AR is revolutionizing how people explore attractions like museums, art galleries, amusement parks, and cultural sites. From bringing the past to life with interactive exhibits to exciting audiences with immersive experiences at theme parks and stadiums, augmented reality is a powerful tool for both educating and entertaining visitors.
AR is rapidly attaching itself to every aspect of our lives. Statista estimates that there will be 1.7 billion active mobile AR devices globally in 2024, up from 0.44 billion in 2019, while the AR hardware (headsets and glasses) market is projected to rise by 6.9 billion USD between 2023 and 2027. For brands, directors, and visitor experience managers, this presents a whole host of commercial opportunities. In addition to enhancing visitor engagement and making sites more inclusive and accessible, AR installations can open up new revenue streams and boost profitability. It can also be used to revive and refresh attractions that have lost popularity or become irrelevant. In this guide, we’ll explore how AR deployments at popular attractions can improve visitor experiences, educate and entertain guests, and ultimately drive business growth.
Augmented reality has become invaluable in elevating visitor experiences at amusement parks and offsetting the pressures of inflation.
AR integrations open doors to new target audiences and revenue streams.
Augmented Reality art exhibitions rejuvenate the appeal of art and draw new crowds with interactive viewings.
Augmented reality promotes educational activities, making them fun and memorable. Museums and historical sites can gain new interest by combining ancient real-world components with groundbreaking virtual experiences.
How is Augmented Reality Used in Museums and Art Galleries?
Augmented reality can bring an entirely new dimension to a visitor’s trip to a museum or art gallery. It has the potential to draw new crowds from the local area or abroad, expand interest, and boost revenue. The demand for museums and other such cultural attractions is there—in 2018, a survey from the American Alliance of Museums found that an overwhelming 97% of Americans believed museums were educational assets for their communities, and 89% believed these spaces contributed important economic benefits. By making museum tours and art exhibitions interactive and immersive, AR can make visits more accessible, inclusive, and personalized.
Augmented Reality in Museums
AR museum experiences are a phenomenal tool to increase the educational value of displays. Rather than just reading signs or passively listening to audio guides, visitors can use AR to interact with their surroundings. The Sanxingdui Museum in China, for instance, is a thematic museum that collects and exhibits thousands of bronze, jade, and gold artefacts from the ancient Shu period three thousand years ago. And thanks to AR, it’s bringing the art of ancient China’s heritage and lost civilization to life.
As well as offering AR museum tours on mobile phones, immersive integrations at the museum allow users to view information about the relics, and see details about their excavations and repair lifecycles. Visitors can also experience how relics were used in the past and observe ancient scenes by wearing mixed reality goggles. These immersive experiences facilitate a new way of learning about the cultural significance of the relics.
Similarly, The Story of the Forest is an immersive digital display installed in the National Museum of Singapore’s Glass Rotunda. As visitors walk down a 170m spiral pathway, 3D animals, forest-inspired sounds, plants, and scents unfold alongside them. The scenery changes between night and day and showcases the changes in the seasons. In addition to the immersive visual experience, visitors can also access information through an AR mobile app. After snapping a picture of an animal or plant, the app generates 3D images and interesting facts.
Augmented Reality in Art Galleries and Exhibits
AR can transform traditional static exhibits into interactive and immersive encounters. Visitors can use AR-enabled devices such as smartphones or tablets to explore paintings and sculptures in greater detail. An AR app might display the artist discussing the piece or the artwork’s creation process for enhanced storytelling, for instance. Yunuene’s augmented reality art app is a prime example of how AR cultivates deeper connections with artwork. By viewing the sculpture or artwork through the augmented reality app, viewers can watch images come to life—witness triangles radiating out of a painting, and even see a meerkat sculpture playing a guitar.
Similarly, MAUA is a groundbreaking augmented street art museum with locations in Milan, Palermo, and Turin. Visitors can explore these open-air galleries by simply downloading the app and following the chosen itinerary map. With the sites open 24/7, they can visit murals on walls, buildings, and metro interchanges whenever they choose. Upon reaching the augmented reality wall art, visitors can then frame the images with their smartphones and watch them transform. Painted characters start to wave, reptiles jump off the wall, and fish swim across the building. These augmented reality paintings animate the neighborhood and draw guests to suburbs that they may not normally have visited.
AR is also transforming the way consumers shop for art. While many love what they see in a gallery or online, they may be hesitant to make a purchase if they can’t visualize it in their home or office. Saatchi Art’s mobile app lets shoppers browse over 1.4 million original artworks from its website. Users can virtually view the artwork in their environment, exactly where they want it, significantly boosting buyer confidence and satisfaction. In fact, by Q2 of 2020, the site’s mobile transactions had grown by 100% year-over-year.
How is Augmented Reality Used in Theme Parks and Related Attractions?
Although theme park attendance has largely recovered since the pandemic, increasing costs due to inflation and an uncertain economy have impacted profits. AR is gaining ground as an effective strategy to help theme parks tide over quiet seasons, allowing them to offer more value, tell better stories, and enhance visitor experiences. Theme park giants like Disney have already invested significantly in the technology. Immersive experiences through smartphones, digital access points, and wearables are driving the future of theme park entertainment. These experiences are unique to individuals, have a social aspect, and frequently evolve, offering visitors a fresh and exciting experience regardless of how many times they visit. They also allow directors to innovate and elevate visitors’ adventures without having to physically remodel building structures. This ultimately means faster deployment of new experiences and at a lower cost. Let’s look at how some brands are achieving successful AR theme park experiences.
Augmented Reality in Amusement & Theme Parks
Excellent customer experiences are key to driving satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat business. But amusement park visitors don’t only expect great service—they also want exhilarating, one-of-a-kind experiences. Using AR headsets or mobile devices, theme park visitors can engage with virtual objects, characters, and effects that blend seamlessly with the physical world. Universal Studios Japan set the stage for AR experience success with the Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge ride. Participants enter a replica of Bowser’s Castle, where they are outfitted with a red Mario cap and AR headset. They then embark on a physical ride enhanced with digital elements, shooting targets viewed through the head-worn device. A number of characters also pop up during the adventure, and they can compete with other players on the ride.
LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is another prime example of how AR can drive theme park adventures and elevate each visit. LEGOLAND created an AR experience for the launch of LEGO Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures. After watching the 4D film, LEGO Mythica: Journey to Mythica, guests go on an augmented scavenger hunt, exploring the surroundings using the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort app. Visitors can find AR-activated LEGO models and bring their favorite characters to life. By scanning QR codes, users can open virtual vortexes to see baby Lava Dragons, collect rocks for the Crystal Claw Crabs, and help Bitsandbobs find his wing. They can also take selfies with the characters and collect digital trading cards.
AR for Events Marketing
AR is just as powerful for marketing activities and events. Consider, for example, how Red Bull implemented an AR campaign to build awareness for its Cliff Diving World Series event. The campaign involved deploying QR codes on promotional signage across the city. After scanning a code, users would see a real-scale diving platform grow in front of them. When the structure was complete, they’d then see a 3D animated diver somersault from the top. The virtual experience brought great energy to the event while also effectively conveying the brand personality.
AR for Interactive Sightseeing
AR superimposes digital visual information and elements in real time onto a smartphone or tablet display. This mixed reality makes for a handy destination guide—in fact, nearly 80% of consumers surveyed showed interest in using AR maps for navigation purposes, according to a 2022 study commissioned by Snap Inc. As users aim their camera toward an object or pathway, AR applications can overlay directions and landmarks. With this type of virtual map, users can easily navigate unfamiliar areas and find points of interest. Besides easily finding attraction sites, restaurants, shops, and transport hubs, users can also access more information about their points of interest in multiple languages.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, for instance, offers visitors a SmartGuide mobile app. Visitors can find different sites, the closest restrooms, and dining facilities using the multimedia guide. They can also customize their own tour with 360º views. GPS technology enables relevant content to pop up while exploring the center, providing interesting facts, audio, photos, and videos in nine different languages. Visitors can also pair the Space Visor virtual reality headset with their mobile phone to watch rocket launches, take a ride in the lunar rover, and embark on a virtual cockpit experience.
How Can Augmented Reality Help Historical and Cultural Sites?
In a fast-paced digital age where attention spans are fleeting, it’s crucial to find innovative ways to revive and sustain interest in historical and cultural subjects. Augmented reality presents a powerful tool that can breathe new life into the past, captivate imaginations, and foster a deeper connection to rich heritage. By merging the physical and digital, AR offers a multitude of possibilities to rejuvenate historical and cultural value. AR also enhances learning, storytelling, and preservation efforts that reignite a collective curiosity for treasures from the past. Survey data from AddictiveTips finds that 95% of Americans either have tried or are eager to try AR and VR technologies. Tapping into this burgeoning excitement might be just the ticket to revitalizing a historical site.
Augmented Reality for Historical Sites
AR tools can help users step into the shoes of historical figures, witness significant events, or explore cultural sites in a way that connects them emotionally with the past. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum achieves this with an app that personalizes the stories and lives of the victims showcased in the Tower of Faces exhibit. When visitors point their smartphone at an image, information appears about the lives of the villagers. By making the experience interactive, visitors gain a deeper and more personal understanding of the individuals involved and their powerful stories.
Augmented Reality for Archaeological Sites
AR can provide interactive learning experiences that make history and culture more accessible and engaging. AR-enhanced exhibits can offer users additional information, multimedia content, interactive animations and more. This interactive approach makes learning fun and can also enhance understanding and retention—according to research, humans typically process visuals 6,000 times faster than text. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History has a mobile app called Skin and Bones, bringing 13 skeletons on display to life. Through 3D augmented reality and tracking, the app adds details to the specimens to portray how they look and move, and how their skeletons work. Users direct their smartphone camera at the specimen to trigger 3D graphics. The app offers a menu of immersive AR experiences for each animal on display, including videos, animations, and activities. For example, visitors can observe an eastern diamondback rattlesnake using its fangs to grasp a virtual rodent or test their knowledge of bat species by identifying their calls.
AR can also transport users back in time, overlaying historical scenes or reconstructions onto a present-day environment. Users can see how a particular location looked in the past, allowing them to experience historical events or settings in a more engaging way. In one 2022 ARRIS Composites survey, 77% of respondents said that they would be interested in using AR to ‘travel’ to locations they couldn’t otherwise access. Imagine if you could take them back in time instead! For example, Uist Unearthed’s app gives visitors the chance to explore the history and prehistory of the Uist Islands using augmented reality, animations, audio, graphics, and stories. Visitors scan QR codes at each site to access augmented historical sites and 3D excavated objects. You can see the original settlement as it stood 3500 years ago, including grand Viking halls, and monumental Iron Age brochs. The app also helps users stay on track with a GPS-enabled map and lets them share their experiences with photos and videos.
Create AR Experiences for Attractions
From museums and shopping to amusement parks and education, augmented reality is changing the way consumers communicate, navigate, and learn. AR technology only continues to advance, providing better quality experiences and more immersive ways to explore real and virtual worlds. Rock Paper Reality can help you leverage cutting-edge technology to advance projects and increase business growth. We’ve assisted Fortune 500s and startups alike to successfully develop and deploy AR technology for over a decade. Now we’re ready to tackle your project! Let’s connect.
Globally, applications of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) in the cosmetics and beauty markets is set to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.5% from 2022 to 2027. It’s not hard to see why—from virtual makeup try-ons, beauty filters and skincare analysis to personalised shopping and engaging DOOH advertising campaigns, cosmetics brands have never been better positioned to attract and serve their customers.
Technological advancement and the beauty industry have always moved hand-in-hand. In this article we’ll dive deeper into the historic entanglement between tech advancement and the beauty sector and analyze how the beauty industry is already integrating AR into services and marketing. We’ll also take a look at the future of AR in beauty and cosmetics.
Augmented reality enables brands to offer highly personalized shopping experiences. From virtual consultations and complexion analysis to personalized skincare regimes, AR can bring customers closer to products and reduce dissatisfaction.
AR allows beauty brands to level up their marketing strategies with distinctive DOOH campaigns, virtual search capabilities, and virtual fragrance experiences. This allows brands to engage consumers through memorable multi-channel interactions.
As digitally-native generations occupy an ever larger slice of the consumer market, it’s incumbent on brands to meet them where they are with sophisticated AR solutions that address their expectations and concerns.
AR tools can contribute significantly to a more sustainable cosmetic industry—reducing waste, lowering costs, and appealing to eco-conscious consumers. This offers an opportunity to stand out in a saturated market.
How are Technology and the Beauty Industry Connected?
The beauty industry has come a long way since ancient times, when alabaster face powder and Cleopatra’s kohl eyeliner were popular. The products we traditionally associate with the modern industry—like lipstick, mascara, and nail polish—surged to popularity in the 20th century.
The Historical Role of Technology in the Beauty Industry
Fueling the development and mainstream use of these cosmetics was technological innovation: think portrait photography, more affordable and compact mirrors, and especially motion pictures. In the 1920s, people began using makeup to emulate their favorite movie stars; marketing quickly caught on and followed the trends.
Technological innovation since then has only further popularized the industry. New formulas stabilize products for longer and more safely, while advancements in media and marketing have widened the pool of consumers, bringing the beauty industry to everyone.
For example, the advent of social media rocketed influencers and beauty bloggers to immense popularity, democratizing new trends and beauty standards. It has given a voice to demographics previously overlooked in marketing campaigns and has shifted the beauty industry towards a more inclusive approach.
Now AR is helping the beauty industry take yet another leap forward.
The Rise of Augmented Reality Technology in the Beauty Industry
Brands are always looking for more compelling ways to engage customers—and as digital natives comprise an increasingly significant part of the consumer market, blending the digital and physical could not be more important.
Augmented reality isn’t new technology, but its popularity has certainly surged in recent years. In part, one could associate this rise with the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The sudden proliferation of eCommerce and multi-channel shopping options brought a shift in marketing strategies—and an enhanced appreciation for digital capabilities.
Competitive players in the beauty industry are taking advantage of augmented reality to offer impressive customer-centric experiences, meeting shoppers where they are like never before. AR technology superimposes digital elements onto real-world visuals through a device such as a tablet or smartphone. In other words, virtual objects or animations overlay on the device camera’s real-time view.
From skin health analysis to intelligent shade-matching, AR has opened a gateway to newly personalized and accessible shopping experiences. But the technology doesn’t only benefit the consumer—brands reap the benefits just as much. AR tools help beauty brands increase profit margins through lower product return rates and improved inventory management.
Improving Customer Service with AR in Beauty and Cosmetics
The unpredictability of online shopping is a common pain point for shoppers when it comes to purchasing beauty and cosmetic products. Users take a gamble in knowing whether a product is suitable for their skin or complements their style. This often prevents potential customers from making online purchases—and increases the number of returns from those who do. In fact, the cart abandonment rate for the cosmetics industry is a whopping 75%!
However, with augmented reality, consumers can make more informed decisions and shop with confidence. One survey polling over 4,000 shoppers in the UK, US, France, and Saudi Arabia revealed that roughly two-thirds of those who used AR to guide their purchase decision were less likely to return the product.
Since returned cosmetics can rarely be resold, fewer returns ultimately means less waste and lower costs otherwise incurred by shipping, labor, and obsolete stock.
Let’s look at how leading brands are further integrating the technology into their offerings to improve shopping confidence and customer satisfaction.
Augmented Reality Makeup Try-On Services
Using only their mobile device, users can virtually apply various shades of lipstick, eyeshadow, blush, and false eyelashes. They can customize the makeup intensity, swap between products, and save preferred looks for future use. However, virtual try-on makeup applications go far beyond just superimposing color onto someone’s lips or cheeks.
Burberry Beauty, for instance, combines facial tracking technology and AR in its virtual studio experience. Tracking over 100 points of the user’s face, the scanner maps an individual’s features to create hyperrealistic mock-ups. With a unique individualized profile, users can visualize and refine their results to achieve the perfect look.
The Burberry Beauty Virtual Studio also offers customized and guided tutorials. The personalized guides are based on the user’s unique facial features such as eye shape, skin type, brows, and mouth. Augmented reality tutorials feature three-dimensional animations superimposed onto the user’s face, highlighting the exact places to apply makeup.
Users can choose from seven looks and set their preference according to the occasion and desired finish. For instance, a user might want a smoky-eyed night look, or a subtle finish for a day of business meetings. This provides an educational experience, promotes the brand’s products, and empowers consumers in their beauty routines.
Similarly, Sephora has an in-store 3D augmented reality makeup mirror that simulates cosmetics on a user’s face in real time. No more of the messy apply, wipe off, apply, wipe off sampling procedures—instead, customers can sample shades hygienically and instantaneously by tapping on the Beauty Mirror’s on-screen shade palette. In addition, when they turn their face, they can view products from different angles, helping them make informed purchasing decisions.
Virtual Hair Styling and Coloring
Augmented reality beauty filters aren’t just for makeup, however. AR has proven to be a critical breakthrough for hair styling as well.
Many people become anxious about cutting or coloring their hair because there is always a risk that the end product may not be what they want. What if that bob doesn’t work the way they thought, or bubblegum pink isn’t their color?
Thankfully, AR filters now enable users to visualize different haircuts and try out various hair colors without making permanent changes. Whether it’s a sleek updo or a new color, users can test out the look on an app before committing. Chopping off locks or making big color changes can be daunting—but these tools boost consumer confidence and brand engagement.
L’Oreal Hair Color Virtual Try On is a smartphone app that allows users to try different hair colors virtually. All they need to do is upload a photo, select a hair color and see the transformation in real time.
Simiarly, Garnier offers an online virtual try-on tool to enable customers to find their perfect shade. Users can either upload a photo or scan their face before experimenting with different colors. Garnier also offers advice on the best shade for a person’s complexion using an accompanying Shade Selector Quiz.
Amazon hair salons feature a full in-store color bar. Here, customers can virtually experiment with different hairstyles and colors before deciding on the look they want.
The salon also displays a range of hair products like shampoos and straighteners that visitors can purchase from Amazon. All the customer needs to do is scan a QR code next to the product and place their order. Taking it one step further, users can scan the product to view details such as ingredients, benefits, and instructions.
AR Skincare and Skin Analysis
Augmented reality apps also step outside the realm of makeup and cosmetics, assisting with critical skincare as well. AR technology can be used to monitor skin health and access customized skincare recommendations. When customers know they can return to an app for a follow-up analysis at any time, they’ll feel like they have a personal dermatologist at home—a major USP for your brand.
One of the top beauty brands using augmented reality is L’Oreal. Its SkinConsult AI digital skin diagnostic focuses on personalizing anti-aging skincare. To receive an individualized skin profile, the user uploads a selfie. The technology then detects signs of aging including under-eye wrinkles, dark spots, loss of firmness, fine lines, and deep wrinkles. Based on the results, the user receives a tailored skin aging matrix and product routine recommendation.
Similarly, Clinique’s Clinicalreality app gives its users a 30-second skin analysis. Users scan the QR code on the website to access the app. Next, after the user takes a selfie, the application offers a personalized skin diagnostic. The report includes signs of dehydration, irritation, acne, fatigue, uneven texture, pores, lines, wrinkles, and loss of volume. The tool then offers customized treatment recommendations for each concern.
These tools are game-changers for brands seeking to gain a competitive advantage and position themselves as experts in their niche. More importantly, they also build consumer confidence and loyalty—crucial for driving customer retention and repeat purchases over time.
How Can Augmented Reality be Used in Marketing for the Beauty Industry?
AR is transforming marketing and advertising for beauty and cosmetics brands. Thanks to AR beauty apps and integrations, brands can gain a better understanding of what their consumers are looking for. Based on the information gleaned from consumer behavior, purchases, and interests, brands can offer more personalized shopping experiences.
Many of the service features already mentioned—such as virtual try-on mirrors, interactive packaging and in-store displays—have a direct marketing benefit as well. By recommending solutions, a company can match and market the correct products for its customers’ needs. But the marketing uses don’t stop there.
AR beauty apps allow users to share their transformation images with peers on social media and encourage in-app reviews. And by leveraging DOOH ads and visual search tools, brands can tap into new possibilities for engagement and recognition. Let’s take a closer look at some augmented reality marketing examples.
AR Campaigns and Digital Out-of-Home Ads
Forget static and forgettable billboards—digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads are quickly becoming key to drawing in and engaging consumers. DOOH ads are advertising campaigns displayed on digital screens such as billboards. They are typically located in public spaces such as shopping malls, bus shelters, airports, and other high-traffic areas. These ads utilize digital technology to deliver dynamic, engaging, and sometimes interactive content to a wide audience. Giving a distinctive experience to commuters, shoppers, and errand-runners, DOOH ads help make a brand’s offering more memorable.
Mugler, for instance, created a DOOH campaign featuring augmented reality mirrors to promote the Angel Elixir fragrance. The AR mirrors were set up in malls and airports. As people moved past the mirror and virtually spritzed themselves with the perfume, they would transform into a constellation. In this way the AR technology makes the scent visually striking and unforgettable.
AR-Powered Search Tools
Keeping consumers loyal when their favorite products are discontinued or out of stock can be challenging. But AR-powered visual search makes it easy for customers to find a replacement instantly. Users can simply snap a photo of their current product and use it as a search filter.
Similar to AR makeup try-on features, users can virtually apply the recommendations that show up in the search results. Google, for instance, partners with major beauty brands such as L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, and MAC Cosmetics, allowing users to try on products that appear in search results.
What is the Future of AR in the Beauty Sector?
As evidenced, beauty brands use AR technology to move away from transactional shopping experiences and to focus on cultivating brand experiences instead—but consumers still want more.
Millennials and Gen Z consumers expect to connect with and access brands and retailers across multiple touchpoints. For these shoppers, there is little distinction between the physical and digital, with expectations of a seamless and consistent user experience across social, in-store, and digital touchpoints.
AR technologies help the beauty sector bridge this gap by offering the brand experience from anywhere at any time. Whether they’re at home, at work, commuting, or in a store, users can access product information, personalized application tips, and make instant purchases that perfectly match their style.
Consumers today are also increasingly concerned with environmental sustainability. The physical product packaging used by the global cosmetics industry (120 billion units of plastic yearly) contributes significantly to landfills—in fact, it takes up 33% of global landfill space! Such packaging often includes single-use, non-biodegradable items such as applicators, removers, and sachets, leading to further environmental degradation.
Virtual try-on applications help customers order what they actually want the first time around, helping reduce wasted products—and wasted packaging as well. Beauty brands can also market AR applications and services as a step to better sustainability, driving brand affinity with consumers. But it’s not just basic care and product information—a business can also add environmental impact data to augmented reality experiences to educate customers on what it’s doing to support sustainability.
Forays into the Metaverse are also on the horizon. As the lines between the physical and digital become more blurred, beauty brands need to meet potential customers where they are—and that means advertising in the Metaverse. Brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, Estée Lauder, Nars and Fenty are filing for Metaverse trademarks to stake their claim. Nars and Prada have already capitalized further, with each launching a team of “digital influencers” to interact with consumers virtually.
Estée Lauder SVP of global consumer marketing Jon Roman highlights that “the Metaverse is essentially limitless in terms of how one can express themselves through things like their avatars, and it’s this that will unlock more surreal beauty looks, new areas of inclusivity and abstract self-expression.”
Reimagining Your Brand With Innovative AR Solutions
The visual and hands-on nature of beauty products has often been a barrier for cosmetics brands looking to increase online conversions. But AR has proven a game-changer in recreating the in-person experience and giving customers confidence in choosing the right products.
It’s not just online shoppers who benefit either—these tools enhance in-store experiences too, and help to create more engaging marketing experiences “in the wild” via elaborate DOOH campaigns.
Demand for AR solutions in the beauty and cosmetics space is only set to increase as digital natives occupy more and more of the market. Millennials and Gen Z already comprise a massive chunk of the space; Generation Alpha and beyond will only be more technologically adept. These consumers are the future of your business—and catering to their expectations and concerns is critical for sustainable success. Brands that do not leverage new technologies to engage consumers are at risk of becoming irrelevant in today’s competitive market.
Rock Paper Reality delivers technology solutions to engage and empower your consumers. For more than a decade we’ve been helping companies harness the latest technologies and bringing their AR visions to life.
Augmented reality (AR) is revolutionizing the way we travel and interact with the world. From interactive maps and personalised recommendations to remote assistants and translation apps, the potential for AR usage in tourism is boundless. The virtual tourism market alone is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.2% between 2023 and 2028, to reach a valuation of $23.5 billion. There is no doubt that augmented reality is reshaping the tourism industry, empowering brands to remain relevant in a competitive and changing market space.
With informative overlays and augmented attractions, this transformative technology seamlessly blends the physical and digital to offer new immersive experiences. Augmented reality in tourism doesn’t only enhance customer satisfaction but enables next-level marketing and opens up new revenue streams for travel businesses.
Let’s explore the many ways that the use of augmented reality in travel and tourism can shake up your business with remarkable competitive advantages.
AR enables travel operators to enhance their services by offering simplified navigation, on-demand destination information, and eliminating language barriers.
AR helps agents and operators improve travel personalization—a key component to fostering engagement and customer satisfaction.
AR in travel opens avenues for new revenue streams and improves consumer confidence by allowing customers to gain detailed insights before committing to a booking.
AR tourism tools in hospitality establishments can significantly reduce operational and administrative costs. They can also help drive bookings to on-site services and improve guest experiences.
How Can AR Enhance Travel Experiences?
As the quality of augmented reality improves and increased accessibility leads to lower implementation costs, AR is becoming increasingly popular as a travel tool. Whether it’s a museum visit or a trip to a foreign country, AR promises to change, improve, and expand the very nature of travel and tourism.
Enabling the Use of AR Travel Guides to Explore Destinations Virtually
Although the experience of travel is proverbially priceless, the truth is that it can put quite a dent in your client’s pocket. An augmented reality travel guide can help ensure that the destination your clients spend their money on is just as beautiful as the brochure promises.
Using AR, tourists can explore famous landmarks, interactive museums, and natural wonders from the comfort of their own homes. They can view 3D models of iconic buildings like the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal and even take virtual walking tours through bustling city streets or far-flung wilderness. An example of this is the travel app Antarctic Heritage Trust AR, which takes users on an expedition to Antarctica. Here a user can explore the icy landscape with 360º images and videos and access artefacts from the buildings.
AR also allows tourists to learn about the history and culture of a destination through interactive exhibits, historical reenactments, and educational games. Augmented reality travel apps can depict how an area looked in the past and restore historical scenes and events. It can also invite users to preview exciting new sites currently under construction.
Historik is a tourism app that recreates historic buildings and objects at specific points of interest. By pointing their mobile camera at a landmark, travelers can access a visual representation of the history and significance of the site. They can swipe through artefacts and even set up self-guided tours.
The Benefits of an AR Travel Guide
By allowing your clients to explore destinations virtually with integrated AR, you’ll offer the following unique benefits:
Increased accessibility – AR technology allows people with limited mobility or disabilities to experience and explore destinations that might otherwise be inaccessible to them.
Improved buyer confidence – By first experiencing a destination virtually, travelers can make more informed decisions. When they book the real adventure, they’ll be sure to pick the right option for them, reducing the risk of refunds and complaints.
Enhanced educational opportunities – AR can provide interactive and informative experiences that truly add value. It can be used to efficiently inform travelers about the history, culture, and natural wonders of a destination.
Leveraging AR to Navigate Unfamiliar Places
With its ability to blend the virtual and physical, tourists can use AR for navigation. When exploring an new area, a traveler can point their mobile phone camera into the street and sit back while an AR tourist guide superimposes directions on the view. With real-time directions and a visual orientation of where they are, they can navigate unknown places with ease.
For example, the AR tourism app World Around Me highlights nearby ATMs, restaurants, hotels, attractions, hospitals, shops, and transportation stops. Similarly, PeakVisor enhances outdoor activities by providing interactive guides for hiking trails, mountaineering, and adventure sports.
Using AR to Entertain Guests
AR can add a new dimension to your guest experiences at museums, art galleries, historical sites, and other attractions. Besides offering augmented reality tour guides on the traveler’s mobile phone, AR apps can also offer real-time information about paintings, artefacts, animals, and more.
For example, Museum Buddy offers self-guided tours, object narrations, museum maps, and a wealth of information for some of the world’s most popular museums. What would traditionally be a one-way viewing encounter can now become an immersive cultural experience, enabling visitors to truly submerge themselves in an era or environment.
Additionally, AR travel gaming apps such as Geocaching engage visitors in virtual treasure hunts or invite them to solve puzzles. This can take exploring parks, zoos, gardens, and historical sites to a new level of fun.
How Can AR Improve Customer Satisfaction in Travel and Tourism?
Integrating AR into customer experiences is key for travel and tourism companies that wish to stay competitive. In 2021, the AR market was worth $8.6 billion, and it is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 38% by 2030.
This rapid expansion only serves as testament to how powerful AR is in helping businesses deliver better customer service.
Using AR to Provide Personalized Travel Experiences
With ready-made packages and all-inclusive deals, traditional travel itineraries and activities are often a one-size-fits-all approach. But what if you could tailor every part of your customer’s journey, certain that they will love what they get? You can. With AR integrations and features, your clients can book a room after virtually browsing multiple options, seamlessly navigate points of interest to them, and enjoy interactive, tailored itineraries.
Improving Customer Communication and Collaboration Through AR
Using AR, customers can leave reviews and ratings for places they visit in real time. This feedback is invaluable for travel and hospitality businesses and can help to enhance communication with your audiences. You could also consider implementing useful features like AR avatars or virtual representatives to guide customers through their travel experiences. These avatars can provide assistance, suggest activities, and answer common questions, improving communication and customer support.
How Can AR Increase Travel and Tourism Revenue?
AR features can captivate visitors, streamline the travel experience and drastically enhance visitor interactions. From informative overlays to real-time translations, these tools can drive engagement, confidence and ultimately consumer spending.
AR can also help travel and tourism businesses to move into new markets and expand their offerings in ways that differentiate them from their competitors. Here are some opportunities for building new revenue streams using AR:
Enhanced Virtual Tours
Users can explore destinations virtually, navigate attractions, and even interact with virtual elements in real time. This technology opens up opportunities to generate revenue through augmented tours, ticket sales, and partnerships with local businesses.
Virtual Shopping Experiences
AR technology can transform traditional souvenir shopping. Using AR-enabled apps or devices, tourists can virtually try on clothing, accessories, or test products before purchase.
This not only enhances the shopping experience but provides a unique way for travel companies to generate additional revenue. They can partner with local retailers to offer exclusive discounts and promotions for AR shoppers. This creates a win-win situation for both travelers and businesses.
Smartify’s eShop platform, for instance, lets users access art from galleries like The National Gallery in London and buy prints, souvenirs, mementos, and gifts directly from their smartphone.
With AR-enabled devices, marketers can create interactive and engaging advertisements that blend seamlessly with real-world environments. Featuring creative design work and animation, these campaigns extend your brand into the digital layer and can be highly impactful.
Gamification in Travel & Tourism
With integrated game-like features, users can participate in interactive challenges, complete quests, and earn rewards as they explore different destinations. Jurassic World Alive is a prime example of this. The app invites users to find virtual dinosaurs in different real-world locations, enabling them to learn about the ancient creatures at the same time.
Applying this concept in various settings can make travel more engaging and educational. It also provides opportunities for travel and tourism companies to generate additional revenue. They can offer premium game experiences, extra features, or in-game purchases and upgrades.
AR as a Tool to Boost Sales and Conversion
By providing virtual tours of destinations, cruise ships, and leisure facilities, travel agents and marketers give potential customers a sneak peek into holiday bliss. This can increase interest and likelihood of booking.
AR also makes it easy for travelers to book day tours on demand. They can browse and engage in activity options from within an app—and use the same app to instantly book the activity. This is especially useful for weather-dependent activities or to avoid long lines.
How Can You Leverage AR in the Hospitality Industry?
Leveraging augmented reality in hospitality has the power to turn your customer experiences—and your bottom line—around. AR tools can reduce operational, training, and administrative costs, improve the guest experience, and drive more bookings.
AR in Hotels
Holiday Inn uses augmented reality to offer virtual 360º hotel tours to prospective visitors. These tours help users to:
Decide which room size is the best fit for them
Get a realistic idea of amenities
Explore leisure and dining facilities
Evaluate the suitability and capacity of conference and event rooms
Explore room upgrade advantages and compare the benefits
Gain a comprehensive overview of the facility layout, room privacy, noise levels, and views
Furthermore, you can integrate AR with social media platforms to create interactive and shareable content, increasing brand exposure and engagement.
Training Hotel Staff Using AR
AR can enable employees to learn in a hands-on manner. They can use AR tools to visualize complex processes, simulate real-life scenarios, and receive real-time feedback. They can also practise handling customer-facing scenarios in an augmented environment and receive enhanced training with interactive guides and demonstrations.
Improving Guest Services With AR in Hotels
AR brings a whole new dimension of convenience to the way guests interact with hotels. With virtual concierge services, visitors can instantly access information, make bookings, and request assistance by simply scanning their surroundings. Whether it’s making a dinner reservation, finding out how the entertainment system works, or getting directions to the fitness center, guests can access everything in the palm of their hand.
Holding a mobile phone camera toward the entertainment system might cause an overlay with instructions to appear on the screen. Or, as a user points their camera down the hallway, the AR application might superimpose directions to the restaurant, spa, or fitness center
AR can also enhance dining experiences. By scanning a menu, guests could access information or ingredients, or even see how the dish was prepared. They could also scan a bottle label, as in the case of Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise, to access games.
Similarly, prestigious Scotch whisky brand The Glenlivet partnered with Rock Paper Reality to create a virtual tasting room, so as to expand whisky access and education to a new swathe of younger consumers. The Sample Room experience immerses users in the heart of a 360º tasting room, where they can learn more about the story behind the brand’s 18-, 21- and 25-year expressions—all by scanning a QR code on the back of a bottle. An AR tool like this offers twofold advantages for hospitality establishments: educate staff on the fly, and enhance the guest experience.
Augmented Reality: The Future of Tourism
Augmented reality is transforming the tourism industry and shaping the future of travel experiences. It holds immense potential to offer travellers a whole new way to explore and engage with the world around them.
Rock Paper Reality can help you take full advantage of this technology to drive growth in your travel or tourism business. From Fortune 500s to start-ups, we’ve been helping companies leverage the latest technology to drive growth strategies for over a decade.
Our team of highly skilled innovators looks forward to bringing your augmented reality vision to life. Let’s chat.
Many companies in the finance industry are embracing modern technologies, including virtual and augmented reality. While there are many examples of financial organizations warming up to virtual reality, augmented reality applications have been less popular. This is partly because the technology has only been showcased in niche sectors with little or nothing to do with finance, such as gaming and military training. Nonetheless, there are other examples where augmented reality in finance will have an impact on the industry.
Enabling Augmented Reality Data Visualization
Visualizing data trends is a critical tool for financial traders since it makes conveying complex business patterns more intuitive. This is handy given that the decisions that financial analysts have to make on an hourly basis are getting more complicated. It can be attributed to the increasing competition in every sector, expanded legal frameworks, and the international nature of modern business.
For the past few decades, analysts have relied on complex software applications to manage financial information. They’ve been utilizing the 2D and 3D rendering engines baked into such programs to produce visually appealing charts and graphs. All this was accomplished via traditional computing mechanisms where an analyst sat in front of a computer, input the commands, scanned a file, and received output on a screen.
Augmented reality in finance allows analysts to use their surroundings as computing peripherals. It also takes data capture to a new level. One of the leading global companies in finance that has partially invested in AR-based data capture includes Salesforce, a Fidelity Investment subsidiary. With AR, financial analysts can capture form data in real-time and watch as it is transformed into various formats. As an illustration, the technology means that different types of charts and graphs can be generated by simply glancing at a tabular structure through an appropriate AR gadget such as Oculus Rift. With such advanced visualization techniques, investors can make critical decisions faster while collaborating remotely since modern AR accommodates networking features.
