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We are being Invaded!!! AR and VR are taking over the world.

How AR and VR is the future of marketing and education

Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) bridge the digital and physical worlds. They allow you to take in information and content visually, in the same way, you take in the world. AR dramatically expands the ways our devices can help with everyday activities like searching for information, shopping, and expressing yourself. VR lets you experience what it’s like to go anywhere — from the front row of a concert to distant planets in outer space!

The basic difference between Augmented reality and Virtual reality is AR adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone. Examples of augmented reality experiences include Snapchat lenses and the game Pokemon Go whereas, VR implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world, eg. some popular brands that have already begun implementing VR in their business include: Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, and Gap. VR uses for these big names encompass offering a 360-degree experience of fashion shows and allowing customers to try on clothes virtually.

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According to Gartner, 84% of customers feel like brand experiences are just as important as the actual product or service that they’re buying.

Those same customers spend up to 40% more when brands engage with them via social media. What better way to create a brand experience than by immersing your audience in your brand’s reality? These are the memorable experiences that will build brand loyalty and social media interaction.

Augmented reality (AR) is becoming more common in social media. After Snapchat pioneered it, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok have launched their own lenses, filters, and effects. In the process, AR is showing its value not only for branding and entertainment but also for commerce.

Much of AR’s popularity is due to Snapchat, although Pokemon Go has certainly had its own great impact:

· Snapchat users can bring life to their updates with AR filters and lenses, and they can even create their own

· Snapchat users can play games with other users and friends with Snappables, which are essentially AR selfie games

· You can turn yourself into a 3D Bitmoji and insert yourself in the real world

· Plus, Snapchat recently released several features called Shoppable AR which allow brands to promote their websites and sign up pages, to share a video, and to get people to install their apps.

Considering how much AR is a part of social media today, the answer feels very obvious: augmented reality will continue to be a huge part of our everyday lives, including, of course, social media. And no-one will rejoice in this more than brands and marketers who will have new ways to promote themselves and their products or services in unique, exciting and engaging ways:

AR virtual stores on social media: consumers can already buy products via social media, but with AR, this could turn into a much more engaging experience. People won’t even have to visit a brands’ physical stores any longer — they’ll be able to step into your virtual store, try out your products and buy them directly online. It will be very interesting to see how many impulse purchases this will lead to!

AR at live events and concerts: what if you could attend an event from the comfort of your own home? Or play AR games with other fans? This technology is already being implemented by different organizations and brands such as the PGA Tour, for example; fans could download the AR app and start engaging with the event and the ShotLink player data in unique ways — all they really needed was their phone, the app, and a flat surface.

Live concerts take the virtual out of virtual reality, the intersection of slick virtual experiences and refreshingly raw live concerts. Concerts aren’t the only live events to get some 360-degree virtual love. Pro basketball is already broadcasting one game a week in VR, and professional hockey, racing, and baseball leagues are following suit with their own experiences.

AR videos: brands will be able to further engage their audiences by creating interactive AR videos; there are many different ways that they can use these videos, such as to show customers how to use their products or how to make the most of them. Or, if they’re selling a service of any kind, AR videos can help show people what the user experience would be like if they bought the service.

Poised to be a leading force in sales and marketing over the next decade, AR allows marketers to upgrade the experience offered to customers and therefore increase sales. Some examples include:

  • Furniture businesses that use AR allow users to choose household accessories and virtually arrange them in their own homes.

  • Companies selling eyeglasses or sunglasses use AR to allow customers to upload their own photos to “try on” the glasses virtually.

  • Makeup and hair products can be applied virtually in the same manner.

  • Likewise, clothing pieces can be tried on virtually by consumers uploading their pictures.

NASA scientists using virtual reality technology are redefining our understanding of how our galaxy works. Using a customized, 3D virtual reality (VR) simulation that animated the speed and direction of 4 million stars in the local Milky Way neighborhood. The VR and augmented reality (AR) worlds can help engineers across NASA and beyond. VR puts the viewer inside a simulated world, while AR overlays computer-generated information onto the real world.

Mixed reality technologies, like virtual reality headsets or augmented reality apps, aren’t just for entertainment — they can also help make discoveries on other worlds like the Moon and Mars. By traveling on Earth to extreme environments — from Mars-like lava fields in Hawaii to underwater hydrothermal vents — similar to destinations on other worlds, NASA scientists have tested out technologies and tools to gain insight into how they can be used to make valuable contributions to science.

Augmented reality already is heavily linked to social media because of Snapchat and more recently, Instagram and Facebook. Plus, these top social networks are very much encouraging people to not only use their AR features as much as possible but even to create their own AR experiences by giving them the tools they need to build AR camera lenses and effects. What is your take on AR and VR? Let me know in the comment box below, I would be delighted to know your take on this!

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