Why Your Business Needs an Augmented Reality Strategy

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Augmented reality strategy

The amount of digital data now available to us is staggering, however a fundamental disconnect exists between that data and the physical world. While reality is three-dimensional, the data we currently have to inform our decisions remains trapped in two dimensions. This gap between the real and digital worlds limits our ability to take advantage of the torrent of information and insights produced. Augmented reality (AR), a technology that superimposes digital data on the physical world, aims to close this gap and release untapped capabilities and human interactions.

What is augmented reality?

More broadly, AR enables a new information-delivery paradigm and a deep sensory experience, which will have a profound impact on how data is structured, managed, and delivered. Though the web transformed how information is collected, transmitted, and accessed, its model for data storage and delivery has one major limitation. It requires people to mentally translate 2-D information for use in a 3-D world. By superimposing digital information directly on real people or objects, or environments, AR allows the processing of the physical and digital simultaneously, eliminating the need to mentally bridge the two. AR will transform how we learn, make decisions, and interact with the physical world. It will also change how businesses create value for customers, train workers, design and develop products, and ultimately, how they compete.

Who will benefit from augmented reality?

AR will have a widespread impact on how companies compete. AR will affect companies in every industry and many other types of organisations, from universities to social enterprises. AR creates business value by improving performance across the enterprise including product development, marketing, service, manufacturing, training, and numerous other areas. This manifests in a number of ways such as:

  • Marketing and sales – AR redefines the concept of showrooms and product demonstrations and transforms the customer experience via ‘try on’ and ‘try out’.
  • Education and demonstration – AR allows for education of trainees and students as well as demonstration of products and prototypes to a broad stakeholder group.
  • Logistics – AR instructions direct workers to the location or each product to be pulled and then suggest the best route to the next product.
  • Product development – AR allows 3-D models to be superimposed on the physical world as holograms, enhancing engineers’ ability to evaluate and improve designs.
  • Manufacturing – AR can deliver just the right information the moment it’s needed to factory workers on assembly lines, reducing errors, enhancing efficiency, and improving productivity.
  • After sales service – AR assists technicians serving customers in the field in much the same way it helps workers in factories.

What strategic questions do I need to ask?

The increasing penetration of AR, along with its power as a human interface raises some new strategic questions. While the answers will reflect each company’s business and unique circumstances, AR will become more and more integral to every firm’s strategy.

Here are the essential questions companies face:

1. What is the range of AR opportunities in the industry, and in what sequence should they be pursued?
2. How will AR reinforce a company’s product differentiation?
3. Where will AR have the greatest impact on cost reduction?
4. Should the company make AR design and deployment a core strength, or will outsourcing or partnering be sufficient?
5. How will AR change communications with stakeholders?

The digital revolution and explosion of data is unleashing productivity and unlocking value across the economy. Increasingly, the constraint is not a lack of data and knowledge but how to assimilate and act on that data, in other words, the interface with humans. AR is emerging as a leading solution to this challenge.

How do I deploy AR?

Every company needs an implementation road map that lays out how the organisation will start to capture the benefits of AR in its business while building the capabilities needed to expand its use. When determining the sequence and pace of adoption, companies must consider both the technical challenges and the organisational skills involved, which vary from context to context.

Emersiv AR is a digital marketing agency at the forefront of AR providing strategic, creative and implementation assistance to retail, commercial and industrial clients seeking to integrate AR into their business and generate value. If you would like to speak to us about how AR can change your business, get in touch today.