Augmented Reality Banking and Customer Service
Banks are some of the most important financial institutions in society since they help centralize and control the flow of money. Integrating augmented reality in finance means that customers can enjoy more streamlined services. In nearly all cases, there is a cost-saving angle to such changes. Many banks use AR-based apps to help their customers locate ATMs and the bank branches nearest to them.
In other instances, users get access to amazing services through such apps, including distance calculation to the nearest outlets, virtual trading, account management, and asset inquiry. The ability to access real-time information about traffic and weather means that the app can warn customers against taking certain routes if they want to get to the banks faster.
Halifax from the UK and Commonwealth Bank from Australia are using AR to make processing requests more seamless. The Mysis app is being used to manage personal finance. Ukrainian Privat bank is utilizing the technology to show how customers’ information can be merged with AR allowing them to perform all their banking virtually. The Bank of Osman has integrated deal-finding algorithms in its apps. Users can use it to locate an ATM within a mall and for finding special deals in selected stores.
In the United States, Citibank uses AR integrated into Microsoft HoloLens to develop holographic workstations for its financial clients. As their client, you need to wear a headset to use the service, which is the first step in creating an augmented world. Once done, you can view lots of complex data in a simplified fashion. In addition, manipulating the virtual elements such as views and chart types is as easy as using voice, hand-held control, or making specific gestures.
Aside from traditional banks using AR technology to improve services, the technology has allowed virtual banks to emerge and attract more customers than ever. Digital banks don’t require you to visit a physical banking hall since all paperwork is handled via a web platform. Meetings are handled via teleconferencing. Such situations are rare and only come up when customers have certain matters to settle with bank officials such as managers.
Whenever a virtual meeting between key business partners has to be held, AR is used to make the sessions more productive. A head office virtual customer support assistant may be present to ensure that the company’s agenda is considered. The rest of the participants can freely interact as if they were in the same physical space. This differs from traditional teleconferencing, where everything is handled via a screen and a microphone.
The resulting experience is better and more seamless for getting the most out of such interactions. Therefore, augmented reality in finance allows participants to interact as if they are in the same physical space without the actual need to invest in premises such as office branches or the necessary transportation.
Securing Augmented Reality Payment Services
Payments services are closely related to banking since most of the backend processing is done by a financial institution. As AR technology improves, traditional payment service providers such as MasterCard and VISA continue to make service integrations that make processing orders more efficient. The two processors have come to terms with the fact that physical cards are increasingly getting outdated.
To this effect, VISA Europe is experimenting with features that unlock the use of augmented reality in finance for retail use. For instance, customers will use smart cards to buy clothes off the backs of models during fashion shows. The technology will require the collaboration of fashion designers, payment processors, and banks.
Some of the latest alternatives to traditional payment processors introduced over the past few years include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay Send. These payment services use AR coupled with sensors built into wearables to help customers make payments more efficiently in places such as gas stations, supermarkets, and online sites. Some wearables that have grown in popularity with the rise in AR-based apps include smartwatches, bands, and tags.
AR devices that have not yet gained mainstream traction include glasses and smart apparel. Once popularized, they will allow finance analysts in physically distant locations to share virtual offices and visualize statistical models as teams. Notably, this will require augmented reality in finance to be merged with virtual reality.
Security and Asset Protection
Sophistication in modern technology opens up opportunities for financial institutions to solve challenges that have inconvenienced customers for decades. However, it creates a loophole that cybercriminals can exploit to steal money or information from unsuspecting AR users.
The most popular AR security integration in the finance world is biometric authentication. For example, many banking apps require a fingerprint scan or face authentication to accomplish various tasks such as checking the balance, sending money, or sending invoices. Lots of traditional banking apps tap into the biometric scanning APIs built into smartphones’ operating systems such as iOS and Android to strengthen the protection needed to access various digital services.
Biometric security technologies are also being rolled out in mainstream banking applications. The earliest terminals to embrace these technologies include banking halls and ATMs. It’s common for clients to verify their identity using fingerprinting and facial recognition technology. Some ATMs have implemented similar technologies to supplement the security provided via pin codes. A common disadvantage associated with code authentication is clients forgetting their unique digits. With AR-based technologies, such failure can’t happen. Asset protection via AR is largely conceptual since the necessary technology hasn’t been properly implemented. Once finalized and rolled out, investors will be able to use AR-capable gadgets to scan their property, cash reserves, and safe deposits. This will take the form of a virtual tour. Plugging into a wearable will transform the immediate environment allowing analysts or their clients to review their assets from the comfort of their homes. Like similar technologies that require remote collaboration, it’ll be necessary to utilize virtual reality elements for a smoother experience.
Spreading Financial Education with AR
Augmented reality in finance has the potential to transform finance from an educational perspective. It can transform how people interact with each other to acquire new knowledge on markets, trade, and investment. This capability is rooted in AR’s ability to generate computer graphics that seamlessly integrate and interact with objects in the real world.
Today, the most basic forms of AR-based learning can be achieved through the use of a typical smartphone. Developers have already created apps that take advantage of such technology. For instance, to extract critical information about the information contained in a graph, you only need to open an app, start the camera view, and point it toward a sheet of paper with some digital records. The AR system will analyze the context of items in the camera view before applying the necessary mathematical analysis.
AR can also transform the learning experience by letting finance students interact with their classroom materials in virtual classes. The learning approach considers the fact that most people are visual and practical learners. They’ll remember the things they see and touch better than what they read or hear.
As an illustration, teaching finance students about 4D analysis is best done via AR. Wearing special headsets and using hand controllers lets learners visualize the model, touch it, and play around with its properties. The collaborative features allow all the students to visualize a single model and interact with the same. For example, if one student changes a parameter on the model, the classmates visually observe the transformation in real-time since the model is shared.
Augmented Reality in Remote Work
Remote work is one of the most important benefits and applications of augmented reality in finance. The technology allows employees to connect with an added dimension beyond basic video and audio calls.
With traditional digital collaboration implemented through shared project features, employees can see each other’s job progress in real-time. If a video feature is installed, they can see each other as they work from their stations.
On the other hand, AR lets them create virtual worlds with all the benefits of a traditional videoconferencing session. In addition, a worker can see what their colleagues are working on. This is different from the traditional approach. Traditionally, you’d have to request your colleagues to share a screen. AR allows a participant to get up from their virtual chair and walk around the digital room. They don’t have to ask their colleagues to share screens. They can walk up to their stations and study the data displayed on the virtual monitors. All this happens in real-time.
You should note that this kind of setup qualifies as augmented reality since not all the items present in the virtual space are abstract computer generations. For example, while the virtual office is a computer simulation, the workers and their workstations are real. This is why the content on each computer screen is the same as what your colleague is working on from their house office. In addition, AR will have added collaboration benefits for remote workers. As you stroll around in the virtual office, you can assist your colleagues with their work. You can pick up digital items, make annotations on others’ computer screens, chat, and do other collaborative activities within the virtual office. Any interactions involving models that have been simulated from the physical world are digitally converted into physical actions. With such levels of collaboration, finance organizations can enjoy the benefits of both remote work and collaborative open offices.
The potential benefits of financial organizations using AR in remote work and collaboration are unlimited. For instance, companies no longer have to worry about buying additional office space as their teams grow. They can easily build virtual offices where employees can interact despite being located in different countries. The savings can be redirected into other critical areas of the businesses.
What the Future Holds for Augmented Reality in Finance
Various subsectors within finance have proven that the industry is fully compatible with AR. These include banking, education, and communication. Finance organizations need to embrace the developments taking place in AR, including data visualization and virtual trading. They should also continue to demand better integration between the technology and the core concepts of finance.
AR is impacting how financial institutions interact with customers, partners, employees, and other parties. It redefines the basic processes of providing services, receiving information, managing data, and safeguarding assets.
From unique dining experiences to cultural foods finally getting the global recognition they deserve, the restaurant industry must pivot according to the latest trends. What’s the exciting new ingredient making its way through the industry today, you ask? Augmented reality (AR). This technology enables innovative new applications to foster a more rewarding dining experience while aiding kitchen staff.
Augmented reality turns ordinary menus into exciting interactive displays capable of keeping even the most traditional patron entertained. In addition to serving as dining entertainment and marketing tactics, AR also works for employee training. This technology makes it simple to learn food preparation and other work-related activities.
Restaurants are among the growing use cases transforming the customer experience. Fashion, shopping, and customer support are also taking advantage of this emerging trend. Augmented reality to restaurants is the “try-before-you-buy” sales strategy to retail. In all of these applications, AR adds a dimension of fun while providing useful, user-friendly information.
Augmented reality improves the customer experience, a critical component of running your business. Now people expect faster, more exciting—yet still higher-quality—service than ever before… and usually with a digital component. Though AR meets this customer demand, businesses have struggled to implement it properly.
Developmental costs and technical hurdles have kept many restaurants from using AR—until now. Rock Paper Reality is an industry-leading AR agency eager to help seamlessly incorporate AR into your business practices, so you can get a leg up on the competition.
Today’s consumers are looking for augmented reality experiences and are willing to shell out for them—if they can deliver. Fortunately, customers already have the smartphones necessary to use these immersive experiences, and it’s become feasible for restaurants like yours to implement compelling content.
Augmented Reality Transforms Restaurant Menus
Augmented reality makes it easier than ever for patrons to see what they’re ordering. All you have to do is hold your phone up to experience a photorealistic look at menu items right on your table. It’s as close as you can get to seeing the food before actually being served a fresh plate. Not to mention, the device can overlay detailed product information to readily answer any nutritional questions. Now you can have your cake and eat it, too.
AR allows restaurants to offer customers a menu that comes to life through a smartphone. Life-size 3D images of the food function as both advertisements and entertainment, making it easy for you to upsell.
Say a customer has decided on the main course. You can easily show them what sides, drinks, or desserts it would best pair with. Also, the AR menu can link directly to your payment system.
Since the AR menu is dynamically generated, patrons can even mix and match different ingredients or toppings to see how their creation would look. The overlay can reveal as many details as you and your customers want, such as food textures or portion sizes.
Instead of leaving hungry customers waiting, AR delivers entertaining experiences that offer information and 3D visuals through your interactive menu. You can also incorporate information about nutrition, where you source your ingredients from, your business values, or any other messages you want to convey to your customers.
Believe it or not, these augmented reality overlays are very easy to use, as their level of accessibility is dictated by you! For instance, you can include a QR code on your tables. Customers can then instantly activate the corresponding menu simply by hovering their phone over the QR code with the camera app open. You can also incorporate uniquely tailored 3D animations into the experience to make the interactive menu more fun. Imagine a virtual mariachi band breaking the ice on a first date at a Mexican restaurant, or young kids giggling as they watch cartoon monsters decorate their pizza! Extra cheese, please!
Taking the visual aspect of AR menus even further, these may transition from smartphones and tablets to smartglasses and perhaps even smart contact lenses. We’re at the start of a massive evolution, from static menus to immersive 3D menus and dynamic activities throughout the dining experience.
This has the potential to alter how people engage with restaurants dramatically. No more going back and forth between menu items out of uncertainty, no more disappointments. You see it and the restaurant makes it happen. Payment is automatic. Augmented reality menus were built from 2D video boards, printed menus, and plain text descriptions. Each stage of technology advances the detail and realism, giving prospective diners a better understanding and experience with every new round of advancements.
Businesses are embedding augmented reality experiences into their beverage labels. This extends the reach of the messaging opportunity far beyond the physical size of the bottle. For instance, a simple scan can bring you to the farms where the drink’s ingredients are grown, or you can learn about the brand’s story from its founder. This cost-effective physical packaging can transport customers anywhere in the world at the touch of a button. Now, that’s an experience.
As discussed, restaurant-goers like learning about new products. An exciting way to deliver this information is through augmented reality product launches. For example, people waiting to be seated can go on an AR adventure to explore a new beverage now available in that restaurant.
In-restaurant AR games offer another type of entertainment. People of all ages can play quick sports games or action games. This also works for take-out or delivery, as you can customize boxes or bags to transform into 3D games using QR codes.
Visual and Social Marketing for Restaurants
Hundreds of restaurants are developing augmented reality menus, from global fast-food chains to small independent restaurants. Those that embrace this technology sooner will benefit from both the menus themselves and the marketing boost of being ahead of the curve.
In the age of sharing every moment of our lives online, connecting augmented reality and social media is critical. Social media has become the main driving force in many customers’ restaurant outings. People choose where to go and what to eat based on Instagram, Facebook, Google, and other online services. You can spread your message through social media and have it connect directly to an AR menu. Diners like the convenience and shareable entertainment of this approach.
It’s not difficult to implement an augmented reality menu, with the help of an experienced AR partner, like Rock Paper Reality. You maintain full creative control of your menus while we bring them to life. You can have a WebAR experience that runs directly on people’s mobile devices without requiring any downloads, or if you prefer, you can develop your own downloadable app.
Restaurants serving international fare may stand to gain the most from augmented reality. It can be difficult for people to visualize foreign food, and having a life-size preview of a dish can make it more understandable (and thus more desirable!). People think visually, seeing is believing!
Products can incorporate AR content to appeal more to people at home, as well. Household names, like Nestle and Kraft, are adding augmented reality to their product packaging. It’s not just for kicks, these projects look to elevate health outcomes. For example, food vendors can make healthy (generally less appealing) foods more attractive through the magic of AR. When it comes to restaurants, augmented reality can enhance the entire eating experience.
AR Improves the Dining Experience
Dining is not just about the food itself. It’s also about the ambiance, the activities, and all of the other elements that contribute to the overall experience. Augmented reality has now earned a place in these categories. AR enhances customer engagement while making the meal more interactive and immersive.
When patrons go to your AR-enabled restaurant, they can compare menu items, take photos of themselves and their loved ones enjoying your food, and post to social media even before the dish arrives. You can also post coupons to social media that open your augmented reality menu.
Augmented reality elicits feelings, the way sharing laughs over knock-your-socks-off homecooked food with the people you love most does. Putting them together for a more memorable experience is a no-brainer!
Furthermore, an interesting new technique projects a small AR chef—just a few inches tall—onto diners’ tables to prepare their meals right in front of their eyes! The mini-chef may encounter entertaining challenges as other characters enter or leave the scene with changing music and decorations. After the show, diners receive the real versions of the digital creations, bringing the dining experience full circle.
You can incorporate augmented reality restaurant technology into your storytelling portfolio with RPR, bringing the meal to life and giving customers memories to treasure and share.
Better Restaurant Staff Training Using AR
Augmented reality isn’t just good for your clientele, it’s also good for your employees. Restaurants can speed up and increase the quality of training while reducing costs and time. Service businesses have to conduct extensive training. The more efficient this is, the better.
Using an AR training app decreases the amount of paper and other materials needed. It also makes the lessons more understandable, since trainees can see the items and their locations as if they were already on the job. Going one step further, you can use augmented reality for on-the-job training. This medium also makes it easy to adjust the training information as procedures evolve.
Augmented reality optimizes work training programs and ensures all bases are properly covered. This produces high-quality staff at an affordable rate. It’s considerably faster and more cost-effective than conferences or in-person sessions. As such, AR restaurant training applications offer a great bang-for-your-buck return on investment.
Large restaurant chains can reuse the same training materials with new employees at any location, for economies of scale and to eliminate inconsistencies. Some of the tasks that augmented reality can assist with include learning portion sizes and food and beverage preparation techniques. It can also aid in kitchen equipment maintenance, repair, and operation.
AR training adapts well to people with different learning styles, needs, and capacities. Individuals can do self-paced courses and go over any materials on an as-needed basis. For these and a million other reasons, well-known food and beverage organizations are adopting augmented reality training—and you can too with a Rock Paper Reality solution.
Trainees can use their smartphones or tablets (or even smart glasses) to view information and graphic instructions on how to complete specific tasks/ With the AR overlay, the program mimics real-life working conditions so the employees will be ready to work.
Using AR for restaurant training also decreases the total amount of personnel time necessary for training purposes. Previously, other employees would have to take time away from their normal duties to conduct the lessons. Augmented reality allows self-directed training instead.
AR Restaurant Training in Practice
Thanks to the speed of AR training, employees can start contributing to the team faster than ever. As such, it may very well be on its way to becoming the industry standard for training restaurant workers.
As another advantage of augmented reality training, people can receive instant feedback on their performance. After initial training, managers can also maintain AR programs to keep employees performing well and learning new tasks.
Restaurant owners appreciate AR training for its added efficiency, while employees like AR training for the fun of it and the confidence it instills in them. Just as augmented reality makes it easy for customers to visualize their meals, AR makes it easy for workers to visualize their tasks. For instance, they can watch scaled-down animated figures operate machinery step-by-step.
A fast-food restaurant may spend hundreds of hours training a new employee. Add to that the high turnover rates in the restaurant industry and the frustrations of customers dealing with employees-in-training, and the costs rapidly add up.
With augmented reality, however, businesses can decrease this lost time while keeping more people serving customers instead of training new hires. A trainee sees real-time information, and can thus perform well even with minimal on-the-floor preparation.
For instance, the device could show precisely which ingredient to use, in what amount, and even how to combine ingredients for the best flavor. The overlay remains available to replay or to move to the next step, making the learning process simple and stress-free.
AR training isn’t just for fast-food restaurants. Independent businesses can use the same technology to streamline and speed up their processes. While big brands have made impactful commitments to augmented reality, smaller restaurants are also working with developers to implement their own AR experiences.
Add Augmented Reality to your Restaurant’s Mix!
Augmented reality is already elevating how restaurants do business, and its importance will only expand in the coming years. Businesses of all sizes are employing AR to market their foods, enhance their dining experiences, and train their employees.
With augmented reality, a restaurant becomes more visual—starting from the moment customers sit down and lasting until after they’ve finished dessert and shared their experience online. All in all, business operations become more efficient and diners have more fun! These advantages of AR boost revenue while providing amazing customer experiences. People spend more at AR-enabled restaurants and have more positive opinions.
Augmented reality or AR technology has gradually expanded beyond gaming to impact a range of industries. In the food and beverage sector, AR offers many benefits and can spur customer engagement. With augmented reality, you not only engage consumers, but also encourage them to see, taste, and experience your product in a new way.
The AR market is a rapidly growing industry with a projected market value of $50 billion by 2024. Studies suggest that 70% of consumers between ages 16 and 44 are aware of AR. Additionally, an eMarketer study indicates that 68.7 million American users interact with augmented reality at least once a month.
And all this means tremendous opportunities for the food and beverage to engage its customers in exciting and innovative ways.
Let’s dig in.
Augmented Reality Food Menus Bring Dishes to Life
Dining out is a social experience that can be made even more engaging through augmented reality. The use of AR in menus is changing the way customers preview and order food. Here’s how:
Ordering from a menu full of options can be a frustrating experience, especially when dining in an unfamiliar restaurant. Sometimes even a detailed explanation from the waitstaff isn’t enough. AR menus give diners a realistic view of each dish. Customers use their smartphones to scan the menu. A realistic 3-D rendering of the item pops up off the menu and comes to life. This technology can also provide additional details such as ingredients and nutritional information.
AR menus are also a great way to suggest pairings for a chosen dish. Recommended drinks, appetizers, or desserts are all great upsell opportunities.
Diners will be inclined to return if they are aware of discounts, special events, and seasonal food offerings. An AR menu is a great place to feature this information.
Improve Customer Engagement
AR menus are designed to display rich media content on-demand. They present a unique opportunity to show cooking demonstrations, chef interviews, and testimonials.
Gauge Customer Satisfaction
The longer diners interact with the menu the more information companies can collect. Restaurants can gain valuable insights. For example, how long customers look at each item or which items are ordered the most. These invaluable nuggets of information are vital to improving and customizing the customer experience.
Packaging Goes Live!
Thanks to the use of augmented reality, food product packaging has evolved from static labels. Today’s product packages are interactive digital experiences.
The Jack Daniels app is a perfect example. The company used the technology to take customers on a virtual tour of the company’s distillery. The tour featured demonstrations about the whiskey-making process. The app was a huge success. In an interview with Forbes, Jeff Cole from Jack Daniels shared that “more than 30,000 downloads happened in just the first two weeks that the app was available.”
The Starbucks AR app is another great use case. In this application, customers use their smartphones to scan items in the store. The goal is to discover various Christmas characters that come to life on the screen. Characters include carolers, a skater, a sledder and dog, a fox, and a squirrel.
Here at RPR, we partnered with the wine brand Chronic Cellars to create a series of Web AR experiences. These experiences featured Chronic Cellars’ star character, Purple Paradise, brought to life in AR as he steps off the label and becomes part of the real world!
Food Manufacturing Optimization
Food manufacturers face many challenges, with food safety perhaps the biggest. Maintaining refrigeration temperature, equipment sanitization and allergen control are just a few areas where AR can help food companies manage these challenges smartly.
Due to a myriad of regulatory requirements, the stakes in the food industry are high. Failing to meet regulations comes with costly consequences. Employee training is essential to ensure everyone is up to speed on standard operating procedures (SOPs). This ultimately minimizes risk across the operational chain.
Boosts Employee Safety
Increased automation in food plants means more equipment and procedures employees need to learn. Failure to provide the requisite training can lead to assembly line errors which in turn can lead to faulty products, recalls, and worker injuries. Using AR for training helps provide more in-depth information and instruction to ensure employees perform each step properly.
Boosts Customer Safety
Improper food preparation can have disastrous, sometimes deadly consequences. The Federal government estimates that there are about 48 million cases of food-borne illness annually. This is equivalent to 1 in 6 Americans being sickened annually. And each year, these illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Restaurants can use augmented reality to show demonstrations on how to prepare food items safely.
Viral Marketing Campaigns
What is the difference between campaigns that go viral versus the ones that yield mediocre results? Brands are turning to this innovative technology to boost marketing campaigns, enhancing customer experiences and engagement in the process while standing out from the competition.
Take Burger King, for example, which used the technology for some competitive trolling. The company launched a “Burn the Ad” campaign that attracted immediate attention. Patrons could use the app to virtually burn a competitor’s ads. After burning the ad, the app presented the user with a coupon to use at a Burger King store.
A few years back, Pepsi launched what they called the Unbelievable Bus Shelter AR application… A campaign that went viral with almost 6 million views! The company replaced the glass at a busy London bus stop with a special AR mirror. Those passing by were treated to various surprise effects such as a lion running towards the bus station or an enormous snake sliding out of the sidewalk.
Employees and Staff Training
Consistency and attention to detail are sometimes the very things that differentiate one brand from another. What sets Starbucks aside from its competition is the aesthetic and sensory experience. One that involves meticulously preparing every custom drink order to perfection. This level of perfection can only be achieved with consistent and effective training.
Many companies, like Starbucks, are turning to AR to train employees on proper techniques for food preparation. The technology can be used in the kitchen to guide cooks how to prepare each item on the menu. According to this study from BMC, AR is also finding use as an aid for portion size estimation of foods.
Bring AR to Your Food Business Today
Augmented reality in food and beverage companies is quickly becoming the future for this industry as more and more companies find innovative ways to leverage the almost limitless possibilities of AR. Partnering with Rock Paper Reality can help your company take full advantage of this technology to keep pace, perhaps even outstrip the competition.
RPR is committed to helping companies of any size harness the full power of Augmented Reality food technology. With over 12 years of experience at the cutting edge of this technology, we’ve helped companies—from start-ups to Fortune 500s—develop AR strategies to drive brand awareness, customer engagement, and revenue growth. Contact RPR today, and together, let’s make your AR vision a reality.
A recent survey shows that 51% of customers said that brands are failing to meet their increasingly high expectations and 76% expressed that it is easier than ever to take their business elsewhere. Faced with these numbers, it is even more important for eCommerce brands to evolve. They will need to find new ways to not just meet but exceed customer expectations. Augmented reality in eCommerce opens a whole new opportunity for brands to wow the customer.
A Google survey found that 66% of those surveyed are interested in using augmented reality for help when shopping. This type of shopping experience provides an immersive experience that lets customers interact in real-time with products in a virtual environment. Here we’ll discuss AR and how eCommerce brands can leverage it to build their brand.
Why Consider Augmented Reality in eCommerce Business for Your Brand
Why do so many people still prefer brick-and-mortar stores when shopping online is easier? Because they want to try the product before purchasing it. According to a recent study, 71% of customers expressed they would shop more often if they could use AR.
Try Before They Buy
With augmented reality in eCommerce, customers can control the product in a digital world to see how it would look on them, or how it would look in their space. Size, color, features, room placement and more are just some of the features customers can experience in a digital world. Trying the product beforehand helps the customer feel more connected to the product.
Increases Customer Satisfaction and Reduces Returns
Trying out a product in a virtual environment makes the product more tangible. It improves buyer confidence which minimizes the chance for buyers remorse. As a result, they are less likely to return their product. Ultimately this saves companies on shipping and restocking costs.
Makes the Product Seem More Valuable
How can high-end restaurants get away with charging so much for a meal? It’s the experience that you’re paying for. One that includes fancy décor, linen and expensive flatware. It’s all part of the experience that ultimately makes the product look more valuable. The same holds true for online shopping. A recent survey indicated that 40% of shoppers said they would pay more for an item if they could try it out via AR. That same study also revealed that 72% of people said they purchased something they weren’t planning on buying after using AR.
Makes the Product More Memorable
Bounce rate is when a customer shows up on your site, takes a glance around for a moment and then leaves. They may have just been “window shopping” or perhaps they didn’t have the budget. Either way, they left without making a purchase. Online retailers who use AR can keep online shoppers on their website longer and make their products more memorable.
How Can eCommerce Utilize AR
In today’s competitive landscape, brands must leverage new technology to offer a more engaging shopping experience. There are many ways to use AR as a part of your brand strategy.
One of the first brands to use virtual try-ons was Converse. With the Sampler App, customers could use their iPhone’s camera to see how the shoes looked on them in augmented reality. They could also share the shoes online and make purchases within the app.
Virtual try-ons in augmented reality works in much the same way as the concept of “filters” in the popular social media app, Snapchat. is a concept where a digital three-dimensional view of the clothing automatically appears on the person. The technology responds to a person’s movements and reacts in sync to provide a more realistic experience with the product.
There are a variety of products that can benefit from offering this type of experience for shoppers such as
The benefits include:
Increases Revenue: According to Forbes Insights, 40% of marketing executives report that personalization has a direct impact on sales and profits.
Saves Time: Testing items in the store can be time-consuming. Doing so in a virtual world allows customers to have the same experience at home at a time that works for them.
Match the Look: Buyers can experiment with items and match them to outfits to get a true sense of how something will look when purchased together.
Consult With Friends: Many augmented reality apps let users post their potential purchases to social media to get feedback from friends.
Reduce Hygiene Issues: Trying things on virtually minimizes the chance of spreading germs to other shoppers.
Augmented Reality in eCommerce Marketing Campaigns
Winning the battle for attention in a crowded market is more than just challenging. It can be near impossible without the right strategy. Using AR in marketing is an ideal way to rise above the competition by providing customers with an experience they won’t soon forget.
Complement Marketing Materials
AR lets companies inject new life into printed marketing materials such as flyers, brochures and business cards. For example, a company can use AR on a business card so that when a customer scans A QR code on the card, they experience a virtual environment that shows them:
A video of the product
Email address or other contact information
Invitation to social media platforms
Invitation to an event
A discount code
Augmented Reality in eCommerce Creates Buzz
Buzz marketing relies on word-of-mouth marketing. It assumes that the power of this approach means more than standard broadcast messaging. Customers are more likely to trust a brand referred to them by a friend or a relative because it is seen as unbiased and coming from someone they trust. Providing an unexpected AR experience can get people talking about your brand and increase the chances of it going viral. Word-of-mouth marketing has the amazing side-effect of being free marketing.
Enhanced Shopping Experience Using Gamification
Humans are competitive by nature and can be easily motivated by rewards. Brands can capitalize on this by using gamification in their marketing efforts. Gamification refers to applying traditional gaming principles to the shopping experience to encourage customer participation. A common example is a treasure hunt where customers use their app’s camera to look for hidden clues inside the game, a magazine or a print ad.
Rewards – Rewarding a customer when they complete a task finding a clue gives them a sense of satisfaction. Rewards can include badges, points, discounts, store credits or gifts.
Progress Bars – The human brain does not like outstanding incomplete things. Thus, a progress bar motivates a customer to keep going until they complete the task. Using a progress bar encourages customer engagement with the game.
Challenges – A challenge plays on the mind’s desire to problem-solve. Giving customers a challenge allows retailers to create a tailor-made challenge that keeps customers motivated.
In-Game Currency – In-game currency is providing customers with a reward they can use in the app or the store.
Help Customers Using Interactive Manuals
Text manuals are often boring and too complex. They lack visuals and rely on the assumption that everyone learns by reading. This is unfortunately not the case. Augmented reality enables companies to take a completely new approach to an old learning medium.
The benefit of using interactive manuals allows customers to learn things visually which will minimize their frustration. It can also increase the chance they’ll remember the concepts. AR user manuals also remove language barriers that make text manuals too difficult to understand. Companies can use virtual manuals for a variety of purposes.
Unboxing and Installation Guide – Giving customers an interactive manual on how to install a product increases their confidence in using the product.
Product Features Introduction – A product features demo lets companies show customers how the product works so they can get the most use from the item.
Troubleshooting – Customers who are frustrated with a product are likely to return it. Giving them a virtual demonstration of how to fix common issues can help prevent this problem. It also decreases the number of support calls they would normally make to get help.
Examples of eCommerce Applications of AR
Many popular brands are using augmented reality in eCommerce applications. These five are some of the most notable.
“Digital and innovation have always been part of our DNA at Sephora,” says Mary Beth Laughton, Sephora’s executive vice president of Omni retail. “We are very focused on our customers, and we know that her life is increasingly reliant on digital. So we know to be successful as a retailer, we’ve got to be where our clients are, and give her tools and experiences that meet her needs.”
Sephora’s Virtual Artist app empowers customers to try on makeup from anywhere. The app uses facial recognition to scan the customer’s eyes, lips and cheeks. Buyers can then see how makeup items would look on their faces.<
Customers can view product demonstrations and get step-by-steps for where to place the makeup on their face and how to blend them to achieve the desired look. They can also color match a specific makeup to their outfit.
According to Nike, three out of five people are likely wearing the wrong size shoe. The sneaker and apparel giant says that length and width don’t provide early enough data to get a shoe to fit comfortably.
Nike Fit is an app that uses a smartphone’s camera to scan a customer’s feet. The app collects 13 data points. Nike says the app can measure with accuracy within 2 millimeters. Once the scan is complete, the app gives customers a recommended best fit based on their measurements. The app can even tell a customer if one foot is smaller or larger than the other.
Customers can then make purchases directly from the app. They can also save this information to their online Nike profile to use for future purchases.
“Leveraging augmented reality, the Wayfair app allows shoppers to transform their homes into virtual showrooms, allowing them to see their favorite products up close and at every angle – all in their very own space,” said Steve Conine, co-founder and co-chairman, Wayfair.
Using augmented reality in eCommerce for furniture retailers have long faced challenges with transitioning online. The shipping costs for heavy items have made the option challenging for most. Additionally, customers still want to see the product before making such a major purchase.
Wayfair’s augmented reality app lets customers visualize furniture in their homes before making a purchase. The shopper takes a picture of the room and the app recreates a virtual 3D representation. Customers can shop for items in the Wayfair catalog and place those items in their 3D room to see how the items would look. The tool also features a room designer that allows customers to test different layouts and room configurations.
In 2014, the popular home furnishings brand made the debut of their virtual reality catalog, Ikea Place. “IKEA Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles and colors in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger,” said leader of digital transformation at Inter IKEA Systems Michael Valdsgaard in a press release.
The app allows users the chance to see how any item in the Ikea catalog fits in their space. Shoppers can save items to their favorites and share their ideas on social media. Additional features include:
Multi-Placement: While many furniture apps only allow customers to view one item in the room at a time. The Ikea app lets users view multiple items by dragging and dropping them to specific spots in the room.
Room Sets – With room sets, customers can select a theme and the app suggests an entire room package (a set) to try in a room.
“For You” Feed – The app provides a feed of inspiration, tips and news tailored to the customer’s interests.
Visual Search – The visual search function lets users capture an idea “on the fly.” If a customer is out shopping and sees a piece they like, they scan the item and the app will search for similar items in the Ikea store.
The Amikasa augmented reality app lets shoppers redecorate a room using furniture, flooring and paint colors. Shoppers can choose from one of the app’s predefined rooms or they can make a custom layout. Customers can then experiment with various design features. A walkthrough feature lets them walk through a 3D version of the room to get a personalized experience in the space. The app also lets customers share their ideas with friends on social media or email.
Augmented reality in eCommerce is no longer something brands can ignore. It has become a technology that is necessary for companies to gain a competitive edge, increase customer satisfaction, and increase revenue. Implementing this strategy can be complex— having an expert in the field as a partner is critical to success.
Rock Paper Reality has over a decade of experience with helping companies leverage augmented reality as a business strategy. Are you ready to embrace AR for your business? Get in touch with us and learn more about how we can help transform your brand into a household name with AR.
We are elated to announce that Anna Kuczmejno has joined RPR as a 3D Generalist!
Anna joins the RPR 3D team to lend her skills as an accomplished 3D generalist, with an impressive amount of project experience gained over the last 5 years in the fast-paced, demanding world of AR advertising.
With a background in Fine Art, Anna realized she had a passion for solving technical challenges and completed an MSc in Computer Animation at the University of Kent, Canterbury. Looking to add her own creative flair to rapidly advancing modern creative technologies, Anna lent her experience to educating in the animation and modeling space before working as the Lead 3D Artist at 3rock AR where she spearheaded art and 3D asset creation for clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, Kellogg’s and Sky.
We’re excited for Anna to bring her incredible talent, years of experience and education, and trademark eye for design to the RPR team and our projects going forward!
WebAR development empowers businesses to provide information to their customers and employees in a unique and highly entertaining fashion. It delivers augmented reality (AR) content that people see on their smartphones as a visual overlay. WebAR however works on the phone’s normal web browser, without requiring any app download.
The numerous uses of WebAR include assisting retail and online shoppers, training students and workers, helping travelers navigate, and giving real-time aid to maintenance workers and other employees. All of these and other applications complement the more commonly known entertainment uses of WebAR such as video games.
WebAR has higher levels of user adoption than conventional augmented reality applications, which require both time and effort to download. The relatively seamless nature of WebAR together with the web’s wider impact in turn increases ROI as the same experience reaches more people. Moreover, WebAR experiences are faster and more affordable to develop. And you can automatically update them without any user effort, unlike conventional AR apps that require the user to download new versions.
AR is already popular among consumers, which has paved the way for companies to leverage the numerous advantages of WebAR technology. Indeed, many businesses have taken their first steps in this fast-growing space. Frameworks and tools as well as development partners like Rock Paper Reality can all contribute to your WebAR strategy.
WebAR Supported Browsers and Devices
The main advantage of WebAR is how widely supported it is. This technology runs on practically any smartphone. That said, there are subtle differences in which features run best on which browsers and devices.
Among browsers, WebAR works on all the main packages, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, Edge, and several others. When it comes to devices, WebAR works on nearly any recent hardware, provided it has internet access and a camera. Specific aspects of AR, however, function better on newer, more powerful devices. Screen size also affects the user’s experience, as complex features are easier to engage with on larger screens.
A noteworthy benefit of WebAR development is that the same experience runs across a variety of browsers and devices. Write once, run anywhere. This marks a sharp contrast to developing custom mobile apps for each platform you want to support. For instance, having to maintain different apps for iPhone users and Android users.
