Marketing with Augmented Reality: 5 Things You Need to Know
This post is an excerpt from the Marketing with Augmented Reality panel at our Digital Growth Summit event in Sunnyvale led by Shauna Heller, Founder of Clay Park VR.
Between virtual reality and augmented reality, virtual reality still gets the lion’s share of attention. But while fewer people might have heard about it, the potential applications for augmented reality are almost limitless—and extremely cool. From making job training cheaper and easier to transforming clothes shopping into a hybrid retail/video game experience, Shauna Heller, founder of Clay Park VR, explains why augmented reality is a technology you’ll be hearing about a lot more.
- What is virtual reality and what is augmented reality?
- How can you use augmented reality?
- How is augmented reality going to be used in retail?
- What is the cost, and when will these tools get more stylish?
- How can companies use this to help people interact with their products?
They have a lot of shared DNA, but in general they are two different things. Virtual reality is a fully immersive headset. It is something that you put on your head and it takes away your natural vision. You cannot see the world around you; virtual reality is all about taking you to places that you cannot get to on your own. Augmented reality is partially immersive. It is all about putting on a headset with a transparency right across your eyes so that there is a digital overlay of information within that transparent visor that delivers information to you so that the world is coming to you. Through the visor, you have the ability to see digital content that is not there. Augmented reality provides a digital overlay of information that lends context to the world around you.
There are many different ways that you can use augmented reality, but training is one of the best uses.
There are many different ways that you can use augmented reality, but training is one of the best uses. It is more of a tool than a toy in this context. The best example of this is, "I work in oil and gas and I am going out to an oil and gas rig and there are 30 different gauges, levers, buttons, etc." If I have been doing this for 30 years and I am a technician whose sole job it is to go out to there and read those gauges, pull the levers, and figure out what the information on the dial means, that’s great. But what happens when you have been doing it for three weeks and your company sends you out to work and you don't have all of the information you need yet? With the benefit of augmented reality, you can go out into that environment and that headset will deliver to you information that you need to press the right buttons, read the gauges appropriately and have information come to you.
Another application would be in the medical field where pre-surgery planning and pre-surgery review could look at a patient's data from an MRI scan or a CT and that information would be available to you in a headset while you are talking with the patient. In the future these headsets may end up in the surgery room and in diagnostic use.
People are thinking about how to take a retail experience and make it exciting again. There are a lot of brick-and-mortars out there that do not want to lose the marketshare to the Amazon and eBay online retailers. You could offer the headsets for people to wear while in the store, and they could guide people through the store with pop-up characters, animations, or even a virtual assistant right through the visor popping up as people walk around.
You will be able to deliver additional information in an engaging way to your consumers and guests coming into your store. You want people to move around within the environment, the racks or the aisles, with additional information popping out and drawing you in. Even incentives such as special deals can be delivered via the headset, which can then motivate you to act right there.
Currently, it’s a $3,000 development kit. It's not affordable yet, and it's really in the beginning stages of development. It also isn't stylish yet, but they have come a long way in terms of form factor. The ODG glasses are the closest to a pair of sunglasses yet, but right now you do look a bit like Elvis in 1975 when you wear them. From there we want to get smaller, but it is going to take first getting the larger headsets into the market before RayBan and Oakley come in and start using this technology.
Instruction manuals are a number-one priority for companies that want to use AR.
Instruction manuals are a number-one priority for companies that want to use AR. John Deere and Procter & Gamble have been on the forefront of using augmented reality as a way to communicate very specific product information to the end user.
This can also bring down the cost of training. There is a use-case from a couple of years ago where they were asking, "How can we train people to become plumbers?" The tools to teach plumbing are very expensive, and companies were losing plumbers.