real-world objects with digital attributes. Whenever you use software or a device to introduce new visual, auditory, or other sensory elements to your environment, that’s AR. It involves superimposing digital components onto the physical world, effectively merging digital information with our surroundings. AR allows you to project digital images onto physical spaces and create interactive scenarios, offering experiences that are both realistic and engaging. This creates a simulated environment that is more enriched than our everyday experiences.



A well-known example of AR in popular culture is the game Pokémon Go. Players use their smartphones to search for Pokémon in real-world locations. When they locate one, the character appears on their smartphone screen, seamlessly integrated into the surrounding environment.

How does Augmented Reality (AR) work?

Although it may sound quite futuristic, the technology behind AR is relatively familiar and straightforward. AR employs a mix of computer vision, mapping, localisation, and depth-tracking technologies. These technologies enable a platform to gather, analyse, and utilise data that enhances your sensory experiences.


Depth tracking stands out as one of AR’s most fascinating features. With depth tracking, an AR system can determine your proximity to objects, which is crucial for applications like industrial field services or 3D online shopping. Mapping, however, might be considered the most essential aspect of AR. This technology enables functionalities such as trying on AR glasses virtually on an optician’s website, allowing for highly personalised interaction with digital content.


Augmented Reality (AR) vs. Virtual Reality (VR) 

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) differ significantly in how they transform the user's environment. AR overlays digital elements onto the user's real-world view, enhancing the natural world with virtual features. In contrast, VR completely substitutes the user's physical surroundings with a simulated environment. Examples of VR include immersing in a 3D video game or exploring an underwater realm from the comfort of your living room.


Another crucial difference between the two technologies lies in cost and setup time. Creating content for AR is generally quicker and less expensive compared to developing a VR experience. Both technologies offer distinct advantages depending on the scenario, making them valuable in diverse contexts and accessible to everyone.


How is Augmented Reality (AR) Changing Businesses?

As we have observed, Augmented Reality (AR) introduces digital content into the real world, integrating these elements seamlessly into physical environments. This allows users to interact with these objects in real time. AR has the potential to enhance a variety of activities including navigation, gaming, and educational experiences, making these activities more interactive and enjoyable.


Simultaneously, AR could fundamentally transform business operations. This interactive digital technology holds immense potential to revolutionise how we interact with products and services, offering a more engaging approach that can help businesses stand out, fostering new ways to gain recognition and loyalty. AR's versatility extends across a broad range of potential applications, from industrial uses to consumer-facing innovations.


AR in Retail

Retailers are placing a strong emphasis on customer experience and digital integration. As the boundaries between digital and physical shopping continue to blur, AR is set to help businesses bridge this gap, introducing innovative and enhanced methods for customers to shop. Using just a smartphone or tablet, consumers can enjoy unique shopping experiences, whether in-store or online. Here are some examples of how AR is being utilised in the retail sector:



Sephora: Sephora's app enhances the shopping experience by allowing customers to see how makeup products will look on them before purchasing. Using augmented reality, the app superimposes cosmetics onto a customer’s image, enabling them to try different colours and styles virtually. This not only boosts satisfaction by minimising returns but also makes shopping interactive and fun. 


IKEA: IKEA’s app uses augmented reality to revolutionise furniture shopping. Customers can visualise how furniture items will look in their homes through their smartphone cameras, checking fit and style in real time. This practical feature aids in making more informed decisions, increases confidence in purchases, and improves overall customer satisfaction.


Bentley: The luxury British car manufacturer Bentley offers an AR visualiser app that lets users explore the interior and exterior of its new luxury SUV model—and even take it for a virtual test drive. Within the app, you can customise the vehicle and book an appointment with your local dealer.


AR in Industries

The integration of Augmented Reality (AR) into industrial markets is poised to revolutionise the way many jobs are carried out. Technicians working in the field can now receive real-time support from remote staff, who can highlight issues, superimpose models onto complex items like vehicle engines, and provide other essential guidance. This technology significantly reduces the physical strain and guesswork typically associated with manual labour, thereby streamlining operations.


NASA: NASA has leveraged Microsoft’s HoloLens to facilitate the construction of its new spacecraft, using mixed reality to eliminate the reliance on physical manuals and intricate instructions.


BUNN: Before adopting AR solutions, BUNN found the costs of providing field services prohibitive. BUNN now employs AR to equip field technicians with immediate support, including live video assistance and access to detailed knowledge bases and customer service histories. Technicians can stream video from sites and engage in three-way communications with peers and engineers, enhancing both customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.



How to adopt AR?

For businesses considering the adoption of AR technology, whether for internal use or for client-facing applications, here are two essential insights:


Internally Adopting AR: Employing AR within your business is an educational journey that enhances the "real" world. You can compress mountains to fit within a room, let aeroplanes hover over desks, and deconstruct products without physically touching them. However, it's crucial to remember that simply displaying a 3D object isn't sufficient. Your team will yearn for more from the experience. Don't just concentrate on functionality; aim to incorporate visual flair that adds a "wow" factor. Take inspiration from how Snapchat scans facial features to apply fun effects on mobile devices. This type of creative enhancement is what really captivates users.


Externally Adopting AR: When it comes to client interactions, the excitement builds as their use of AR gains visibility on social media and in case studies. If you’re developing an AR app or integrating the technology into your existing offerings, always consider how to engage your audience and enable them to share their experiences meaningfully. Showcase examples of how customers have transformed their interactions with the world through your products and services.


Planning for clients to share their experiences via social media can significantly impact your reach, and facilitating this sharing process is key. When clients can post snapshots of their augmented realities, like trying out new hairstyles or interacting with mythical creatures, it naturally draws in new customers curious to explore these experiences themselves.


What is the future of AR?

AR is poised to become a significant economic force within the tech industry. Research indicates that in 2023, the global augmented reality market was valued at $56.3 billion. Projections suggest it could soar to nearly $1.2 trillion by 2032. Augmented reality holds the potential to transform our interactions with the world around us, impacting fields from gaming and entertainment to education and more. By harnessing AR technology, companies can create deeply immersive experiences and forge emotional connections between users and products. It's essential for businesses to consider how they might utilise this innovative technology to stay competitive in the future. Augmented reality offers a myriad of applications for businesses, and it will be fascinating to see how AR evolves over the next five years and how companies continue to adopt this technology.


Advancing E-commerce with Augmented Reality

Langia, a leader in SAP Commerce, is at the forefront of bringing Augmented Reality (AR) into the e-commerce sector to enhance the customer shopping experience. Recognising the unique requirements of each business, Langia offers tailored AR integrations that enhance both online and physical retail environments, allowing for virtual try-ons and interactive displays. These integrations are designed to blend seamlessly with existing e-commerce platforms, streamlining operations and keeping businesses agile in response to evolving market trends and consumer preferences. By leveraging AR, Langia helps companies increase customer engagement and satisfaction, ensuring a smoother and more interactive shopping journey. Contact us to learn more!

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