Large tech companies currently support two of the more popular augmented reality engines: Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit. The latter is closely tied to other Apple product lines, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. By contrast, ARCore supports multiple different vendors’ mobile devices through a general-purpose software development kit (SDK). Brands that billions of people use can run Google’s ARCore, such as LG, Huawei, Motorola, and Samsung.
Google, Apple, and other manufacturers are investing heavily in hardware and software to make AR ubiquitous. Most phones on the market support WebAR, the web-based augmented reality approach that is even more widespread than the mobile app-based one. This makes WebAR an appealing means of reaching the broadest possible audience of people looking to merge digital creations with their regular environments.
Most Popular WebAR Frameworks
Popular open source WebAR frameworks include AR.js, JSARToolKit, and Three.ar.js. The last-mentioned is a library for the widely used Three.js framework, enabling developers to build web-based augmented reality programs that take advantage of Google and Apple features. AR.js is known as a light and easy framework that uses Vuforia for marker and image tracking. It can work with Three.js or with the A-Frame library.
Another important WebAR framework is called X3DOM. The platform enables web developers to incorporate augmented reality content into web pages, directly within the HTML itself. This eliminates the need for any external plugins or libraries, as the scene is now an integral part of the page. Just as you can already include a paragraph or image with an HTML tag, X3DOM lets you include a 3D element with an HTML tag.
Each of these open source WebAR frameworks typically has a GitHub page where anyone can access the source code. These repositories include documentation on how to install and use the frameworks. If over the course of development, you make any modifications to the frameworks themselves you can also contribute these back to the projects.
With a WebAR framework, you can start an entirely new augmented reality project as well as add AR content to existing web apps. That’s a key advantage of using these web frameworks: they give you powerful AR functionality with the adaptability of web scripts.
Top WebAR Tools
WebAR tools differ from frameworks in not only having the basic infrastructure to assemble augmented reality products but also multiple additional features to support the entire WebAR development process. Examples of such tools include functions for tracking and modifying people’s faces or bodies, or for tracking objects and images and other aspects of the environment. These tools can also assist with tasks before and after development, including distribution.
8th Wall’s Cloud Editor contains development features like a code editor, a debugger, and templates. The product also supports collaboration and publishing. When developing with the framework, it’s easy to manage code and assets while seeing your creation as it progresses. Further, this tool has well-documented interoperability with general 3D frameworks such as Three.js, A-Frame, and PlayCanvas.
Other WebAR tools include Banuba Face AR, which specifically focuses on augmenting people’s faces, as well as Blippar and Zappar. Blippar offers a developer toolkit plus its own development services. Like 8th Wall, this can interoperate with 3D frameworks including A-Frame and PlayCanvas. Zappar also offers a comparable toolset to 8th Wall, with features like face and image tracking and WebAR publishing.
Developers now have access to an extensive range of WebAR toolkits that can simplify production. Which framework or tool should you use? It depends on the complexity of the project and the skills of the developer. You can also turn to a reliable development partner like Rock Paper Reality for all of your WebAR development needs.
Making the Creative Assets and Environments
Developing WebAR content isn’t only about the code, it’s also about the 3D content itself. For this reason, there are numerous technologies available to aid in producing the creative assets and environments that create engaging experiences.
Making augmented reality content involves adding 3D graphics to the underlying scene. Fundamentally, web browsers accomplish this by using the web 3D standard called WebGL. However, for developers, there are higher-level libraries available. We have already discussed some of these libraries as they are supported by WebAR tools such as 8th Wall. For example, Three.js, A-Frame, and PlayCanvas all work with 8th Wall.
Using a 3D library adds another layer of technology while simultaneously decreasing developer effort. Without these libraries, developers would be forced to create more complicated low-level code.
Three.js and A-Frame
Another nifty feature of A-Frame is the visual inspector, which lets developers look at any element in a scene to analyze the data. A-Frame comes with various facilities: lights and shadows, audio that can be placed within scenes, and geometries and materials. It even offers advanced features such as particles and other physics-based systems.
PlayCanvas also uses WebGL to produce 3D graphics. However, this platform presents itself as a web game engine. It includes an editor similar to that of the well-known game engine Unity. Team participants can chat with each other while working in the browser-based editor. The technology allows for impressive visuals as well as high-speed interactivity.
WebGL, which stands for the “web graphics library,” replaced several earlier attempts to make rich experiences feasible over the internet. It has subsequently become the gold standard in web browsers, making it ideal for facilitating WebAR asset development.
Even with all these different methods available to simplify WebAR development, the process can still seem confusing. Not to worry, there are businesses like RPR to aid marketers with WebAR.
Putting It All Together
Taking all these elements and approaches into consideration, how does one build a WebAR experience? To plan and produce WebAR, as with other marketing efforts, it makes sense to start with your goals. Marketing goals direct the rest of the project, focusing on your development decisions.
What are you trying to achieve with a WebAR experience? The value that it adds to your marketing program is what motivates the development of the scene from start to finish. When you know how you want to connect with customers, you’re better equipped to strategically steer the customer journey.
Start with an overview of who your customers are, how they will connect with your WebAR content, what they are likely to do with it, and what information you want to provide them with. This tells you which elements you’ll need in order to make a fun and shareable scene, thus also informing your development choices.
Developers can use this summary to produce a wireframe that visually arranges the AR experience. From there, the process moves on to the creation of a mood board and a storyboard to flesh out the details. This then segues into the code and artwork themselves.
WebAR developers can use the frameworks and tools discussed above to turn the initial idea into a functional product. For instance, you can work with an AR partner like Rock Paper Reality which uses 8th Wall to produce exciting WebAR experiences. Thanks to the growing reach and popularity of WebAR, it’s possible to promote the site to the majority of your prospective customers.
Choose a dedicated AR partner
Working with a dedicated AR partner ensures that you have the right software development kit, framework, and programming know-how. They can also inform you of methods to optimize the scene and even aid with marketing tactics.
We can see the WebAR development process as consisting of three stages. Before the coding itself, we have the planning. Then there is the 3D animation that involves technical tools. Afterward, we have publication when the augmented reality goes live. Having a proven partner on your side ensures that all three of these stages work together successfully.
Simplify WebAR Projects With Rock Paper Reality
Developing a WebAR project is a complex procedure. The selection and use of effective frameworks and tools pose a challenge for those unfamiliar with this exciting new technology. The wrong tools can slow down or even derail a project, resulting in frustration instead of ROI.
If you’re considering a WebAR project and want to maximize the likelihood of a smash hit, partner up with a battle-tested veteran. RPR has over a decade of industry experience. We have made the world’s largest WebAR project as well as setting many firsts.
With the technology’s supported base of over 3.5 billion devices, WebAR stands out as the winning choice to deliver your marketing efforts. Popular frameworks empower developers to program 3D digital models that people can interact with on their phones, anywhere they go. There are also tools for collaboration and production, but knowing which frameworks and tools to use is no easy feat.
To take your idea and make it into augmented reality is a multi-step process. Simplify your WebAR project with Rock Paper Reality. Contact us now!
The pandemic has changed the way customers prefer to shop. To survive in this ever-changing industry, the retail sector has had to evolve to oblige consumer preferences. This transformation is being driven by virtual showrooms, which let brands display products in information-rich, interactive environments.
Here are some of the ways in which virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are helping brands to create new customer experiences and increase revenue.
What Is a Virtual Showroom?
Virtual showrooms are digitally created 360° environments with the same look, feel, and function as a physical showroom. Buyers can “tour” the showroom and interact with 3D product images while examining these items from all angles.
Products can be anything from clothes to makeup, electronic gadgets to industrial machines. Within this setting, customers are able to view specifications, make comparisons with other models, and explore virtual demos. If any questions arise during their visit, they can connect with a sales representative directly in the digital showroom.
3 Types of Virtual Showrooms
There are several digital technologies currently being used to build virtual showrooms. Virtual reality, augmented reality, and WebAR—all immersive technologies—are the most common. Depending on the technology, the virtual showroom can let shoppers interact with objects in 3D or immerse them in a virtual world.
Augmented Reality Showrooms
Augmented reality (AR) comprises a live view of a real-world location with computer-generated sensory input. Multimedia content, including sound, video, graphics, and GPS data are overlaid on the environment. One such example is the AR Jaguar Showroom.
The Jaguar augmented reality app creates highly realistic representations of these luxury vehicles. In the setting of an actual showroom, clients can point their iOS or Android cameras toward the front of the car to look inside the vehicle, drive it, and even park it.
Virtual Reality Showrooms
Unlike AR, VR technology allows companies to create a digital showroom where buyers can shop remotely, using a headset or smart glasses to browse. Businesses leverage this technology for a variety of use cases, for instance:
Conducting Virtual House Tours: Consumers can immerse themselves in a tour of homes they are interested in purchasing.
Creating Virtual Stores: Retail stores replicate their physical stores in a virtual environment.
Performing Virtual Product Presentation: Companies use the technology to create product-specific virtual experiences.
Creating Interactive User Manuals: Businesses provide real-time support to consumers as they use the product.
Live Video Consultations: VR lets firms replicate one-on-one customer experiences in a computer-generated environment.
Branding Promotional Activities: VR empowers brands to connect emotionally with shoppers. Virtual showrooms are utilized to show how the product is made or share the story behind its development.
Customer Research: It is simpler to conduct buyer research in a virtual setting. Brands use customer tracking and interaction data to identify specific preferences, thereby enabling marketing departments to tailor their messages to grab a shopper’s attention.
Offering Personalized Recommendations: The system comes up with suggestions, such as product matches or other merchandise a customer may like, based on data gathered by eye-tracking devices and VR software.
Brands Using Virtual Showrooms
Many brands are already using virtual showrooms to great success. Their innovation has inspired other brands to embrace the technology. Two notable examples of this phenomenon are:
Amazon: The company installed VR kiosks in shopping malls across India. These kiosks were dedicated to promoting Amazon Prime membership. Shoppers could take a virtual hot air balloon flight to an imaginary Amazon city to explore products.
Ikea: Ikea launched a VR app that allows customers to design living spaces, choosing materials, colors, furniture, and interior details. These plans could be shared across social media, thus expanding the brand footprint. According to Touchstone Research, 81% of people who had experienced VR reported having told their friends about it.
WebAR technology enables companies to experiment with augmented reality features without having to make a huge upfront investment. All a customer needs to access the showroom is a web browser, and that’s it.
Virtual Showroom Benefits
A virtual showroom is the ideal solution for today’s buyers. With physical stores, companies can only display a limited number of products, and there’s not enough time to convey important information. Virtual showrooms eliminate these challenges.
Some of the many benefits of virtual and augmented reality include the following.
Faster Purchasing Decisions
Shoppers want to experience products and make informed decisions without pressure, anxiety, or other distractions. Augmented reality and virtual showrooms let individuals shop at leisure.
This technology enables buyers to receive comprehensive and detailed product information—more so than if they were shopping in person. With all the necessary information at their disposal, it’s much easier and quicker for them to make the decision to purchase, as well as enjoy full confidence in their choice.
Since most businesses don’t yet have virtual showrooms, creating an interactive digital space can give your brand that competitive edge. For shoppers, this is not simply another storefront; instead, a VR showroom is where businesses get to create that “X-factor” image that consumers expect. It is also an opportunity to connect with prospective buyers in a way that is much more personal than a standard online store.
Virtual Showrooms Increase Customer Engagement
Customers spend more time interacting with content in a virtual showroom. The technology is designed in such a way that it engages shoppers as they browse. In a digital environment, it’s possible to examine the products as well as move around the showroom, zoom in where needed, and explore new features in-depth before committing to purchase anything.
VR tools allow companies to interact more closely with their clients—whether through product images and videos of services offered, or by providing them with an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers directly from sales representatives via a virtual help desk.
Easily Accessible and Open 24/7
A key benefit of virtual showrooms is that they can be accessed through a variety of devices—not only tablets, desktops, and laptops, but also mobile phones. This is good news for brands, with a recent report indicating that the number of mobile users worldwide stood at 7.1 billion in 2021. In addition, virtual showrooms are open 24/7, enabling customers to search for and purchase products anytime, day or night.
Businesses with virtual showrooms can thus engage with an exponentially larger number of buyers than traditional stores. Moreover, the longevity of digital showrooms means they bring in more leads over a longer time period. This feature maximizes engagement rates while elevating your brand profile.
Reduced Operational Costs
Virtual showrooms eliminate the need to make substantial investments in real estate and manpower, not to mention equipment and fixtures such as cash registers, etc. Although there is a cost associated with setting up the technology, maintaining it requires a considerably smaller commitment. Ultimately, this saves on operational costs.
Expand into New Markets
Typically, expanding into a new market requires a significant capital outlay. Items such as leases on storefronts, paint, carpets, furniture, and more will impact your bottom line. Virtual showroom technology lets companies reach consumers across the globe, but without the associated expense.
Simplified Inventory Management
Simplified inventory management is another key to unlocking business success. The virtual or augmented reality showroom eliminates the need for long-term storage or expensive physical storefronts. In addition, they can be easily updated with new products as needed.
Better Customer Experience
Virtual showrooms are also more attractive to consumers.
Firstly, they make shopping extremely convenient by allowing people to look at all the available merchandise from the comfort of their home, without having to go from store to store. There is no traveling cost involved in viewing the merchandise, no matter where you are in the world. And there’s also no restriction on how many products can be displayed online.
Secondly, a digital showroom lets buyers interact with the products in an immersive environment, with 3D models of products instead of static images or videos. VR showrooms are especially helpful when it comes to large catalogs and items that require extensive product research. The digital shopping experience gives buyers more detailed information about products they are considering. They can take their time and research items to ensure they select the best option.
Best Virtual Showroom Practices for Best Results
Companies should remember that the digital experience impacts user perception and can be a great opportunity to turn casual shoppers into brand loyalists. Touchstone research reports that 20% of consumers indicate a branded VR experience would make them feel more positive toward the brand.
Using best practices helps brands follow the recommended approach to providing customers with an outstanding experience. Companies may face challenges when designing a digital showroom. It’s important to understand what these challenges are and how following best practices can help businesses overcome them.
Tailor to Customer Needs
To meet the needs of consumers, organizations must deliver unique shopping experiences that are personalized to stand out from their competitors. The digital marketplace has made it easier for people to shop across multiple channels. Tailoring the experience to their requirements builds trust and shows them that the company cares about what they want.
Align Virtual and Physical Tours
A company’s virtual tour is often seen as a mere supplement to the physical product. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, the buyer experience starts at the point an individual accesses your website or walks through your doors.
Aligning these tours to create a seamless experience improves a consumer’s perception of your business. Whether they visit the store in person or digitally, it should be clear how the two relate. To this end, aligning virtual and physical tours helps to create brand consistency which, in turn, increases brand recall.
Set and Monitor KPIs
Companies that are just starting their virtual and augmented reality journeys should first decide what they want to achieve. It’s much easier to build a digital strategy once the organization’s primary objectives have been defined. Key performance indicators may include:
Better customer satisfaction
Better brand awareness.
Reduction in unsold stock
Decreased marketing costs
Saving money on trade shows
Create Engaging Content for Your Virtual Showroom
Make your content and the buyer experience engaging by ensuring your merchandise can be viewed from different angles. Write detailed product descriptions that answer all the questions consumers may have. Include information about product materials, color options, price, where the product is made, size range, fit, and delivery dates.
Showcase Product Collections
Use your digital environment to showcase collections that retail clients may not have thought of otherwise. Test different product assortment strategies and share them with buyers and your team to get feedback. The benefit is that you can sort and arrange items easily from anywhere and share ideas and input immediately.
Provide Next Steps to Move Your Audience Down the Funnel
A VR or AR sales funnel is a method to guide your audience from the top of this digital marketing strategy to the bottom. To do this successfully, companies should provide steps that are easy for their customers to follow. For example, offers related to virtual reality tours and demonstration sessions will lead shoppers through an immersive experience that tells them what to do at each stage.
Start Building Your Virtual Showroom Now
Virtual showrooms are a novel way for brands to engage consumers. The technology lets companies display their products in an immersive and interactive environment. Customers can then explore these products at leisure and from any location.
Augmented reality and VR technology are already making an appearance in major brands such as Amazon and Ikea. These computer-generated environments have many use cases, from product demonstrations to virtual house tours and product manuals. Companies that use the technology will see a host of benefits, such as higher levels of user engagement, expanding their clients’ reach, and gaining a competitive advantage. All of these will have a positive impact on their bottom line.
If you plan to effectively leverage the immense power of VR and AR, selecting the right partner is critically important. You need to work with an experienced agency that not only has a stellar track record but also a firm grasp of the technical know-how needed to bring your vision to life.
Rock Paper Reality (RPR) has been at the forefront of augmented reality development for over 12 years. Having worked with clients such as Microsoft, Netflix, and Lenovo, the experts at RPR are ready to work with you every step of the way to ensure that your brand stands out from the competition.
Contact us today for a free demo and discover how our clients have achieved strong ROI with our proven solutions.
You’ve probably heard of Virtual Reality (VR), where a head-mounted display device immerses the user in a visual world. How about Augmented Reality (AR), where the user wears glasses or uses a smartphone that projects images in front of them but enables them to still see real objects around them. Mixed Reality (MR), The merging of real and virtual worlds where physical and digital objects co-exist and can interact?
But there’s a good chance you’ve not heard of Extended Reality (XR)—an umbrella term for all immersive technologies including AR, VR, and MR—that extend the reality we experience by either merging the virtual and “real” worlds or by creating a fully immersive experience.
With multinationals like Pepsi, Microsoft, Samsung, and others already leveraging the technology to create more enriched customer experiences, it’s clear that we are in an immersive future where customer experiences are becoming as important as products. Regardless of which industry you’re in, you can safely expect XR to affect business in the years to come. Most analysts believe this technology is rapidly becoming standard in society, with the global XR market size expected to hit $300 billion by 2024.
Extended reality uses started with entertainment such as video games and social media sharing. While these remain among the more commercially viable uses, the technology is rapidly expanding to many other industries, from architecture and engineering to medicine and education. Retail is now making a sweeping transition to this technology.
Why is Customer Experience Becoming More Important?
“It’s no longer enough to provide exceptional customer care through one channel or another,” says Andrew Kokes, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Marketing, HGS, adding that consumers now expect brands to “anticipate their needs and proactively help them get the right answer fast.”
Consumers are more connected than ever. Anything from directions to a nearby restaurant to help troubleshoot connection issues, people are more apt than ever to start searching using their smartphone or tablet. And with any modern service interaction today, there’s an expectation of readily available digital tools to provide the right answer fast. Exceptional digital experiences consumers have with one brand quickly become the default expectation they apply to every digital experience with every other company they interact with.
To maximize customer value, brands must think customer-centric and strive to make interactions faster, frictionless, and more meaningful for consumers. By leveraging technology to cater to customer needs and smartly integrating people when it adds value to an interaction, brands can take customer experience to the proverbial next level.
Customers can and will leave businesses that do not offer customer experiences that matter. When customers have a positive experience with your organization and feel valued, they’ll not only come back but also refer you to their friends. Today’s consumers are impatient, empowered, and less brand-loyal than ever, and they won’t hesitate to share a bad experience. In fact, a single bad experience is enough to drive customers to your competitors for good.
In a 2021 report, only 60% of consumers answered yes to the question: “Was your interaction with customer care consistent across all channels?” When asked, “Did you share this negative experience with friends, family, and/ or strangers?” the response was 74%. With the majority of consumers continuing to share their negative experiences — 16% shared on social media — it’s imperative that brands get customer care right the first time across all channels.
For these reasons, brands have intensified their focus on offering an excellent customer experience, whether online or offline, regardless of industry or size. With this focused attention on customer experience, some elements that businesses should consider include how people engage with your business, which feelings people tend to take away, and what value your business offers to the customer.
Customers can easily go to any other store, even more so for e-commerce. If your technology or content lags, your customers will leave. Data from analytics can tell you what’s working and what’s not. So can customer comments. Pay attention to the entire buying journey to maintain customer satisfaction – CX is an ongoing process!
How Extended Reality Transforms Customer Experience
Customer expectations are ever-evolving. The internet, mobile devices, and social media have made them smarter, more demanding, and impatient. They want whatever they’re looking for when they want it and through the platforms they prefer. For businesses, this means adapting marketing efforts, customer services, and product development to meet those needs.
Extended reality makes your customer experience strategy more responsive, more practical, more convenient, and can make your brand stand out even in today’s hyper-competitive market. In short, XR is transforming customer experiences.
It’s a New Experience For Most People
Until recently, brands have primarily had two ways to engage customers: in person and over the internet. But now, thanks to Extended Reality, they can add digital experiences to real-world shopping environments. XR is exploding in popularity. People want to try out this technology, so give them the immersive experiences they’re looking for.
By 2024, we’ll see around 1.7 billion mobile users of augmented reality! Nearly all of them will be new users hungry for dynamic experiences. AR offers these individuals a different customer experience than what they’re used to. Businesses that fill this demand will reap the rewards, as customers will more likely shop with the early adopters rather than with the laggards.
Virtual Try-Before-You-Buy Innovated Retail
One of the main advantages of extended reality is that it lets people try products before making purchases, especially for big-ticket items. Whether you’re in a store or shopping from home, you can easily try out clothing, jewelry, artworks, or even furniture and cars. In a sense, augmented reality combines the advantages of both online and offline shopping.
Well over 100,000 stores will soon use this technology to enhance the customer experience. Augmented reality in fashion offers many appealing uses. Shoppers can try on the latest styles to see which ones fit. This results in fewer product returns and more conversions. People who don’t engage with a product before buying often find their purchases disappointing. AR lets buyers experience the product beforehand.
A virtual try-before-you-buy makes shopping highly visual. Customers will happily recall their unique AR shopping experience. In addition to the emotional aspect there’s also an educational component. Augmented reality lets you give customers more in-depth information than what fits on a label. You can add details on the materials or production of an item, or draw attention to related accessories. You can also include more info on your business such as store directions and hours.
Within a store, you can also find creative uses for AR. Games and social media sharing can make shopping more psychologically rewarding while increasing referrals. After all, word-of-mouth marketing is priceless. The augmented reality experience may even go viral which can further drive up sales. Can you create a remarkable experience that makes people want to tell everyone else? Get in touch with RPR and we’ll help make it happen.
Augmented reality to try-before-you-buy is an appealing technology that millions of people can instantly relate to. It’s like applying social media filters to your photos, only with real products that you can buy. Fashion companies are taking notice and creating AR experiences to enhance customers’ buying journeys.
Gucci, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, many of the biggest names in fashion are already on board with social media AR filters. Saks Fifth Avenue’s virtual clothes rack, developed by Rock Paper Reality, is an outstanding AR use case.
Immersive fashion experiences extend beyond the fitting room. Brands have had virtual reality fashion shows and augmented reality product launches. These efforts offer cost-efficient and engaging resources for potential buyers to learn about new styles. When someone can customize a product and instantly see what it would look like in person, this increases buyer confidence.
The technology also enables you to gather data on what interests shoppers. AR analytics reveal which products people try, how long people spend on each product, and even which parts of an outfit people focus on, among other data. You can use these insights to refine your marketing strategy, your product development or selection, and other aspects of your business operations.
The fashion industry as a whole is spending billions on virtual shopping experiences. Get in the game while it’s hot!
You can see how a piece of furniture would fit in your living room, complete with photorealistic 3D renderings. This eliminates many concerns, increasing buyers’ confidence. Furniture retailers are registering massive sales growth just from product visualizations alone.
Another application of augmented reality in retail is to aid shoppers in navigating through often confusing shopping centers. You can see store directions along with other info and reviews right over the relevant shops.
AR will also make buying groceries easier. With visually accessible data for ingredients, recipes, nutrition, and store location, customers can find what they’re looking for, fast. The same goes for any other shopping, whether window shopping or the real deal. Just hold your phone up to a product and a world of possibilities instantly opens up.
A More Interactive Way of Customer Support
With more interactive customer support, businesses can render faster resolutions while employees can expect to spend less time per call. This also reduces the need to send out a technician to troubleshoot. AR tools essentially enable workers to act as “virtual technicians” as if they were at the customers’ location in person.
Consider a person who buys an add-on graphics card for their computer. After taking the part home, the customer installs it but the card does not work. Thanks to augmented reality, the tech support agent can show the customer exactly which cable to reconnect, on a smartphone overlay.
This AR technique increases efficiency as measured through key performance indicators. The customer experience is instantly raised as people no longer have to decode complicated or garbled sentences but directly see the necessary information for themselves.
AR/VR Increases Brand Recall
Extended reality technologies make it more likely that people will recall your marketing messages. By incorporating materials like augmented reality videos throughout your branding, customers can learn more about your business, your products, your services.
Remember, part of customer experience is how people feel about your brand. Associating the organization with impressive AR content that adds valuable information will spawn more positive sentiments. The warmth will spread beyond your customers when they share their great experiences with friends and family.
Augmented reality is an immersive medium, unlike a billboard or TV ad. When you play with AR you feel like you are part of the team. This creates a bond. For businesses of any size, it’s smarter to relate with your customers than just to show them pictures.
Take Advantage of Extended Reality For Your Business
Customer experience, the way people feel after interacting with your brand, is at the heart of business success. In an increasingly competitive business environment, creating enriched customer experiences is paramount.
Marketers are always looking for new ways to drive engagement with their marketing efforts. If you’ve ever thought there’s got to be a better way than spending countless hours on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, then you’ll likely find Extended Reality very interesting and appealing.
If you think these immersive technologies are just for games and playing around with, you better think again. Extended Reality immerses people in stimulating environments that go beyond just defining the physical dimensions of a room, but create experiences that surpass the immediate physical presence of their position – so much so, that it feels like they’re truly immersed in a different dimension. This creates brand new experiences that prospects are excited to explore and share.
Augmented Reality (AR) is a hot technology for combining digital imagery with what we see organically. There are two common approaches to delivering AR experiences: custom apps and web-based experiences (WebAR). These two techniques are battling it out in the marketplace, with one approach is coming out ahead… and for good reason.
Augmented reality has exploded in popularity. In the coming years, experts predict there will be 1.7 billion mobile AR users globally. This represents a stunning rise of 1.5 billion from the 200 million users in 2015. The broader market for extended reality (XR), which includes not only AR but also the related technologies virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR), is expected to expand dramatically from $30 billion to $300 billion by 2024.
If there’s a massive technology trend, this is it; but it’s critical to know the difference between WebAR and AR apps.
WebAR automatically works on any browser regardless of the hardware or operating system. This eliminates the need to download custom apps. This is an important consideration because studies show there’s a 50% drop in engagement when users have to go through a download. After that, only 25% of people use the app beyond the first interaction.
WebAR is easily accessible with just a simple URL link, scan of a QR code, or tap on an NFC tag. This enables AR experiences to be enjoyed across most mobile devices and browsers without requiring users to download an entire application. This broad accessibility means WebAR reaches twice as many mobile devices as its app-based counterpart. This lowers entry barriers for users and ensures a broader reach for content producers.
AR’s reach is making big waves in the marketplace. Swedish furniture retailer Ikea is leveraging Augmented Reality so customers can, through their smartphones, preview how furniture looks in their homes before they buy. Michael Valdsgaard, head of the company’s digital transformation efforts has described the potential uplift in sales from AR as a “dream scenario” for Ikea.
“Most people postpone a purchase because they’re not comfortable making the decision if they aren’t sure the color is going to match [the rest of the room] or it fits the style. Now, we can give them [those answers] in their hands, while letting them have fun with home furnishing for free and with no effort.”
The same technique can also work with food and beverages, clothing and accessories, and practically any other product or service. WebAR is a web-based Augmented Reality technique to engage with audiences in a fun and easy manner. With investment dollars pouring in, WebAR is on course to become an essential part of the web and the economy.
AR apps not only cost more to develop, but they can interrupt the user experience. An AR app requires users to download and install it. Right away, you’ve lost many potential customers as many people are turned off by having to download an app to enjoy an AR experience.
In some instances, there are methods to accomplish a project goal with either AR apps or WebAR that differ mainly “under the hood,” i.e. in their technical approach. For example, AR app frameworks include tools for locating users within scenes, while WebAR can do the same using its own functionality. AR apps with their custom coding can access some of the lower-level features of a mobile device, such as graphics co-processors.
Developers can enable the same fundamental AR experiences with either custom apps or WebAR. The differences have to do with which tools and techniques they will use and how customers run the content. AR apps started off as the default method to build experiences, then WebAR came along and expanded on those experiences.
Top WebAR Advantages
As opposed to developing an app, implementing WebAR does not require any coding experience or knowledge. Usually, all it takes is a QR code that will direct users to the web-based AR platform and you’re good to go. WebAR is easier to develop, easier to maintain, easier to track with analytics, costs less, and requires no updates.
Compatible With Most Web Browsers
WebAR works with the browsers that people already have and use. You can run WebAR experiences on Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and others. This makes it much more accessible than downloaded apps. Around three and a half billion Android and Apple devices already support WebAR.
The cross-browser compatibility of WebAR also makes it much simpler to develop. You create the experience once and it runs the same on any browser or operating system. Gone are the days of having to write a completely different app for each platform you want to support. Users just browse to your website and immerse themselves in a WebAR experience. Whether someone follows a web link from Firefox on Android or snaps a QR code from Safari on Apple iOS, they get the same Augmented Reality experience.
You can offer your customers a range of other choices to access WebAR experiences. Send them short URLs or SMS text messages, embed NFC chips in your products, or offer links from social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
No Downloads, No Hassle For Users
People are reluctant to download software onto their phones, especially for one-off applications that will clog their systems. This reluctance prevents many AR apps from ever getting used, but WebAR is immune since it involves no downloads.
WebAR reduces the number of steps for users from six (as is the case with downloaded apps) to just two: start the WebAR experience, then allow camera access. This is much easier for people and results in more users of your Augmented Reality experience. You want as many users as possible, WebAR accessibility makes this possible.
Since WebAR offers the same basic experience as AR apps but without the downloads, this web-based technology is rapidly gaining traction in the marketplace. Developers recognize that having to download and install an app represents the largest hurdle to adoption. The lack of any downloads also makes WebAR faster to deploy. Users don’t have to wait for a large download to finish before they can enjoy their AR experience. Instead, they can just tap on a link and begin their AR journey.
No App, No Updates Required
Since WebAR does not require users to download an app, they also don’t have to update any apps. When apps force people to update it frustrates customers. WebAR does away with forced updates. Instead, automatically deliver new content through your website, with minimal effort or disruption for the user.
People who use your WebAR experience will have the latest version of your content. That’s what’s available on your site. And their software is up to date too, since it’s the web browser that they’re already accustomed to running. Thus WebAR is easier and safer for users in comparison to downloaded AR apps that customers would need to update.
Easy To Track Analytics
Since WebAR works through the web, it gives you access to detailed analytics, such as user behavior. This valuable data helps you to better understand your customers and how they engage with your content. Here, RPR offers you a custom analytics dashboard that is compatible with Google analytics.
WebAR analytics offers the information so you can assess how people respond to your marketing efforts. In addition to measuring how many likes or shares your WebAR projects garner, it also offers more detailed data including dwell time (how long people engage in the experience) and spatial analytics (which areas of a scene people use).
Pageviews (when a browser loads a page on your site) are the starting point in any analytics report. Every load event, including refreshing the page, is counted as a single view. Analytics count page views from a single user (IP address) to record users’ frequency and return rate. Are people watching your content often, or just once? Are people tapping your links or scanning your QR codes? This data can help determine the replay value of the WebAR experience. The better the replay value, the more cost-effective the WebAR investment is.
Dwell time is another solid indicator of how compelling your content is. Do users leave a five-minute WebAR experience after a few seconds, or do they watch the whole thing? On average, people spend around two minutes on WebAR content. A longer dwell time indicates more compelling content.
Engagement rate is a social metric that measures the level of interaction of WebAR content among users. Instead of simply counting the number of likes, shares, and comments, it follows a formula that divides total interactions by the number of followers and then multiplied by 100. This provides a better, more accurate measurement of content performance compared to absolute measures such as likes, shares, and comments. It standardizes the measurement of social actions, making it easier to compare multiple different experiences against each other.
Measuring audience engagement allows you to feed the statistical knowledge into your future projects. You can then target the channels that perform well. WebAR increases average dwell time as well as conversion rates. Prospective customers feel a greater connection with products and develop a more favorable opinion of brands that use WebAR. Over half of major brands are now turning to immersive technologies like these to build brand image.
Spatial analytics is a new measurement category specifically for AR and VR. It uses data from users immersed in the experience, measuring how much time they spend on specific areas or objects within the scene. The summary statistics tell you which content is captivating and which content is less interesting. Armed with these insights, you can make the necessary tweaks to optimize the user experience.
WebAR experiences incorporate data from Google analytics including the number of visits, the number of unique visitors, and the number of users who allow camera access. These nuggets help paint a detailed picture of your users. For instance, you may have thousands of visits from a few hundred visitors who are referred to your site from a search engine, or you may have ten thousand visits each from a different visitor, referred from several different websites.
Given that the WebAR experience requires the use of a camera, the metric that records the number of visitors who allow access to their cameras gives a precise indication of the WebAR’s acceptance rate to play. Rejecting the request for camera access is equivalent to abandoning the experience before it even started.
Pulling together the various data from analytics, you can determine whether you have many visitors but low engagement, or few visitors but higher engagement, or many unique visitors with high engagement focusing on certain of your spatial assets. These combined insights give you the information you need to enhance your AR offerings.
Easy To Build
Developing WebAR experiences is markedly easier than developing full-blown AR apps. Developing WebAR projects is similar to building ordinary websites, but with the addition of libraries for such features as detecting the device’s location and orientation, and producing 3D graphics.
By contrast, developing custom AR apps requires more intensive coding with platform-specific toolkits. This approach also entails testing and distributing the app, which adds to the cost and complexity. Using the simpler WebAR allows you to start small and expand.
Also, thanks to its use of standard web technologies, WebAR is easy to combine with other solutions. For instance, developers can use AJAX for updating the webpage in real-time, and social media APIs to log users in and facilitate sharing.
Low Cost, Low Maintenance
WebAR is much more affordable to produce than custom AR apps, and also much easier to maintain. Compared to the demanding process to write and maintain AR apps, WebAR is more like running a website… the tools are there to make this fairly straightforward and manageable.
While WebAR costs less and is easier to maintain, it retains the core features of Augmented Reality including 3D animations and portals. Much of the cost of developing traditional AR apps go into producing and maintaining a complex software program, which is unnecessary when one uses the available functionality of a web browser.
Crafting a WebAR experience costs considerably less than developing a traditional AR app, and operational expenses are drastically lower too. You can reinvest some of the savings into improving your content, or pocket it as profit.
WebAR: Are There Any Drawbacks?
As with any technology, there are some drawbacks to WebAR. Running an augmented reality experience within the web browser constrains the available memory and features somewhat, resulting in fewer bells and whistles than AR apps. Nonetheless, WebAR supports enough features for most purposes.
WebAR has somewhat higher latency than traditional apps, meaning certain scenes may not seem as responsive. With modern devices and data connections, this shouldn’t pose too much of an obstacle. An AR app’s direct hardware access also allows for certain user interface features that web browsers may block, which may come in handy under certain circumstances.
Due to the constraints on hardware and network resources, WebAR experiences are generally slightly shorter and less detailed than traditional AR app experiences. For most use cases, however, WebAR more than compensates due to its accessibility on all smartphones. For extremely detailed scenes, however, one may prefer to develop a more expensive AR app.
Integrate WebAR For Your Business
Ultimately, WebAR and AR apps offer the same core functionality, but there are marked differences between them. WebAR makes use of a web browser to deliver Augmented Reality functionality, which means it can be run on any device with graphics capability. It also eliminates hardware costs for users (i.e. purchasing an AR headset). In contrast, AR apps require a specific platform in order to run, an added expense for businesses seeking that functionality.
