From bulky Nokias to sleek iPhones, mobile technology has skyrocketed in recent years. We’ve moved past the days where a simple game of Snake was all that our phones could take. As cell phones evolved into smartphones, their capabilities grew exponentially. For example, with a VR headset our phones can transport us to a completely new world, and with a camera, they can combine the real and imaginary to create an augmented version of both.
Virtual reality is something that brings back childhood memories of wishing we could jump into our favorite video games or movies and join the action, right there alongside the action heroes. It’s immersive storytelling in which you join the action, offering untold potential in terms of engagement. With virtual reality you’re no longer a spectator, you’re a participant.
When we pair mobile technology with devices like Google Cardboard, you arrive at VR all consumers can use. And if the consumer can use it, brands can produce it. Case in point, The New York Times and its NYT VR app, which became the most successful app launch in NYT history. That was back in 2015 — imagine what can happen today.
AR, like VR, utilizes the virtual in an effort to spice up what’s real. But unlike VR, AR augments your surroundings in a complementary interaction between reality and imagination. In other words, it’s a coexistence of physical and virtual.
Big players such as Apple, Google, Facebook, and Snapchat are already making strides in the AR industry. Apple introduced ARKit and Google rolled out ARCore, two collections of tools for developers who want to bring AR features in their apps, Facebook has World Effects, an AR feature for photos and videos that enable you to drop 3D objects into your surroundings to capture and share fun moments with your friends and family, and finally, Snapchat has, well, Snapchat.
The immediate popularity of apps like Snapchat and Pokemon Go have shown us that users not only want AR, they need it. To enter the AR market in 2018, brands need to understand how consumers will interact with the technology and where to make use of it in the customer journey. For example, they can start early and use it to promote their products by putting up flyers that jump out at you when viewed through an AR app. They can also copy IKEA, who created an app with AR functionality to show off their products in their consumers’ homes, and use it after consumers are already aware of their products.
Final Thoughts & TL;DR
Virtual and augmented reality are geared to be the two very important mobile technologies in 2018. One epitomizes immersive storytelling the other transforms the world around you into an enhanced version of itself. And here’s the Tl;dr version of what we covered today:
● Worldwide spending on augmented reality and virtual reality is forecasted to increase drastically because of advancements in mobile technology
● VR takes us back to our childhood and turns us from spectators to participants
● Pairing mobile technology with devices like Google Cardboard gives us VR all consumers can use
● VR can be used for marketing, advertising, and anything else you can think of because of its ability to increase brand engagement beyond anything else
● AR augments your surroundings in a complementary interaction between reality and imagination
● Big players such as Apple, Google, Facebook, and Snapchat are already making strides in the AR industry
● AR can be used anywhere in the customer journey to either introduce a brand’s products and services or promote them further
Enjoy experiencing these alternate realities!