10 Examples Of Augmented Reality In Action

Hands up if you remember Google Glass? Unfortunately, the super hyped up augmented reality product that was prophesised to revolutionise the way in which we interacted with the real world just didn’t really work out. Despite the majority of the tech world writing this off as a whopper failure, the technology that really highlights the serious potential that is augmented reality.

For the most part, many real applications of augmented reality (AR) are still mostly for fun or for some gimmicky marketing. Although the technologies newness is enough to allow the media to surpass print, television and online advertisements in shock factor. The Drum states that AR has the ability to capture attention for over 85 seconds, it can increase interaction by 20% and can improve click through to conversion by 33%. Presently people have no problem stopping what they are doing to engage with an inspired AR experience no matter the overall quality of the campaign. However this will not last for long, as more brands begin to use AR in their marketing campaigns and the new technology becomes more and more common, it will take a lot more creativity and production quality than what’s required now to truly impress the same audience. With the rise of Facebook and Instagram AR camera effects AR is becoming much more mainstream and it’s going to become much harder to stand out.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has noted that someday AR will be as integral to our everyday lives as “eating three meals a day.” So, the real question here is, how would you use your marketing strategy to gain audience attention, once AR is commonplace?

What is Augmented Reality?

We’ve discussed it in previous articles but hey one more time can’t hurt. Essentially AR technology superimposes computer generated imagery onto the user’s real-world view. This is different to virtual reality that is totally generated by a computer with the user interacting fully from within the virtual environment, augmented reality maintains the real world, but just uses the addition of elements that aren’t actually there, ultimately enhancing the user’s experience of the real world. There are tons of different applications for this technology and it is currently being used anywhere from medical and healthcare to retail and manufacturing.

One of the simplest ways to use augmented reality for your brand is to use your business card as an AR activation target. You can either create something standalone or do it simply with layer AR but that still would require users to download something. These days the best way to execute this would be as a Facebook or Instagram AR camera effect since most people already have this app and are pretty familiar with using these camera effects now. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of augmented reality.

Some Of The Best Examples of Augmented Reality

The potential for this new augmented technology is truly endless. It really is just a matter of time when it comes to this tech becoming a main part of our day to day lives. Whilst we are not quite there, a few organisations are creating some pretty big waves with this technology. So, here are some of the best examples of augmented reality that we have seen.

IKEA Mobile App

One of the first companies in the world to find a genuinely useful application for AR was IKEA, it’s genuinely one of the better examples of Augmented Reality. I’m not surprised really, because of them I’ve put an entire kitchen together with nothing but an Allen key. They probably started dabbling in a bit of augmented reality as far back as 2012, users could use their special app to see how certain tables and shelves would look in different places around their houses. The latest edition, IKEA Place app has taken it all one step further allowing the user to choose any item from the entire IKEA catalogue and check it out in your house for size, as its actually to scale.

This is an incredibly useful application of AR, there is just something about the giant proportions of that IKEA showroom that makes it practically impossible to in anyway correctly eye up the size of a coffee table in relation to your living room. Being able to quickly check whether a certain piece of furniture will fit into a specific spot or whether that particular shade of white will look right with the rest of your room décor just couldn’t be handier.

examples of augmented reality

Nintendo’s Pokémon Go App

We couldn’t really have a discussion about great examples of augmented reality and not bring up *que the music* Pokémon Go. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have 146 out of 150 right now, but I’m not playing anymore I gave up after the second batch.

If you don’t know what I’m going on about Pokémon Go was pretty big, it was a large free roam game that turned the world around you into the gameboard, and you with geo location was the player moving around. Using your phone, you could catch Pokémon and battle in gyms and collect stuff, it was all very impressive. So impressive that the app actually had 65 million users at its peak of popularity and to be fair to them they had all sorts of problems rolling it out, so if they could have released worldwide at the same time and released new in game features faster they would have probably doubled that number It was also responsible for the hordes of young adults lurking around the place just starring at their phones, although what’s new these days anyway.

examples of augmented reality

Home Depot Project Color

Right so we’ve got another home based example of augmented reality for you. This one is actually pretty brilliant because it really helps to solve a problem and helps to speed up the entire consumer purchasing decision process. So, choosing a paint colour is a nightmare, and looking at those little swatches or worse yet a backlit computer screen is never going to give you a true feel for what a particular colour will look like once you’ve blasted it all over the walls. Maybe that mellow yellow will burn your retinas out once you see it on a sunny day in your south facing kitchen. Or what about that gold lamp of yours?