Unlike app-based AR that requires the user to download and store an application on their phone (taking up time and space), WebAR is app-less, requires no downloads, and is a lower barrier to entry for users. AR Applications take 6 steps to initiate, while WebAR only takes 2. It’s no surprise that WebAR is exploding in popularity, with many companies already investing in it and millions of people using it each day.
WebAR is definitely the better choice if you’re looking for a more versatile, analytics-driven, frictionless, less resource-dependent tool to offer AR experiences directly from users’ smartphones. This technology enables users to participate in a uniform AR experience across various devices, browsers, and operating systems without the hassle of an app download. WebAR simply costs less and is easier to maintain and is rapidly replacing costlier traditional AR apps as the go-to method to bring one’s message to market.
WebAR enables people to instantly access AR without a download. This results in a smooth user experience, greater reach, higher conversions, increased shareability, and ultimately, more sales. In order to get the most out of WebAR, it’s important for brands to find a competent and experienced AR partner. Rock Paper Reality (RPR) is a veteran in the industry with over a decade of experience at the cutting edge of this technology.
RPR has created dozens of successful WebAR campaigns for brands such as Lenovo, Microsoft, and Netflix. Working with clients from conception to deployment, RPR has provided partners with the benefits of best-in-class Augmented Reality.
Looking to leverage WebAR to take your marketing efforts to the next level, get in touch with the Rock Paper Reality team today lets us help you offer customers a compelling experience that’s as easy as browsing the web.
Before you go, check out our WebAR hologram of RPR’s CEO grooving… but only if you promise not to judge (or steal) his moves… Start your AR experience now!
Extended Reality (XR), the umbrella term for Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) is used to define the concept of “extending” or transforming our reality with the use of technology to create immersive environments, experiences, and interactions.
XR tech takes the human-machine interface and modifies it, either by immersing you in the virtual environment (VR), adding to, or augmenting, the user’s surroundings (AR), or both of those (MR). While extended reality use cases have been humming along, the pandemic served as the catalyst for an explosion of XR use cases during 2020 and 2021, accelerating the rollout of virtual experiences for work and collaboration.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Holmes, Jr.
To better understand Extended Reality (XR), let’s briefly run through its three main components: Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality.
Virtual Reality (VR) applications use headsets to fully immerse users in a computer-simulated reality. These headsets generate realistic sounds and images, engaging all five senses to create an interactive virtual world.
Rather than immersing users, Augmented Reality (AR) relies on a device – usually the camera in your phone or tablet – to overlay digital graphics and sounds into a real-world environment. For instance, you could be at a live sports event and see a digital statistics overlay hovering over the players, or videos of replays or interviews.
Mixed Reality (MR) lies somewhere in between VR and AR. It blends real and virtual worlds to create complex environments where physical and digital elements can interact in real-time. You see the surroundings as in AR, yet the headset produces 3D imagery with interactivity and depth as in VR. Like AR, it overlays virtual content over a real-world environment; and like VR, this content is interactive, and users can manipulate the digital objects in their physical space.
Even in an otherwise highly volatile economy, XR appears to be thriving. From digital training simulations to remote experience technologies that link spaces and people across the globe – XR is driving change in every sector, across all markets and industries.
10 Applications of Extended Reality
Imagination is infinite, and by creatively combining XR technology with our imagination, new frontiers will open up. That said, several XR applications already have huge social relevance and impact.
Gamers can intimately feel what their selected scenes would resemble in the flesh, whether crossing into another era, place or exploring fantastic futuristic worlds. Consumers can virtually experience live music and sporting events from the comfort of their VR headsets.
More and more gaming developers are launching their own virtual reality headsets. And given the hyper-competitive nature of the gaming industry, it’s highly likely that VR gaming will continue to develop in an extraordinary innovative way.
Experts see multiple areas where VR technology can contribute to healthcare, including mental well-being, physiotherapy, pharmaceutical development, and education for professionals and patients. The technology also assists in collaboration, especially among multiple facilities. During the pandemic, doctors used XR extensively to offer remote care.
Medical imaging technologies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT scans now make extensive use of extended reality. It gives staff full 3D representations of human bodies rather than traditional 2D imaging. This improves diagnostic accuracy, as medical personnel now have a more accurate rendering of the relevant structures.
Surgical training marks one of the stand-out applications of XR. Immersive models allow doctors to practice skills without risking lives – to learn general surgical techniques or even to develop procedures for complex operations. During live operations or patient care, medical staff can use AR to make better decisions and offer more insightful recommendations to their patients. With medical VR treatment, people can experience a controlled environment where they face and overcome their fears safely.
3. Engineering and Manufacturing
A skilled workforce has become necessary to keep pace in the super-charged business world, with training a necessary yet expensive endeavor. XR tools can save money, time, and prevent injuries.
Computer-aided design (CAD) makes an ideal use case as designers and their clients can immerse themselves in life-size plans while drafting. This allows for superior exploration of design space.
Engineering and manufacturing can sometimes involve dangerous functions. The use of augmented reality enables workers to conduct these actions from a safe distance. For instance, an employee can direct a robot to perform some tasks involving hazardous chemicals that pose a risk.
New factory employees can learn how to use risky equipment via simulations and from anywhere. A job simulator can even include accurate deadlines, distractions, and other pressing demands.
AR can also assist in other processes like assembly, quality control, and maintenance. Workers receive visual and voice instructions as well as seeing data on a smartphone, headset, or other hardware. It can include precise technical data such as tolerances or coatings. From Boeing to Porsche to Lockheed Martin, AR is being leveraged to drive productivity along key stages of the production process.
The food industry is vast and diverse. Whether that be streaming training content, mimicking food production processes virtually, or simulating real-life scenarios — XR offers a new way of looking and doing things. Some restaurants, for example, now offer placemats that can transform into gaming platforms and recipe books.
Proper hygiene in food facilities is one of the most important aspects of food production. Manual inspection routines are susceptible to human error or lack of oversight. With mixed reality devices such as HoloLens, it is possible to add a digital layer to any form of maintenance or service like a routine hygiene inspection. The digital layer can highlight critical areas that can be overlooked with manual processes, ensuring all important areas are covered.
You can even add a no-oversights feature that means a worker cannot move on to the next step until all necessary steps have been completed. Additionally, HoloLens can capture content and store it in a database, meaning improved traceability of hygiene inspections, a key focus area for food operators.
The retention of skills and knowledge learned via VR is very high, meaning it is more likely to be applied in the workplace, ultimately leading to increased productivity. Even complex techniques can be broken down into their most basic components to make certain that even the newest employee can grasp and deliver consistent, high-quality output.
Using VR, any task in a production facility can be copied virtually and can be reviewed at a pace most comfortable to the employee. In addition, VR-learning doesn’t require help from other colleagues, meaning new employees can be trained without the need for other employees to take time to teach. With visual guides, a worker should be able to pick up the next steps. Further, the instructions can easily be read in different languages.
5. eCommerce and Retail
AR contributes to both online and offline shopping. In stores, customers can quickly and easily learn all about products on display. You can, for instance, instantly find reviews and recommendations just by pointing your camera at an AR-enabled item. Retailers can also offer discounts through this medium while uncovering shopping patterns in the data.
For e-commerce, AR brings the shopper closer to an in-person experience – especially during the pandemic. People generally want to interact with a product before buying, and this technology allows them to do so.
Product returns can cost as much as $550 billion per year. People often buy a product based on a stock photo, but when they receive it, they realize it’s not what they imagined. AR eliminates this frustration. By allowing customers to experience the product in an augmented world, they sense first hand whether they will like it or not. Retail giant Macy’s “try before you buy” AR product visualization helped the company reduce return rates to less than 2%. Famous retailers from Saks to Saatchi have also rolled out immersive shopping experiences.
Studies show that 47% of consumers acknowledged that immersive technologies make them “feel more connected with products” while shopping online. Rather than forcing a consumer to imagine how a product will look, AR allows the user to experience the product firsthand, in a digital environment.
The National Education Association has found that while the learning retention is only 5% for lectures and 10% for reading, VR is among the top 2 with learning retention of 75%. With immersive technology, learning can be made much more engaging than simply reading a piece of text or watching a video.
Augmented reality gives students hands-on, real-world experience without the need for a classroom. It enables people to see what it’s like in outer space or to practice surgery on virtual patients. XR delivers unique learning experiences and is expected to have a growing influence on education at all levels from elementary to tertiary, to professional learning.
XR enables virtual field trips, including to locations that you can’t reach in person. You can also explore complex scientific topics in extreme detail, like manipulating a 3D model of a molecule. When it comes to post-secondary, XR enables remote self-paced learning. Students can have multisensory engagement with any topic from astronomy to zoology. Richer interconnections make the material more memorable. Gamification, in which lessons are made entertaining, can further enhance learning outcomes.
7. Real Estate
Real estate agents can give prospective buyers a tour of properties as if viewing them in person, even if they are on opposite sides of the planet. You can produce advertisements, sales presentations, and detailed open houses for use with smartphones or headsets. Real estate agents already exploit XR’s core functions with current tools already built into some web browsers.
Hybrid work, remote employees, 4-day work week; the pandemic has triggered a series of new workplace arrangements. Executives see extended reality as an effective method to reconnect employees. It brings new opportunities for on-the-job training too, helping employees learn as they go, getting hands-on experience in a safe and controlled environment, enabling them to be more efficient.
Logistics giant DHL rolled out its Google Glass-based Vision Picking Program in its warehouses in nine countries, reporting productivity savings of 15% through more accurate and efficient fulfillment. Lloyds Bank is investing in VR technology to train their staff in soft skills, helping employees learn to develop resilience and cope with stress.
“This is cutting-edge technology. It’s going to transform the way we train soldiers and the way soldiers operate in combat. We’re excited about it,” is how Gen. James McConville, the US Army’s chief of staff, describes XR.
Since the inception of XR technologies, the US Military has invested billions of dollars in the technology. The Army and the Marine Corps have invested in a new battlefield head-up display called the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), which combines synthetic training environments with real-world data to boost infantry readiness and effectiveness. The Navy and Air Force have been using similar XR technologies to train their fighter pilots.
The US Defense Department readily extols the boundless promise that XR advances hold for dramatically improved training, situational awareness, logistics support, combat readiness, and even medical training and procedures. XR can deliver training far faster and at less cost than traditional training in many cases. By employing virtual reality, artificial intelligence (AI), and biometric tracking, the US Air Force has reduced pilot training from 12 months to four.
By superimposing virtual data over a view of the real world, military personnel can use XR technologies to navigate more easily across any terrain in the world; know the location of friendly troops or reported threats; train and rehearse for anticipated battle scenarios, and even overlay virtual enemies and obstacles as needed for better preparation.
10. Travel and Tourism
The unprecedented and disastrous pandemic impacted nearly every sector of the economy, with the travel and tourism industry hit particularly hard. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that the sharp decline in international tourism during the pandemic has slashed more than $4 trillion off the global GDP.
Because so many people still aren’t willing to travel, smart operators are using extended reality to offer stay-at-home travel experiences. This benefits both consumers and the tourism industry. Extended reality tourism gives consumers the opportunity to travel the world safely and at a fraction of the cost. This technology also creates a new revenue stream for companies struggling to stay afloat.
In Jordan, for example, the government launched the Petra Xplore App, which uses virtual reality technology to teleport visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk through and explore points of interest. As users explore the city, commentary helps them understand the historical significance.
Industry experts believe, even post-pandemic, that extended reality tourism will continue to appeal to tourists who are looking for an inexpensive way to travel the world.
Leverage The Use of Extended Reality Now
Extended reality advances the potential of AR, VR, and MR and merges our real and virtual worlds to create new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist, interact, and communicate. Instead of removing users completely from the real world, or simply layering flat content on top of their immediate view, MR adds intelligence, even personality, to digital content relative to the world around them.
As part of the technological evolution of how we engage with the digital world, in both our personal and work lives, we are smashing through the barriers that interfere with our ability to make smart decisions quickly, absorb, retain and process critical information, visualize possible scenarios before acting, or share knowledge and tasks. The XR trend is ushering in a new world of simulated experiences grounded in the ways business gets done and how customers actually use products.
If you plan to effectively leverage the immense power of extended reality, choosing the right partner is critically important. You need to work with an experienced agency that not only has a stellar track record but one that has a firm grasp of the technical know-how of these immersive technologies, as well as the capability to creatively bring your vision to life and solve real-world problems.
Rock Paper Reality (RPR) has been at the forefront of AR development for over 12 years. Having worked with clients including Microsoft, Netflix, and Lenovo, the experts at RPR will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your brand stands above the competition.
Contact us today for a free demo and discover how our clients have achieved strong ROI with our proven solutions. Watch the RPR showcase reel for some more AR experiences in action.
In order to create a strong understanding of augmented reality portals, there is a need to first explain augmented reality and the world of endless possibilities that can be gleaned from it. AR is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated model on a user’s view of the real world. This can be done either with an AR headset or through mobile AR. The rest of this article will be focused solely on mobile WebAR.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen augmented reality used in a variety of ways including adding fun creatures in our world (Pokemon Go), displaying furniture in our rooms (IKEA Place), trying out makeup (Sephora AR app), plus a multiple of other great AR experiences for a wide variety of cases and industry.
What is an Augmented Reality Portal?
In the past years, a new feature has been released both in app-based AR (ARKit and ARCore) in addition to WebAR (8th wall) called AR Portals. Through the camera of their smartphones, users can see a “doorway” that leads them into a virtual world. They can then move freely and look around the scene as if they were in a “real” place. AR portals can have photorealistic 360 spheres showing real-world locations or they can be completely digitally crafted into a number of imaginary worlds. AR portals can be the size of a small room or can be the size of stadiums. A great example that helps explain the concept is from the TV show Stargate where a portal allowed explorers to go through them and explore worlds across the galaxy in an instant.
AR portals are where virtual reality with deep immersion and mobile AR with device ubiquity meet and the result is something magical.
In understanding portals, the first part is understanding the magic behind AR occlusion. Occlusion refers to objects blocking other objects located behind them from a given viewpoint. In AR, if a digital object can be ‘hidden’ either behind a physical item in the space or another digital item, it is occluded. Occlusion is the reason why only one side of the portal is visible (from the inside) and creates the illusion of a magical portal.
In AR portals, the exterior side of the portal has a material property that must be transparent while blocking the rendering of models behind it. See the GIF below to see it in action.
Depending on if you’re using ARCore, ARKit, 8th Wall, or any AR platform the code will be slightly different, but in all cases, the basic premise is the same. Either with a 3D model or a cube map, it should be pretty straightforward to create your own AR portal whenever the relevant material properties are added.
The Vocabulary Behind WebAR Portals
The webAR space has some unique vocabulary used to best describe what is happening as well as how a user experiences a portal deployed in the AR environment:
Active AR Portal: The user must physically walk through the portal.
Passive AR Portal: The portal encloses around the user automatically.
AR Window: Where the user can only look inside, not physically enter. Used when the trigger image is on a wall.
Dimensionality: The richness of three-dimensional content.
Ground-based AR Window: Where the portal is on the same level as the floor/table surface the user is scanning and the user looking “down” inside the AR window.
AR Portal Doorway: The doorway where the user transitions from the real world into the digital.
Popular Use Cases for WebAR Portals
Now that we have the right vocabulary in relation to AR portals, let’s now discuss some use cases:
Retail (on-site): Window shopping can become a magical experience with AR windows placed in store windows. As retail stores often have marketing material already placed in their windows, this is a perfect opportunity to stop pedestrians walking by and engage them with the store merchandise. The AR window can show a variety of imaginative scenes including a catwalk with models showcasing clothes, or a scenic representation of where the products come from, or any other scene that would engage the pedestrian and drive them inside the store.
Retail (at home): Although people are now able to go out more with lifted COVID restrictions, digital marketing will always be able to reach customers wherever they are and webAR portals are the perfect way to bring the store to the customer with virtual showrooms. Any retail store could create virtual showrooms in augmented reality where the user can walk into the virtual store and not only see the merchandise in 3D but actually purchase the items. Virtual showrooms can be replicas of the physical store to maintain brand aesthetics or the laws of physics can be thrown out the window and brand-new magical stores can be created to create feelings of awe and wonder with the users.
Hotels and Resorts: Hotels and resorts are the perfect matches for portals. By placing potential customers in their locations with 360 views, they can show their features in a much more engaging way than pictures or videos. With the price of 360 cameras constantly dropping and the quality constantly improving, hotels and resorts can easily create their content and craft portals that show their locations in a whole new way.
Zoos and museums: WebAR portals used for zoos and museums can give a sneak peek to potential visitors about what they would see if they came to visit. The portals can either be made with content captured by a 360 camera to get a replica of the space or it can be done with 3D modeling and craft engaging stories. The museum pieces could come to life and allow users to engage with them or give the animals feature that allows them to speak and explain all the different ecosystems that the zoo has to offer visitors.
The variety of use cases for portals are nearly endless and span nearly every possible market or vertical in which users may need or want to engage with a virtual world.
RPR’s Learnings From WebAR Portal Creation and Deployment
Mind the gap: If using an active portal (requiring the user to physically move into the portal), use smart UX to make sure users don’t stop in the doorway. The camera will have a hard time detecting if the user is inside or outside and it will increase the chance of tracking being lost.
A way back home: If using an active portal, make a conscious decision to hide or show the doorway (so the user can see the physical location they are currently in). The advantage of keeping it is that it promotes the magic of the portal and the user can enter and leave. The disadvantage is that it breaks the immersion of the digital world and allowing the user to enter and leave increases the chance of losing tracking.
Move your butt: If using an active portal, be over communicative so that the user needs to physically get up and move inside the portal.
Down the rabbit hole: Have an audio effect or animations triggered when the user passes through the portal door to accentuate the transition between the real world and the digital one.
User’s safety and comfort: If using the active portal, be aware of the user’s environment and plan for obstructions, especially in locations outside the home where there is high foot traffic (public transit, stadiums, sidewalks, etc.), or structure built for other pedestrians.
Reset: Always have a re-center button in case the user loses tracking.
Explore the space: Use 2D or 3D UX to encourage the user to look all around when inside the portal.
Engage the user: To make a more memorable and longer-lasting experience, have interactions inside the portal.
Audio is key: Don’t forget to have sound effects. Without them, your scene will feel dead, but just make sure you offer a mute button.
The Wardrobe into Narnia: The doorway is super important. Make it have 3D dimensions and interesting styling and have it be introduced with an interesting animation, instead of just toggling its visibility.
When things fall apart: If using image tracking for an AR window, have a fallback UI if tracking is lost and give users feedback if they are too far or too close to the image.
Scene over screen: This is a generic AR UX principle. Minimize on-screen UI, it takes away from the AR content.
Selfie time: Offer the chance for your users to take pictures and share on social media to increase virality.
Achieving dimensionality: The interior of the portal should have items close to the user (things they can interact with), things in the midground (3D assets that create the scene), and things in the background (the background sky/photosphere) that encompasses the entire scene. This will add richness to the scene and make it more lifelike.
Eyes on the ground: Avoid having the user move the phone upwards, away from the floor. This will help prevent loss of tracking. Put interactions and interesting 3D content towards the lower half of the portal.
If you’re interested in using AR Portals to engage with your customers in a whole new way, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From startups to Fortune 500s, Rock Paper Reality (RPR) has over a decade of experience at the cutting-edge of WebAR technology and strategy. By infusing technical mastery with a holistic approach to WebAR marketing, RPR has developed best-in-class AR content and strategies to drive brand awareness, customer engagement, and revenue growth.
Comments Off on Christopher Merchant Joins RPR as Project Manager
We are excited to announce that Christopher Merchant has joined RPR as our Project Manager!
Christopher will shepherd both new and existing clients through the creation of powerfully engaging AR and VR experiences with RPR, interfacing directly with their teams to build strong relationships and execute deliverables while maintaining RPR’s cornerstone value to “under-promise and over-deliver”.
He comes from WFM, LLC., one of California’s premiere digital marketing agencies, by way of IaaS big data firm Pyramid Solutions and SaaS payment automation company Avidxchange, Inc., both in the financial technology sector where Chris worked as lead project manager integrating cutting-edge big data and payment automation solutions with legacy software systems. Christopher realized his passion for serving as a change agent evangelizing emergent technologies while working with his countless clients (including each of the US’s “Big Four” banks) in traditionally change-reticent verticals like construction, law, and banking to implement industry-leading software solutions in fraud prevention and payment execution.
Prior to this time Christopher gained experience working as a corporate attorney at a Chicago-based international law firm, a B2B wine and spirits account executive, and a startup founder in the (then-fledgling) digital marketing and IT consulting space. Chris’s cross-functional experience as a career client advocate, technical SME, and systems-oriented thinker focuses his efforts building powerful, communicative project teams working toward the best possible solution to any stakeholder problem.
We are thrilled to announce that Daniel Fernandes has joined RPR as our newest WebAR Developer!
Daniel joins RPR from his previous role as a WebAR and XR consultant working with a worldwide client base to develop AR-led marketing campaigns, sports and entertainment XR applications, and virtual reality web applications.
As a long time contributor to the software community, Daniel brings years of experience in collaborative projects as well as leadership in the WebAR world to the fold- his (personal) development credits include developing NFT-Marker-Creator, a port to use the ARToolKit5 NFT marker generator on the web, thus making it possible to use images as targets in WebAR. Daniel’s dedication to open-source WebAR adoption and accessibility continued with his foundational contributions to the WebARKit project, and helping develop features in the JSARToolKit5 library.
Prior to his time in the private sector, Daniel worked as a researcher in the TEAM Lab at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte for several years where he started his career in XR. While studying the future of virtual technology Daniel ensured his career trajectory kept him on the absolute cutting edge of emergent tech- publishing research papers on Digital Twin web platforms for product visualization using IoT devices and XR technology.
Welcome to the team, Daniel! We’re excited for you to bring your years of experience to RPR’s clients and AR projects.
We are excited to announce that Jung Won Kim has joined RPR’s consulting team!
Jung is joining RPR from Silicon Valley Bank’s ‘technology leveraged finance’ group where he worked on underwriting credit facilities to support private equity clients’ leveraged buyouts of enterprise software companies. Prior to Silicon Valley Bank, Jung worked at Capital One in the leveraged finance group as a generalist covering gaming, food & beverage, and services. Some of his previous experience includes:
Building cash flow projection models and retention analyses for sponsor-backed recurring revenue transactions
Performing underwriting due diligence including financial covenants analysis, risks & mitigants assessment, and enterprise valuation modeling
Conducting due diligence of acquisition targets’ total addressable market sizes, competitive landscapes, and go-to-market strategies
Working with portfolio companies’ management teams to track financial performance and handling ad-hoc requests
Jung is looking forward to leaning into his finance background as well as his experience working with companies across industries to help come up with financially conscious solutions for RPR’s consulting clients.
WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THAT ALEX BRANITSKY HAS JOINED RPR AS OUR NEW 3D GENERALIST.
Alex brings over 5 years of production experience to RPR. With his background in VFX and post-production for film, 3D art development for mobile apps, architectural visualization, and motion graphics he has found the perfect outlet for all these skills in AR/VR production.
He has worked on AR/VR experiences for clients in a variety of industries including, marketing/advertising, education, employee training, retail, tech, and the food/beverage industry. Alex strives to create engaging, emotional, and meaningful worlds for audiences to experience.
We’re very excited to push the boundaries of immersive technology with Alex and for him to be part of the RPR team.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are immersive technologies that combine virtual and real environments. Termed together, AR and VR are referred to as Extended Reality or XR technology and are rapidly redefining what’s possible in healthcare.
Virtual reality (VR) experiences happen when the user is fully immersed in a virtual environment that appears completely real. Augmented reality (AR) is a similar technology, but instead of users being immersed in a completely virtual environment, AR enables them to see and interact with virtual objects overlaid on real-world scenarios.
AR and VR have the potential to revolutionize medicine in the areas of medical training, patient treatment, and hospital management. Surgeons can, for example, harness these visualization tools to help plan surgery more effectively. XR technologies can even be deployed before surgery, helping patients to better understand their medical conditions and treatment options on a range of procedures.
Another key benefit of XR technologies lies in improving the quality of learning and training for medical students and professionals while enhancing retention and understanding. Conventional training procedures usually involve static 2D images, textbooks, slide shows, and shadowing a professional to see how they perform certain treatments. XR technologies enable them to see every detail in full immersion, significantly enhancing the learning process. The immense benefits of XR tech do not end with students, however, qualified professionals too can learn and retain new and innovative procedures through an immersive environment.
The market share of pharmaceutical AR and VR was valued at $477.2 million in 2018. This is a pretty big number for a technology that didn’t feature in the industry in recent years, but this part of the story gets better and bigger. Consumer data provider Statistica estimates that the market will be valued at $4.64 billion by 2025. That’s an annual jump of 38.4% in North America alone.
Let’s take a deeper look then at how the medical industry is leveraging this technology now, and what are its potential applications going forward.
Selling and Marketing Pharmaceuticals with AR
As rapidly emerging technologies, professionals are increasingly exploring new ways to embrace VR and AR in different fields of the medical profession; such as in sales, marketing and advertising. There’s great potential for the use of AR in sales. That’s because the key to a successful rep and healthcare professional relationship is communicating clearly and accurately. AR technology can help sales reps do this by helping doctors visualize the benefits of their products, literally.
Sales and marketing teams will have access to technology that can generate 3D presentations designed to educate healthcare professionals visually. Pharmaceutical companies are already using interactive animations to show the effects of their products. XR technology is enabling the use of animated sequences that involve 3D simulations and moving images that show the effects of a particular medication. These AR applications give healthcare professionals deeper insights into the benefits these new products offer and thus help them to better explain to their patients how these treatments work.
It can also be used by professionals to “test-drive” larger medical equipment without having to physically bring it in. Not only does this make life easier for manufacturers in terms of shipping costs and training, but importantly, it allows medical professionals to gain a better hands-on feel for the product before committing to purchase.
Patient Education and Care
XR technologies can be used to educate and ease the anxieties of apprehensive patients about procedures and treatments in an interactive and immersive way. Patients benefit from the technology in two ways: education and reassurance.
Patient education is a particularly important aspect of AR’s potential. Immersing patients into an AR experience will help them better understand their diagnosis and treatment options. This knowledge will in turn empower them to take care of themselves and be more responsible toward their health and recovery.
In addition, being able to better understand medication is vital in deciding which medicine to buy. Patients can use augmented reality through their smartphones to learn more about drugs and treatments and their possible side effects. The best current implementation of this practice comes in the form of helping patients choose medicines based on specific pain areas. Some pharmaceutical AR applications are used to help patients identify which product is best for a specific pain point. This can help patients make informed decisions on what medicine to get.
Doctors can also use AR to demonstrate the proper usage of devices their patients need to use in the aid of their treatment and recovery. The knowledge of how to properly use the equipment for homecare patients, for example, can go a long way towards improving the quality of life of these individuals as they recover without the need for expensive hospital treatments.
Reassuring the Patient
Augmented reality can also help surgeons adequately prepare for potentially risky procedures. The technology can simulate a virtual rendering of the operating theater that can help the doctor identify and anticipate potential challenges throughout the entire procedure.
This can give the healthcare professional the much-needed confidence to minimize potential risks. This helps to reassure the patient that they’re safe in the hands of their surgeon.
Efficient Equipment Manufacture and Operation
The benefit of AR can further be extended and applied in the manufacture of medical equipment, machinery, and devices. Being able to visualize three-dimensional schematics of a product in the design phase can help engineers understand how to improve a design and render it more effective.
AR can also assure uniform production of the equipment. This can greatly improve the safety of these products, especially those destined for operating and emergency rooms, as well as pathology units.
Pharmaceutical AR can also be leveraged to reduce costs in research and development. That’s because the technology can simulate the reaction of components in bioreactors without having to run actual procedures and using resources on tests that could end up in flawed versions of the final product. Put simply, it reduces potential flaws by simulating visual tests based on past data.
It can also help hospitals and clinics in training their personnel with the use of new equipment. Specialized equipment needs to be operated and maintained in specific ways, and manufacturers—or even HR—can use AR training tech to develop training programs that can teach staff the correct procedures in terms of operation and maintenance without having to touch the machinery. This can be done remotely, even before the equipment’s arrival.
The Augmented Reality Agency
Apart from the fact that this is a potentially multi-billion-dollar market – the opportunities to leverage XR tech, particularly AR, to significantly enrich medical and pharmaceutical training; enhance patient education and care; increase sales and boost marketing; as well as strengthen equipment manufacture – is thus compellingly clear.
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that has struggled to shed its ‘gimmicky’ tag and breakthrough from its niche as a ‘cool tech’ (think mobile gaming sensation, Pokémon Go) and provide benefits and experiences that are more meaningful in its applications in society. AR has, in recent years, however, been increasingly used in everything from entertainment and online commerce to healthcare and education and fast becoming an integral business tool.
Ever since the technology was unveiled, AR has been touted as the ‘next big thing’ and it’s finally showing its prowess as a powerful enabler that more purposefully impacts business operations. This is reflected in the figures, with one study stating that 800,000 people use AR and projects that’ll impact as many as 23 million jobs worldwide within the next 15 years. There are forecasts that the AR market value will hit $50 billion by 2024.
The world is currently in the grip of a devastating pandemic that has wreaked havoc on billions of lives and livelihoods. The benefits of AR technology to drive recovery efforts in healthcare, education, and tourism – effectively shut down during the ongoing pandemic – is huge. COVID-19 has further brought home how failing to digitize value across business chains has severely disrupted industries worldwide.
Many experts believe AR is just at the beginning of its evolution as a productive extension of our everyday activities and has the potential to transform almost every sector going forward. It will fundamentally change how we learn, make decisions, and interact with the physical world. “It will also change how enterprises serve customers, train employees, design and create products, and manage their value chains, and, ultimately, how they compete,” notes the Harvard Business Review.
Augmented reality’s exponential growth forecast is due to its ability to remotely immerse, connect, and interact. Many sectors have already benefited from the technology and will continue to do so as adopters find new and innovative ways of leveraging the tech. For businesses, the consideration should not be: Will we embrace AR, but rather, how soon can we immerse ourselves into this exciting immersive tech to help our company grow?
Efficient Product Development Using Augmented Reality
AR can significantly improve product development across all industries. The technology features a range of benefits allowing for early-stage amendments, risk management, improved quality assurance, reduced construction efforts, and most importantly, visualization. These benefits translate to a more efficient product development process, speeding up time-to-market while driving down costs.
The Power of Visualization
AR technology allows you to bring a concept into a reality that is otherwise imagined, inaccessible or difficult to grasp. Visualization underpins a product’s design process. In a traditional design setting, products and user experience are developed through sketching and digital modeling. However, no matter how detailed a design is, it can never truly capture the realities of scale and context.
AR is a powerful visualization tool and the technology’s immersive nature allows for both a true-scale and contextual simulation of a product. This enables developers to quite literally step inside their designs and examine them in 3D from all angles. They can view it remotely, walk around it, integrate it into the different surroundings, and make real-time changes.
Augmented reality’s enhanced visualization capabilities also allow for greater collaboration during the development process, meaning anyone involved can view a universally understandable model of the product. The 3D nature and real-life representations that AR generate mean that even non-technical people can understand development designs. This enables all stakeholders to envision the product and give feedback.
Better Recruitment and Training With AR
Business augmented reality can also improve the efficiency of the recruitment and training process. Its ability to remotely simulate different environments can be used to create screening and training processes that empower businesses to both hire the best people and train them effectively.
AR allows employers to develop a more efficient recruitment process by creating a simulated setting of the real world. Applicants work through this experience, demonstrating their real-life skills and work dynamics. This gives recruiters the ability to assess a performance set in a digital render of the actual workplace. This ‘real-world’ assessment improves recruitment efficiency because it offers insights based on demonstrated ability instead of hyped-up resume credentials and superficial interviews.
This real-life assessment also works for the benefit of the applicants. Business augmented reality recruitment allows potential recruits to experience the workplace remotely. This enables them to gauge if the environment is a good fit and whether they can contribute and grow therein.
The technology gives businesses new tools to enhance their training processes. For example, AR experiences can guide trainees through equipment handling and company SOPs. The rich immersive nature of AR enables heightens information retention rates and effectively eliminates the need to rely on static slides and cumbersome manuals. A study by CISCO showed that hands-on experience such as with AR increased installation efficiency by 30% and first-use accuracy by 90%.
AR-based training can further gather real-time feedback from users. This feature allows for a tailored experience for every trainee. The technology is also replicable, saving on costs and time. This eliminates the need for expensive instructors whenever new recruits need to be trained.
Boost Sales and Marketing With AR Technology
Sales and Marketing departments are where Augmented Reality (AR) is most frequently used. Face filters, portals, try-on’s, marker-based and markerless experiences are just a few of the rich and near limitless opportunities in these sectors. AR offers marketers an incredibly immersive and interactive tool that can help drive engagements and conversions.
Augmented reality has immense power to influence a customer’s buying decisions. Herschel Supply Co, for example, reported that by using AR for furniture visualization, they recorded a 152% increase in revenue per visit. This incredible revenue growth is because customers are more likely to make a purchase if they are able to connect with a product, which is a big reason consumers are demanding AR from retail. AR technology is designed to facilitate deep interaction and visualization, eliminating barriers that often impede online sales.
Augmented reality in marketing is growing at an exponential rate. Industry analysis firm ARtillery Intelligence has released data showing that global AR advertising revenue grew from half a billion dollars in 2019 to $1.41 billion in 2020. This number is expected to rocket to $8+ billion by the end of 2024.
It’s easy to understand this adoption explosion when you consider the impact of AR technology on marketing. Augmented reality makes it easier to send marketing messages, producing average dwell times of 75 seconds – 4x longer than with video. The ability of AR to facilitate an emotional connection with customers is the main driver of this improved dwell time.
Web-based augmented reality in particular has massive reach. How massive? Well, over a billion devices across the globe. This extends the reach of marketers beyond platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to every person with a smart device.
Every Organization Needs an AR Strategy… RPR Can Get You There
Augmented reality, the set of technologies that superimposes digital data and images on physical objects and environments, is rapidly closing the gap between the real and digital worlds. By putting information directly into the context in which users apply the technology, it expands their ability to absorb and act on it.
Visionary organizations have already implemented AR in product development, manufacturing, logistics, marketing, service, and training—registering huge gains in quality and productivity in the process. Partnering with industry leader Rock Paper Reality (RPR) can get your business there too, and fast.
With over 12 years at the cutting-edge of this technology, we have unparalleled experience and expertise in augmented reality applications and are uniquely positioned to develop industry-leading AR strategies for your business. Whether you’re focused on product development, training, or sales and marketing, contact RPRand make your AR vision a reality,today.
Augmented Reality (AR) – the process where digital images are superimposed on reality to create a rich, interactive experience where the real and virtual world intersect – is a technology still in its infancy, but becoming increasingly popular because of its near-limitless potential. COVID-19 is a major driver of this surge as businesses scramble to explore avenues to incorporate technology into their daily functions to keep operations running.
While the pandemic has forced a radical reorganization of business operations and functions, AR has powerfully reframed operating processes in a wide range of industry sectors – from logistics management and training medical students to displays in cars and designing products. This profound change in the way we work and live has spurred developments and growth in this sector to astonishing new heights. Statista recently published research findings that state that from roughly $3.5 billion in 2017, the augmented reality market is on course to rocket to over $198 billion by 2025.
AR technology that can be used as an interactive teaching tool in classrooms, or even to guide those with disabilities, proving that it has a solution for any application – it is simply up to your ingenuity and imagination to settle on the most appropriate application to enhance your current business offering.
Choosing the right partner as you embark on your exhilarating AR journey is essential if you want to better tap into the digital revolution and partake of the vast benefits it has to offer.
