Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are gaining popularity in today’s world, and can be a major game changer for businesses. While you may have heard these terms being slung around in recent years (most notably when the Pokemon Go craze took off) you may still be trying to figure out the difference between the two. While it can be a little confusing at first, they are both quite distinct from one another. To provide you with some clarity, below is an overview of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, and their unique benefits for business.
AR is digital content which is placed over the real world environment. It adds to the physical reality, supplementing the real world with digital objects, unlike VR which blocks the real world out. The most common use of AR is viewing a virtual layer through the field of view of a smartphone. The potential for this technology is endless, especially for businesses. Imagine your clients browsing through your website, and they see a rug they absolutely love. Then doubt hits them. Will this even fit in their living room? What will it look like? Instead of moving on, they can whip out their phone and use an augmented reality app to see how the rug would look in their very own living room. And this isn’t just a dream for the future. At Activate we worked with Suzuki to create an AR app that allowed customers to experience a virtual 3D model of the newly launched Suzuki Swift. Using the app customers had the ability to customize the car with different colours and wheels while also viewing information on the cars specifications and features. The virtual model also showcased a 360 degree view of the interior of the car. Businesses like Suzuki who are adopting the use of AR are fundamentally changing the way customers interact with their business, through new levels of customer engagement and interactions.
In VR, the environment is simulated using sights and sounds to wholly immerse the user in the virtual world. Unlike AR, the entire experience is digitally generated content and user’s perceptions are completely removed from the physical world. In other words, the real world environment that the person is present in, is not viewed alongside the digital content. Commonly, smartphones are strapped into headsets which enable the user to experience the VR. While VR has gained popularity in gaming communities their application in business settings should not be overlooked. VR allows customers to take a virtual tour of any location such as a hotel they are thinking of booking or a house they are interested in buying. Or perhaps VR could be used to train staff members, allowing them to practice new skills with virtual characters.
The new face of customer service
These innovative technologies can add an exciting new twist to your current business strategy. Being able to give a personal touch to your customer’s experience even from miles away can make a huge difference in your ability to add value to customers which ultimately increases sales. With VR headsets which work with any smartphone running as low as $20 and the development of the ARKit by Apple, more and more customers are searching for AR and VR experiences. If you’re not familiar with where AR and VR are heading, then you may want to sit up and take an interest as this is the future of business.
At Activate Entertainment we are producers of film, animation & augmented reality applications for clients big and small. Engage us to produce your film or media. From concept through to delivery we are experts in Film, Design, Illustration, Animation (2D & 3D), and Augmented Reality.