Augmented reality. Is it worth it to integrate into your software products? It depends. Augmented reality is a relatively new technology, but it’s been growing in popularity by leaps and bounds. And while AR software development can be more complex than more conventional development processes, AR can still be a major selling point for a small business app.
The Benefits of Augmented Reality
Augmented reality allows users to see objects inside of their space. Commercially, this has frequently been used in games — it’s an exciting way to make a game feel more engaging. Augmented reality has also been used to place products, such as furniture, inside of a home. It can be used as a gimmick as well: to let someone see a car that they’re thinking about buying in their own garage.
Through augmented reality, users can better visualize products, designs, and other features. It’s about more than just inserting an object in 3D space: people can walk around the object and manipulate it in a way that is more intuitive than simply seeing a 3D image on their phone.
As a new technology, augmented reality is also still exciting. Software products can draw in new users by incorporating AR into their overall plans, though they do need to find a way that they can integrate AR seamlessly with their existing application.
Product Use Cases for Augmented Reality
It’s easier to understand the benefits of augmented reality when you consider the use cases. AR makes it easier for customers to visualize products, which includes:
- Trying clothing on in a mirror. Rather than just seeing an image of clothing, a customer could use augmented reality to see how the clothing would actually fit on them.
- Viewing products inside of an environment. A user can view things like a new bench inside of their garden, or a new couch inside of their bedroom. Users can walk around these items to get the full impact of how they work.
- Seeing product prices and information. Users at a retail outlet or grocery store could use augmented reality and QR codes to see more information about the products,
- Testing out new designs in your room. Augmented reality can be used to change paint colors and building features, as well as allowing people to walk through a newly designed room.
- Creating real-life scavenger hunts. Like a digital version of geocaching, augmented reality can be used in real life games. Players can try to find items in their environment.
- Training employees. Augmented reality can be used to train employees in a live environment, showing them where to go and what to do in a training environment.
These are only a few of the examples of augmented reality, and how useful incorporating AR software development can be.
The Challenges of Augmented Reality
Augmented reality isn’t right for every business. Many traditional retail stores may not see the benefits of adding AR to their app. Moreover, AR is still fairly resource intensive: it can only be used reliably by modern smartphones and tablets. If a company’s user base doesn’t have high-end technology, AR may be lost on them.
Ultimately, AR carries with it some major benefits, but because AR software development is both more time-consuming and costly, it has to be implemented correctly. Working with a partner company that is experienced and specialized in augmented reality is virtually a requirement.