Start With Your Augmented Reality Project Budget
Choosing an experienced and reputable AR agency to help you develop industry-leading AR strategies that will drive brand awareness, customer engagement, and revenue growth is key as you embark on your augmented reality journey. It is important to note that the most expensive intervention does not necessarily translate into a solution. Each company’s needs are unique, and this applies to AR solutions as well. Doing your homework is thus crucial.
The right partner will help you navigate elements such as:
They will also reiterate the importance of always starting by assessing your budget for these projects. Due to the uniqueness of AR projects, flexibility within your budget is key, something a competent AR partner will be able to advise you on in more depth.
Establishing the parameters for your budget will involve due diligence on things like labor rates and equipment pricing. You don’t want to start a project only to discover halfway down the line that your allocated budget won’t meet the actual expenses.
A bird’s eye view of your budget and running expenses throughout the project is beneficial and can be achieved by classifying elements together based on how they are related or if they will use similar materials and processes. In this way, you can effectively oversee each step of the process at any stage.
Consider What Use Cases The Augmented Reality Consulting Partner Can Provide
Show Me Your Demo Reel
The beauty of augmented reality is that its flexibility provides solutions for the most complex tasks and for most applications.
Some of the documented case studies for augmented reality include:
Intending travelers using AR customers to ‘experience’ their destination before they even leave for their holiday.
Design professionals and architects can simulate proposed designs for clients and then, in consultation, make virtual changes before a project even commences.
The medical industry can facilitate simulated training for students and professionals to practice techniques for surgeries using complex equipment.
AR headsets and glasses are now being used in the building maintenance sector as they are a great way to simulate problems and troubleshoot solutions without the expense of on-site investigations.
The entertainment sector benefits significantly from immersive AR experiences.
According to a 2019 State of Industrial Augmented Reality report, companies that have introduced AR initiatives in their operations have recorded dramatic gains in worker efficiency and quality while reducing the cost of their in-house training programs.
The report strongly recommends that companies looking to capitalize on AR opportunities should seek credible and reliable AR partners to accompany them on their AR journey. Such agencies should be solution-ready and help businesses build and integrate augmented reality experiences quickly and easily.
Some incredible case studiesof AR include Unilever’s use of AR for remote assistance and knowledge sharing, Boeing’s use of the technology to wire an airplane, DHL Supply Chain’s use of AR to enhance warehouse operations, and Lowe’s introduction of augmented reality into their operations to make DIY applications easier and more user-friendly.
Evaluate Available AR Technologies
While some AR firms have extensive libraries of plugins or SDKs to speed up development and make it more user-friendly, others may not have access, but could still be positioned to develop the perfect AR solution for your environment.
These specialists will guide you on the digital content you need, help you understand the physical environment the user will navigate when using the app; and will then assist you in your path to delivering a more refined AR experience.
Establish a Project Strategy With Your Augmented Reality Consulting Partner
Committing to an AR strategy for your organization is long-term and is something you need to be invested in. For this reason, the best way to tackle your AR requirements is to stop before you start. That’s right, stop!
Stop and assess the potential impact AR will have on your product capabilities, your value chain, and most importantly, your customers. In addition, stop and evaluate how the AR you are looking to integrate will reinforce differentiation through functionality and ease of use. So, before you start, stop and assess whether or not your business will benefit from AR applications. Take time to evaluate all the options available and don’t just opt for the one you may have heard about or seen applied somewhere else. The reality is, your organizational needs are unique and as such, you need to take a deep dive before determining which applications will work best for your business.
Once satisfied with your available options, you can draw up your wish list. Decide if you want to manage the development and launch in-house, or if you need to find an AR agency that can get you to your end goal. We recommend the latter.
RPR – Your Rock Solid Partner For Your AR Strategy
Industrial Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that complements existing manufacturing processes and enables companies to improve efficiency and increase quality. AR enables companies to cut costs, reduce time to market, and build safer products.
With applications in the industrial and manufacturing sector including logistics, manufacturing floors, maintenance, upskilling, and training, organizations that have specific processes or require complex product components often find that implementing industrial AR optimizes operations across the entire product development cycle.
Industrial AR takes product development to the next level by enabling designers to see how products will look and work in real-life conditions. This gives designers invaluable insights into what consumers want, allowing them to make modifications before the physical prototype is complete. This in turn reduces the costs of physical prototyping, saving time and money. Industrial engineers can also use the technology to plan and optimize processes that can help to ensure that your manufacturing output is consistently high quality.
AR technology is set to change the face of the industrial and manufacturing industries, with PTC’s study on AR finding that nearly 75% of industrial organizations had some form of AR integration at the end of 2019. With such widespread adoption of the technology, all industrial and manufacturing enterprises must consider integrating enterprise AR solutions into their operations. Not doing so will mean entities risk being left behind.
Application of AR in Logistics and Manufacturing Floor
Managing orders and organizing warehouses is a time-consuming process. Workers have to verify information, locate and scan the selected products, deliver them to the dispatching area, and then sign off on the order. This process makes logistics prone to error.
Industrial augmented reality enables workers to be much more precise and productive. It enables them to access a connected system that automatically guides them towards the correct products. Mobile AR systems such as head-mounted displays enable object recognition, barcode reading, and seamless information integration – all in a worker’s field of vision. All that’s left for them to do is get and drop off the product.
Industrial AR is extremely effective, decreasing picking errors by as much as 40%. This translates to millions of saved dollars in the long run. In fact, logistic giant DHL has already latched onto the value of industrial AR and has allocated a massive $300 million investment in the technology.
Industrial AR promises to increase manufacturing floor efficiencies. It enables workers to quickly be trained in new processes and assemblies right on the shop floor. These operational instructions are presented directly in their line of sight, enabling them to process information while leaving their hands free to tackle other tasks simultaneously.
This ability of AR technology to immerse users is perhaps its most potent feature. Manufacturing personnel can access technical documents, stream instructional videos, and receive 3D guidance all while productivity continues.
Increasing Efficiency in Maintenance Using AR
Industrial augmented reality is a powerful tool that can significantly improve service times and accuracy for maintenance providers. At a basic level, it enables workers to see hardware issues and required servicing. In addition, AR technology can display operation times, maintenance history, potential future breakpoints, and much more.
Industrial AR also allows for more proactive maintenance. Service personnel equipped with mobile AR devices can automatically scan hardware whenever they hit the factory floor. This identifies early-stage maintenance requirements, eliminating the need for bigger and more costly interventions later down the line.
Faster and more efficient maintenance using AR has been ably demonstrated by General Electric. GE reported a study where a technician had to wire a wind turbine control panel using physical work instructions vs instructions delivered via an AR headset. The technician displayed a 34% efficiency improvement in performance when using the AR headset.
Better Upskilling and Training With AR
Upskilling is integrating smart technology with production workers and their processes. AR performs this integration smoother than any other technology due to its rich immersive capabilities.
Mobile AR headsets and other devices have such smooth integration due to the ability of the technology to overlay information. By displaying useful information in the form of images, graphics, and text, workers can easily learn new processes, operations, and equipment operations. This translates into greater productivity and savings.
Training industrial workers is a time and resource-consuming process. As they are new to the job, they are naturally unfamiliar with the necessary protocols, equipment operating procedures, and other standard factory floor conventions. Not only does this lead to production inefficiencies, but also raises safety issues. Expense is another consideration when training new workers, as it often involves having them shadow senior staff in order to learn.
Industrial AR solves many of these problems. It can instantly deliver useful information and procedures so that trainees can learn as they go about their duties. The technology also offers a more uniform and complete transfer of knowledge and methodologies, rendering more effective training initiatives.
It is not only more effective but more cost-efficient. By being able to guide trainees through every step and process, the need for expensive human instructors is eliminated. This also frees up manpower to focus on other tasks.
AR also handles the safety issues that usually accompany traditional training. It allows trainees to get hands-on experience with simulated equipment. Naturally, this results in a safer training process while increasing efficiency – the equipment that trainees would have otherwise practiced on is instead freed up to be used for production. Industrial AR training is also replicable. This means that you only have to develop the training process once and it can be rolled out for all future training sessions.
Industrial AR Is Ready to Revolutionize
Augmented reality is set to revolutionize many industries, but perhaps none more so than the industrial and manufacturing sectors. The technology increases efficiencies across a range of applications, including logistics, manufacturing floors, maintenance, upskilling, and training.
We’re a veteran Augmented Reality agency that helps companies from startup to Fortune 500s develop best-in-class AR content, WebAR Solutions and understands the specific needs of the industrial and manufacturing sectors. Our team ofconsultants are from top-tier consulting firms and will find the right AR solution for your use case.
We are excited to announce that Joseph Killoran has joined RPR as Global Business Development Lead.
Joseph will guide existing and new partners to solve today’s business challenges and seize tomorrow’s competitive advantage through best practices of AR technology.
He comes from VISYON, an innovation technology agency where he led the company’s commercial and strategic growth in the UK since 2017. His fascination with the power of innovation and technology to drive positive growth and meaningful change is the energy behind much of his work.He has helped plan and produce over 25 AR and VR projects for brands such as Ratti, Vodafone, The Cornerstone Partnership, Seat Cupra, Alzheimer Research UK, TrustFord, Amstel, Sanofi, Merck.
Prior to this, he spent a decade in Los Angeles where he worked at the cross roads of public purpose media and technology to serve and create real value for underserved communities. In international career spanning London, Los Angeles and Barcelona, he has lead multidisciplinary and multi-cultural teams to produce, market and distribute a slew of feature films, original digital series, and instructional programming.
As the era of accelerating technology advances, Joseph is committed to helping clients achieve better outcomes by embracing this journey today.
“I am deeply excited to join Pat, Bob and Preston’s special forces outfit, which, under their stewardship, has been at the centre of the AR revolution since 2009 and sustainably delivering on on its immense potential.”
AR is fast becoming the new interface between humans and machines, bridging the digital and physical worlds and touted as the most exciting new technology of our time. It is reshaping our world by transforming how we learn, make decisions, and interact with the physical world. It is changing the way businesses serve customers, train employees, design and create products, and manage their value chains. This disruption is significantly impacting companies around the world and ultimately, defining how they compete.
Augmented reality is capable of so much more than just consumer-facing experiences such as filters and games. Enterprise AR is a lesser-known, but, equally powerful application of the technology with the potential to revolutionize how businesses operate — from breaking down complex medical concepts into interactive 3D forms to construction companies showing clients 3D models of the project they’re bidding on.
Enterprise adoption of AR technology has been growing in the shadow of its consumer-focused counterpart with a respectable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 66%. This rate is set to continue growing as AR has shown early value in industries such as logistics, field service, and training.
Disrupting Field Services with Augmented Reality
Enterprise augmented reality is the next big tool to boost efficiency and improve the output of field service providers. AR’s ability to use mobile devices to relay visual information to a user will transform the industry by enabling remote maintenance and repair functions.
These types of field service providers focus on providing customers with on-site services. Appointment-centric providers handle heavy logistical challenges as they often coordinate with a large number of technicians to meet customer needs. Enterprise AR helps manage staff schedules effectively by streamlining scheduling tasks, ensuring you get the right field service person to the right place at the right time. It also offers notification options for all jobs that are running, so you can be notified of any issues via email, text, and voice call.
It enables remote troubleshooting. For example, AR enables service providers to remotely see and diagnose a problem prior to dispatch. This results in a higher first-time-fix rate and shorter service time. Enterprise AR can further aid field service technicians by allowing them to consult with a remote expert. This means that technicians can service a wider range of issues without necessarily being very knowledgeable on the subject matter. Finally, AR can provide a link between a customer and a remote technician, allowing the former to be guided through resolving simple issues.
Outcome-Centric Field Service Providers
These types of field service providers are typically responsible for maintaining complex equipment such as in the medical and utility industries. Their work focuses on ensuring optimal equipment performance. As such, they take proactive measures to reduce equipment downtimes, inefficiencies, and outages.
Augmented reality technology enables these field service providers to remotely examine equipment. This remote role eliminates the need for many on-site visits, saving costs and time. Using AR during routine on-site maintenance can also automatically check the status of the equipment. This helps ensure that the equipment is functioning properly while provisioning for anticipated future problems.
Improving Logistics Through AR
Enterprise augmented reality is the driver of the next big step forward for the logistics industry. Logistics providers can use the information garnered from AR to optimize planning and task delivery, resulting in greater efficiency and better customer service.
The biggest beneficiaries of AR technology in logistics will be the warehousing and transportation sectors.
Order picking –the process of drawing items from a warehouse inventory to fulfill orders, and considered the most labor-intensive and expensive activity in the supply chain – accounts for around 55% to 65% of the total cost of warehousing operations. Enterprise AR technology can significantly save on these costs by reducing picking errors and search time.
Mobile AR systems such as a head-mounted display (HMD) can decrease picking errors by as much as 40%. An HMD can guide workers to the right locations where they can see a digital picking list embedded in their field of vision. The picking process is further enhanced with real-time object recognition, barcode reading, and a useful information feed.
Enterprise augmented reality can also improve warehouse-planning processes. The technology can visualize planned rearrangements and model new workflows in full scale.
Augmented reality technology can optimize workflows and logistics in the transportation industry. In the freight loading space, the technology replaces cumbersome printed cargo lists and load instructions with an AR display that checks inventory while highlighting suitable vehicle areas to load in.
Global Trade is often a complicated task for logistics providers. Enterprise AR alleviates some of the headaches by assisting in import and export compliance, documentary completion, and real-time translation of foreign labels and trade items.
Augmented reality enables faster and more accurate completeness checks. It can automatically scan items to detect any damage or faults while enabling collectors to instantly determine if a load is complete.
AR can provide dynamic traffic support to delivery personnel. An integrated AR navigation display provides real-time traffic data to optimize routes on the go, improve driving safety, and minimize driver distraction.
Better Training with AR Technology
Enterprise augmented reality technology is set to revolutionize the training industry. From corporate training to hands-on learning in sectors like manufacturing and healthcare, applications of this technology include:
a standalone tool in an interactive style of learning
a teaching aid, as a supplement to training materials
covering an entire module in a training program
incorporating it into an entire courseware offering
Prevents Workplace Harassment and Discrimination
Augmented reality can simulate realistic anti-harassment training and gender interaction simulations. This creates awareness around appropriate workplace interactions while facilitating immediate feedback.
Facilitates Engaging and Interactive Learning
Enterprise AR integrates well with Learning Experience Platforms (LXP). These technologies build on traditional learning systems by curating engaging and interactive educational content for each user. Trainees can learn faster by using immersive AR technology-driven recommendations. The result? A “Netflix-like” experience where content is appropriately targeted.
Overcomes Learning Barriers
Hands-on skills – such as surgery, equipment assembly and maintenance, and machine operation are time-consuming and require extensive cognitive effort. This is because there is an inherently steep learning curve when it comes to translating 2D materials into real-life 3D skills. Enterprise AR bridges this gap by translating 2D objects into a real-life environment taking care of these mentally taxing tasks.
Enterprise Augmented Reality Is the Future
Augmented reality technology promises far more utility than just face filters. Industries such as logistics, training, and field service providers are poised to take advantage of this technology described by Apple CEO Tim Cook “as a big idea, like the smartphone.”
“The smartphone is for everyone, we don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives. And be entertaining.”
When it comes to AR development, Rock Paper Reality is your one-stop-shop. From 3D content creation to interactive Augmented Reality apps to WebAR Experiences, we develop unparalleled experiences for enterprises and consumers alike. Schedule an RPR demo today and discover how we leverage 12 years of innovative and successful AR to empower businesses – from development and content creation to consultation and targeted marketing solutions.
We are excited to announce that Basak Akman has joined RPR as the Lead UI/UX Designer.
We’re excited to announce that Basak Akman has joined RPR as our new Lead UI/UX Designer.
Basak has worked with AR, UX/UI and 3D to design narrative-based Mixed Reality worlds for a future of connection and expression. Her background in Architecture and Film drive her interest in interactive and emerging technologies.
Basak has worked across disciplines, designing, and innovating multiple immersive products for e-commerce, stealth mode startups and a virtual institution for LGBTQIA+ people. She has worked with brands and influencers to create AR filters and showrooms for web and social media.
We’re very excited to push the boundaries of immersive technology with Basak and for her be part of the RPR team.
“WebAR has the incredible potential to enhance user experiences.”
With many businesses shifting online and the competition for views heating up, brands are increasingly becoming aware of the immense power of web-based augmented reality, also known as WebAR. This is a new marketing and advertising tech tool that takes consumers on an interactive journey while showcasing products and services in an innovative and exciting way.
Web-based AR works across many operating systems such as Google and iOS and is compatible with over 3.5 billion mobile devices around the world, rendering WebAR the most easily accessible form of augmented reality to date.
Accessing information with web-based AR is a cleaner process for the end-user, while accessing app-based AR involves more steps and utilizes more phone memory and storage, a potential barrier for many consumers looking to quickly engage with the experience.
Partnering with skilled and experienced WebAR development agencies who can harmonize the technical aspects with an overall marketing strategy is key to extracting the maximum benefit from this technology.
WebAR Enhances the Marketing Experience
WebAR reaches almost 3 billion people– nearly twice as many as app-based AR. Web-based augmented reality is also easily supported by social media platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram.
WebAR tools such as 8th Wall allow for this massive reach by providing the necessary underlying technology for AR to build upon. Smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei are all compatible with 8th Wall, as are the big browsers Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
This means that as a marketing tool, WebAR grants brands an incredible, seemingly limitless reach. Its widespread accessibility empowers agencies who were previously bound within the ‘walled gardens’ of social media to spread their campaigns further than ever before, enabling their messages to resonate much wider.
Web-based augmented reality creates lasting impressions by connecting with audiences on a more profound level. A recent report from Accenture shows that 50% of consumers have better recall when brands engage them with immersive technologies, such as WebAR.
WebAR is a powerful marketing tool because of its ability to engage and provoke an emotional response in the user. That emotional impact is key because it cultivates positive brand sentiment and the willingness of the customer to either return to the brand, endorse it to others, or perhaps even both.
If used strategically, companies can use web-based AR to market products and services to a wider audience who will experience more highly interactive content than what traditional marketing methods offer.
A Seamless Experience
Without the need for a download – a distinct advantage that WebAR has over its app-based counterparts – users can engage with the technology through triggers such as a QR code, link, or real-world object.
WebAR’s instant accessibility eliminates a huge barrier to entry, as opting for an app-based AR requires downloading a standalone mobile application from the App Store or Play Store. In fact, studies have shown that there is a 50% drop-off in engagement for any digital experience that takes over 30 seconds to load. Downloading an app to load an AR experience often takes longer than this.
Web-based AR is such a potent marketing tool because it allows customers to immediately ‘experience the experience’ without annoying load times and multiple steps. It also provides a uniform experience across devices and browsers.
The ease of use and widespread accessibility of WebAR also facilitates virality as users immersed in the experience are more likely to spread the word.
WebAR Augments Marketing Campaigns
AR Outperforms Other Mediums
WebAR is extremely effective at creating positive impressions while spreading marketing messages compared to other mediums. It’s important to note that the monumental potential of this technology does not lie in it being an exciting new concept. Its power and potency reside in its immersive and engaging nature.
Sure, novelty can spark initial hype around your brand, but unless you add real value to your target group in some way, your marketing campaign will remain mediocre, or worse, fall completely flat.
Studies have shown that interactivity is key to creating marketing messages that stick. AR is as interactive as it gets, with an 80% recall rate for users. WebAR also has an average dwell time of 75 seconds, four times longer than video.
With such impressive outcomes, it’s hardly surprising that brands leveraging WebAR have recorded up to a 520% increase in intent to purchase over the next six months. This is 95x greater than the non-AR benchmark.
WebAR Integrates with Existing Marketing Mixes
Web-based augmented reality is a medium that integrates smoothly into an existing marketing campaign. As the technology is browser-based, it thoroughly aligns with your 360-degree marketing plan.
Reaching and engaging your audience with WebAR can be done in several ways, be it a QR code embedded on a physical object or digital space, part of an email newsletter, or push notification. WebAR can also be triggered when encountered on social media applications or websites.
With so many avenues to integrate WebAR into an existing campaign, the key to getting the most out of it is strategic implementation. The deployment needs to act as a part of a greater whole. It needs to be smoothly and deliberately embedded in a campaign to avoid inefficiencies or gambling on success because of its novelty effect.
WebAR can also easily integrate with powerful tools such as Google Analytics. This allows marketers to collect a huge amount of valuable data and insights which can be used to inform effective business strategies.
Enriches the Customer Experience
It’s not hard to imagine how webAR can enrich a customer’s experience, particularly in the retail space. Displays, products, and promotions can all be enhanced with interactive content. The unique power of WebAR combines the digital with the physical world, enabling brands to offer users an immersive experience unmatched by any other technology.
Possible applications of WebAR include previewing furniture in your home before purchase, providing nutritional information on a food product, and even giving a user a virtual tour of a resort before they make a booking. With WebAR, customers can now engage with a brand in a manner that’s informative, entertaining, and immersive all at the same time.
While offering so many opportunities, it’s surprisingly straightforward to get customers to activate a WebAR deployment in-store. Up to 60% of customers already use their smartphones when browsing to gain more information about a product, for example, so having them scan a QR code will not pose a difficult task.
The sheer number of benefits WebAR provides is staggering. International brands can leverage it to overcome language barriers. As the technology easily integrates with Google, content can instantly be translated into the user’s preferred language.
Entrenches Buyer’s Confidence
The digital migration poses new challenges to brands that rely on physical spaces to connect with customers. Online shopping, for all of its convenience, has always carried with it some baggage.
For example, studies have shown that in ensuring their correct size, nearly a third of online shoppers buy different sizes of an item they want and then return the ones that don’t fit. Aside from causing inconvenience and annoyance on the part of shoppers, this practice also represents a logistical and financial burden on online retailers. The problem is exacerbated by the current stay-at-home dynamic forced upon us by Covid-19. By being unable to visit stores in person, shoppers have to contend with these issues regularly.
WebAR addresses this problem by allowing brands to immersively connect, inform, and sell to customers. A great example of WebAR being rolled in this particular scenario is the deployment by Saks Fifth Avenue which allows users to customize and preview clothes on a digital mannequin before purchase.
AR experiences such as these increase buyer confidence in that the item they are buying is exactly what they are seeking and creates smoother customer interactions.
Provides Real-Time Feedback
Web-based augmented reality presents marketers with an effective tool for gathering real-time feedback and data on their deployments.
The nature of the technology allows for beta testing, meaning brands can gather feedback from users and iron out any problems with the experience before committing to a full rollout.
Huge Possibilities with Different WebAR Experiences
WebAR marketing opens up almost limitless opportunities for brands to use in their campaigns. Its capacity to bring the digital world into the real is unique among the range of marketing tools currently being deployed.
Deploying webAR in a campaign can also help unleash marketers’ creative elements and boosts motivation levels among a marketing team. Opportunities to create new virtual elements and marry them to the real world open up endless possibilities.
World effect WebAR deployments embed digital objects as part of the real world.
There are two types of world effects: marker-based and markerless. A marker-based experience entails a digital model being bound to a specific point or object in a real-world environment. Examples of these bindings can include a QR code, company logo, street art, or any other 2D image.
Markerless WebAR means that a virtual object is bound to a surface, such as a table, floor, or wall. As the technology is capable of discerning different environmental contexts, the subject of the deployment is sure to be the focal point of the experience.
World effects allow agencies to flex their creative muscles as they design experiences that are entertaining, interactive, and immersive. This translates to increased positive impressions and brand recall among users.
Filters are one of the most recognizable types of AR being used by brands today. The entertaining, social-media friendly, and easily-sharable aspects of this medium render it viral-friendly if used strategically.
Social media-based marketing campaigns in particular are capable of leveraging WebAR filters to great effect. By adding engaging and fun elements to messaging, users will likely be more encouraged to share and interact with one another.
Filters can be used to allow users to preview try-on’s such as make-up and accessories, engage with gamified experiences, and upcoming events such as a concert or a movie.
Portals are a perfect illustration of the continued enhancement capabilities of WebAR technology. This AR medium transports users to a different world through engagement with the content.
Devices can navigate these portals because of the ability of WebAR to understand the so-termed ‘six degrees of freedom’ – the capacity of a device to track its position along three axes of position and three axes of orientation. This allows a smartphone to recognize its position relative to the virtual environment, meaning that a user can navigate a portal through their phone’s movements.
Other Types of WebAR Experiences
Holographic Web AR
Holographic WebAR, such as the “Siduri Holographic Experience” RPR developed with Jackson Family Wines and Microsoft, represents a step forward in the power of the technology. 3D objects in this type of experience appear to entertain and inform users.
Personalization-type experiences seek to maximize the interactive and dynamic nature of web-based augmented reality. Brands can use this medium to create experiences that are unique to each customer, creating deep connections, memorable interactions, and long-lasting relationships. An example of this is having users create and send custom AR greeting cards to loved ones.
Partner with WebAR Experts
Developing WebAR is a complex process that requires a special skill set. Partnering with a capable developer helps with the technical aspects and the overall marketing strategy.
Brands need to be able to clearly articulate their goals and the desired outcomes before approaching a WebAR partner. Setting these parameters down early on ensures that the entire project team pulls in the same direction.
The type of AR experience deployed in a campaign depends on a company’s goals. If a brand seeks to go viral, a filter would be the best choice as it’s readily accessible on social media and thus easily sharable. If an entity wants to reduce returns from online purchases, a world effect experience allowing customers to preview items before buying would be ideal.
When choosing the goals for WebAR marketing, brands should make sure that they are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Well-chosen SMART goals lay the framework for a successful, unified deployment.
Choose Your Channels
Channels are the avenues through which brands communicate with their customers. To choose the most effective channels for a WebAR deployment, marketers must understand when and where users are most likely to encounter the experience.
Some WebAR experiences are more effective when deployed on social media, while others are best when triggered with a QR code, in-person, or through email. Identifying which channel to use depends on an understanding of the target market.
Marketers need to grasp where, when, and how users will interact with WebAR. Some brands, though, cannot afford to deploy across multiple platforms, so efforts must be focused on where they will be most effective while determining which represents the best ROI. Well-strategized campaign goals help in guiding the choice of channel.
A strong channel strategy enables brands to engage with their customers effectively, taking into account user behavior and technological capability.
Choose the Right Partner
Choosing the right partner to develop a brand’s WebAR deployment is critical to the success of the project. The importance of thoroughly vetting a potential WebAR partner before engagement cannot be emphasized enough.
Competent agencies have a holistic approach to development, displaying prowess over the technical aspects as well as in overall marketing, design, and strategy.
Reputable agencies have a proven track record and should be able to provide performance metrics from previous campaigns. It’s also important to connect with brands who have experience working with such agencies to glean insights into their the working relationship.
Knowledgeable agencies must be able to provide partners with dedicated project managers as well as offer a warranty for their development. Post-deployment maintenance and updates are also a must. Skilled and experienced agencies create the ‘experience’ and work closely with the brand to ensure the deployment aligns with pre-determined goals.
Synergize Your AR Deployment With Your Campaign Goals
From startups to Fortune 500s, Rock Paper Reality (RPR) has over a decade of experience at the cutting-edge of WebAR technology and strategy. RPR’s expert team of consultants and developers has created an AR blueprint using a data-driven approach that sets up WebAR marketing campaigns for success.
By infusing technical mastery with a holistic approach to WebAR marketing, RPR has developed best-in-class AR content and strategies to drive brand awareness, customer engagement, and revenue growth.
Are you ready to transform your project with WebAR? Get in touch and see why brand leaders such as Microsoft, Netflix, and Sony have chosen RPR as their dedicated AR partner.
We are excited to announce that Jerry Li has joined RPR as a Senior Consultant.
Jerry is joining RPR from Deloitte Consulting where he worked with F500 companies, growth-stage startups, and private equity firms across a wide range of strategic and operational initiatives. Having majored in Computer Science and Economics at Duke University, he is passionate about the ways innovative technologies can drive overall growth strategy.
Some of his previous client engagements include:
Startup incubation & partnership commercialization in select B2B use cases to address client innovation initiatives
Go to market strategy for enterprise game engine adoption across M&E, AEC, and CPG industry verticals
Market-sizing and statistical behavioral analyses of underserved patient populations to inform the product design of a virtual healthcare platform
Customer journey design, segmentation, and A/B testing of cross-channel marketing campaigns to drive web traffic for a digital native apparel brand
Jerry was also involved with Deloitte’s Digital Reality practice and is looking forward to continuing to develop his subject matter expertise here at RPR.
Web-based augmented reality (webAR) is a powerful marketing tool that many brands are now leveraging. By using this technology in an effective and appropriate way, marketers can connect with their audience on a deeper and more interactive level than possible on nearly any other medium.
Creating a webAR campaign is a process that is similar to developing any other marketing campaign. However, those who use webAR enjoy disproportionate positive results, with studies by ARtillery Intelligence showing that AR increases a customer’s intent to purchase 95 times more than the non-AR benchmark.
WebAR technology is relatively new, so its capabilities are consistently being upgraded and its market penetration is on an upward trajectory. How can brands use this digital technology to take their marketing to the next level?
Why Should Businesses Consider AR Marketing Campaigns?
Augmented reality is far from being a passing gimmick – it’s a powerful tool that businesses can use to boost reach, engagement, and sales. Its power is rooted not only in AR’s enjoyable and whimsical nature, but also in its effectiveness at delivering marketing messages.
AR gives brands the ability to bolster the potency of their marketing campaigns by connecting with audiences on an emotional and interactive level. In fact, AR has been shown to produce average dwell times of 75 seconds – 4x the length of video.
This effectiveness has created a huge demand for AR from many industries, including retail, entertainment, education, and pharma. As such, the AR industry is set to continue growing with forecasts indicating between $70 to $75 billion in revenue by 2023.
With such encouraging outlooks and proven effectiveness, the question really is why shouldn’t businesses consider creating WebAR campaigns?
What is WebAR?
Web-based augmented reality is a frictionless way for people to enjoy AR directly from their smartphones. This technology enables users to participate in a uniform AR experience across various devices, browsers, and operating systems without the hassle of an app download.
The download required by app-based AR has proven to be a barrier to entry for brands interested in the technology. Users simply do not want to sacrifice their data and go through the time-intensive steps of downloading an app. Furthermore, creating an app that is compatible across different phones and operating systems is both expensive and difficult.
WebAR succeeds in doing away with all of these barriers by enabling people to instantly access AR without a download. This results in a smooth user experience, greater reach, higher conversions, increased shareability, and ultimately, more sales.
Compatibility With Browsers and Mobile Devices
All WebAR requires to function is a device’s camera and browser. This means that most mobile devices already possess the necessary framework to support it. This gives the technology broad compatibility.
Phone manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei as well as browsers including Safari and Chrome support WebAR. This gives agencies the ability to create a uniform AR experience for users across multiple platforms and devices.
The versatile nature of WebAR is an advantage of this technology, allowing it to reach twice as many devices as its app-based counterpart.
Image tracking is an AR feature that enables the superimposition of digital content on top of targeted images. Using Computer Vision technology, the software can recognize and track specific real-world AR triggers, known as Image Targets. These targets can be anything a developer chooses, such as a wine bottle, clothing label, or ID tag.
Image tracking requires a few features that most smartphones come equipped with, such as an RGB camera and gyroscope accelerometer. These features enable the software to perform essential AR functions, namely defining the position and orientation of a device, light estimation, and surface identification.
The result is a WebAR experience that allows users to enjoy high-quality digital objects synched on top of the real world.
This mode of AR allows developers to create experiences that overlay fun and interactive filters on a user’s face.
This immersive experience gives brands more than just the option of creating wacky face filters. Face tracking AR can also be used effectively to allow users to try on various facial accessories and make-up. Agencies can also create immersive games using this technology.
Face tracking works by using a device’s camera to capture video images. These images are then are transmitted to face-detection software. This software then tracks the face within a video stream, even analyzing features and expressions in real-time.
World Tracking web-based augmented reality creates markerless experiences by recognizing an environment’s surfaces. This platform is often combined with Image Tracking software. This creates an experience that keeps a target as the focal point while interacting with the surrounding environment.
World Tracking is so immersive because it allows AR to incorporate environmental contexts and world understanding. This enables Image Tracking experiences to employ additional levels of both realism and freedom, creating an environment-aware augmented reality experience.
The World Tracking process works by combining motion-sensing information with computer vision analysis of a scene using a device’s camera. The software is able to recognize specific features and their positions, resulting in an interactive and immersive AR experience.
How Does WebAR Work?
Web-based augmented reality uses a device’s sensors to superimpose position-tracked digital images onto a real-life scene. These sensors include a gyroscope, RGB camera, accelerometer, and magnetometer.
These sensors give WebAR software the capacity to create experiences with the following features:
Six Degrees of Freedom
Six Degrees of Freedom is the ability of AR software to track a device along three axes of position and three axes of orientation. These axes define where a device is relative to its 3D environment. This enables AR software to sync a 3D image on top of the real world.
WebAR requires access to the field of view and perspective of a device through its camera. This allows for synchronization of the augmented and real world.
Web-based augmented reality uses the ability of a device to recognize surfaces and estimate light. This environmental understanding allows AR to realistically place a 3D object within the context of its surroundings.
The fourth feature that WebAR requires is a cloud-based content management system (CMS). This technology allows a WebAR experience to be activated by a camera’s recognition of embedded triggers or links in an environment.
These triggers can include chosen images, QR codes, URLs, and near-field communication (NFC) technology. This allows users to enjoy an interactive and seamless webAR experience wherever the triggers are located.
Planning WebAR Campaigns
Why Should Brands Consider WebAR?
Businesses across various industries are beginning to see the value of web-based augmented reality. These brands are enjoying the benefits that the medium provides for shopping, education, equipment repair, gaming, and more.
Augmented reality has further increased in value during this period of global lockdown. The technology effectively returns interactivity and real-life dimensions that users and customers have lost.
Augmented reality is a powerful tool, but unless the experience is hassle-free for users, it will become an untapped medium. Web-based augmented reality provides the seamless experience that app-based AR lacks by enabling AR to be enjoyed across different devices without a download.
The “View In My Room” WebAR experience developed by RPR for Saatchi Art allowed customers to view over 1.4 million works of art in their own homes prior to purchase. This AR deployment, the largest for an e-commerce site to date, sought to address the issue that 70% of art buyers are hesitant to purchase online because they can’t view the piece in advance.
SaatchiArt.com would regularly record over 2 million visitors per month from 110 different countries. However, since the View In My Room deployment in 2019, the company has seen a significant shift in customer behavior.
Today, Saatchi Art Mobile records more users than the desktop version. Mobile transactions have thus soared, registering 100% growth year-over-year.
Purina 28-Day Challenge
Purina’s “28-Day Challenge” is another example of a successful WebAR deployment. The experience guided users through the positive changes they could expect their pets to enjoy if shifted to a Purina diet. The AR made use of impressive digital models, featuring instant world-tracked pet avatars with movements based on their real-life counterparts.
The WebAR experience garnered a staggering 172 million impressions. The average playtime of the AR challenge was 30 seconds, with 25% of users fully engaging by capturing and sharing their experiences.
Shopify successfully used WebAR to create an immersive and useful online shopping experience. The digital marketplace used the technology to allow customers to explore 3D models of products prior to purchase.
The experience came packed with features. It allowed users to enlarge items for closer inspection, provided a 360-degree view, and even let patrons customize their items, choosing from different color and model variations.
The numbers collected from Shopify’s WebAR deployment are impressive. Products using AR enjoyed a 94% higher conversion rate than those without. Some brands were even able to increase conversion rates by up to 250%. It was also shown that 40% of shoppers were more willing to purchase a product if they were able to inspect it first using AR.
