Augmented reality, thanks in part to considerable investment by large technology companies, is becoming a relevant variable for corporate business. Implementing such technology not only allows for a better user experience, but also for increased sales and communication aspects.
But what are the concrete applications that can be made with augmented reality in a work context? Let’s look at them together.
Augmented reality: what it is
When we refer to the term Augmented Reality (AR, or AR if we use the English acronym for Augmented Reality), we identify that technology which is able to reproduce, from one’s smartphone or electronic device, three-dimensional elements and display them in real time from the screen superimposed on a real environment.
With compatible devices, or rather compatible platforms, one can reproduce three-dimensional objects in a physical environment, projecting them with real dimensions and observing them directly from the smartphone.
The term “augmented reality” explains how an inanimate object is forcibly reproduced in a real-world context, be it a floor, a piece of furniture, or any item on which that particular product can be placed after purchase. Using such technology increases the shopping experience, as the customer can have a clearer idea of the dimensions and how that product may relate to the reference environment.
Augmented reality: how it works
The operation of augmented reality requires some pivotal elements, such as software compatible with three-dimensional technologies and, above all, a camera and sensors with which to place the object to be projected in the environment.
The software will load the three-dimensional model of the object to be projected and send it to the camera software so that the camera can project it into the surrounding environment. Not all augmented reality technologies have the same accuracy and quality of models; therefore, it is advisable to use a responsive and easy-to-use system to achieve the best results.
In many cases, one is led to think that augmented reality is useful for projecting only three-dimensional objects, but in reality, one can also convey audio tracks, text, and anything else that can enhance the user experience.
Augmented reality: its use in corporate business
The use of augmented reality within a business setting can be particularly useful in several areas. As much as each use is tied to improving the user experience, companies can derive benefits in multiple contexts. Five macro-categories can be identified mainly: training, development, sales increase, marketing and communication.
Among the most interesting applications is employee training. Implementing such technology allows human resources to be trained constantly, with refresher courses or simply through three-dimensional instruction.
Having a tool that can modify reality in order to make it formative ensures faster and less tedious learning for practitioners.
RA is also particularly useful for product or service development. With this tool, workflows can be organized in the best possible way, ensuring real-time collaboration with other colleagues, testing the product as if it had already been completed.
Augmented reality is not limited only to the visualization of the three-dimensionally rendered product, but with the most advanced technologies it also allows the user to interact with them, for example, allowing the user to pick up the virtual object, move it, turn it around, disassemble and reassemble it, change its features and shape, effectively generating a much faster workflow process.
One of the most significant uses of augmented reality is definitely related to the sale of products and services. Customers can interact with such technology even before making a purchase, verifying that the product meets their expectations.
By granting users more interaction, they will be more likely to complete the purchase because they will have found a good user experience, increasing their trust in the product and the company distributing it.
In addition to the sales-related aspect, augmented reality is also used for marketing strategies. By having a particularly versatile tool, one can develop marketing strategies aimed at advertising, promotion or simply user engagement.
A simple business card can be transformed into a much more engaging three-dimensional experience, also providing the company with a brand identity that is essential for achieving success over time. Planning a marketing strategy with augmented reality makes it less trivial to approach the audience, the latter of which is now saturated with the canonical sales strategies of traditional companies.
Augmented reality, in addition to employee training, can be very useful for companies to improve communication between departments. Communication aspects, whether these are between employees, between company and clientele, or between companies, are essential to facilitate the production and publicizing of the services or products produced.
With the ability to implement audio and video, interactions between different areas of development can be managed in real time, minimizing the loss of time usually found in more traditional communication.
Augmented reality: the advantages in product development
Among the uses just listed is product or service development, but what benefits specifically can be derived from augmented reality in this area?
Relying on a system with augmented reality ensures lower service or product development costs. The ability to make a three-dimensional model allows for a defined idea of the object being produced, eliminating the costs associated with physical models.
Costs are reduced not only because of the fewer physical resources needed to make the models, but also because of the labor hours that employees would otherwise have to put in to make them. Every company aims to minimize wasted time, with augmented reality this is also possible in product development.
RA also allows for consistent benefits in product development because it minimizes risk. Having a detailed picture of what the finished product will look like will significantly eliminate some development risks, providing greater assurance of success for both employees and the investment to be undertaken.
Reversal of development:
Strength of augmented reality lies in its ability to predict product development. Testing in advance, through technology, the designed service or product allows some design choices to be reviewed and reevaluated in advance should the need arise.
Assessing critical points in advance makes the creation experience less frustrating, being able to intervene quickly without investing significant resources.
Collaboration and data exchange:
Augmented reality can be used to improve collaboration with other business areas by leveraging joint access to relevant data. The production of a service or product is almost never entrusted to a single business section, which causes department heads to communicate with each other periodically. With augmented reality, one can achieve better interaction and share the most important data quickly and limit misunderstandings.
Identification of errors:
Companies are also using augmented reality for product development to leverage optimization through early identification of errors. Being able to quickly understand critical issues in a product makes the improvement process faster. The projection in space of a given object helps technicians assess the weaknesses and strengths of a product, enhancing or eliminating them as needed.
As much as it is one of the most advanced aspects of product development, it is important to emphasize how augmented reality can be useful for pre-launch visualization of the object to partners, external departments, and customers. A test phase before producing the complete product helps to develop it in the best possible way.
Augmented reality: how to implement it in your business
Noting the potential and advantages in implementing augmented reality within the business environment, it is interesting to understand how best to incorporate it into one’s work. As much as the technology is defined by precise characteristics, not all AR systems are identical to each other, especially considering the different application areas.
However, three conditions can be developed that are always effective, specifically: simplicity, digitization and requirements.
Augmented reality is a technology that has different ways of implementation, ranging from simple to advanced. Those who are approaching AR for the first time need to use a step-by-step method, starting with a training approach and then conveying the technology to more complex solutions such as development and marketing.
Relying on third-party companies in this case could be an advantage in building an already functioning infrastructure.
Not all companies are digitized enough to allow them to implement augmented reality on their own. For this to be verified, a digital test calculation should be carried out to understand the level of digitization of one’s company and respective needs.
Making digitization natural, to one’s employees and target clientele is by no means simple, but it has become a necessity in a historical period where technological advancement is accelerating.
Any technology, whether it is based on augmented reality or different systems, must be related to the needs of the company and its customers. Developing a system that is particularly complex or difficult for potential users to use is an investment with little future. Proportioning the available technologies to business needs is the first step in achieving tangible results.
Augmented reality can be implemented in corporate business in several ways. The management of training, development, sales, marketing and communication can be improved by using tools suitable for one’s needs. Checking the degree to which your company is digitizing helps you understand where there is room for improvement and where the most critical issues are.
Fill out the digital test now and figure out what level of digitization your company is at