What Are the Applications of Augmented Reality in Business?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen
Woman holding a disc
Woman holding a disc

Effective uses of Augmented Reality (AR) in business often depend a great deal upon creativity and ingenuity, since many of these applications are still being developed. One simple use for AR is in the creation of business cards that provide additional information and make a dramatic impact. There are also services and applications being developed in which digital information can be provided to someone based on location; this might include indicators of local restaurants and other businesses. Marketing and advertising has already begun to develop uses of augmented reality in business, and this is likely to continue into the future.

The use of augmented reality in business can be difficult, since this technology is still developing and is likely to continue to do so for some time. A few practical uses have been found so far, however, which can greatly increase visibility for a person or company. Business cards, for example, can be created that include AR markers, which display virtual images and animations when viewed through a proper device such as a computer or smart phone. The development of augmented reality in business cards may still be seen as something of a gimmick, however, so the digital assets used should be meaningful.

Many uses of augmented reality in business are dependent upon the type of product or service a company provides. Businesses in the food service industry, for example, may be able to use AR technology with smart phones that include Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking. Applications have already been developed that allow people to use their phones to view the area around themselves and see digital advertisements for nearby restaurants or nightclubs. Manufacturers can also use augmented reality in business to include markers on packaging that provide additional information about a product through AR or act as a mobile advertisement.

Applications of augmented reality in business are likely to follow these kinds of trends, as there are not many direct uses that provide additional value. Marketing and advertising are, perhaps, the most attractive areas in which this technology can reach people and make a difference on buying choice. Beyond the initial "wow factor" of what AR creates, there are few applications in which people are likely to buy one product over another simply because of an AR marker on a label. Commercials through AR, however, can effectively be used to make an impact and create market recognition for a consumer. Augmented reality in business is often considered to be a new medium through which advertisers and producers can reach an expanding audience through non-traditional means.

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