If you talk to people in the know, namely tech geeks (or enthusiasts as they prefer to be called), about the next piece of tech that will dominate our lives, many of them are betting on augmented reality. Integrating digital information with our real-world surroundings, augmented Reality or AR is a step beyond virtual reality and it is already being used in the biggest game of the moment – Pokémon Go. But what other websites use the tech and what do they use it for?
Ever seen an outfit in a window but didn’t have time to strip down to try it on? Or maybe it was a hot day and you simply couldn’t be bothered? Well, the use of AR by retailer Topshop will end this problem. Their partnership with Kinect has led to the creation of AR dressing rooms where you can ‘try on’ an outfit without removing a single piece of clothing and see how it would look on you.
A similar idea is being used by sunglasses mega-brand Ray-Ban. Their Virtual Mirror allows you to see what any of their ranges would look like on your face through the use of AR. This tech allows you to try different features as well as different frames such as polarised lenses and helps you to find the right pair without spending ages trying them on and often making a mess of your hair!
The Modiface Makeover
The Modiface Makeover is a great way to get a virtual makeover without spending the time to have all that makeup applied and then removed. You can upload an image of yourself to their website and then use the software to try their different makeup ranges. Handy, right?
Shidedio are another makeup company who are employing a similar concept. Their augmented reality makeup mirror allows you to stand in the shop, try their different products and see what works on your face without so much as an eyeliner touching you.
If you have ever wondered what a certain piece of furniture would look like in your home, then you can use the Ikea AR app to remove the guesswork. Simply hold up a tablet or smartphone with the app open and it will take a measurement of your room. Then you can superimpose the furniture you like to see how it works in your room. This really removes the pain of buying a new sofa only to find it’s not the right fit for the room.
Dulux are one of the biggest names in paint manufacturer and they too now offer an app that lets you test a colour on your room without even needing to buy a tester pot. Simply download the app, hold the camera up to the room in question then “paint” it in any of their shades to see how it would look. There are no guarantees that the real colour will look exactly the same but it gives you a really good feel for the possible outcome.
If you have ever gone shopping and wanted to know more about a certain ingredient or dish but found the packaging a bit limited on the information front, then this app from IBM may prove useful. It adds information about the product with AR when held in front of the camera of your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to purchase with more information than ever before.
Where Will AR Go From Here?
The potential for augmented reality is huge, not only for web and game developers, but for marketers too. The notion that you can transform the way people view and interact with the world around them is a revolutionary one and it looks like we are just at the beginning of the AR journey. In this sense the brands mentioned above are pioneers and just with the dawn of the Internet and social media, those who embrace it in the early days are likely to reap the future benefits.
Augmented reality can be used by bars and clubs to promote certain drinks, or by educators to recreate historical events or allow students to dissect a virtual body. It can be used by the military to create virtual maps to prepare soldiers before entering a combat zone. Brands from all sorts of industries will be able use AR to create interactive products, guerrilla advertising campaigns, geo-based apps and much more. No matter what industry you are operating in there is an opportunity to utilise the potential of augmented reality to set yourself apart for the crowd, you’d better hurry though as it’s likely that your competitors have the same plan in mind.