Market Trends and Adoption
WebAR is rapidly growing in popularity and revenue. ARtillery Intelligence released a report that projects a 19.6% compounding annual growth rate (CAGR) of worldwide VR revenue between 2019 to 2024.
The same report details an expected enterprise AR spending growth from $1.23 billion in 2019 to 4.03 billion in 2024, an impressive 26.7% CAGR. Another Future Forecast report says that by 2030, $1.92 trillion will be added to the global economy through augmented reality.
Clearly, WebAR is a medium with nearly limitless potential for growth. This is partly due to the consumer make-up of the tech, as most AR users are Millennial and Gen Z consumers.
Businesses have caught on to the massive benefits of leveraging augmented reality technology, with 9 out of 10 brands indicating that they plan to include WebAR campaigns in their marketing mix.
Web-based augmented reality can transform the way that agencies market. While the industry is still relatively new, all signs point to it becoming an essential part of any brand’s marketing strategy.
AR Outperforms the Status Quo
By nature, web-based augmented reality is a truly interactive and immersive experience. This allows marketers to connect with their customers on an emotional level that other forms of media simply can’t reach.
Artillery Intelligence has collected data that supports this. Brands that used AR enjoyed outstanding results, with some showing a 520% increase in intent to purchase from their customers over the next six months.
Brands such as L’Oréal and Herschel Supply Co have already taken advantage of this powerful marketing medium. The former has tripled conversions once deploying AR that allowed customers to try on make-up before purchase. Herschel has reported a 152% increase in revenue per visit after launching an AR furniture visualization platform.
While impressive, these numbers are not too surprising to those familiar with the effectiveness of WebAR.
Studies show that there is a 50% drop-off for experiences that take over 30 seconds to load, such as app-based AR. Even after downloading, there is a further 75% reduction in users who engage beyond the first interaction. This means that a lengthy download process can lead to up to an experience losing up to 90% of its audience.
Your Brain on AR
Why is AR so effective? Augmented reality has three primary effects on the brain that contribute to its impressive results in marketing:
High Attention Levels
Capturing the attention of a consumer is something that costs businesses a lot of time, effort, and money. AR naturally captures a user’s interest, driving 1.9 times more visual attention than nearly any other medium.
Effective visual communication also results in emotional intensity. Emotional intensity dictates what information the brain stores or encodes into long-term memory. Naturally, the more marketing messages an audience remembers, the better.
AR also has the capacity to “surprise” the user. This means that people are still receptive to the relatively novel technology.
This ability to provide a surprising and emotionally charged experience is set to carry on in the near future as AR technology continues improving. These improvements enable developers to create ever more compelling and immersive experiences.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that as augmented reality becomes more integrated into people’s daily lives, this surprise response is likely to decrease.
Improved Memory Encoding
As mentioned, AR has an enhanced capacity to encode itself into a person’s long-term memory – it has been shown to facilitate up to 70% higher levels of memory retention compared to other channels.
This makes the technology a very powerful tool to deliver key marketing messages that a company would want its audience to retain. This secures both a wider and more engaged reach.
WebAR uses a device’s sensors to create a range of experiences for users. Each type of experience has its own benefits as well as an objective for which it is best suited.
Brands seeking to develop their own WebAR deployments should carefully consider what type of experience best accomplishes their goals.
Here are some of the most common types of WebAR experiences:
Marker-based AR is most useful when an agency wants to trigger an experience based on a real-life object. Examples of these triggers can be an appliance, packaging, QR code, or page of a book.
An example of marker-based AR is a deployment by Siduri Wines and developed by Rock Paper Reality. This experience was activated by a user scanning a QR code on the bottle and pointing their camera at one of the company’s bottles of wine.
Once triggered, the business’s founder would climb out of the bottle and entertain customers with interactive shenanigans. This experience brought the company’s ethos to life, that “serious wine and serious fun aren’t mutually exclusive.”
Siduri Wines was also the first brand to use this type of AR to interact with cylindrical-shaped objects, showcasing the ever-developing nature of the technology.
Markerless WebAR is used to display digital content in a real-life location. This is used for deployments that do not require an “anchor” in a real environment, allowing virtual objects to be overlaid on a surface or in midair.
This technology has a wide range of uses, as it allows users to preview items in a location prior to purchase. Furniture, appliances, and clothing are well-suited to this type of AR as it removes the uncertainty of how a physical item will look once received.
Saatchi Art, an example from earlier, is an example of markerless webAR technology. The art retailer used AR to give customers the ability to preview over a million works of art in their homes. As users were able to have an accurate representation of how a piece would look prior to purchase, online sales were increased.
Holographic WebAR (referring volumetric capture— the act of studio capture of people and objects to import as webAR assets) represents a step forward in the complexity of the technology.
The technology gets really interesting when combined with marker-based AR. Siduri Wines used holographic AR in tandem with marker-based AR to create their memorable experience.
Not only was the brand’s founder an interactive holographic object, but he was also anchored to a real-life surface and triggered by a specific marker – in this case, a bottle of wine.
WebAR Portals are a very immersive experience, taking users through a “portal” into a digital world. When triggered, this type of AR takes viewers to a new virtual environment. Users then navigate this world by handling their smartphones in real life.
WebAR Portals are useful for bringing a new level of immersion to advertise travel experiences, restaurants, concerts, art galleries, and much more. Companies are now using web-based portals for virtual events that allow people to interact with the brand and experience digital representations of their products.
Pepsi used WebAR Portals to give Super Bowl fans a look inside the Super Bowl LV Halftime Show Commercial. Users were able to immerse themselves in the action of the commercial with a 360-degree experience, even getting up close and personal with award-winning artist, The Weeknd.
This is one of the most famous AR experiences, being used to great effect by Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and many other social media platforms. Face filters have become so common in our everyday lives that most people don’t even realize that they are a type of AR.
This technology is not just limited to augmenting social media campaigns. Face Tracking is also commonly used for product try-ons such as sunglasses, hats, and make-up.
There exists plenty of technological frameworks to support face tracking, giving designers the power to develop fun and creative filters. 8th Wall Face Effects has many templates for developers to use, providing them with a starting point to create custom visual effects.
One particularly delightful example of a recent face tracking experience was created by Rock Paper Reality for the San Francisco Ballet. After scanning the masks and costume accessories using a process called photogrammetry, Rock Paper Reality made them ready to deploy as AR face filters on Instagram. Based on the Ballet’s yearly production of Nutcracker, which unfortunately they were unable to perform last year, the filters included the Snow Queen, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Nutcracker himself.
WebAR is a dynamic medium that allows agencies to provide users with a personalized experience. This is useful for brands that want to create unique and memorable interactions with their customers.
Sberbank launched a WebAR experience right before International Women’s Day in Russia. They created a deployment that allowed people to send personalized bouquets to a loved one. The customization options included the type of flowers, color selection, name integration, and a custom image upload.
The WebAR campaign was a huge success. An incredible 94% of users created and shared a custom bouquet. This achievement reflects the power of WebAR to connect with people on a personal, emotional level.
Define Your Marketing Goals
The creation of a marketing campaign using web-based augmented reality follows the same principles as creating any other campaign. As such, the first step is to define the project’s goals.
Having clearly defined goals provides direction to a campaign, making sure that all the parts pull in the same direction. This unity is essential for the marketing efforts to reach their full potential.
In the context of a webAR campaign, the technology needs to work towards achieving these goals. If AR is appropriate, then integrating it into the campaign is beneficial. However, if the technology doesn’t offer any additional value to the audience or it makes more sense to use video to tell your brand’s story, save webAR for a better-suited campaign.
Starting with a solid set of marketing goals provides the framework for everything else to fall into place. When choosing goals, make sure that they are SMART. This stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
WebAR Marketing Strategy
There are three typical processes that brands must consider to create effective webAR campaigns. Carefully going through each process increases the chances of success for any marketing endeavor.
Consumer Journey Mapping
This process is important because it helps brands understand their customers more deeply. The better the understanding of a clientele’s expectations, barriers, and experiences, the better an agency can tailor to their needs.
Creating a positive client interaction is essential to stand out from the competition. 80% of customers consider their personal experience with a company to be as important as its products.
As webAR is still a novel technology to most consumers, it’s vital that developers carefully map out the consumer journey. Activating and interacting with the AR needs to be effortless for it to be successful.
Having a reward, catchy hook, clear instructions, and a call-to-action all contribute to an enjoyable AR experience. As such, each feature needs to be given careful thought.
A target market is different from a target persona. The former focuses more on demographics such as age group, gender, and income bracket. A target persona is a personal snapshot of a typical person from the target market. They are fictional representations grounded in an understanding of an audience on a personal level.
Target personas replace statistics with a person who has actual habits, goals, challenges, and dreams. An agency with a clear grasp of the target persona they are talking to will be able to develop tailored webAR experiences. By reaching an audience this way, emotional and memorable interactions are easier to create.
Channel Deployment Strategy
With the huge amount of marketing channels available to brands today, choosing the best ones to focus on is important. This process is called channel strategy, and it involves picking the most appropriate platforms and channels to use to achieve a campaign’s goals.
Picking a set of channels to focus on requires a combination of analytics and consumer insights. These two sets of data guide agencies towards the most effective way to reach an audience within budget.
For example, a makeup brand seeking to use AR Face Filters to promote their products is better off using Snapchat instead of a professional channel such as LinkedIn.
A well-researched channel deployment strategy optimizes the reach of a marketing campaign. It ensures that brands can effectively engage their audiences on the platforms they frequent most.
<h2″>Write a Creative Brief
When a brand has defined its marketing goals and created a strategy to achieve these, it’s time to write the creative brief. While developing this brief, it should be kept in mind that it will eventually be shared with a chosen AR partner.
As this partner will be responsible for bringing the brief to life, it needs to be detailed, aligned, and realistic. Providing this gives AR developers the framework upon which they can craft creative ideas to support the marketing goals.
The brief needs to be specific enough so that all teams are working together. Interactions between future customers and the software need to be defined early on. What kind of experience will resonate with users? What is the call to action? What type of webAR technology should we use? When dreaming up the AR experience, make sure that it is both realistic and sharable.
Determine Your Campaign Metrics
It’s important for a webAR campaign to have measurable objectives. This lets a brand know if the campaign has been successful and what areas to focus on if it hasn’t.
WebAR campaigns can use Google analytics. Important information such as the number of unique users, call-to-action taps, views, and dwell time can all be gathered throughout the deployment. This information can then be used to improve marketing efforts moving forward.
These metrics should be defined early on so that an AR partner can track them from the onset.
Producing WebAR Campaigns
Identify a Winning Campaign
Before jumping into the actual development of an AR deployment, it’s important to revisit the ideas behind the campaign. A winning webAR campaign addresses five important questions:
Does it solve a problem?
Does it create a positive interaction?
Does the webAR meaningfully enhance the real world?
Does the technology integrate with a larger marketing strategy?
Is the experience accessible and easy to use?
If the answer is “yes” to all of these questions, then all the pieces are in place for a successful webAR deployment. It’s important to be honest here and continue working on the campaign if it doesn’t address all five of these questions.
Wireframe to Prototype
Once a creative brief has been agreed upon by both the brand and AR partner, it’s time to begin the creation of the actual webAR experience.
The first step agencies take is to create a wireframe guide. This is a basic visual representation that depicts the skeletal framework of the AR deployment. Wireframes allow developers to easily re-arrange the flow of the experience to best accomplish the chosen objectives.
The next steps are to develop a mood board and then a storyboard. This process takes the wireframe sketch and upscales it into a visual representation of the AR experience. This is where the overall look of the deployment is determined. All areas of user interactivity should also be defined here.
Once everything has been approved by the brand, the coding and development of a prototype can begin. A prototype allows for changes to easily be made to a deployment based on initial feedback from users.
Effective prototypes should include three essential features:
A CTA answers the question, “what do you want the user to do at the end of the experience?” The desired action should be based on the webAR campaign’s goals. Examples of CTAs include sharing the experience, making a purchase, collecting discounts, and linking to a landing page.
Simple works best here, so only use 1-2 CTAs so that users do not get overwhelmed.
WebAR experiences work best when they are uncluttered and straightforward. This means limiting the ways a user can interact with the software.
The three most common interactivity types are the ability to share, re-center AR experience, and the back/home button. Other types include purchase, screenshot, and restart experience. Make sure that the chosen interactivity types facilitate the goals of the campaign.
As with CTAs, keep the interactivity simple. Avoid clutter and using too many buttons. If there’s a need for deeper interaction, use a collapsible menu to help organize.
Capturing your audience’s attention is important, keeping it is even more so. Once a user opens up the webAR experience, they need to be guided right away on what to do. Concise and eye-catching instructions are essential to reduce drop-offs and increase dwell time.
Conduct live usability testing and embed heatmaps to determine how users interact with the deployment. This data can help developers fix bottlenecks and increase clarity.
Choose WebAR Channels and Technologies
Channels and Triggers
The chosen channels for the rollout of an AR experience should align with the overall campaign strategy and goals. Appropriate channels need to address a market’s communication touchpoints, technological capabilities, and preferred mode of interaction.
Once the channels have been chosen, then suitable triggers must also be determined. Choosing a trigger is best done by putting yourself in the shoes of the consumer. Where, when, and how will they encounter and interact with the augmented reality?
If the audience is likely to come across your deployment in a physical space such as a supermarket or grocery, then an image-based trigger such as QR code or product is suitable. If your webAR campaign is digital such as email or social, you can create URL hyperlinks that redirect users to the WebAR experience.
WebAR Technology Platforms
This is a software development kit (SDK) used to build WebAR experiences that use marker and location-based technology. AR.js is easy to use, open-source, and free of charge. It also offers cross-browser compatibility for both Android and iOS platforms.
This framework aims to further advance webAR technology by enabling 3D content that is “composable, interoperable, and standardizable.
A comprehensive SDK, 8th Wall provides developers with a host of functions to create immersive webAR experiences. The platform comes with powerful surface detection, lighting estimation, occlusion, and relative scale recognition.
This framework also comes with project templates, source control, remote debuggers, and a fully-featured code editor. It also supports combining world tracking and image targets, allowing for the creation of a truly realistic WebAR experience.
8th Wall is compatible across both iOS and Android systems.
Hire a Technology Partner
As web-based augmented reality is a continuously evolving technology, it can be difficult for a standard digital advertising agency to keep up. They tend to not have in-house developers with the necessary coding skills or understandings to create enterprise WebAR.
In order to get the most out of this medium, brands should consider working with a specialist AR technology partner. These partners will come with a team of dedicated software developers familiar with webAR. They will be able to analyze the project to choose which AR SDK is best, what kind of experience is realistic, and how much effort the campaign will require.
An experienced technology partner can help not just with the technological aspect, but also with the overall webAR campaign. They will be able to see how to best integrate AR within the big picture of the marketing strategy. A good partner will also use a data-driven approach to streamline the campaign while bringing it to life with sound creative ideas.
Choosing a WebAR Partner Agency
Choosing a competent WebAR technology partner is very important. Here are some questions which brands should address when assessing the right WebAR agency:
What skills does the agency have outside of webAR technology? It’s important to find a partner who is also experienced in marketing, advertising, and design.
What services are offered in-house (development, creative, strategy)?
What are some successful campaigns managed by the agency in the past?
What performance metrics from past campaigns can the partner provide? Look for engagement time, marker scans, and click-through rates.
Will there be a dedicated project manager who can support the creation process from start to finish?
What is the warranty for development? Does the agency offer post-development maintenance and updates?
What brands have the agency worked with before? Try to connect directly with these companies and ask how their experience was.
A competent webAR development partner should be able to answer all of these questions and more. Their approach should clearly identify their technical, brand, and business acumen while setting realistic expectations to deliver ROI.
WebAR is an exciting technology that will continue to penetrate and influence our daily lives. It allows brands to reach their market in an immersive, interactive, and entertaining way. WebAR facilitates marketing messages that are delivered to and retained by audiences more effectively than nearly any other digital medium.
In order to get the most out of web-based augmented reality, it’s important for brands to find a competent and experienced AR partner. Rock Paper Reality (RPR) is a veteran in the industry with over a decade of experience at the cutting edge of the technology.
RPR has created dozens of successful webAR campaigns for brands such as Lenovo, Microsoft, and Netflix. Working with clients from conception to deployment, Rock Paper Reality has provided partners with the benefits of best-in-class augmented reality.
If you’re interested in WebAR and taking your marketing to the next level, visit Rock Paper Reality and get in touch.
By skipping the social media middleman and hosting your interactive content on your own website (which can be accessed directly via a hyperlink or QR code), can drive even more traffic. And what’s more engaging and interactive than Augmented Reality content? Its latest iteration, WebAR, delivers the same interactivity, but in a more accessible medium with greater reach.
Earlier Augmented Reality technologies were wildly popular, but not exactly practical. The earlier versions of Augmented Reality were focused on delivering the technology through a headworn device tethered to a PC, which wasn’t exactly portable enough (yes, try to carry your laptop when demonstrating AR and you’ll find it a cumbersome experience).
Then the mobile phone companies managed to release smartphones as powerful as PCs. With its embedded camera, the smartphone became the perfect vehicle for delivering highly interactive content rendered through the video. The initial iterations of AR came via apps that require downloading and, in most cases, compulsory personal accounts. Think of Pokemon Go, Snapchat’s Face filter, or Google Map.
Now, web-based Augmented Reality, also known as WebAR, is a technology that brings Augmented Reality to smartphone browsers. It has freed augmented reality from the clutches of apps and other limitations. Instead of logging in, a simple QR code can open dynamic content for a great WebAR experience via any browser.
Applications of WebAR
WebAR can help increase interest in brands by providing highly interactive content.
The applications of WebAR are unlimited. It can be used to promote brands, increase awareness, enhance learning, and provide interactive entertainment.
Benefits of Web-based AR
There are always tradeoffs with any technology approach and Web AR is no different compared to app-based AR. However, when compared to many traditional ways of marketing and advertising for consumer products, Web AR often outperforms the competition on product sales lift and intent to purchase, brand retention, and increased loyalty.
Other Web AR benefits include:
It offers users more extensive insights when paired with Google analytics;
Increases the conversion rate and sales lift up to 520%;
Has better audience targeting and retargeting than app-based;
Integrates with an existing website and CRM touchpoints;
It tracks your audience’s interests and brand engagements.
WebAR does wonders for business, whether for uniquely advertising products, delivering the company’s message, or as a means to demonstrate or display service offerings.
Retail brands can use WebAR to showcase digital products against a backdrop of users’ actual homes.
Real estate companies can host virtual tours to properties on the market. They can also add interactivity to open houses or tours.
Fashion brands can feature virtual dressing rooms where customers can visualize 3D apparel and try on items.
WebAR helps provide improved educational tools over the web. Tours to major landmarks and historic sites can now be accompanied by interesting facts and additional information for curious minds. Adding interactivity to remote learning can make it more interesting for teachers and students alike. Plus, students retain more of what they learned. Museums can overlay digital content on paintings and installations, textbooks can create 3D animated diagrams, and businesses can even recreate their onboarding materials with WebAR avatars and holograms.
WebAR opens up possibilities for video games that play against a real-world background. Studios can promote their upcoming movies and shows with interactive content featuring lovable characters or major holographic stars. Theme parks can display more information about their attractions. Events can offer side attractions such as interactive scavenger hunts within designated areas.
Awesome WebAR Examples
WebAR already caught fire among content-hungry users, and there are plenty of great examples where companies ventured into WebAR to help drum up interest for their products, services, or messages. Below are eight of the more popular examples of WebAR that generated exciting content.
Saatchi Art “View In My Room”
People in the retail sector can increase sales by capitalizing on online marketing’s potential by integrating Web AR into their e-commerce websites. Saatchi Art, the largest online art store in the world, is among the firms that have benefited from incorporating Web AR into their website.
RPR developed a web AR feature known as “View in My Room” that allows users to visualize how artwork sold by Saatchi Art appears on their wall right from the comfort of their home. All this happens right on the phone’s browser with no application installation required.
By allowing customers to visualize how the artwork looks on their walls, the art store can attract more customers to their products.
The WebAR experience allows customers to view over a million works of art in the Saatchi Art gallery and check how they look displayed in their target surroundings. This helped dramatically increase sales lift. Customers that use the View-In-My Room feature are 70% more likely to proceed with the purchase after they visualize how the digital artwork looks hanging on their walls.
RPR & Microsoft’s Holographic Retail Platform
Web AR brings a new twist to online shopping by allowing users to interact with 3D holographic images of models right from their smartphones’ browsers. RPR has partnered with Microsoft to bring an all-new innovative platform to fashion companies who sell their products online.
The holographic modelling project changes how brands showcase their products to customers. Users can now view new clothes and accessories on models on their phones. This brings the modelling runway experience right to your phone. This experience is designed to increase buyer confidence and reduce clothing returns, which are two of the greatest challenges to purchasing clothing online.
Food & Beverages
Jackson Family Wines
The Jackson Family Wines project developed by RPR in partnership with Microsoft delivers a first-of-its-kind hologram that fuses volumetrically captured content with Web AR. The Siduri Holographic Experience allows users to interact with a 3D model of the founder of Siduri wines, Adam Lee, in an innovative marketing strategy that helped the Siduri brand boost sales and cultivate loyalty from its customers.
Siduri’s motto, “serious wine and serious fun aren’t mutually exclusive”, was brought to life by Rock Paper Reality crafting an interactive experience featuring founder Adam Lee stepping out of a 3D wine bottle for various shenanigans designed to delight and engage viewers and potential customers like never before.
Jumanji: The Next Level
The entertainment industry has improved marketing by incorporating web AR to give fans of popular movies a way to experience the movie plot and engage with the characters. In the Jumanji project, for instance, fans use their voice to activate the web AR experience, which then takes them to various virtual locations where they can play games just like the characters in the movie.
The Web AR interactive movie experience drives brand reach with fans and increases awareness for new releases in the future in a way that’s fun and shareable. Web-based AR increases the impact of new releases by increasing ticket and merchandise sales, and ultimately the new movie following all thanks to web AR.
Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse
Here’s a webby treat: Your favorite web-slinger in a WebAR via the Sony website.
8th Wall developed the AR platform that made this interactive WebAR promoting the Sony animated smash Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse. Here, you can invite teenage Spiderman/Miles Morales into your home for some one-on-one interaction. You can take pictures and share the experience with friends. Sony Pictures included the QR code to launch this WebAR site in print promotions for the movie.
Bugs Bunny’s 80th Birthday
For anyone who wanted to eat carrots and get hit by an anvil, the Bugs Bunny WebAR experience is for you.
Warner Bros created a quirky AR experience in celebration of Bugs Bunny’s 80th birthday. Fans can scan a provided QR and get treated to a daily series of fun Looney Tunes experiences including face filters, interactive gags, and other highly shareable content. Users can also journey on a world-tracked experience to meet Bugs and receive a virtual gift.
Digital Porsche Brand Academy
Porsche employees will love this WebAR program that discusses Porsche’s colorful history.
An award-winning idea from and developed by the Team of svarmony Technologies GmbH, the Digital Porsche Brand Academy is the first-to-market training tool that uses augmented reality to provide Porsche employees an immersive experience learning about the company’s history and values. The star of the WebAR experience is an animated avatar that serves as a tour guide for Porsche’s past, present, and future. Employees can explore realistically animated Porsche-locations, take a ride in a virtual Porsche, help assemble a car, and test Porsche knowledge via a quiz. The Digital Porsche Brand Academy is a great starter kit for employees to establish a relationship with the brand and align with the company’s plans.
Toyota Car Configurator
The Toyota project allows customers to visualize the latest Toyota features by viewing an interactive 3D model of the vehicle right from on your phone. Users can even tap on some of the model’s features to see how they perform in real life. The web AR feature also allows the user to view the car’s interior and turn the headlights on and off.
With the interactive visualization, potential customers can view the car from the comfort of their phone and decide to buy the car without having to physically visit the Toyota showroom. With more people viewing the model, Toyota has an opportunity to boost sales even in new markets and seamlessly push out updates to their experiences when new vehicles or features are available.
From the above web-based AR examples, it is clear that Web AR has a wide range of applications and can be customized to drive new value and opportunities for just about any customer-facing industry. Any business that seeks to establish its name and increase its dedicated following now and in the future should embrace this new technology, which only promises to get better with time.
WebAR with Rock Paper Reality
Rock Paper Reality is an Augmented Reality design agency that helps companies achieve their objectives with augmented reality. Whether you’re a startup or Fortune 500 company, Rock Paper Reality delivers engaging AR products and cutting-edge applications that are tailored to client specifications. RPR is here to help you incorporate Web AR into your business’ marketing plan and help you blaze the new frontier of authentic brand storytelling.
The applications of web-based augmented reality are only limited by a developer’s creativity.
Web-based augmented reality (webAR) is a technology that allows users to access AR experiences directly from their smartphones. As there’s no need for any downloading, people can enjoy the immersive and unique experience of AR on-demand, on most operating systems, mobile devices, and web browser.
WebAR is dependent on technologies that are present across most mobile devices and browsers. This gives it widespread accessibility and uniformity of experience.
So, how does WebAR work, and why is it so effective?
How is WebAR Different from App-Based AR?
Application-based AR is only accessible via download from an application store. This type of AR technology allows for complex experiences as it makes effective use of a device’s features, memory, and performance. This translates to impressive visuals, animations, and interactivity.
However, app-based AR introduces an additional layer that reduces its audience reach. Many people are turned off by having to download an app to enjoy an AR experience. There’s a 50% drop in engagement when users have to go through a download. After that, only 25% of people use the app beyond the first interaction. Compatibility across different devices and operating systems are also expensive to deal with when developing app-based AR.
WebAR, on the other hand, is easily accessible with just a simple URL link, scan of a QR code, or tap on an NFC tag. This enables AR experiences to be enjoyed across most mobile devices and browsers without requiring users to download an entire application. This broad accessibility means that WebAR reaches twice as many mobile devices as its app-based counterpart.
Web-based augmented reality also enables agencies to provide their market with a uniform experience across all platforms. Although WebAR is limited by the memory-light nature of browser experiences, it more than makes up for it in potential market reach.
How Does WebAR Work?
Web-based AR uses a mobile phone’s sensors to enable digital content to be be placed and tracked within the physical environment. Using these sensors and computer vision, AR technology can delivering animated 3D experiences, videos, target detection, and interactivity.
WebAR experiences are set to continue growing in complexity and depth due to mobile browsers adding additional support features. This includes allowing AR to use the device’s RGB camera, gyroscope, accelerometer, orientation, and magnetometer.
There are four essential features to most WebAR experiences: six degrees of freedom, camera stream, scene understanding, and cloud-based CMS.
Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF)
Web AR requires six degrees of freedom to place a digital model within a real-world environment. This means that webAR needs the ability to track a model’s three axis of orientation and three axis of position, enabling control over a 3D image.
Camera stream access is how webAR technology synchronizes the virtual and real world. To enhance a physical environment with an AR experience, an RGB camera needs to be used to provide perspective and field of view.
WebAR requires scene understanding to place a 3D object within a physical space. This is a mobile device’s ability to map a surface and estimate the surrounding light in the environment.
Finally, webAR is completed with cloud-based CMS (content management system), which gives users access to an AR experience through various triggers. These triggers are normally QR codes, but may also include links, markers, or even a user’s face. By enabling users to access webAR with a simple capture of a lens, interactive content can be embedded anywhere.
What are Popular App-based AR Frameworks?
ARKit is Apple’s AR framework. It’s designed to create augmented reality experiences exclusively for iOS platforms. ARKit comes with a host of features, including plane detection, AR world map, anchors, face tracking, image tracking, and model embedding.
The major advantage of ARKit over other platforms is that the Apple ecosystem makes AR development more accessible. It’s also constantly being improved with new features.
Google’s answer to ARKit is ARCore. It’s a free-to-use platform that supports AR development for both Android and iOS platforms. Similar to Apple’s platform, ARCore comes with all the essentials such as face and motion tracking, cloud anchors, light estimation, and plane detection.
ARCore has a powerful environmental understanding, which allows for smooth integration and movement of models in a real-life environment. This seamless object placement makes the framework a particularly effective tool for e-commerce use.
AR.js is an open-source library for web-based augmented reality development. This framework is designed to make it simple for users to create engaging WebAR experiences.
Despite its user-friendly nature, AR.js is able to handle 60 FPS experiences across Android and iOS platforms. It’s also capable of using marker- and location-based AR technologies. Best of all, it’s free-of-charge and open source, so improvements are both innovative and frequent.
Vuforia is an app-based development framework that’s powerful and user-friendly. It features advanced markerless AR technology, allowing for improved stability when placing digital objects in a physical environment. It also has the capacity for instant viewing of models from different perspectives using the “Model Target” feature.
Users engage with the platform through Vuforia Studio, which is an easy-to-use drag-and-drop application. It allows developers with even rudimentary programming and design skills to build creative and engaging AR experiences. It’s also compatible across Android and iOS platforms.
WebAR is an exciting technology that enables companies to reach their audience in a frictionless, creative, and memorable new way. Furthermore, it’s set to keep increasing in power and performance as support from the big tech companies continues to grow.
Rock Paper Reality (RPR) is an augmented reality agency specializing in providing start-ups to Fortune 500s with cutting-edge WebAR experiences. With over a decade of experience at the forefront of the AR industry, RPR has created dozens of successful AR products.
Working closely with clients from concept to deployment, RPR maximizes success by harnessing the full performance and power of web-based augmented reality.
Web-based augmented reality is an excellent option for brands looking to engage consumers across digital and physical channels. Web AR is more effective than its app-based counterpart because it requires no application to download, which is an additional step many users would prefer to do without.
Web AR technology also integrates well with your existing marketing platforms and ad channels, as its versatility is only limited by a developer’s creativity. Its distinct advantages have caught the attention of companies the world over.
For example, Web AR technology’s revenue is set to grow at a compounding rate of 86.3% over the next few years. Web AR is not only here to stay, it’s set to take over the marketing world. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to make this technology work for your brand, check out some of the best Web AR marketing examples below.
Toyota used web-based augmented reality to allow customers to view life-sized models of the 2020 Corolla and Tacoma vehicles. The experience was immersive, featuring multiple touchpoints that customers could engage with to activate animations. These animations let users see the car in action. The experience included opening the sunroof, spinning the wheels, and switching the headlights on and off.
Toyota also took advantage of Web AR’s accessibility by allowing users to capture images of their experience to share with others. As web-based augmented reality requires no additional download on the user’s end, this helped boost visibility.
Jackson Family Wines
Jackson Family Wines used Web AR technology to make deep connections and drive engagement with their customers by connecting winemakers to wine. Upon scanning a QR code, Siduri founder Adam Lee would jump out of a 3D wine bottle to perform a variety of interactive scenes designed to entertain.
WebAR-Adam would tell stories about the 25-year old winery across six different unique experiences. This enabled the brand to build strong personal connections with people while educating them about the brand and the award-winning wine they were drinking.
Miller Lite used Web AR technology to get creative in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The experience was intuitive, activated by scanning the logo on a can of Miller Lite. Users were then directed to a special page on their website where an AR leprechaun would appear and performing entertaining tricks.
This campaign had two units- the 360° Portal and the Web AR Mini-Game. The Mini-Game had a 75% re-engagement rate while the campaign overall drove a 25% lift in Miller Lite favorability in association with St. Patrick’s Day.
Ally Bank and Monopoly
Ally Bank used webAR to power a campaign designed to drive brand-awareness while educating users about financial literacy. The campaign used a Monopoly-themed scavenger-type AR game to achieve the goals of making “money talk” less intimidating in a fun manner.
Financial education aside, Ally’s webAR experience hit a number of engagement high-points. The game achieved 100,000 plays in a week, largely through organic channels. The most impressive statistic is the 86% retention rate of users. This shows a very deep level of brand engagement made possible through interactive AR experiences.
Unilever’s CloseUP web AR experience was a hit, perfectly aligning their branding with fun. It was a twist on the 6-second blink test, but instead of blinking on the 6-second count, you kissed a loved one.
The experience drove engagement in-store and across social media in a unique, memorable, and interactive way. It was also effective in spreading CloseUp’s brand image and values by encouraging people to get close to and kiss those who are important to them. Feel-good and fun, it’s a perfect example of creatively using web-based augmented reality.
Jaguar drove awareness for the upcoming launch of their latest Land Rover model by expertly using Web AR technology. This made them one of the first automotive brands to use this medium.
The AR experience was triggered through banner advertisements. Upon engagement, users were transported inside of the SUV. From there, they could get a feel for the car, checking out its features, dimensions, and interiors.
Jaguar pushed web-based augmented reality to its limits by making the environment fully 360º. This gave users a good sense of what it was actually like sitting in the Land Rover by allowing them to view their surroundings through their phones. They could even check out other variations of the vehicle by changing trim and color.
The experience ended with a call-to-action (CTA) to book test drives or even reserve a Land Rover in advance.
Purina 28-Day Challenge
Purina’s 28-Day Challenge was a triumph in web-based augmented reality. They effectively educated their customers while driving over 172 million impressions. The experience walked customers through the positive changes they could expect to see in their pets if they started feeding them Purina.
Available in both cat and dog versions, the AR was brought to life with instant world-tracked pet avatars complete with realistic movements. Benefits such as increased energy, appetite, muscle density, and heart strength were perfectly portrayed with the avatars acting them out in the user’s environment.
User engagement on the channel was similarly impressive, with 25% of users sharing or capturing their experience. This is much higher than with non-AR social media formats.
Web-based augmented reality has proven results. Its massive reach, ease-of-use, and accessibility have made it one of the most exciting marketing tools today. Rock Paper Reality (RPR) creates effective Web AR for clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. As an agency that thrives in developing best-in-class AR experiences, RPR handles the entire process from conception to roll out. Clients such as Lenovo, Hilton Hotels, and Microsoft have all enjoyed the benefits of well-executed Web AR by RPR including increased brand engagement, revenue, and conversions.
Web Augmented Reality (WebAR) is a burgeoning business. From a $3.98 billion market in 2019, WebAR grew to $6.16 billion in 2020. It’s projected to reach $21 billion by 2024. Currently, enterprise productivity is the main driver of WebAR. It consists of tools used to train or enhance worker skills and enhance employee engagement with the company. Enterprise productivity generated $2.58 billion in 2020, followed by AR advertising at $1.41 billion and consumer in-app purchases ($1.38 billion).
AR advertising offered the biggest potential for growth and was projected to overtake enterprise productivity as the leading revenue earner by 2024. ARtillery projects that AR advertising will reach $8.02 billion by 2024. Meanwhile, Enterprise productivity will regress and end up with $3.78 billion.
64% of leading consumer brands are investing in immersive activities
50% of consumers better recall brands that regularly engage them using immersive technologies
47% of consumers say immersive technologies make them feel more connected to products
In order to maximize this potential, you need to determine the performance of your current AR products and campaigns. The best way to do this is to leverage WebAR analytics.
What Does WebAR Analytics Measure?
WebAR outperforms social media apps in terms of evaluating performance when it comes to analytics. There are the requisite engagement rate factors like views, likes, and shares. At the same time, metrics designed for WebAR experiences like dwell time and spatial analytics help gauge interest and engagement. Below are some of the common WebAR metrics that help determine if an experience made an impact or is largely left ignored.
Pageviews are the basic starting points in any analytics report. They are what happens when a browser loads a page on your site. Every load event, including refreshing the page, is counted as a single view. Analytics can count page views from a single user (IP address) to record users’ frequency and return rate. This data can help determine the replay value of the WebAR experience. The better the replay value, the more cost-effective the WebAR investment is. Also, page views can also help evaluate campaign materials’ effectiveness that convinces people to scan a QR or a tap a link to the WebAR experience.
