How companies can use Augmented Reality

Published on

September 28, 2017

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#Fachartikel #Computerwoche #Augmented Reality #Virtual Reality #Nico Rehmann

Augmented Reality has so far been more of a term used in the video game industry. However, companies can also use the new technology to attract new customers and better present the advantages and features of their products. Business processes within the company can also be facilitated in this way 

Augmented Reality

can occur in many forms, but in general, technology is a digital extension of the real world. While Virtual Reality creates a completely new digital world, Augmented Reality adds only digital elements to the real world. 

IKEA has taken advantage of one possible application of the technology. The furniture store's supplied catalogue, like its website, now offers customers the opportunity to view the products digitally in their own homes before buying them. For example, if a customer is interested in a cupboard from the Swedish company's product range, all he or she has to do is use his or her smartphone camera to take a picture of the wall on which the cupboard is to stand, and with the help of the augmented reality provided by IKEA, the cupboard will appear there with real dimensions. The customer can then determine whether there is enough space for the product and whether it matches the colour and shape of other pieces of furniture. 

Fashion companies also already offer catalogues that contain scanable areas next to the items of clothing. There the customer can obtain additional information about the product on the Internet and order directly online. The process becomes more convenient for the customer and thus increases the probability that he or she will buy a product. 
Augmented Reality can also be used within the company. For example, Google Glasses can show logistics staff in the warehouse directly where a particular part is located and in what order the orders must be processed. 

However, there are still some restrictions on the use of augmented reality. Since many areas do not yet have 3D support, objects in Augmented Reality can almost always only be displayed in 2D. The right approach is also crucial: only as a gimmick will Augmented Reality not be worthwhile for companies. It must offer real added value for the business process. 
An important, unresolved issue in the area of Augmented Reality is data protection, especially from customers. Is a company allowed to keep data obtained from Augmented Reality and use it for marketing purposes? There are many scenarios in which this data can also be misused. 

As always, a new technology has its advantages and disadvantages, the way it is handled will be crucial.

The entire article was published here by Nico Rehmann at Computerwoche.

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