Augmented Reality at Home
Augmented Reality has sounded for long like a crazy, futuristic concept, but the technology has been around for many years. AR is all about overlaying computer-generated images on top of one’s view of reality, therefore creating a complex view that augments the real world. AR applications run the range from interactive map overlays and virtual showrooms to enormous multiplayer battles. More and more ARKit apps are coming out on Apple’s iOS, and since Google has eliminated Project Tango, ARCore is now the future on Android.
It is obvious that an ever growing list of retailers are using, or at least considering using, Augmented Reality. In a market led by personalization and customization, consumers anticipate products to match their lifestyles perfectly. The possibility that an item might not match, has produced a barrier to purchase. The capability to see how an item will look in real life without making a purchase is a tested method of improving sales, and AR applications allow this at scale. Shoppers can visualize products in their own kitchen or bedroom, whether that be a high end kitchen blender or a side lamp, all while enjoying doing this from the seat of their homes.
The available collection of Augmented Reality applications is huge and diverse. Here are some top picks for the best AR shopping apps currently available for you to enjoy home, whether you’re searching for iOS or Android apps.
One of the biggest Swedish companies famous for decor and interiors. One research showed a lack of confidence amongst some buyers when buying from IKEA. It’s all well and good finding the perfect dresser, but if that dresser has to fit in one’s cramped bedroom, then it can suddenly become a frustrating experience. IKEA removed this barrier to sale by letting customers use the Augmented Reality IKEA PLACE smartphone app. Over 2,000 virtual products can be viewed using the IKEA PLACE app, powered by Apple’s ARKit. Every product automatically scales to the size of the room, ensuring that it fits both visually and practically.
At the start of the year, German automaker Audi thought of an app that can enable AR concept to turn passive TV advertisements into an active experience. Prompted by the commercial, the app lets users enjoy viewing one of four Quattro models from the seats of their homes. This actually turns any space into a virtual showroom. Customers could also build their own mini test tracks, gamifying the experience. The car stays in the room after the commercial has ended, widening engagement. The application was designed in partnership with Norwegian imaginative agency POL Oslo.
International paint brand Dulux company has been experimenting with AR features for over 5 years now. The company’s Visualizer app, accessible on mobile and tablet devices, allows users to apply various colors of paint to photos and videos of their own rooms. There are more than 1,200 colors to choose from, and testers can be purchased as well within this app. The tool is mainly aimed at customers but has also been used by professional decorators in Brazil.
Augmented Reality Apps can show how a particular car might look in your driveway, or help you decide what color to paint your kids room, but what about when it comes to clothes? Not Like paint or cars, it’s possible to go into a store and try on a piece of clothing. Though, not everyone has the time or preference. That is where a recent patent filed by Amazon falls in. Just last year, the company patented a ‘blended reality’ mirror that would enable consumers to try on virtual outfits. This AR technology can be used at home, but also possibly in retail stores to remove changing room queues. The mirror, although yet to arrive to market, looks to be an expansion of Amazon Echo Look, which rates and gets photos of users’ outfits.
In 2014, L’Oréal Paris released their Makeup Genius application, bringing personalization to cosmetics by applying virtual makeup to costumers’ faces. The costumer can view exactly how a specific shade of eyeshadow or mascara looks without going to a store and using a physical tester, or purchasing makeup that they later realize it doesn’t quite suit their skin tone. Other cosmetics brands like Benefit have been fast to follow their lead.
One more car manufacturer to take advantage of AR is BMW. The company showcased their brand new X2 model while using Snapchat‘s Augmented Trial Lens. Snap chatters opened their camera and an augmented version of the car emerged on their smartphone screens, with the real world environment as a background. The car’s color could be changed, and could be seen from several angles. Consumers could even apply a special filter which changed their faces ‘Galvanic Gold’, an exclusive finish developed for the X2. By using Snapchat, BMW hopes to entice a younger crowd and give playfulness to their products.
Houzz is an online architecture and design website that shows renovation and redecoration products. In 2017, Houzz launched an AR app called ‘View in My Room 3D’, that does precisely what you would expect with products from the site. Customers can choose an item and virtually drop it into any room in their house to view how it looks. They could then zoom in on that item, move it around, and add other items all around it. Every product seen in this way is automatically added to a shopping list with an instant purchase option. The company alleges that consumers who use the tool are 11 times more likely to buy than those who don’t.
There are several other Augmented Reality Apps that are used home for the purpose of entertainment , education and even business. Here is a list of some amazing free AR apps that you can enjoy home:
- BBC Civilisations AR
- Pokémon Go
- Ink Hunter
- Google Translate
- Knightfall: AR
- Just a Line
- Ingress Prime
Augmented Reality is helping brands to modernize the way to purchase in a fun, creative, and most importantly, personal way. With AR apps, not only can a potential consumers customize an item to suit their certain taste, but they can view how that item could fit in their own planned space. The above retailers have applied this to their benefit, creating a personalized experience for their consumers. Nevertheless, as technological and financial barriers reduce, main retailers will not be the only ones able to develop Augmented Reality applications. The challenge is to create an experience that sticks out from the rest and if that requires turning your buyers’ faces gold, so be it.