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5 Common Augmented Reality Questions Answered

Posted by Heather Swick on 3/4/16 8:36 AM

question_mark_AR.jpgAugmented reality is one of the most exciting new frontiers for companies to explore right now, and it's taking shape in incredible ways. However, it's still a widely misunderstood technology. In a nutshell, it's very different from virtual reality, it's backed by companies like Apple and Google, and it's here to stay. But there's a lot more to it than that. Below are some common augmented reality questions and answer

1. What is augmented reality?

You may not know the definition of augmented reality, but chances are you've come into contact with it recently. If you've seen the super-imposed 10-yard line on an NFL game or the names of competing swimmers floating on the surface of the water, you've seen a real-world example of augmented reality. It is the combination of an actual environment plus digital information. Where virtual reality creates an entire artificial world, augmented reality (AR) enhances what already exists. 

2. Will augmented reality help my marketing?

The purpose of AR is not to replace your current marketing materials (although it can); it's meant to act as a supplement. It gives you the opportunity to engage your audience with interactive content. The potential for AR in your marketing is unlimited, whether it's in games and activities or bringing an experience to a customer's own environment.

3. Where is augmented reality being used?

Right now, AR is growing rapidly in education, health care and marketing fields. Take AccuVein, for example: this handheld scanner projects over a patient's skin and shows where veins and their valves and bifurcations are located in the body. Or Vipaara video support solution that could allow a surgeon to remotely point and guide a surgery as it's in process. Then there are the opportunities for education, including accessing learning models anytime, which is far cheaper than physical models and other learning materials a student might not otherwise have access to. 
Then there's marketing, and the options here are endless depending on your field. Some companies (like Zugara) have invested in virtual try-on programs for clothing and accessories, while others (like Cartoon Network's Generator Rex) have created games and interactive guides to make their product more compelling and recognizable. 

4. Where is augmented reality heading?

Technology like Google Glass and Samsung's Gear VR may not be household devices yet, but according to experts at the NeuroGaming Conference in San Francisco, they will be. The implications of that are huge, because it means AR would play a major role in our everyday lives. How brands will use that technology will evolve over time, but industry titans have made it clear that AR isn't a passing fad. Just over the past couple years, Apple purchased AR startup MetaioGoogle invested $500 million in AR company Magic Leap, and Facebook debuted Oculus Rift. 

5. Is augmented reality expensive?

In terms of marketing, AR can be more affordable than other options. But realize that there is going to be a very wide range. The better the quality you're looking for, the higher the price tag will be. But with better customer engagement and audience reach, there is a stellar potential return on investment. If you have the right opportunity, AR can certainly be a worthwhile investment for your brand or company, whether it's for training and education purposes or for taking your marketing efforts to the next level.

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Topics: Augmented Reality

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