Immersive technology is versatile and varied, offering a whole range of practical uses that make our lives easier, from virtual events to AR apps. In our ‘Quick guide’ blog series, we take a look at some of the services we offer here at Immersive Studios to help you understand the types of experiences available – and how they benefit you. Here we explore how AR experiences enable brands to bring an exciting mix of the real and the virtual to their audiences, from turning a static stand into a 360º video to enabling virtual configuration of a physical car.
What is AR?
Augmented reality is when digital elements are overlaid into a real-world environment to create an overall experience that blends virtual with physical. Viewed through an AR headset or via a mobile device with a camera, AR can either add a layer of content to an already existing object, such as data, facts, stats or images; or it can place a new virtual object in the real world, for example a new car that’s yet to be released. Experiences can be triggered from a marker, from a tracked object or spawned without a marker.
Why use AR?
AR enhances the world around us. It gives users an interactive and explorative way to access content that’s both fun and playful, and it’s uniquely practical – enabling you to access large amounts of content from something tiny, or even from something that isn’t there at all. All users need is a mobile device with a camera, which makes it easier to engage a wide audience.
What are the benefits of AR?
Drives engagement and conversions
AR is popular because not only is it genuinely useful, but it’s fun too. With AR apps, you can try on clothes without leaving the house or measure up a room with just your phone camera – so it’s no wonder it’s predicted to change how we interact with different sectors, from commerce to healthcare. And because it’s entertaining, it not only gets the viral buzz but its interactivity drives engagement too, which in turn boosts conversions – making it a win-win.
To access an AR experience, all you need is a smartphone or tablet with a camera. And with the onset of web AR experiences, sometimes you don’t even need to download an app. This makes AR instantly accessible and highly engaging, with experts projecting that AR users will reach 3.5 billion by 2022.
AR is hugely flexible – a single experience can trigger all sorts of different content, which gives organisations and brands a wide range of options. Whether educational, entertainment or experiential, AR experiences can include:
• 2D and 360º video
• 2D and 3D animation
• 3D objects
• Interactive elements.
Which is why we’ve seen it used to great effect across the gaming, healthcare, education, manufacturing and retail sectors. Take a look at some of the AR experiences we’ve created.
App AR or web AR?
You can access AR experiences in two main ways: through a dedicated app downloaded onto a mobile device or via a web page. We generally recommend building an app as this method offers greater and more reliable functionality, provides a higher quality of experience and doesn’t require an active internet connection at the time of use – so if you’ve already downloaded the app you can use it anywhere.
Web AR is another form of augmented reality, where you can access an experience on your device using just an internet connection and a web page. As the technology stands, web AR is not yet as advanced as app AR, so you cannot equal the same level of quality or interaction – but it can provide basic experiences without the need for a native app to be downloaded, meaning it’s easily accessible without the need to download an app. We’re equally happy building both.
How do we do it?
We’ve been creating AR experiences for many years – building up expertise and knowledge as the technology has evolved. Whether you’re looking for a marker-based or markerless experience, for web or for app, our team of modellers, developers and creatives know-how to build an effective and engaging AR experience for your organisation using the very latest technology.
After studying Fine Art at university, Jason moved into sales and marketing. He’s worked both client and agency side and has over 20 years’ experience of business development in the marketing sector, working with brands such as GSK, Linden Homes, Centre Parcs, Triumph and The University of East Anglia. Jason is a husband, father to two boys and, when time permits, enjoys cycling and paddle boarding.
More from the Knowledge Hub
Do you have a message you want to convey? A situation that needs simulating, or an audience that needs reaching? Whatever your challenge – we have the ideas, the experience, and the equipment to help.