Projection Mapping

Three Types of AR Your Business Can Implement Today

The number of businesses adopting augmented reality has spiked over the last couple of years. Whether it’s to appease demanding consumers, to aid in employee training, or even to enhance everyday operations, augmented reality offers businesses limitless opportunities to improve.

AR is essentially the bridge between the physical and the digital worlds and is already actively being used by forward-thinking brands to give them an edge in their respective fields. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at these three forms of augmented reality to hopefully inspire you to incorporate this innovative technology into your existing business activities.

Marker-Based AR

Marker-based AR uses pre-determined digital “markers” that trigger events when interacting with the AR application being used. In terms of business uses, perhaps the most common example of marker-based AR is the humble barcode. For years, retailers have used barcodes as a quick way of gaining simple information on an item being scanned and, today, barcodes are rapidly becoming replaced by more modern QR codes, which provide consumers with an easy way to learn more about the product they’re scanning.

Moving away from the retail side of things, businesses have also successfully incorporated marker-based AR in conjunction with wearables like Microsoft’s HoloLens to optimize their employee training programs and offer more comprehensive learning experiences.

Markerless AR

As the name implies, markerless AR doesn’t rely on any markers to trigger AR events. Instead, the technology uses data obtained from sensors and cameras to understand a user’s surroundings and deliver appropriate responses. While perhaps the most common form of markerless AR can be found in navigation apps, businesses have started implementing this technology to help with things like real-time product visualization and advertising. Real-time product visualization has been used by brands like IKEA to allow users to use a mobile device to scan areas in their homes and virtually place furniture to give them an idea of how it would look and fit.

As for advertising, markerless AR transcends marker-based AR, due to the fact that it’s not dependent on markers, and offers an interesting take on traditional print advertising. Moreover, the increasing popularity of wearables like HoloLens hint at the possibility of a future in which consumers would be able to freely pick and choose the marketing experiences they’re exposed to as they go about their daily lives.

Projection-Based AR

The most common form of projection-based AR has been in projection mapping, wherein content is projected onto real-world surfaces; adding new dimensions and changing the way we look at everyday objects. Fast forward to today and projection mapping has evolved to the point where users are even able to interact with the projections, made possible through the use of specialized projectors like Lightform. These next-gen projectors are able to project interactive elements onto practically any surface imaginable, instantly turning them into interactive elements with a whole host of potential uses.

While this form of AR is still in its early stages, there’s no doubting the myriad of opportunities it presents for business activities such as marketing and product development.   While we’ve barely scratched the surface of AR’s potential, there’s no doubting that the technology is soon to play a significant role in multiple industries. So, why not start now? Manchester-based Untitled Project are experts when it comes to HoloLens, Lightform projection, and AR in general. Get in touch with them today to find out how you can get a jump on the competition.