Plenty of businesses in 2020 reached new heights in terms of popularity and revenue but augmented reality has made some major leaps and bounds within recent years through the release of popular consumer apps like Pokemon Go and HoloLens. As AR continues to grow in popularity and scale, it continues to disrupt a variety of industries; with everyone from healthcare, gaming, insurance, and education taking notice.
Currently, many industry leaders expect AR technology and its market share will surpass virtual reality (VR) markets within the next 3 to 5 years, according to a Perkins Coie study in 2019. Moreover, several businesses are already either beginning to leverage AR technology to their business or are at the very least; beginning to develop their own. So what industries are adopting AR now? And what are they specifically using it for? Let’s break down a few of those new industry adoptions, what they plan to do with AR technology, and how this could permanently change these business sectors for the better.
According to one study by the online tech blog Hacker Moon, 61% of shoppers prefer buying from stores that use AR technology. Moreover, 46% of store owners are now saying they’re looking to transition from virtual reality to augmented reality. AR allows shoppers to not only try a product before they purchase it, but allows them to see the product itself on a real-life scale and how it functions overall. This is great, as it allows your customers to make informed decisions about the products they’re purchasing, and gives your audience the appearance of transparency and honesty to your customers.
It isn’t just commerce that benefits from augmented reality, but the healthcare industry also has the potential to make major advancements through AR technology. One current estimation of the healthcare and AR industry states it will hit a value of $2.4 billion by 2026. One of the main ways AR is being used by the healthcare industry is through the use of blood draw. One of the AR software relevant by the medical industry uses the technology in order to overlay the circulatory system over a patient’s body. This improves the overall accuracy of the doctor and reduces the risk of patient injury. Moreover, AR can be used during surgery for safer practices and procedures. Some AR technology is able to even view the layout of the organs of the body. This allows for surgeons to make safer incisions, avoid post-surgery complications and bleeding, and make faster, life or death decisions in the act of surgery.
Undoubtedly, it is a tough time to be a teacher. Between the perils of the COVID-19 pandemic and its large effect on schools, to competing with smart devices for student attention; it’s difficult for educators to keep the reigns on their classrooms. One way teachers are combating these things is through the use of AR technology to teach in the classroom. 95% of teenagers, according to Pew Research Center in 2019; own a smartphone. This allows teachers to use this technology liberally, and to engage students in the lessons at hand. For one, teaching geography can be simplified by AR through the use of AR-compatible objects; which can utilize the technology in order to create realistic and detailed holograms for your students to study and use as a teaching tool. Additionally, AR can be a great way for students with learning disabilities to better and simplify their education. The hands-on technology can assist struggling students with grasping more difficult concepts or lessons.
Remember earlier when we mentioned Pokemon Go? This app was among the first to offer AR technology to the public, and if the numbers are anything to go by; it’s been a huge success for Nintendo. The overall microtransactions associated with Pokemon Go now amass more than $5 billion, with players spending $1.3 billion in 2020 alone. What this shows is when AR technology gets a hold on the public, it can be powerful at generating revenue for your company. Additionally, more game development studios are looking into the hype of AR every day. For one, it is simply easier for these companies to develop AR now due to the AR kits released by both Google and Apple. These tool kits streamline the process of development and simplify the overall development cycle associated with AR.
While it may seem surprising, even the insurance and home buying industry is now also using AR. There are several applications for AR in the insurance industry, but one of the main ones is the use of AR to assess both structural damage and wiring issues. Typically, this is done through smart device cameras which will use AR technology to overlay the wiring and structural layout of your home. From there, they can utilize the software to estimate damages; which in turn can lead to better, more affordable insurance rates and happier customers overall.