The world is getting more virtual every second, thanks to the emerging augmented reality technology. However, this technology is a great way to expand advertising and customer engagement platform for businesses.
To begin with, augmented reality tools connect computer technology to the real world, making it more of an everyday device than something sci-fi. According to Rachel Pasqua, “Along with flying cars and cyborgs, the ability to see an alternate world superimposed over an often-dreary reality has long been envisioned as status quo in our future society.”
As per the new report from ABI Research the developers are likely to spend about US$ 670 million, which is 68 percent of their budgets on creating augmented reality apps and products this year. And the amount will rise to US$ 2.5 billion in the next five years. This investment is a clear indication of the possibilities that AR technology can bring about. Users can easily access cloud-based tool from one single place to get everything they need.
The Google Glass, for example, will allow users to map a travel route, see the weather forecast, search a topic, take photos, and use apps like Gmail, Google+, The New York Times, CNN and Evernote without using any additional tool. Glass is Google’s attempt to free data from mobile devices, tablets and desktop computers and place the same right in front of the users.
Google Glass and similar augmented reality products will be beneficial for both businesses and consumers; however, the advertisers and marketers will be especially benefited. Here, by marketers we also mean search engine optimization and e-commerce companies. The augmented reality products can connect and save data in the cloud. This alone makes AR technology “one of the fastest-growing emerging media” for marketers and advertisers. The augmented reality apps will help advertisers to achieve an avenue for connecting with customers. Advertisers and marketers can use both standalone ads and in-app ads for customer engagement. The standalone ads appear on the left and right side of the Glass’s viewing area.
E-commerce companies, on the other hand, can develop augmented reality apps for smartphones and tablets to enable customers to check out items in an interactive way, get product information, make quick search and buy the item. Consumers don’t even need to browse through their smartphone or tablet to do all the above mentioned tasks. AS Rachel Pasqua says, “This will help local businesses connect with consumers much in the same way that Google currently does with its web search function.” She further said, “Your existing .com content is now likely to be crawled and indexed by Google and eventually other engines for AR-based delivery via visual search,” she wrote. “Your digital content as well as your offline advertising, physical locations, and even your products and brand imagery are eventually going to be searchable.”
It is yet to see the real effects of augmented reality products; however, they are sure to make an impact on everyday life of the users as more number of such apps and tools are becoming publicly available.