Advancing technology is constructing a new reality all around us, and at unprecedented speeds since the commencement of the pandemic. From the metaverse, to self-driving cars, to cryptocurrency—it is fair to say that in 2022, we have officially reached “the future”. Two noteworthy players in this digital advancement are Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented reality (AR).
Both AR and VR are finding their place in a range of applications in the consumer, commercial, and industrial worlds, with AR pulling ahead in recent years because of its capability to seamlessly blend into the real world. AR applications enhance pre-sales, sales, and post-sales value, serving as a strong new avenue for companies to enhance the customer experience—which explains why the AR industry is expected to grow to over $26 billion USD by 2025.
For companies in traditional industries, this creates a whole new set of opportunities to advance their trades, helping to patch any obsolete factors that might need an update in our modern age. With remote augmented communication and augmented operations, AR can help to transform the customer experience 10-fold. Let’s take a look at the top ways that AR is helping to evolve the business world to meet modern needs.
Modernizing the Customer Experience
Even though AR is only a recent innovation, the technology’s spending is expected to reach €70 billion by 2022. This is probably because AR allows organizations to laser-focus customer experience strategies, depending on their business, by proxy allowing them to effectively interact with customers at every stage of the customer journey. Today, brands now have an almost limitless number of ways to communicate with customers in three dimensions through their mobile devices, thanks to this advancement in technology.
There are some key ways that AR is transforming the customer experience world, firstly by opening up new ways for customers to self-service. Using a smartphone, customers can access any product’s knowledge base with FAQs, manuals, and training material displayed in an AR overlay. Depending on the product or service, this gives the customer the capability to customize their experience through GPS, camera, or touch screen.
Another way that AR is accelerating customer experience is by cutting through the doldrums of agent-customer interactions that often come with technical support calls. AR-based visual support often cuts out much of the back and forth that is a customer’s biggest trepidation, allowing them to hold a smartphone up to the product or barcode—identifying parts and problems in real-time through computer vision technology. This ultimately results in faster resolution times, as agents can then immediately access model numbers or any other relevant information needed to help customers with devices.
Finally, smartphones and AR can help to ditch antiquated hard-to-understand manuals and instead bring a dynamic experience to maintaining and fixing products. Instead of translating images and somewhat ambiguous instructions, users can hold their phone up to their purchase and understand all of the different features and the ins and outs. This also opens the ability to interact with consumer electronic devices in a whole new way. Overall, AR only enhances the capabilities consumers have with their purchases—thereby enriching their experience with them.
AR to Drive Industries in New Ways
AR helps companies in traditional industries to take advantage of technology to engage more with the customer—enhancing their experience with both the product itself and the business. This is being seen in everything from medicine, to education, to outdoor recreation.
In outdoor recreation, there is a myriad of innovative ways that companies engage with customers through AR. From applications that you can point up at the night sky to identify and read about celestial objects, to maps that offer the topography of trails as well as help to identify flora and fauna along the way, to apps that keep you active and bring the outdoors to you through your screen—AR has created a whole new side to being in the outdoors.
When it comes to products used for outdoor recreation, there are many that tend to be many that are monetarily larger investment-wise. One of these is boating, and even though a boat is a product, it is also a whole industry on its own within outdoor rec.
A boat is probably one of a household’s largest purchases when it comes to outdoor rec, and so being able to walk through your potential purchase makes all the difference. A 3D boat-building experience lets you customize every option of any model at full scale, allowing users to customize their dream boat. AR apps give you the ability to see your build from all angles, walk inside to see all the details you have chosen, and engage with products like never before. One app, in particular, Supra Boats, allows you to even scan the physical boat with the augmented function and explore the features and details of the boat that is right in front of you.
Personalizing the customer experience through all of the ways that AR allows will just be one way that players in outdoor recreation can progress the industry into the future.
Propelling Dream Days on The Water
AR technology development, with a focus on industrial applications, has the power to transform traditional industries. One example is seen through companies in the outdoor recreation industry, which through digital advancement build a bridge between the traditional manufacturer, evolving products into an entirely new and unique digital brand experience.
Supra Boats recently launched its own immersive digital experience with the purpose of viewing, exploring, and building an entire lineup to bridge a unique real-life experience right from your phone or tablet. The tour allows the user to tour any boat model like it’s right there in front of you, explore features, learn about options, and engage with their products like never before. Alternatively, if a person is standing in front of any 2022 Supra boat, they can scan it with the augmented function and explore the features and details of the boat they are looking at.
With Supra Boats’ exclusive interactive 3D boat-building experience, the company allows customers to customize every option of any model at full scale, from anywhere, at any time. Being able to see a large investment purchase such as a boat from all angles, walk inside to see the details, scale it, and build it from your coffee table is a sign of all the possibilities in the digital age. Not to mention all of the ways that AR can progress the customer experience once a product or service is purchased.
Bringing more features and interactions into the use of products, AR is building a whole new experience, and reality, for industries across the board.
Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.