C4DI corporate members Eon Visual Media recently hosted an intriguing conference to shed some light on augmented reality (AR), a sector that is set to be worth almost £8 billion by 2023.
Specialising in web design and app development, the step into the fascinating world of AR was a natural one for Eon. The growing team of digital experts and creatives frequently utilise the emerging technology to help their customers grow and expand.
We spoke with Managing Director Matt Dass and Head of App, Design and Web James Cherry to discover more about how organisations can use AR to improve multiple facets of their business.
Firstly, can you explain was AR is?
Matt: People often get confused between augmented and virtual reality.
Essentially, VR is a fully-immersive, 360˚ experience. Usually, you need a headset and the idea is to transport the user to an entirely different realm.
Meanwhile, AR aims to enhance existing environments by placing virtual items into spaces, allowing us to improve, learn and understand more about the world around us.
Why is AR something we should be paying attention to?
Matt: Over the past few years, we have already seen the globe's biggest tech players invest in AR. Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are all looking into how they can utilise the technology in their products and operating systems.
James: It's safe to say that in the next few years, AR is going to be a massive part of our everyday lives.
Consumers are becoming a lot more aware of the technology as it becomes more and more accessible. It's bound to become one of the largest industries during the next decade.
This is why businesses must adapt and consider how they can take advantage of these new innovations.
Do you have any examples of how businesses can use AR?
Matt: IKEA Place is the perfect candidate - the app created by the iconic furniture store enables customers to virtually place true-to-scale pieces in their homes to see if they'll fit before committing to buying. Customers can then instantly purchase their desired items from the application.
James: Retail is one of the more obvious uses - L'Oréal Paris, Dulux and Specsavers are all incorporating AR into their marketing strategies.
However, we are starting to see its use within other sectors, including logistics, diagnostics and healthcare.
Matt: Education and training is another strong contender for AR. Some of Eon's clients have taken educational content we have developed in 3D and are now repurposing that for AR. It's a really engaging way to teach new skills.
We're excited by this as we're moving away from having the AR on a phone or tablet and towards glasses and headsets. This means we'll see remote diagnostics where someone wears a pair of AR glasses and the expert guides them through how to fix it by seeing what they see.
You can find out more about the creative media company's work on the Eon Visual Media website. In the meantime, if you would like to chat about utilising AR in your business, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, if you are interested in a corporate or company membership, get in touch with us at email@example.com.