Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How Augmented Reality Can Improve Business Value

Augmented reality is still in its infancy stage. Really? Think about it again. According to a market study conducted by Juniper Research, augmented reality technology in both enterprise and industrial markets will drive annual software application revenues of $2.4 billion in 2019. That is increase of almost $247 million in 2014 over the period of forecast. 
Often dismissed as sci-fi and gimmicky, Augmented Reality is inching closer to a new normal. From the Facebook acquisition of Oculus Rift and Google’s investment in Magic Leap, and announcement of Google Cardboard, Augmented reality is fast becoming the buzzword. Recently, Apple acquired German startup Metaio, a leading company in the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality space. With Apple’s move in the Augmented Reality space, it looks like the stage is all set for AR and VR to become popular technologies in 2015. Does that mean Apple could make augmented reality accessible to iPhone and iPad users?
But what has triggered the sudden growth of Augmented Reality? Be it software improvement, rise of wearable technology and power of technology computing, the reasons behind the growth are just far too many.
Businesses are no longer dismissing Augmented Reality as a gimmicky or gaming-only technology. In recent times, both location and image recognition services have gained precision to the point of perfection. Image recognition capabilities in AR solutions allow staff to visually identify objects and parts for real-time decision making. There is lot of business potential spearheading the growth of AR. AR provides the potential to improve productivity, streamline current processes, provide real-time access to data, offer innovative ways to tackle problems, train employees and enhance collaboration.
Here are few ways to Augmented Reality Apps bridge the gap between digital and the physical worlds:
Retail Industry
Augmented reality is changing the way we shop in a dramatic way. The lines between online and offline store are getting blurred. Augmented reality app can allow users to try different variations of product eliminating the need to have all sizes on display.
Retailers can expand a business beyond geographical barriers without incurring significant overheads such as real estate or additional manpower. This technology lets shoppers walk through virtual aisles.
Supply Chain Management
Augmented reality is not about tricks. Businesses can effectively use augmented reality app in a warehouse. You got it right. We said a warehouse. After all, augmented reality is not just limited to sci-fi movies or games. Augmented reality app can help locate products, increase safety of workers and equipment, and locate products.
Training & Aftersales Solutions
Augmented reality is not just about driving sales. It’s very interactive nature can help explain the most complex technical aspects of products in a matter of few minutes. Now educating customers at any point of time with AR app is easy at a matter of tap.
Real Estate
You simply hold up your iPhone and move around the property, which will allow you to virtually walk and check the property, including furniture, color of walls and lots more. You can easily identify new properties by simply walking down the street and accessing real-time information such as price, for-sale status, contact information, and virtual tours.
The best part about AR is that it is great for any size of business. Today’s savvy customers are looking for omni-channel experience. With AR, businesses can increase the reach of marketing activities. However, it is important for enterprises to clearly define business goals before deployment of augmented reality app/tool. Remember, augmented reality is not a standalone strategy and does not replace existing channels. It needs to become an integrated part of your business to generate results.

About Anna Harris:
working as web content writer and a strategist for a major IT firm specialized in various mobile application development services for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and other operating systems.

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