Has gaming opened a new door for Augmented Reality?

How businesses and marketing may benefit from new Augmented Reality advancements

When one looks at the recent Augmented Reality created by the Pokémon Go , especially through the multiple YouTube Videos circulating the internet, it is obvious that AR has had a paradigm shift. Where interaction between environment and technology has been somewhat restricted, the new game app has pushed such limitations to create a world in which interaction between the digital and physical is mandatory. As such, one has to wonder where the field of AR is likely to shift to for businesses and marketing. We can already see that Microsoft has jumped into the AR world with the HoloLens, but apart from wearing a large piece of head gear in the office, what can we expect?

The big issue with Augmented Reality

It may be a bit presumptuous to believe that AR will be quickly integrated into businesses. Primarily, the creation of such applications requires a substantial amount of data and coding. Where businesses typically allot a certain amount of research to applied mathematics, economics, computer science, and statistics, the marketing departments generally do not have the resources to create a high level AR. However, should a beta version become available (or even a subscription based AR marketing platform) it is very likely that businesses will integrate such information into the workplace. Unlike the game application, any augmented reality which is to be brought to the marketing sector of a business will need to focus not upon “playing” and “seeking” but in delivering real-time results which can then be addressed and optimized.

Possible Uses for AR within the business world

AR within the business marketing world is new ground and so a great deal is speculation. Yet, even as such it is easy to see how certain augmented reality could help. For example: If a campaign wants to pitch for a highway bulletin board, the designer can create a mock-up of the ad. The ad can then be seen on-site. Additionally, the AR could provide the marketing department with information about a select location such as the number of vehicles which pass by the sign a day or a comparative analysis of their targeted buyers in one location vs. another.

Real Time AR can be used to monitor performance within a business. Sales charts and diagnostics can appear (much like the Pokémon Go ball) in areas of a business which are showing the most productivity. Similarly, areas which have slacked in production can also present such information so that the department can be optimized accordingly. Specifically, the pinning of information via Holographic images. By having information for the viewer present, and with interactive features, CEOs and management may be better equipped to understand the productivity or a department or a specific worker.

Perhaps one of the more probable uses of the Augmented Reality will be in in construction projects and in physical business development. Interior spaces will be able to be visualized and presented to the investor fully furnished or designed. Structural analytics of construction projects can be delivered based on the current developments coupled with the intended materials of a construction project. Philips has even integrated AR to where light and color can be selected and viewed on physical objects. So not only does the exterior materials have the option of virtual reality, but also the interior elements.

Finding and delivering information through AR

From a marketing point of view, the development of certain AR which will target the public is, in my opinion, inevitable. By this I mean that vendors and businesses will eventually develop augmented reality which scans the area for persons who have certain website searches or have visited certain stores (much like Facebook does now with its advertisements) and will identify these individuals. Where one could argue that this would go against privacy and cause a security issue, the information gathered may be presented in much the same way as cookies are done on the internet. A warning sign, an opt out option, and a generalization of the information being collected is very likely to make it possible to bypass any privacy or security issues which arise. For example if a program is able to have facial recognition of strangers, then the person’s whereabouts do not really remain their own but become information available to the public. And because the stranger is not using the application, then how is he or she safeguarded from being identified? They are not, and there lies the issue.

If such AR is developed, marketing will be able to have very specific data about their target audiences based upon real world results in real time. Consider, if a company in a mall wants to see how many 25 year old females purchase self-help books and dietary supplies, all they have to do is input such information and then look for the indicating marker over the individual or read the results after the AR has done its job.

The big payoff with Augmented Reality

As the world moves more and more to a mobile generation, the integration between the digital world and the physical world becomes more solidified. Businesses can expect that the boundaries of Augmented Reality will be pushed and integrated into marketing and everyday business strategies. An example of this would be real time virtual teleportation allowing for business meetings with individuals in a conference room though they may be in separate countries. Through the use of AR, businesses will be able to better predict the success of a marketing campaign. Real-time results of promotions and performance can be given. Additionally, information which is presented can be done over a vast network.

From a financial point of view, having an AR system for marketing will ultimately reduce the capital invested in hit and miss campaigns. Public AR may find it a bit difficult to integrate the features of such systems, due to the fact that many of the devices currently available use voice commands. Because an establishment has multiple persons, several customers shouting orders to their system would not only ruin the ambience of the establishment, but is apt to interfere with other people’s devices. As the field will be based upon real-time results and will optimize both the marketing data, the probability of success, and other such information, businesses will be able to make more informed decisions about where to spend their dollars. Real time 3D visuals or profitable market investments can give indicators for various markets allowing for better optimization of funding and financial spending.

New generation will grow up using AR

And we all know that the upcoming generation without any doubt will grow up with these new technologies like this toddler experiencing Hololens.