Dwell time is the time spent immersed in the WebAR experience. It helps determine how much time users are engaged. If a WebAR experience runs for three minutes and users drop at the one-minute mark, the quality of the experience may need some tweaking. Load times can also be a factor here, as the average dwell time for users after clicking a link is two minutes. Consequently, the longer it takes for a WebAR experience to start, the greater the danger of users losing interest to continue.
At the same time, a more compelling experience with better visuals, gameplay, and script, will win over users versus one that is poorly created and directed. Dwell time can help determine this as well.
Engagement rate is a social metric that measures the level of interaction of a WebAR content among its. Instead of simply counting the number of likes, shares, and comments, it follows a formula that divides total interactions by the number of followers and then multiplied by 100. This provides a better, more accurate measurement of content performance compared to absolute measures such as likes, shares, and comments.
Spatial analytics is a new and advanced analytics feature exclusive to AR and VR experiences. It allows a deeper look into AR campaigns by breaking down elements within the WebAR content. Spatial analytics track and record user behavior inside the 3D environment. It helps determine which areas or objects get the most interactions. Inversely, it also determines which areas are least visited and which objects may need to either be repositioned or replaced.
Google Analytics in WebAR
Google Analytics already established its set of metrics to help measure a site’s popularity. WebAR content can use these metrics to paint a more detailed picture of their performance.
In particular, WebAR experiences use the following Google Analytics metrics:
Visits – Visits occur when an external site sends a user to a WebAR site. Whether it’s because the user clicked a link or used a search engine, the action of getting directed to the target site is called a visit.
Unique Visitors – This metric provides insight on how many individual visitors went to the WebAR experience. In comparison, visits count the aggregate number of site arrivals. It does not factor in how many times a single user visited the site. Unique visitors solve that issue by counting each unique visitor once after a certain period of time. Once that time lapses, a new count will be made even if the user is a previous visitor.
Number of Users Who Allowed Access to the Camera – Given that the WebAR experience requires the use of a camera, the metric that records the number of visitors who allowed access to the camera gives an accurate picture of the WebAR’s acceptance rate to play. Rejecting the request for camera access is equivalent to abandoning the experience before it even started.
Know Your WebAR Metrics
Getting familiar with the metrics that measure the effectiveness of WebAR experiences provides companies and brands to gauge consumer interest in their content. A high view/visit rate but low engagement or low dwell time may mean the need for more compelling materials.
Meanwhile, spatial analytics can weed out uninteresting parts of the Augmented Reality landscape, which can be replaced with more dynamic elements. Google Analytics metrics can also help gauge the effectiveness of campaigns by registering visitors and unique visitor rates. Camera access can help determine if visitors completed the WebAR experience or abandoned it before it even started.
Learn more about how Web Augmented Reality can help produce engaging and immersive content for your company’s product and marketing campaigns. Rock Paper Reality is an Augmented Reality design agency that lets you unlock the magic of AR and help boost your bottom line. Learn more about how Rock Paper Reality can make AR work for you. Contact us today for a free demo.
Augmented reality (AR) allows us to see the real world in front of us with a digital augmentation laid over it. For example, web AR technology can place a digital sofa in your room, a painting on your wall, or an interactive, multi-player game on your table.
Despite its past wrap for consumer experiences, AR has many applications beyond gimmicky entertainment. Businesses use it to enhance virtual shopping, training, navigation, modeling, gaming, and even equipment maintenance and repair.
There are two primary ways for people to experience AR. One is application-based AR, and the other is web-based augmented reality. While app-based AR does allow for a wider range of features, webAR is much more accessible and user-friendly, making it a more effective choice. Read on to learn more about the advantages of Web AR technology.
App-based AR Technology
App-based AR provides an immersive augmented reality experience that is accessible through downloadable apps. This kind of AR is developed using tools that have a powerful object, depth, surface, and lighting recognition. This allows for extensive placement and tracking of objects in detailed rendered environments.
Developers deploy app-based AR using two primary computer vision frameworks: ARKit and ARCore.
ARKit is Apple’s AR computer vision framework which developers use to create apps exclusively for iOS devices. It has many of the same powerful features as ARCore, such as light estimation, image tracking, and motion capture.
However, ARKit does have some key differences from ARCore. The most important is that support from the Apple ecosystem allows for easier development. Apple improves ARKit by regularly adding new features and upgrades, making it the tool of choice for many developers. ARKit comes at a price of $99 per year.
ARCore is Google’s toolkit to create app-based AR. Its biggest edge over ARKit is its versatility, as it supports development for both Android and iOS platforms. It’s also free-to-use. Google Playground is an example of a well-known Android application that uses ARCore as its framework.
Also, the introduction of LiDAR Scanner in the new iPhone line accelerates the potential of web AR. The new LiDAR Scanner allows rapid plane detection, which allows instant placement of AR objects in the real world. Without scanning the entire scene, it creates a more responsive AR experience.
Pokémon Go is a popular example of an AR technology application deployed on both iOS and Android devices. As such, it is developed with ARCore and ARKit.
Web-Based AR Technology
WebAR is an augmented reality experience that is accessible through a web browser instead of an application. This offers users convenience as there is no need to download a full app. Due to this reduction in steps, WebAR has generated huge demand from companies looking for a frictionless AR option.
Compared to its app-based counterparts, web-based augmented reality does have somewhat limited features. This is because some supporting frameworks are still undergoing development, as well as the data-light nature of browsers. It does allow for less-complex animations, video, image target detection, and interactivity.
The potential of Web AR technology is rapidly growing as mobile browsers fast-track support. Browsers now allow Web AR to use the camera, gyroscope, magnetometer, and accelerometer of devices, giving developers the tools needed to produce creative experiences.
Key Differences Between Apps and Web AR Technology
App-based AR has more features than web-based augmented reality due to its ability to make use of higher levels of technology. This enables developers to create a wide range of experiences such as multi-player gaming, indoor way-finding, and much more.
The better-quality computer vision that ARKit and ARCore offers is the greatest advantage app-based AR has over Web AR. Performance is also better on an app, as higher memory allows for better animation and interactivity.
The biggest drawback of app-based AR technology is getting users to download an application. It’s a data-intensive step that many people would rather do without. Furthermore, it’s more challenging and requires more QA testing to make an app that’s compatible across different phones and operating systems.
On the other hand, Web AR allows users to interact without having to go through any additional steps. Accessing it is as simple as scanning a QR code that links to an AR-enabled website. This enables greater reach, conversions, and engagement, translating to higher sales.
This accessibility has enabled Web AR to reach twice as many mobile devices as its app-based counterpart. It’s particularly attractive to companies seeking to provide their users with a uniform experience across multiple platforms.
Yes, Web AR does not have as much power as application-based AR, but by incorporating creative workarounds, it still offers a very effective and accessible experience.
Popular Web AR and App-based Deployments
Saatchi Art used web AR technology to allow their users to view over 1.4 million works of art in their home before purchase. This feature sought to boost sales by addressing findings that 70% of art buyers are hesitant to make a purchase before previewing an artwork. This deployment helped Saatchi Art’s mobile transactions grow 100% year-over-year in Q2 2020.
American Heart Association
The American Heart Association used web-based AR to release a set of interactive characters, games, and features. Distributed to over 18 million children across the US, over an incredible 37% of them engaged with the AR. This raised over $9.4 million through the mobile app alone.
AR technology is a rapidly growing space, and many companies are beginning to take notice. ARtillerly Intelligence released a report projecting revenue from AR to surge from $4.98 billion in 2019 to $12.19 billion in 2024.
This massive growth comes as no surprise if you take a look at how successful and popular AR is. Consumers are very receptive to it, with 48% of them more likely to shop at a retailer offering AR experiences. It also has a 70% higher memory response rate and 4x longer view time compared to the video.
Brands also have huge success using AR. L’Oréal tripled conversions after allowing customers to try on make-up using AR technology. Herschel Supply Co used AR furniture visualization and subsequently reported a 152% increase in revenue per visit.
Web AR is far more effective in reaching users than app-based AR. There’s a 50% drop-off in engagement for experiences that require downloading. Even after an AR app has been downloaded, only 25% use it beyond the first interaction. Put together, an AR application stands to lose up to 90% of its audience, with only 10% of users re-engaging.
Web AR technology is clearly the way forward for companies seeking to maximize their engagement by offering users a seamless augmented reality experience. Its greatest asset is its instant accessibility across multiple devices and platforms.
Working with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s, Rock Paper Reality (RPR) is a veteran Augmented Reality agency that develops best-in-class Web AR content. RPR works effectively from start to finish, creating and executing strategies proven to drive brand awareness, engagement, and revenue growth for clients including Microsoft, Sony, and Netflix.
We are excited to announce that Nick Huang has joined RPR as our Senior Consultant.
Nick is joining RPR from Deloitte Consulting where he worked with startups, private equity firms, and large corporates across a wide range of strategic and operational initiatives. Some of his projects include:
Growth strategy and pricing in virtual production
Go to market strategy in AEC for China & India
Strategic pricing in global supply chain for agribusiness
Due diligence and go to market for production soundstages
Market access for novel cell therapies
Nick will leverage his cross-industry, cross-functional experience to help accelerate innovation for our various immersive technology programs.
We are excited to announce that Yoni Binstock has joined RPR to lead our WebAR programs.
Yoni has worked with WebXR for the past 6 years building web-based virtual and augmented reality experiences for a wide range of clients in fields including education, marketing, advertising, healthcare, retail, and employee training.
Yoni’s work has received multiple awards across the VR and AR industry. Combining sleek UI, thoughtful UX, and high-quality 3D models, Yoni has been able to create WebXR experiences that are memorable for users and push the needle for clients.
We couldn’t be more excited to have Yoni on the RPR roster and very excited for the future of our quickly evolving WebAR programs.
Augmented Reality has changed the face of marketing and customer interaction. While app-based AR has slowed down the pace of AR integration into marketing campaigns, Web AR is making up for the friction. But there are still challenges associated with successfully executing Web-based AR campaigns.
Web-based augmented reality enables the user to access the AR experiences through the smartphone without downloading an app. When users scan a custom URL or QR code using their phone’s camera, the AR content comes to life in the user’s environment through your mobile browser.
All Android 6.0 and above devices support WebAR experiences, using the gyro and accelerometer. In the case of iOS, all iOS 11 and above devices can provide this type of experience to their users. Considering this makes up the majority of compatible operating systems and devices, Web AR is now increasingly accessible and becoming more popular every day.
Companies use web-based AR to delight customers, market products to a broader audience, and engage customers in a simple and interactive way. Web-based AR revolutionizes the way customers engage with brands, from Saatchi Art’s virtual displays of over 1.4 million artworks to Microsoft’s holographic modeling on fashion platforms.
Common Web AR Challenges
While revolutionary, Web-based Augmented Reality is still a relatively new technology and has its limitations. The browser has less memory than an app, which can translate into limited 3D rendering capabilities and reduced fidelity in visuals. Since browser performance is dependent on your internet bandwidth, complex experiences can lag if they are too large and your speed is too slow.
Given WebAR challenges with performance, computer vision (tracking), and activation, it is important to understand the limitations before embarking on a new project.
Limited Computing Capability
As opposed to a native app that can access all the devices’ capabilities, a web page can only access certain parts. The two core parts of the AR system are tracking and registration, both of which are the most computationally intensive parts.
Similarly, rendering capabilities are also limited on web browsers. This makes running complex, photorealistic images of 3D models resource-consuming.
Over the past decade working in AR, RPR has developed techniques for optimization and deployment strategies for 3D assets. These strategies create performative content that doesn’t lag and meets WebAR computing limitations.
Limited Battery Capability
Mobile device batteries last the longest when using standard applications and mobile phone functionalities. Web-AR uses your camera sensors, information analysis, computing, and display resources in order to function, which can quickly drain the battery if not developed right.
One solution to this limitation is using the cloud to offload computing pressure. However, this makes the process reliant on network conditions.
Limited battery capability is an issue for both app-based and web-based AR. However, RPR’s proprietary optimization techniques for 3D content help increase performance, reduce processing, and improve battery life.
Current mobile networks have a limited data rate, which delays real-time operations required for AR experiences. Since Web-based AR is browser-based, the experience relies on the mobile network or WiFi.
With the development of the 5G communications network, it is expected that the network delay issue will be reduced. For the time being, RPR’s content optimization techniques improve web-based experiences significantly.
Lack of Education Around Using QR Codes for Web AR
QR Codes have been around since the 90s but only started becoming popular in the 2000s, as mobile phones became increasingly widespread. Even ten years ago, 72% of consumers stated that they had seen a QR code, but 30% did not know what it was.
Fast-forward to 2019, 37% of the U.S. population has used QR codes, and the use of QR codes throughout COVID-19 for menus, check-ins, and more has further educated the masses on how easy it is to initiate a web-based experience by scanning a QR code with your phone’s camera.
While an improvement, we are far from making QR Codes ubiquitous. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies that integrate Web AR into their campaigns largely rely on the user clicking hyperlinks or QR codes.
Therefore, educating consumers on how QR codes work and why they matter is imperative to the greater adoption of Web AR.
Benefits still outweigh the cons
Web AR is a two-step procedure that engages with users in an innovative way that outperforms traditional marketing and advertising, resulting in higher conversions. Web-based AR increases brand retention, loyalty, and intent to purchase by engaging customers through personalized experiences that are interactive and exciting.
Other benefits include:
Extensive insights by tracking the audience’s interest and brand engagement through Google Analytics and custom analytics dashboard ;
Increased purchases and conversion rates up to 520%;
Better audience targeting and retargeting compared to app-based AR;
Can be easily integrated into an existing website.
When will these Web-based AR Challenges be Solved?
While web-based AR is still new, there are measurable developments happening throughout the tech industry improving the performance and making it accessible to companies and users.
The 5G communications network is predicted to solve network delays, while web browser improvements made by Google, Apple, and other major players will reduce the Web AR challenges we face today.
For example, Quick Look is making major advancements within built-in Apple apps such as Safari, Messages, Mail, News, and Notes. Quick Look allows users to access AR experiences on the iPhone and iPad. It also enables developers to embed Quick Look views on websites, allowing users to see far more detailed object renderings in the real-world.
Considering the limitations, it is necessary to adapt and take advantage of web-based AR’s strengths and not the restraints. This means that developers and marketing specialists need to follow the best AR development practices. It is also imperative to make the right creative decisions and focus on what user challenge you’re truly trying to solve so you can deliver effective Web AR experiences.
Rock Paper Reality is not only focused on creating cutting-edge WebAR experiences but also on guiding companies to make the best strategies for deploying these experiences for their brands. RPR’s AR Blueprint is designed to discover the client’s program goals, create a Web-based AR experience that meets these objectives, all while maintaining your branding and style guides.
Lastly, our solutions are designed to surpass many of the Web AR challenges that face the AR industry and push WebAR technology to its limits.
Augmented Reality Out-Of-Home advertising is captivating, interactive, and easy to share on social media. By bridging the gap between the real and digital world, AR Out-Of-Home advertising opens the opportunity for companies to turn plain old marketing strategies into immersive experiences.
For example, by 2023 it is expected that the Augmented Reality industry will become a 160-billion-dollar market as an increasing number of businesses want to implement and use the technology.
With AR OOH advertising, stagnant posters and billboards come to life with the scan of a QR code or by downloading an app. AR adoption is accelerating year-after-year with more brands turning to AR technology to elevate their brand messaging.. For example, it is estimated that the total number of downloads of AR apps will hit over 5.5 billion in 2022. This is an incredible increase from 1 billion in 2016.
Both traditional billboards and posters, become the digital playground for companies of all sizes in their effort to attract new customers. Both traditional Out-of-Home Advertising and digital advertising have entered a new era of innovation. They aim for the same goals to increase brand awareness, encourage customer loyalty, and, ultimately, increase sales.
Augmented Reality Out-Of-Home Advertising
Imagine subway posters, bus stop bench ads, digital ad screens, and city billboards revealing an entire universe of interactive experiences with the scan of a QR code. With the transition to digital outdoor advertising, AR is now more affordable, attainable, and engaging than ever.
Here are some of the benefits of introducing augmented reality into your OOH advertising campaign.
The benefit of creating an AR OOH campaign is that it is built on already existing infrastructure. The billboard platforms are usually already set up in areas where there is a large number of people passing by every day.
With more people becoming familiar with how QR codes work due to the proliferation of digital menus and check-in trackers during COVID, web-based AR technology has become more popular than ever before. Web AR has made it cheaper and easier for businesses of all sizes to include AR extensions into their existing ads to increase engagement and excitement with their brand.
Digital signs are replacing stagnant billboards and allow marketers to use the full potential of AR technology. . With the help of spatial computing digitalization, any place in the city can become a billboard. and an AR ad opportunity.
AR creates immersive experiences, which have the benefit of creating a connection with the consumer. Users receive instant feedback from the ad when interacting with the billboards and posters. It is a bonding experience that creates long-lasting positive feelings. A great example is the NHS campaign, which allows users to virtually donate blood to those in need and see the beneficial effect of their actions.
Social Media Sharing
Even though the digital ads market has outgrown traditional advertising, there is an innate desire for consumers to share their real-world experiences on social media.
When it comes to OOH Advertising, it is easy for consumers to take a photo of a billboard that catches their attention and post it on social media. Augmented Reality makes this even easier as the technology can have social media hyperlinks and personalization built-in.
Consumers experience AR ads from a first-person perspective while also being able to share it in the digital world. The excitement of interacting with an immersive AR ad such as an AR portal, face filter, or AR game and the ability to share the experience online boosts brand awareness and consistently increases sales lift.
AR Out-Of-Home Advertising Examples
From billboards to treasure hunts, Out-Of-Home Advertising is entering a new era, combining traditional advertising with the digital world. Below are 3 examples of how businesses can incorporate AR into their OOH marketing campaigns to reach their customers.
The Siduri Holographic Experience
Jackson Family Wines uses in-store billboards and aisle advertisements as part of their marketing revolutionary AR campaign.
RPR, in partnership with the Microsoft Mixed Reality Capture Studio, delivered the world’s first Holographic Web AR Experience for Siduri, a subsidiary of Jackson Family Wines. By scanning the QR code on the billboard or on an AR-activated bottle of wine, users can interact with a 3D, photo-realistic hologram of Adam Lee, the founder of the critically-acclaimed Pinot Noir specialist company.
Holographic Adam playfully shares what makes Siduri wines so special, the wine’s history, and gets into some shenanigans along the way. This brings more attention to Siduri Wines in the aisle, differentiates it from competitors, and gives customers a reason to pick the wine off the shelf and new distributors a reason to carry the wine in their store.
The campaign is built using WebAR, which means that the entire experience takes place on the web browser and there is no need to download any additional apps. Simply scan the QR code with your phone’s camera and the experience unfolds on your mobile browser. It’s that easy!
The AR NHS project
When it comes to the consumer world, Augmented Reality is often used for entertainment or promotional purposes. However, almost any industry can benefit from augmented reality, such as education, healthcare, or transportation to name a few.
NHS’s groundbreaking campaign focused on building awareness of the power of donating blood. The NHS Blood and Transplantation organization placed billboards in Birmingham and London that allow users to virtually donate blood to those in need.
Users needed to download an AR app that overlays a virtual needle on the person’s arm. This enabled them to virtually fill the empty bag of an ill patient on the billboard. The sick patient on the screen begins to feel better as the person is virtually donating blood.
The AR Burger King Project
Burger King cleverly used the billboards of its rivals to advertise their own product by using augmented reality. The ‘Burn that ad’ campaign was launched in Brazil and it enabled users to virtually burn the ads of other competitive burger brands using their mobile phone.
Users needed to download the Burger King app and point the camera at a poster or billboard to set it on fire. Once they did that, a Burger King ad was shown in its place and revealed a free Whopper coupon that could be redeemed at the nearest restaurant.
The campaign resulted in 1 million downloads in just one month and increased the in-app sales by 56.4%. With such a resounding success, the app created for the campaign became the most downloaded Burger King app worldwide.
The AR Monopoly Project
Ally Bank partnered with the famous board game brand to create a live Monopoly-theme AR treasure hunt game. The campaign’s goal was to increase their customers’ level of comfort with money concepts in a fun and engaging way. And what better game to promote financial literacy than Monopoly?
Ally Bank installed 36 squares of Monopoly game board in 6 cities across the US, each containing an AR experience. The campaign used Web AR technology that enabled users to scan each square to gain access to the augmented reality experience. The AR animation showed Mr. Monopoly handing out points and cash prizes.
The highly engaging AR treasure hunt resulted in 100,000 plays with 86% of people collecting all the squares and completing the game.
The Future of AR in OOH Advertising
AR Out-of-home Advertising opens the door to an endless reinvention of marketing strategies, merging the online with the offline world. Tech innovations turn stagnant billboards into augmented reality experiences that engage with users and create emotional connections. It is unlikely that AR will completely replace existing OOH ad formats any time soon.
Businesses will continue to invest in posters and billboards, but now they can fuse their physical ads with AR content designed to increase dwell times, brand retention, and drive richer user analytics.
RPR is committed to pushing the boundary between the real world and the digital space. We create web-based and app-based AR programs that revolutionize brand storytelling and help our clients become market leaders.
Augmented reality is essentially the fusion of digital information and experiences with the physical world. AR is typically accessed through mobile apps or on your phone’s web browser. Special wearable devices such as smart glasses or headsets can enhance AR experiences, and it is estimated that there will be more than two and half billion mobile AR devices and smart glasses by 2023.
AR is delivering huge opportunities for businesses of all sizes and industries. Consumers are more comfortable integrating AR into their everyday lives. According to Gorilla in the Room, 30% of people had an AR/VR experience over the last six months and 69% of people are excited by AR experiences.
AR developers and development agencies are at the forefront of this consumer adoption and excitement around AR. For example, it is already becoming common for companies to send AR gifts instead of tired old gift cards and some companies have used a hologram of their founder to help you pick the best wine for your meal, right in your kitchen.
The Impact of AR in Retail
Beyond the excitement of visualizing a couch in your living room before you buy it or virtually trying on lipstick, augmented reality has a scalable impact in retail. It provides a higher level of service by attending to the customer’s needs immediately and with customized information.
Some of the demonstrable benefits that Augmented Reality brings to retail are:
Offers shareable experiences
Gathers information on consumer needs and preferences
Builds customer loyalty
According to ARtillery, there was a 74% increase in the number of customers who preferred pointing their mobile devices at products to receive digital product details once they first tried it.
This shows that customers are not only open to trying AR, but they are hooked once they try it. Companies now have the opportunity to educate, engage, and entertain their customers while making the buying journey easier.
Retail companies using AR create a unique environment that enhances the in-store experience and online shopping. At the same time, AR allows businesses to extend their geographic reach by addressing the preferences of people around the globe. AR has become the ultimate customer-centered experience.
AR for In-store Experiences
As mentioned above, customers can now point their mobile camera at products and see detailed information, receive recommendations, and browse through reviews. This experience can be further developed by businesses to create customized offers, special discounts, and promotions based on the store’s location, product, and customer data.
Accessing the brand’s product information using a mobile phone allows real-time data gathering and easy customization of the information provided. This feature helps boost sales and foster customer loyalty. It also allows companies to gather valuable information on their customers to improve marketing and the overall customer experience.
AR For Online Shopping
Online shopping is booming due to the global pandemic and era of social distancing. However, many shoppers still prefer having an immediate and physical connection with a product in-store. For example, Seventy percent of the people who choose not to buy online say that what helps them buy a product is interacting with it in real life.
Augmented reality offers considerable aid in bridging the gap between the digital and physical world by offering experiences such as virtual dressing rooms, try-ons, and 3D holograms of models to give people a tangible sense of the product before they buy it.
AR for Pop-up Stores
Everyone knows about pop-up stores and how this temporary and small-scaled marketing technique has innovated the retail industry. The next significant stepping-stone for pop-up stores is an invisible pop-up shop that uses AR to entice customers and sell products. While in the pop-up store, whether it is outdoors, such as Airwalk’s campaign, or indoors, users scan a code to access the experience. This feature allows them to virtually try on products, get information about them, and ultimately click to buy.
Examples of Augmented Reality in Retail
The Saks Fifth Project
Saks Fifth, the famous luxury chain of retail stores, allows customers to virtually try on clothes and accessories using the app developed by RPR. Shoppers use their phones (or store-provided smart glasses to view and purchase items, receive recommendations, and access other merchandise information.
The campaign is available for both in-store and at-home shopping, making it easier for customers to shop on the go, wherever they are. The ability to try on an item from home increases buyer confidence, which leads to increased sales lift and reduces the volume of returns.
The Saatchi Art Project
The largest online art store in the world proved that online retail stores could and should integrate AR into their digital strategy. RPR developed the world’s largest deployment of WebAR for Saatchi Art, by creating a feature known as “View in My Room.”
This allows customers to visualize over 1.4 million works of art on your wall before purchasing. This gives a better sense of the artwork’s size and color in your home. The entire experience takes place on the consumer’s browser without any need to download an app.
The web-based technology adds ease and access to the buying experience, driving a 70% increase in sales and a larger volume of users.
The IKEA Project
One of IKEA’s most significant challenges was the volume of returns. After many customers purchased and assembled their new furniture, they realized that the item they just purchased either did not look as expected or did not fit in their home. Add the complicated instruction manuals to the equation and you have a recipe for a low customer satisfaction rate.
IKEA was one of the first companies that used the “Try Before You Buy” feature. Like many retail companies today, IKEA turned to Augmented Reality to combat their issue with high returns. By using the IKEA Place app, customers can browse over 2,000 pieces of furniture and visualize them in their homes.
The campaign reduced the return volume, boosted customer satisfaction, and resulted in over two million app downloads.
The Sephora Project
Sephora uses 3D Face Recognition to bring Augmented Reality into their marketing campaigns. The Virtual Artist App, developed by the famous beauty retailer, allows users to try various makeup products by uploading a selfie. The app also offers interactive tutorials on using various make-up products, contributing to Sephora’s efforts to educate its customers.
The feature increases buyer confidence and purchase intent by demonstrating how the makeup will look once it’s applied. Trying on make-up products before purchase allows customers to create customized looks and try products they would have otherwise disregarded.
The Lego Project
Lego partnered with Snapchat to create an AR Fashion Boutique to promote their latest adult clothing line. The store appeared empty inside except for some Snap codes.
When the users scanned the codes, they gained access to the entire experience: interactive arcade games, a virtual DJ booth, and an exclusive collection of clothing. This innovative clothes-less clothing store shows the endless possibilities AR can bring to the retail industry.
The Future of AR in Retail
Augmented Reality brings the retail industry to a new level and helps customers make faster and better purchasing decisions. In addition to that, the entertainment factor of AR builds brand awareness, encourages shareability, and creates strong positive associations with brands. Retail companies in any industry can benefit from embracing AR as the future of their customer engagement at any step of the customer journey.
RPR is committed to helping companies of any size harness the full power of Augmented Reality and has successfully integrated it into dozens of businesses with up to 30X ROI From app development to consulting services, we support your business every step of the way.
The Augmented Reality industry is quickly becoming a multi-billion dollar market and is expected to reach 198 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. With over 4.5 billion active internet users globally, businesses face relentless competition for their customer’s attention. AR offers small businesses and Fortune 500s alike a chance to set themselves apart by using cutting-edge technology to showcase their products and services.
Businesses of all sizes are starting to incorporate augmented reality into their marketing strategies, and they see extraordinary results. There is a 520% increase in purchases for businesses using AR-based campaigns compared to non-AR.
Even with all the buzz and excitement, many companies still lack the knowledge and resources to integrate AR into their business. Only 1/10 companies are comfortably using AR and have it properly integrated it into their campaigns.
The basic principles and goals remain the sam as the strategies from traditional marketing to Out-Of-Home (OOH) advertising. What is now revolutionary is the ability to engage customers in a never-before-seen fun and shareable way. Some of the well-known marketing strategies that have leveled up are:
AR Out-of-Home Advertising (AR OOH)
Static billboards and signs have long been a tried and trusted advertising strategy. With the widespread use of digital versions of the static billboards, adding the AR touch is now possible. It is now more affordable and more accessible than ever to implement AR OOH strategies globally. Perhaps one of the most popular and loved Out of Home AR initiatives is NHS’ campaign to encourage blood donation. The interactive billboard showed people in need of blood, asking passersby to fill in the blood bag. Users could help those in need by “connecting” their virtual IV to their arms and virtually transfer blood to the patient.
AR Print Advertising
With marketers focusing on the digital sphere, the print advertising industry has to adapt to modern standards. Brands have to be a lot more creative in telling their story on paper. This is where Augmented Reality comes in. More specifically, web-based AR has taken advantage of the simplicity of scanning a QR code with the phone’s camera and allowing users to get the full experience right on their browser.
AR Product Packaging
In the old days, packaging was used only for storage and for transportation safety purposes. With branding and design, businesses can began to personalize their packaging for product mindshare and long-term interactions with their customers. And now with the help of AR, product packaging has become a new interactive playground for brands.
Depending on your goals, your can create AR campaigns to increase your brands awareness, stimulate engagements, increase sales, or simply for fun. There are many ways to achieve these objectives: from 3D augmentations, videos, digital annotations with information about the product, games, coupons, and more.
For example, the new Amazon boxes now offer an AR experience in an effort to promote the reuse of the box in a fun way. Amazon challenges users to customize a Halloween pumpkin that they can later bring to reality by scanning a QR code.
Examples of AR in Marketing
Showcase Demo Sessions
Demo sessions allow brands to showcase live demonstrations of their products or services. It is also an opportunity to engage and get fresh feedback from loyal or prospective clients.
Lenovo attended the Augmented World Expo 2019 to showcase its new ThinkReality Platform and headset. The platform targets business managers, developers, and IT professionals who want to create and implement AR and VR applications.
While the project itself uses AR technology, showcasing any product or service using augmented reality adds value and excitement to the demo experience.
RPR was the only development agency featured in Lenovo’s booth at AWE 2019 and CES 2020. RPR created the showcase demo, an AR experience featuring Ducati, and three apps now available on their ThinkReality headset.
Product Marketing Campaigns
The retail industry benefits hugely from online marketing campaigns. Elevating the online experience by implementing AR technology offers customers the flexibility to virtually try the items and increases purchase intent.
RPR developed an innovative AR campaign for Saks Fifth Avenue, the famous chain of luxury department stores. Shoppers use their phones to virtually try on clothes and accessories both in-store and at home. The AR app allows them to select the items they want to buy, access information about the desired item, and ask for recommendations about the product.
The Augmented Reality app improves buyer confidence, following their ability to see how the item looks on them virtually. Trying on an item before purchase also reduces returned merchandise and increases spending per-visit.
The Jackson Family Wines project showcases a revolutionary Web-based AR initiative. RPR delivered the world’s first Holographic Web AR Experience in partnership with Microsoft that helped the wine brand increase sales and cultivate customer loyalty. The Siduri Holographic Experience features a 3D model of Adam Lee, the founder of Siduri wines, showing their selection of products and educating their customers.
The AR experience can be found on their bottles, social media, digital ads, brochures, and billboards in an omnichannel strategy that proves the versatility of AR in terms of placement.
The Future of Augmented Reality in Marketing
AR experiences are becoming increasingly popular and for a good reason. They provide an engaging and entertaining experience while building communities. With the help of social media, customers can easily share the AR experience with their friends and network. The shareability factor plays a significant role in the development of the AR industry and encourages marketing professionals and business managers to invest in AR technology to bridge the gap between the digital and physical world.
AWE Nite SF’s first virtual event at Altspace VR focused on “XR and Accessibility” and is now available to stream on Youtube! The event was emceed by RPR’s CEO & Founder, Patrick Johnson, and featured a fantastic lineup of speakers you can see below.
There were lots of learnings, a few technical challenges, but an all-around successful VR event and was insightful, powerful, and a ton of fun. Here’s a list of all the accomplished presenters and moderators that participated:
They’ve already got some great speakers lined up, including a fireside chat. Michael Boland, Co-organizer, Chief Analyst, ARtillery Intelligence & Editor, AR Insider will be speaking with Charlie Fink, XR Consultant, Author, and Columnist.
From avatar design and hardware costs to machine learning algorithms and the teams behind them, this month’s event aims to outline the actions we as the AR and VR community need to take so that this next wave of computing is truly accessible and inclusive to everyone.
Please note: Registering for this free event does not guarantee a spot in the AltspaceVR meeting room. AltspaceVR has a maximum limit and attendees will be admitted on a first-come-first-serve basis. We will be making best attempts to record this event to make a video available to those that are unable to make it in AltspaceVR.
1:00pm PST: AltspaceVR room opens
1:05-1:15pm PST: Welcome and Opening Remarks
– Patrick Johnson, Co-organizer, CEO & Founder, Rock Paper Reality
– Mike Boland, Co-organizer, Chief Analyst, ARtillery Intelligence & Editor, AR Insider
1:25-1:50pm PST: Panel Discussion – XR and Accessibility
– Christopher Lafayette – Founder of HoloPractice & Founder of The Black Technology Mentorship Program
– Bill Curtis-Davidson – Senior Consultant – Emerging Technology Accessibility at Wheelhouse Group & XR Access Working Group Leader
– Kai Frazier – CEO & Founder, Kai XR
– Adaora Udoji – Corporate Innovation Executive, RLab
1:50-2:00pm PST: Virtual Networking
Attend the XR Access Symposium
July 20 & 21, 2020 (Virtual Event)
The 2020 XR Access Symposium is reviewing the state of the XR field, celebrating a year of progress toward accessibility, and taking steps toward a more inclusive future. The 2-day event will include a series of virtual talks, tech demos, and breakout sessions. You can find more information about the agenda, speakers, and breakout sessions and register at https://xraccess.org/symposium/
In today’s attention economy, brands are looking for any opportunity to stand out amongst the sea of digital content that floods consumer’s devices. Imagine your target customer for a moment. Think about how many ads and interactions she has with various brands over the course of a day. If you guessed between 4,000 to 10,000 ads per day, you’d be right.
This is exactly why many traditional advertising strategies get lost in the noise or caught in competition with competitors of “who can shout louder.” This is where Web AR Marketing and Advertising come to the rescue.
Whether she’s checking her email with morning coffee, scrolling Instagram during her commute to work, or searching for the right gift for Father’s Day on Google, brands are paying a premium just to reach her—let alone engage her.
For that brief moment that you’ve managed to present your brand in front of her, how are you going to make sure her experience is engaging and memorable, improving her overall perception of your brand?
Marketing Benefits behind Web-based AR
Enter Web AR. As the technology for developing AR experiences matures, you can now seamlessly deploy an AR experience to your customers across your preferred channels from social media to email.
Within a few clicks, your customer can interact with your brand in the physical world, view products at home, try-on clothing items like sunglasses, or watch the founder of the brand talk and walk across your kitchen table.
These metrics are enough to make any marketing team jump for joy and join the AR bandwagon. And yet, adoption still does not reflect that sentiment. So, what’s the hold up?
Source: Zappar, How Augmented Reality Affects the Brain
A study from the Boston Consulting Group found that while 9/10 brands are using or plan to use AR in their campaigns, only 1/10 indicate that AR is well integrated into their marketing strategy.
Without a carefully considered approach for deploying Web AR marketing and advertising experiences to your customer, your campaign likely will not see the same results that some other brands are boasting from AR.
At RPR, we work closely with our clients’ marketing stakeholders to understand the objectives of their Web AR campaign and ensure that we’re crafting a Web AR experience and campaign strategy that not only meets but surpasses your goals.
To best achieve your Web AR campaign goals, we map out the customer journey, capturing the voice of the customer to understand how Web AR can solve current pain points and enhance the overall experience.
First, we inventory the target customers’ most common interactions with the brand to determine which ones have the greatest influence on the customer. Then we focus on each interaction that we can impact and influence with Web AR.
