Almost lost amid Apple’s announcement of unlocking a phone with your face, was the fact its newest mobile operating system, iOS 11, will contain an augmented reality (AR) toolkit called ARKit. Developers have already been able to play with a beta of ARKit and many retailers, including Lowe’s, Ikea and Cambria, plan to have apps out shortly.
Of course, Apple is only the latest tech giant to see the benefit of this immersive technology – it’s the entire premise behind Google Glass. Developers are going to find a way for augmented reality to become a part of whichever mobile platform you choose.
The first thought that pops into many peoples’ head when they think of augmented reality is little Pokemons barking at you through your phone screen. However, even the developer of Pokemon Go, John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, Inc., believes the real future of augmented reality lies beyond the phone.
“Holding a phone in front of you to align an AR view is, honestly, a little awkward,” Hanke said in a post on Medium. “That’s a bummer, because it really is the first step to something that is going to transform the world as we know it.”
Hanke believes that augmented reality glasses are how we will soon experience AR.
“Glasses are coming,” he wrote. “They are hard and it will take a while but we will get them and once we do, we won’t go back. Imagine buildings, offices, homes, cities and transportation with live, dynamic interfaces customized to you and what you want to do.”
Not only can augmented reality add layers and images to your existing area of view, it also has the potential to work as a filter, which holds exciting possibilities for retailers. Imagine selecting a recipe for dinner then walking in a store and immediately knowing the exact location of each item, or walking down an aisle and seeing only the products that fit your recipe.
It will also be possible to see what your walls would look like if painted with a specific color, whether that washer and dryer would fit in your existing space, and how that deck add on will look your backyard.
The possibilities are limitless, but that also raises some potential complications. As amazing as it will be to get augmented walking directions while on vacation in Paris, how much benefit will there be if those directions are buried in ads and offers being shouted at you from every store you pass?
The likelihood is that the user will be able to select what he or she wishes to see at any given time, which means that customer loyalty will be more important than ever if you want your AR message to get through.
How you choose to use augmented reality now could dictate whether a consumer accepts your AR offering as the feature becomes ubiquitous.
Essentially, the brands that are currently preparing and trying out augmented reality are positioning themselves for the future. To help prepare your brand for the future of augmented reality or any other tech, give The Trade Group a call at 800-343-2005.