Augmented Reality – Beyond the Pokémon Go Phenomenon
Immersive reality to experience a new reality.
Living in the golden age of the Internet, most of us are heavily dependent on technology to work, socialize, and receive all sorts of information and entertainment. In recent years, immersive reality technology has developed rapidly, with many industrial applications of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) technology becoming more and more extensive. It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate the reality from the virtual, especially when the integration of immersive reality technology is ever-evolving, seamlessly fusing the real and virtual worlds, creating a new future that lies beyond your wildest imagination.
Immersive Reality – Market Situation
The immense power of immersive reality technology lies in its ability to effectively overlay information in the real world, using a virtually guided, augmented reality navigation to operate and function. In the very beginning, AR was mainly used in the gaming industry. 2016 came, and Pokémon Go burst into the scene, creating a global frenzy for Pokémon hunting, as well as a renewed interest in AR technology applications.
Today, AR integration has expanded past the gaming industry, into a plethora of various other industries. According to market analytics platform Digi-Capital, it is estimated that in 2023, global use of immersive reality technology will reach a market size of US$80b – US$90b, 70% of which, is accounted for by the AR market, which includes gaming, entertainment, finance, social media, manufacturing, and many other industries that benefit from incorporating AR in its business models. Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed enthusiasm in the future of AR technology: “My view is it’s the next big thing, and it will pervade our entire lives,” and it is increasingly becoming a reality, where AR is fully permeating into our daily lives, creating an environment filled with imagination. For example, incorporating LBS (Location-Based Service) into a virtually guided shopping experience turns a regular shopping experience into something new and exciting, or using facial recognition that allows you to don various accessories, or turn into different characters to create a new reality.
Immersive Reality – Benefits of Use
1. Experiential Marketing
Today, the entirety of the product experience plays an important role in influencing our decisions. Using experiential marketing, companies can allow these products can tell their own stories that can resonate with consumers, and capture their interest. The overall design and integration of technology is essential, with immersive reality technology being one of the best methods to deliver experiential marketing. In addition to providing engaging, second-layer information to consumers, the element of fun and interactivity can be easily added, making the product experience an unforgettable one.
Any industry can benefit from the many strengths of immersive reality technology to design visual and highly interactive AR/VR applications. These applications are effective in translating the brand message or product information to the general public, especially in industries such as entertainment, culture, tourism, and retail, where consumers are overwhelmed with the amount of generic product information communicated to them. Using immersive reality technology, brands and their products can tell a story customized to the target audience, creating that emotional connection and creating a more lasting impression.
With the establishment of new retail concepts, multi-channel approach to sales are constantly being introduced and fine-tuned. Under this diversified business model, a combination of different technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data analysis, immersive reality technology, and others may be integrated and offered. However, the consumer behaviour still commands utmost importance while considering these new technologies. The element of entertainment is the key experience factor, and is what encourages consumers to keep interacting with the brand’s products, to fully understand the story its telling, and to share their product experience with people around them, generating a new network of engaged consumers.
4. Cost Reduction
Immersive reality has a wide range of applications, and can be tailored for use in industries such as food & beverage (F&B), retail, housing, transportation, education, entertainment, and many more. A great example of immersive reality applications is exhibitions in museums, which is cost effective for both the museum and its visitors. Museums can showcase various types of relics using augmented reality, providing additional information beyond what’s available, and projecting the relics in 3D, where visitors can engage with these items directly, without worrying about causing damage to the relic. In addition to that, visitors can also enjoy viewing these relics without any distance restrictions, easily accessing and navigating using their personal mobile devices, reducing the need for the museum to purchase and maintain hardware.
Immersive reality technology is the basis of evolving the current consumer behaviour, bringing forth changes in creating a new experience and a different way of thinking. Through having an open mind, we can discover new sectors to expand into, creating new values for companies and consumers alike.