Those interactions that have the greatest influence on the customer are often referred to as ‘Moments of Truth’ (MoT). By inserting Web AR into the customer journey during MoTs, you are more likely to see the exponential results that Web AR can unlock.
Let’s take, for example, a few of the high-level stages of a typical customer journey such as awareness, shopping, and loyalty. After completing the customer journey map, we can see exactly where Web AR has proven to help brands exceed their target KPIs and ultimately enhance the customer experience.
We’ll start at the top of the customer sales funnel with awareness: your customer’s first interaction with your brand.
Your customer first becomes aware of your brand through various channels: social media and digital advertising, physical advertising such as billboards, or by walking into the store. This is what we like to call the “browsing phase.” In this phase, your customer is looking for a product to fulfill a need and is hoping for a brand with mutual values.
As a marketing team, your objectives for the awareness stage might be reaching more of your target customers and increasing engagement with the intent to turn these “browsers” into “buyers.”
Without the need for an app, Web AR is frictionless and can be deployed across the channels that you are already using to engage your customers as simply as using a hyperlink or a QR code. There is absolutely no need to sacrifice your targeting to deliver a Web AR experience.
Engagement, however, is where AR reigns supreme. According to P&G, during that first MoT with a customer, you have 3 to 7 seconds to convert them from a “browser” to a “buyer.” What is your brand doing to stand out and make sure that engagement counts?
AR marketing campaigns have an average dwell time of 75 seconds, which is 4x that of mobile video. So, considering the importance of that first MoT with a new customer, you’ve just bought yourself ample time to convert him to a “buyer.”Web AR Marketing and Advertising for Shopping
Let’s talk about how AR is already enhancing the shopping experience. From virtual try-ons to unique in-store experiences, AR has a variety of use cases for shopping that will help you increase conversions.
In-store, brands are adapting to the mobile-first customer. 60% of shoppers look up product information with their phones while in-store. With a customer that is already used to pulling out her phone to use apps like Vivino, it’s not too much to ask her to scan a QR code and start an AR experience.
If your marketing organization is not thinking about and investing in loyalty, you are doing yourself a disservice. It costs about 5x more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer. Furthermore, your success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% compared to 5-20% with new customers.
Fortunately, AR presents a significant opportunity for loyalty and enhancing the experience of your existing customers as well. For many organizations, email marketing continues to be the most tried and trusted form of digital marketing. While AR, once again, is seeing disproportionate results through this channel.
Virgin Holidays, for example, ran an AR-enabled email campaign that saw a 40% increase in email rates and a 75% increase in click-through-rates (CTR), a key indicator for engagement.
In the spirit of reimagining antiquated loyalty channels, how about those plastic gift cards that sit in your kitchen drawer never to be used? At RPR, we’ve helped brands transition to exciting AR gifting experiences that enable their customers to simply purchase and send an AR gift to friends and loved ones.
With AR gifting and our proprietary ‘photogrammetry’ process, your customers can send photo-realistic, 3D representations of the same products you sell in your store, digitally wrapped up in custom wrapping paper and accompanied by your personalized video message.
We can even transport your customers to a 1-to-1 virtual representation of your stores, showrooms, or restaurants.
AR ads are already starting to stick, and the technology is stepping into an exciting stage of viability and adoption. The next advancement that will push forward the ubiquity of AR ads will be native AR ads on any of the platforms where you currently serve ads.
This is already being championed by platforms like Unity, Facebook, or Snapchat who are having successful beta tests. Soon enough, an ad for an IKEA couch will come across your Instagram feed and within a couple of clicks, you’ll be able to place that couch in your room and see exactly how it fits.
Web AR Marketing and Advertising is not just a temporary fad. Across the entire customer journey, it continues to prove its worth by setting record benchmarks compared to 2D ad metrics.
With so much potential for creating your Web AR ad, we realize it can be a bit overwhelming. That is why we always start with your primary objectives and understand your campaign strategy.
At RPR, we have a step-by-step process to help you answer the right questions first and then build the Web AR experience to achieve your needs.
Contact us today for a free assessment of how you can harness the full power of Web AR for your next advertising or marketing campaign.
We are excited to announce that Omead Sinai has joined RPR as our Consulting Manager. Prior to RPR, Omead worked at Deloitte Consulting with Fortune 500s in Hospitality, Retail, Manufacturing, and Automotive. Some of Omead’s key specialties we’re particularly excited about him bringing to our AR clients include:
Go-to-Market Strategy and Product Commercialization
Data-driven Growth (Customer Data Platforms, Advanced Targeting, Omnichannel Strategy)
Customer Journey Mapping
Large-scale Tech Implementation Strategy
Corporate Strategy for Emerging Technologies
Omead will leverage this deep experience while working with Jiten Dajee, our Head of Digital Strategy, to deploy our newly developed “AR Blueprint” proven to maximize AR activations by taking a customer-centric, data-driven approach to campaign planning.
We couldn’t be more excited to have Omead on the RPR roster and very excited for the future of our quickly evolving AR consulting programs.
A collaboration with Charity Dynamics and Rock Paper Reality shows augmented reality’s ability to accelerate app user numbers, fundraising, engagement, and revenue.
[May 19, 2020] — The American Heart Association today announced a first of its kind partnership with Charity Dynamics, a provider of online marketing and fundraising solutions for nonprofits, and Rock Paper Reality (RPR), an augmented reality development and consulting agency, to use augmented reality and gamification to amplify the fundraising experience for students participating in Kids Heart Challenge.
The Kids Heart Challenge program, rebranded last year, is a peer-to-peer fundraising program where students have the opportunity to learn about the heart, while at the same time, help raise money to support the mission of the American Heart Association. In order to more effectively mobilize the youth market, American Heart Association collaborated with Rock Paper Reality to create and bring to life Heart Hero’s on the Kids Heart Challenge mobile app, developed by Charity Dynamics. This is the third year RPR has teamed up with Charity Dynamics to deliver augmented reality as the driving experience in the Kid’s Heart Challenge app.
The American Heart Association led with a mobile-first and augmented reality strategy to tap into the youth market. Within the first year they saw a significant impact to student engagement both in terms of registration and donations. It was released to over 15 million kids across the United States with an adoption rate of 50% amongst registered students and 30% of online donations coming through the mobile app.
“The increased student engagement through the augmented reality features has been encouraging to see,” said Paisley Payton, the national youth market strategic director for the American Heart Association. “Using gamification, students are now excited to participate and are able to learn heart healthy tips, while fundraising. Mobile devices and interacting with augmented reality features are already second nature to today’s youth – by introducing these features as part of the Kids Heart Challenge mobile app, we’re providing our students a way to fundraise that’s natural to them.”
RPR developed a series of animated 3D characters for an iOS and Android mobile interface. It encouraged kids to download the app and register for the program, in order to unlock and share AR experiences based on earning points and achieving fundraising goals in competition with other students. These included AR Face Filters, an AR coloring book, AR tattoos, and an interactive AR game. Students had dozens of items they could scan to receive an AR experience, which resulted in millions of AR scans.
“The American Heart Association is using RPR’s leading edge technology to help bring the Kids Heart Challenge application to a new level of user engagement and excitement among the young, and as a tool to help drive their vision forward both from a mission and fundraising perspective. It’s energizing to see these students embrace augmented reality,” said Charity Dynamics CEO Kathy Kempff. “Augmented reality has become far more robust and now offers incredible potential and possibilities for custom development within the Boundless FundraisingTM mobile app.”
“3D augmented reality content can tell a story in a way 2D media cannot, yet many brands remain confused about how best to capitalize on the opportunity and integrate the technology to drive real value,” said Patrick Johnson, CEO of RPR. “We take away that pain, helping companies navigate the AR jungle to find the best solution, across any channel and on any platform. By incorporating immersive storytelling experiences together with 3D photo-realism, RPR was able to breathe new life into the Kids Heart Challenge app and have helped them boost fundraising, recruitment, engagement and revenue. It’s particularly gratifying when working with an organization whose vision is to improve the health of kids.”
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
About Charity Dynamics
Charity Dynamics is a strategy, fundraising and online marketing firm for nonprofit organizations. Our staff has over 175 years’ experience working directly for nonprofits, working with organizations of all sizes, including some of the biggest names in the nonprofit and foundation world. Charity Dynamics delivers what charities need to help fulfill their missions: more awareness, supporters, engagement and donations. Our solutions include strategic consulting, creative services, fundraising solutions, and innovative technologies. At Charity Dynamics, our mission is to fulfill yours. For more information, please visit www.charitydynamics.com.
About Rock Paper Reality
Rock Paper Reality is an Augmented Reality design agency that works with companies to improve brand awareness and drive deeper communications with customers. Founded in 2017, RPR works with consumer and enterprise companies: from those just beginning to explore AR to those in need of a global rollout. Key industries include AR marketing, education, entertainment, and retail. RPR leadership has over a decade of experience working in the trenches of AR product and content development. The RPR team has delivered dozens of successful AR products and applications and received over a dozen technology patents in headworn and AR. RPR has offices in Silicon Valley and Copenhagen. For more information, contact us at email@example.com or visit us at: RockPaperReality.com, Twitter: @rockreality /LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/rock-paper-reality
We are excited to announce that RPR’s CEO, Patrick Johnson, will be the Enterprise AR Track Chair at the upcoming AWE Online Event on May 28th. AWE is one of the largest AR-focused events in the world, and we highly recommend attending. There is a great lineup of speakers that specialize in Augmented Reality from companies and organizations such as Volvo, Dow Jones, Schlumberger, Koch Industries, and KLM.
Patrick also organizes AWE Nite SF—the largest AR Meetup in the world. We are offering a limited-time discount for the AWE Online Event that brings the price down from $399 to only $99. Just add the following discount code at check out: AWENITESF99
Message us if you have any questions and check out the Enterprise Track details below.
May 28, 2020 – ENTERPRISE TRACK LIVE STREAMS
Snap Back to Reality, Here Comes Gravity
11:30 AM – 11:50 AM
Timmy Ghiurau | Volvo Cars Casper Wickman | Volvo Cars
Hear from Volvo’s Lead Virtual Experiences, Timmy Ghiurau, about how he broke new ground with the multi-awarded Volvo Varjo collaboration by bringing technology forged in gaming into one of the leading brands in the automotive industry. Timmy will introduce their Product Simulator platform from Volvo Cars used for simulations and XR experiences, which will help Volvo Cars to shape the future of mobility, by enabling users to contribute in developing scenarios, and services for the automotive track.
The Social Disruption of Telexistence
11:50 AM – 12:10 PM
David Varela | The Manufacturing Technology Centre Jose M Blanco Gomez | The Manufacturing Technology Centre
Join David Varela and Jose M. Blanco Gomez of The Manufacturing Technology Centre’s advanced visualization team to explore the influence and impact of new telexistence paradigms. Learn how technology initially planned for space exploration will help to overcome actual society and workspace challenges here on Earth, thanks to next-generation breakthroughs in mixed reality, AI, and haptic and robotic technologies.
Modern Wellsite Planning with Drones, 3D Images, and Augmented Reality
12:40 PM – 01:00 PM
Sergey Doronichev | Schlumberger
In the commoditized environment of land oilfield operations, efficiency is the primary driver of profitability. Schlumberger has created a technology workflow, that increases the productivity of land operations through the utilization of drone mapping, 3D collaborative VR planning and AR-assisted execution.
Spatial Dataviz Superpowers
01:00 PM – 01:20 PM
Roger Kenny | Dow Jones
Spatial computing will transform how we understand data. Roger Kenny is a data viz expert from The Wall Street Journal who has been exploring spatial computing since 2015. In this talk, he will share some of what he has learned.
How to Solve Employee Training Problems for Technical Systems or Operations using VR
02:10 PM – 02:30 PM
Sebastien Loze | Epic Games Myra LalDin | PERSPECTIVES
Storytelling is as old as time itself. As humans, we have used stories for centuries to build collective knowledge, adapt, and to learn. With each new technology the way we experience stories, educate, and learning evolves. Now we are in the time of XR. We have lived the early years of XR technology dissemination and today we can begin to collectively reflect and share our knowledge on what is and is not working, what creates the most impact in XR for users, and how best to improve these experiences. In this session, two experts with very different backgrounds compare notes and share their experiences from the cognitive science perspective and the simulation technologies perspective. This is the beginning of a conversation establishing guidelines to augment learning by living memorable virtual experiences.
AR in Defense Shipbuilding
02:50 PM – 03:10 PM
Ken Fast | Electric Boat Corp David Heath | Bath Iron Works Corp
Bath Iron Works and Electric Boat are two large shipbuilders that are actively involved in deploying AR applications for direct manufacturing. This presentation will highlight some of the long history of advanced visualization technologies used in ship design. We will move on to more recent developments in the use of AR in the shipyard. We will discuss some of the unique challenges of doing R&D in the defense industry, and the difficulties of moving new technologies into a production setting. Both shipyards are part of the larger General Dynamics Corporation (GD). We will share lessons learned in the establishment of an XR working group across all the business units of GD, and some success stories of collaboration. Finally, we will show some examples of AR applications we are fielding in production, and touch on future plans.
How the airline industry is embracing VR and AR with regard to sustainability and the changing customer value chain
03:10 PM – 03:30 PM
Jae Maloney | KLM Ashok Maharaj | TCS
The Airline industry is facing challenges never faced before. How do we, as an industry, move forward becoming more environmentally savvy by embracing new XR and AI technologies; but, at the same time, remain competitive and profitable?
“WebAR technology is going to be a game changer for marketing and AR alike,” – Patrick Johnson, RPR CEO
Last week, Top Interactive Agencies did a deep-dive interview into the future of Augmented Reality with RPR’s CEO, Patrick Johnson. The interview covered key AR questions such as Web AR Marketing, RPR’s research methodologies, and the next big trends for Augmented Reality agencies.
We have included a few excerpts from the interview below, but you can read the full interview here.
Can you provide one or two examples of your experience in dealing with usability studies, eye-tracking study, field study, or focus groups?
Consumers have very low patience for learning new technologies before they lose attention and interest. For the past 3 years, RPR has been consulting Lenovo on their new AR Think Reality headset and software platform and developed their AR experiences that were showcased at the Augmented World Expo and CES 2020.
Creating AR content for shows poses an even greater challenge because events are high-stress environments that must move people through the demo assembly line as quickly as possible. Before developing the AR experience, we always create user profiles that help us understand the intended user of the technology, how they will use it, and what their use case is.
After validating the profiles with a sample of the intended users for validation, we refine and get to work. Once an MVP is created, we conduct recorded user testing where we observe the user while capturing user analytics on any steps that cause friction. We then interview the users using a point system to score usability and performance.
As an end result for the Lenovo demos, we developed self-guided experiences for the events that required no external support from onsite staff. This reduced the need for Lenovo staff support and allowed the greatest number of attendees to engage with the product with as little friction as possible.
Can you outline the research methodologies that give you greater insight?
Along with usability studies, we always recommend that our clients in marketing and advertising include our AR launch strategy services when deploying a new AR program. Some of these services include:
Competitor interviews— this is one of the most powerful services that we offer. We work with a company that helps us source knowledgeable stakeholders from competitive companies that have deployed comparable experiences and have insider knowledge. This helps us identify potential blind spots and ancillary opportunities before development. Ultimately, this allows us to incorporate successful solutions with proven success and steer clear of missteps on comparable AR programs.
Customer interviews – before launching a project we like to speak with the primary source (i.e our customer’s customers) to help us verify our assumptions and guide our approach. Receiving customer profiles, demographic reports, and general buying behaviors from our stakeholders is always valuable. But what we have found is equally as important is speaking directly with the customer to ask the right questions that will help us inform our development and deployment strategies. Customers are often more willing to speak freely to us about what is and isn’t working since we are a 3rd party agency and they don’t have to worry about offending us.
Customer Journey – after in-depth interviews with our clients and their customers and competitors, we develop a comprehensive customer journey map that looks across common customer touchpoints to identify where AR should be used to enhance the customer experience—from Awareness to Planning to Shopping to Loyalty.
What would you say will be the next big trend in the interactive industry?
The next big trend for marketing, the interactive industry, and AR is a new technology called WebAR. This is going to be a game-changer for marketing and AR alike.
Essentially, WebAR (also known as web-based or app-less AR) allows users to initiate AR experiences through a simple hyperlink or QR code—no downloads or apps required. No friction.
Everything is launched through your mobile browser. This means that companies in Consumer Package Goods can simply add a QR code to their product packaging or physical marketing materials that prompts the user to open their camera on their phone, scan the QR code, and then launch the experience. That easy!
Or, if you’re advertising online, simply embed the clickable hyperlink into your ad or online store and users can now be directed to AR facefilters, AR games, or a product visualization experience that prompts your users to interact with your brand in exciting new ways. For more information on Web AR, read our “Everything You Need to Know About Web AR” series.
Are there any AR app or websites that are worth mentioning?
Our friends over at 8th Wall are the most robust development platform for Web AR development.
Along with RPR, I co-organize the largest AR MeetUp group in the world: AWE Nite SF. We obviously won’t be having any events until the Covid-19 storm passes, but you can attend the Augmented World Expo online. For discount passes, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly and I’ll set you up.
You should also visit our friends over at Artillery Intelligence for all the latest AR analyst reports and trends. Mike Boland is the senior Analyst and your man when it comes to AR insights.
And of course, visit Rock Paper Reality’s site and contact us for a free demo or to explore how AR can impact your business today.
In this first installation of our Web AR 101 series, we will focus on the top questions we receive about this new technology. Technological advances in web-based AR (also known as Web-based AR and App-less AR) are creating new and exciting ways for companies to delight customers, drive brand engagement, and achieve measurable value.
However, many people have never heard of Web AR. And if they are familiar with it, they still don’t fully understand how it works and why it will be the next big wave in consumer engagement. Lack of awareness and understanding of Web AR is exactly why RPR is launching an ongoing series that will help companies understand important topics such as:
Web AR 101: Everything You Need to Know
How to Harness the Full Value of Web AR for Marketing, Advertising, and Entertainment
How to Evaluate and Hire a Web AR Development Company
Web-Based AR versus App-based AR
Top Web AR Product and Business Strategies for 2020
WHAT IS WEB AR?
In essence, the greatest difference between Web AR and app-based AR is that Web AR is accessed through your phone’s mobile browser rather than through an application. Like application-based AR, Web AR uses your phone’s camera to register computer-generated information and virtual experiences to the real-world. Think Pokemon Go, Ikea’s product visualization, or Google Translate’s AR feature.
However, unlike app-based AR that requires the user to download and store an application on their phone (taking up time and space), Web AR is app-less, requires no downloads, and is a lower barrier to entry for users.
As you can see in the step-by-step activation instructions below, AR Applications take (6) steps to initiate, while Web AR only takes (2) steps, which is a massive improvement.
Sounds like a win-win, right? Well, for lots of AR marketing and AR advertising use cases it is the best solution. But Web AR does have performance, computer vision (tracking), and activation limitations. We’ll get into this topic more in our upcoming “AR App versus Web AR” article.
HOW DOES WEB AR WORK?
In a lot of ways, Web AR can be thought of as an extension to your existing website.
Since this article is primarily for helping companies understand Web AR and whether it is the right fit for your next initiative, we won’t get too “techie” on how Web AR is developed.
For those interested in tech, there are a handful of platforms that support the creation of Web AR that are similar to normal web development platforms. One framework for building Web VR/AR experiences is A-Frame–an entity component for Three.js, used for creating 3D and Web VR/AR scenes using HTML. RPR has also partnered with 8th Wall–the leading computer vision (i.e. SLAM Tracking) SDK for Web AR on the market.
What’s great about 8th Wall is that it’s compatible with every mobile device, making it incredibly easy to deploy new experiences at scale to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
USING QR CODES IN WEB AR
Web AR is typically initiated using either a hyperlink or a QR Code. For example, if you’re a Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company, to enable Web AR all you need to do is include a QR code on your product packaging or label. If creating new packaging is not possible, some companies we have worked with have used QR Code stickers. Not always ideal, but a work around in some cases.
Most iOS devices have a QR code reader built into them. So if you have an iPhone, all you have to do to activate your Web AR experience is launch the camera app on your phone, point it at the QR code you want to scan, and click on the notification banner that pops up on the top of the screen to trigger your Web AR experience. It’s that easy!
At RPR, we work with our clients to create custom QR codes that meet their creative style guides and branding needs. For example, when working with Morrison’s grocery chain in the UK, we created QR codes that used a deep-green color, leaves in place of the typical squares in the corners, along with the Morrison’s logo branded in the middle.
Scan the QR code below to view photo-realistic carrots and Web AR in action!
QR CODES & SLAM TRACKING
Depending on the requirements for the Web AR experience, the QR code can be used respectively or in a combination with the three ways below:
To initiate your Web AR experience (as outlined above)
To overlay digital information on it the same way you’d use an AR Marker in an app-based experience.
To initiate the experience and then transition to SLAM tracking (Simultaneous Location and Mapping). This one is a bit more complicated but we’ll overview it below for those that are interested.
SLAM is basically used to detect your surrounding environment using your phone’s camera, create a map, and to estimate the location of your device within that map. This approach is combined with additional sensors in your phone such as your accelerometer and gyroscope, and allows you to track your position in the environment.
Sounds complicated? Basically, all you really need to know about SLAM is that it’s used in lieu of QR codes or markers since using markers for AR has limitations, such as your camera needs to maintain a specific distance to the marker or your camera will lose tracking and your digital information will “drift” away. With SLAM, for example, if you’re playing an AR game on your table, you can walk around your environment and don’t have to worry about keeping your marker close to your phone’s camera.
On the other hand, using the Web AR QR code as an AR marker is straightforward. After pointing the camera at the QR code, virtual information will overlay on top of it (or, if it’s on a box, it can be perceived to be inside of it).
For example, for product visualization, you can use a QR code to overlay a 3D model of the product onto a 2D advertisement. But if you move your camera too far away from the marker, you will lose tracking and your AR content will jitter or drift away.
USING HYPERLINKS IN WEB AR
Engaging customers with Web AR in-store (i.e. in situ) using QR Codes works well for customers interacting with a product or physical marketing materials such as a poster or flyer. But what about using Web AR online for marketing or advertising?
With Web AR hyperlinks, you can connect to your key audience the same way you would through traditional advertising and digital channels such as:
After deploying Web AR for our clients through digital banner ads, many saw a surge of in-bound leads, longer engagements, and higher Click Through Rates (CTRs). When developing your Web AR strategy, it is often important to consider both your in-store products and promotions as well as how to best advertise and deploy Web AR experiences throughout your various digital channels.
With our team of veteran digital and business strategists, we work with our clients to discover the most impactful ways to deploy new Web AR experiences both in-store and online.
In many cases, we can repurpose some, if not all, of the content we develop for one channel and reuse it for others. This approach saves our clients time, money, and ultimately drives the most value. We will talk about the various strategies for deploying Web AR in our coming article “How to Harness the Full Value of Web AR.”
WEBAR CLOUD HOSTING AND DOMAINS
Finally, the last piece to the “How Does Web AR Work” puzzle to consider is what will be your Web AR URL and who will host the experience. At RPR, we have our own secure servers set up and ready to host and support your Web AR experience. We will also work with you on creating your unique Web AR URL.
For example, when hosting your Web AR experience with RPR, you will get a custom URL that begins rpr.to/. After that, you can add your company or brand name or anything that you like, such as rpr.to/morrisons. However, although the URL path is ultimately up to your team, we recommend that the URLs are as short as possible–ideally (6) characters after rpr.to or less. This makes the data in the QR codes easier to read by QR code scanners. The less characters the user has to type into their browser the more likely they are to engage.
After creating your custom URL for your Web AR experience, if you plan to use a corresponding QR code for the same experience, you will want to identify this before going to print so both redirect accordingly.
RPR has competitive pricing for hosting and servicing your Web AR Experience. If interested in more information on “How Web AR Works” or want to discuss a specific Web AR project, please Contact Us anytime.
Our next Web AR 101 post is coming soon. Stay tuned!
The event was hosted by Emily Olman, CEO of Spatial First, and Patrick Johnson, CEO of Rock Paper Reality. It featured a killer presentation by Terry Schussler, Senior Director Spatial Computing, Deutsche Telekom and Tim Friedland, CEO, forwARdgame around 5G and multi-player gaming. Terry and I also dual it out in SCOAAR in Air Hockey in a match that comes down to the final seconds. Check it out!
The show also featured a fantastic fireside chat with Amy Peck, Sr. Director Enterprise Content – HTC Vive, and Tom Emrich, VP, Product – 8th Wall. Amy dived deep into Tom’s highly anticipated AR Trends & How They Might Play Out in 2020.
We would also like to give a huge thank you to Mike Boland for all his support and to Peter Halenbeck from the VRAR Association for editing the video. And a big thank you to Jo Ryall and the Microsoft Reactor for supporting the AWE Nite SF community with their great venue.
We are excited to announce that Jiten Dajee has joined RPR as the Head of Digital Strategy.
Prior to RPR, Jiten was at Deloitte leading corporate strategy for real-time 3D technologies and implementation of head-worn computing solutions. He has worked with global Fortune 500s to rethink design, engineering, and visualization workflows through real-time rendering in the automotive and media industries. He has managed the growth of VR-based training and AR-enabled workers for energy and telecom clients while guiding retailers to adopt mobile-based AR for richer customer engagement through digital channels.
At RPR, Jiten will help companies harness the full power of AR, drive measurable success, and focus on end-to-end AR Programs that are transformative for business. From market analysis to go-to-market strategies, Jiten is well-equipped to help companies discover, create, and deliver AR Programs guaranteed to exceed expectations.
We’re thrilled to have Jiten on the RPR team as he brings a long history of AR skills, experience, and a passion for immersive technology. We couldn’t be more excited to be working together to imagine the future of RPR and immersive technologies with him.
Last month Patrick Johnson, CEO of RPR, hosted an evening at the Verizon Innovation Center along with Apple to focus on all things ARKit—the largest AR platform in the world with hundreds of millions of AR-enabled iPhones and iPads.
The event highlighted best-in-class ARKit experiences developed by 3rd party developers and an off-stage, ARKit demo by Rock Paper Reality that featured our new AR Gifting experience.
It was great to see SpatialFirst co-founder Bart Denny take the stage to show off some of the latest features of the PlaceTime app followed by Allessandra McGinnis from Apple who demoed Reality Composer.
Check out the full agenda below:
7:00-7:15PM: Welcome and introductions
Mike Boland, Chief Analyst, ARtillery Intelligence | Editor, AR Insider
Patrick Johnson, CEO & Founder, Rock Paper Reality
7:15-7:20PM: Verizon Technology Development and 5G Ecosystems
Dan Setterby’s, Manager, Product Technology
AWE Nite Live Demos and Presentations
7:20-7:30PM: Apple Presents: Reality Composer
Presenter: Allessandra McGinnis, Sr. AR Product Marketing Manager, Apple
Please join RPR at the Microsoft Reactor for AWE Nite SF’s March MeetUp on Thursday, March 5th!
Hey Everyone! For anyone in the Bay on March 5th, check out the updated agenda for AWE Nite SF next week. We’ve got a killer line up of AR presenters. Space is limited so if you haven’t RSVP’d, you can do it here: https://lnkd.in/gZeGZ3S
7:00PM Welcome and Introductions
Emily Olman, CEO & Co-Founder – SpatialFirst
Patrick Johnson, CEO & Founder, Rock Paper Reality
Mike Boland, Chief Analyst, ARtillery Intelligence | Editor, AR Insider
7:10PM Executive Roundtable
Tom Emrich , VP, Product – 8th Wall Amy Peck, Sr. Director Enterprise Content – HTC Vive
7:30 forwARdgame & Deutsche Telekom / SCOAAR and AR Basketball
Terry R. Schussler, Senior Director Spatial Computing, Deutsche Telekom
Tim FriedlanCEO, forwARdgame (live via AR from Berlin)
7:45 Microsoft Presents: Minecraft Earth and the past, present, and future of location-based games
Em Lazer-Walker, Senior Cloud Advocate
AWE SANTA CLARA DISCOUNT CODE!
Below is your AWE Nite SF code which offers the deepest discount we have – 25% over the current published price! Your code is especially valuable now while early bird rates are on until end of March as it offers double discount! AWE Nite SF Discount Code: AWENITESF25 https://www.awexr.com/
Em is a Toronto-based artist/engineer and spatial computing cloud advocate at Microsoft. Most of her work focuses on using nontraditional interfaces to reframe everyday objects and spaces as playful experiences and to inspire people to become self-motivated learners.
Tom is recognized as one of the world’s leading thought leaders in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) & wearable technology. A pioneer in this space, Tom has over a decade-long track record of running tech teams and providing strategic direction in emerging technologies for powerhouse brands and organizations. He started working in augmented reality in 2009.
From healthcare, education, retail, hospitality and entertainment to government and industrial use cases, Amy’s goal is to bridge the gap between the leading edge tech and clients ready to adopt the myriad solutions in the AR/VR stratosphere.
Tim Friedland is the CEO and creative sparkplug of forwARdgame. Besides building exciting and innovative XR games, Tim is passionate about developmental psychology, speaks 5 human languages and 5 programming ones.
Terry R. Schussler drives spatial computing research and innovation at Deutsche Telekom. He is focused on enabling us to becoming a heads up society which integrates digital experiences to enhance and not replace the real world ones.
Adin is a veteran WebAR developer with deep experience in 8th Wall‘s WebAR platform. Adin will lead RPR’s WebAR development efforts and we couldn’t be more excited to have him on the team. Welcome, Adin!
Looking to join the RPR team? Check out our Careers page, we’d love to hear from you.
If you were unable to make it to AWE Nite SF‘s event in December, “The Current AR Lifecycle,” it featured Patrick Johnson, CEO of Rock Paper Reality’s and his fireside chat with Tony Parisi, Global Head of AR/VR Ad Innovation – Unity Technologies. They discussed 2019 trends in AR and 2020 predictions. Check it out!
They had a great discussion about the future of 3D modeling for AR, AR Retail, AR advertising and marketing, and the future of Augmented Reality experiences for consumers.
They also dived into the value of Web AR (App-less AR experience), and it’s impact on the AR ecosystem. Web AR is a topic near and dear to RPR, as we believe Web AR will unlock massive potential and help proliferate AR to the consumer market.
The video also includes a great panel moderated by Emily Olman, Founder of SpatialFirst, and features Ross Finman – AR Niantic, Tom Emrich – VP of Product at 8th Wall, and Dana Loberg Co-Founder at Leo AR .
A big thanks to Peter Halenbeck with the VRARA for filming and editing the video!
Next month Patrick will be hosting AWE Nite’s SF event that will be focused all on Apple and AR Kit. Rock Paper Reality will be featured at the event and will be showcasing their new AR Gifting application developed in partnership with Uptown Network.
Hope to see you at our next AWE Nite SF in February at the Verizon Innovation Center. It’s going to be a killer show focused all around Apple. And remember to check out Rock Paper Reality–the augmented reality agency!
RPR is doubling down on AR Advertising and 3D product visualization! Why? AR Marketing has been proven to outperform traditional advertising, drives consumer awareness and adoption of AR, and analyst reports are backing our assumptions.
Artillery is projecting AR Ad revenue to grow from $453 million in 2018 to $8.8 billion in 2023. An 81 percent compound annual growth rate. This mostly involves product promotions through AR interfaces such as Facebook Lenses, Snapchat, and other social lenses.
Here are some key takeaways on AR Advertising and AR Marketing as to why we believe it will be a massive success:
AR ads’ limit the time and ‘friction’ between a consumer’s discovery of an item they are interested in purchasing and the purchase of that item.
AR ads such as this Facebook experience with sunglasses company, Michael Kors, improves discovery and greatly enhances the Facebook experience:
AR ads such as this one allow users to instantly purchase products without leaving the Facebook app.
Reports claim videos similar to the ones above performed 77 percent better than static images.
Another success story comes from YouTube with a product called AR Beauty Try, which reports 30 percent more AR activations from in-stream cosmetics promotions. Thanks to machine learning and AR technology, these AR ads offer realistic, virtual product samples that work on a full range of skin tones.
So before launching your next online ad campaign, contact us about how AR advertising can drive more traffic to your site, build better brand engagement, and drastically increase your product sales.
Augmented Reality is going to be a game changer for both eCommerce and brick and mortar businesses alike.
For example, AR product visualization is great for more expensive items like furniture and cars where there is a requirement for boosting consumer confidence and reducing returns. But as of today with AR commerce, conversion rates are incredibly high while reach is still small but growing.
The consumer journey from visualization to other conversion milestones is a full-funnel medium that will continue to attract more consumer brands and we expect AR retail to explode over the next few years.
As a corollary to advertising, Artillery projects $12.7 billion in products to be purchased through AR interfaces by 2023 (not counted as “AR revenue”)*. This will also drive affiliate revenue for AR ad-tech startups to the tune of $404 million by 2023.
But one challenge eCommerce and brick and mortar are facing is the scalability of 3D content. 3D asset creation at scale is often a challenge for many companies. It can be expensive, time-consuming, and not super scalable. This is why RPR has developed optimized processes such as photogrammetry and proprietary 3D modeling techniques that help companies scale their 3D modeling initiatives.
Below are 5 simple ways Augmented Reality can improve the consumer shopping experience and drive more sales.
AR Clothing Shopping
Want to try on clothes in the comfort of your own home? Or want to see if your size is in stock, how it’ll fit in-store before trying it on, or have it shipped directly to your home? RPR developed a custom AR fashion experience in collaboration with Mastercard and Saks Fifth Avenue that allows users to try photorealistic clothes onto a digital mannequin both in-store and at home. The experience drives consumer engagement and improves buyer confidence by allowing users to understand the fit and flow of fabric on a 1-to-1 scale.
AR Furniture Shopping
Houzz is using product visualization with great success. Houzz says product visualization boosts conversions by 11x and consumer spend levels by almost 3x. This is a major value-add to Houzz’s bottom line and exactly why we have developed applications that allows users to drop at-scale furniture in your home or office before you buy it. This allows users to stage home furniture to see how it all fits together and helps consumers feel more confident with their purchase decisions.
AR In-store Navigation
Ever get lost in the mall? Wonder where your favorite store is or just looking for a specific item? With indoor navigation technology and your own personal AR concierge, you can receive their own custom map and mall experience based on the stores you want to visit.
AR Grocery Shopping
AR can help you make better choices at the grocery store. Scan a label and see all the ingredients for a recipe, wine pairings, where to find the item in the store and whether it’s in stock. Set a weight loss goals and let your AR assistant analyze what you buy and what you eat to keep you on track.
AR Visual Search (Street Buys)
Visual search, a la Google Lens, identifies objects using the smartphone camera or AR glasses. As an ad medium, visual search engines such as Google will see strong performance and premiums due to high consumer intent (just like core search). For example, with visual search you can pass by a backpack or jacket you like, scan it with your phone, and instantly see the brand, reviews, and where to buy.
For more information on how RPR can improve your retail business experience with AR, Contact Us today for a free consultation and demo.
Look forward to hearing from you and happy shopping!
Since 2009, the RPR team has worked in the Augmented Reality trenches filing over 100+ patents around Augmented Reality and headworn technology. RPR’s leadership got its start at ODG—a leading smartglasses company founded in 1999 (well before most had even heard of AR)—and was also part of the team that sold over a $100M+ patent portfolio to Microsoft before the Hololens was born.
Although ODG is in the past, some of the core team rose from the ashes and joined together to form RPR with the objective to push AR to its limits while solving real world problems. RPR is known throughout the industry for creating photorealistic 3D content optimized for AR, spatial computing experiences that push the boundaries of mobile and headworn, and for creating end-to-end AR programs for marketing, retail, and entertainment.
From companies who are just beginning to explore AR to those who have global rollouts, RPR will create an AR program that is guaranteed to surpass your needs and improve your bottom line.