Home Depot released their first Project Color app in 2012 that used patented tech to let users see what a particular paint colour would look like on their walls. The AR app took lighting, objects and shadows into consideration when applying the colour to your walls. They took this even further in 2017 allowing users to change the colour of objects like patio furniture, and other stuff like taps. This is a very handy AR app for any DIYer.

examples of augmented reality

Sephora Virtual Artist App

I couldn’t imagine there being many women who would risk buying make up products online if they had not used them before. It would be impossible to know what a colour would look like on you without actually being able to test it out first.

Sephora really understood this problem, and their solution was a highly effective augmented reality experience Virtual Artist App, using ModiFace. It allowed users to try out different make up products virtually, for instance users could see what each different colour of lipstick looked like on their face using the camera in their phone. It also gave additional information on other products that would be useful when paired with selected options. There was even an additional option that showed users what their skin would look like after a few months of one of their skin care routines.

Bridget Dolan, head of innovation @ Sephora, can see the potential for a long-term AR strategy. “When it comes to augmented and virtual reality, it can only be successful if it’s truly useful,” Bridget said to Glossy. “We weren’t interested in just buzzy. A lot of things like technical accuracy and timing had to come together, and there was a time last year when, during testing, we hit a tipping point.”

examples of augmented reality

This use of augmented reality isn’t just a gimmicky attention ploy, this application is genuinely helpful, addressing a widely held ecommerce problem around selling make up products online, and as a result it drove an increase in conversions. It also drove a lot of awareness for the brand online as the AR experience was also highly shareable.

Timberland AR Mirror

Now I don’t know about you but I am certainly not always in the mood to be trying on clothes, I wouldn’t say it’s close to putting me off all together or anything like that but there have definitely been a few occasions that I’ve bought something to try it on later at home, with the intention of returning it afterwards if I didn’t like it.

So all in the name of convenience and being sound, this example of augmented reality was brought to us by Timberland who created a virtual fitting room in Moktow Gallery. It was created using Kinnect motion capture and it allowed the user to see their head paired onto a similarly sized model body with a bunch of different outfits that you could try on virtually. Ultimately if you want to use AR, its best to do it in a unique way that actually addresses a genuine problem for the consumer. Okay maybe fitting rooms aren’t the worst of all problems but non the less the Timberland brand was able to stand out as a more helpful brand that is happy to offer a fun alternative.

examples of augmented reality

Disney Coloring Book

A couple of years back now Disney launched a unique way for kids to see all of their favourite characters in the real world using augmented reality. The Disney research team built an AR application that would project the coloured in images from a colouring book into 3D renders using only a mobile phone or tablet. This sort of tech is really not that mainstream and is really in its infancy, however it has the potential to usher in an entirely new way for kids to play with their imagination.

L’Oréal Makeup App

This example of augmented reality is actually pretty similar to the concept behind IKEA app or even the home depot paint changing app. The cosmetics company L’Oréal created a mobile app that allowed its users to try different types of their makeup products. It worked pretty much like an Instagram or Facebook AR camera effect, except it was released a few years before Spark AR studio was even hinted at.

AMC Theatres

Being able to deliver your message when and where your audience is looking to receive it is very much a critical part of any successful marketing strategy. This is even more true when we are talking about it in relation to AR.  AMC Theatre implemented AR technology into their AMC app because they knew that their audience was going to be most interested in viewing additional movie related content whilst waiting at the cinema. When a user saw a movie poster in the lobby, they could use the app to scan the poster which would give them access to more information as well as the trailer. It also had an ecommerce functionality built in that allowed the user to buy a ticket immediately if they liked the look of the film after watching the trailer. Again, like all effective AR apps this one is providing convenience by bringing the ecommerce element right to the same place that the user is watching the trailer and it is getting their attention in the first place through AR.

AR examples

Weather Channel Studio Effects

Television news has used special effects in its programming on a daily basis for years now. For instance, the weatherman segment has been using green screens for years to give that map overlay effect. The Weather Channel is after taking this up a notch as they are now using AR to illustrate some of the even more extreme weather and its effect. Over the past few years they have been using examples of augmented reality to show a 3D tornado live on set, highlighting the height of flooding that is likely to occur during storm surges and hurricanes. They even recently drove a virtual car through the studio to demonstrate how easy it is for vehicles to lose control on icy roads. We can imagine that news, weather and sports broadcasters will continue to champion AR as a way to improve the television experience for their viewers.

U.S. Army

Here’s some examples of augmented reality that isn’t just for fun and games. The US Military has been experimenting with augmented reality programs that have been designed to be used during combat. These programs would help soldiers in the field to identify and distinguish enemies from friendly comrade. They also have an enhanced night vision that looks pretty bad ass. This system is still under development and it could be a few years yet before it sees any real action, but its pretty easy to see how innovations of this nature would certainly improve efficiency and would surely save lives.

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