By 2015, it is estimated that 2.5 billion augmented reality applications will be downloaded annually, generating more than $1.5 billion in revenue.
The idea of augmented reality, the layering of computer-generated information over real-world scenes, has been around for a while, but recently, some new companies have been transforming the technology from a novelty into a serious business tool.
As designers, we know that consumers like to visualize how a product will look in their home or office. The biggest change in the approach that retailers have taken in the last few decades has been in respect to the amount of interactions a consumer has with a brand.
IKEA, for instance, introduced an app last year that lets consumers see what a chair or table will look like in the precise area of their home/office they choose.
In addition, Johnson & Johnson’s Band-Aid Magic Vision is an innovative way for the company to engage consumers long after their purchase. When users point their device’s camera at a branded Band-Aid, they see video messages from their favorite Muppets. We’ve seen several applications with AR, as well as video game and hardware devices such as the Google Glass.
While consumers have had the option to interact with brands on social media for years, augmented reality presents a whole new way of engaging customers and enhancing the user experience. The personalization, customization and engagement the technology encourages will continue to help retailers sell their products and services year after year. For more on this, visit Inc.’s website here.