Augmented reality is growing up

Thu, 14/01/2021 - 11:30

While it has been around for years, augmented reality apps have failed to make any significant dent in the overall consumer experience. Brands have tried augmented reality games, Google has implemented augmented reality search via Google lens, but we still haven't seen much of a needle move. 

So, why isn’t it working?

There are many reasons for the AR’s failure to 'blow up', some centred around the technology itself, others around the implementation, but what it all boils down to is the user experience. AR is just unwieldy at this point. Most experiences require an app, and most experiences are downright gimmicky or useless, one-hit wonders with very little traction and no consideration for AR UX guidelines.

A very similar thing happened with photo-sharing apps. Sites built their bespoke solutions, several massive platforms grew up, and either died out or became highly specialised. We’re going through the same process with AR. We know there are innovative AR apps out there, but we need that one killer app. We need the Instagram of AR.

What if AR had good UX?

Pokemon GO did show us that if AR is done right, it can have amazing results. Pokemon GO has grossed $1 billion in profits in 2020 so far, the highest since its launch. An existing franchise with a well-understood mechanic (catching Pokemon), considered augmented reality design and a simple user experience all contributed to a platform that still has people playing (albeit in a slightly limited fashion these days – Nintendo is addressing this).

Will this success translate into the brand/consumer space? The folks over at Snap seem to think so, and there are some heavy-hitting investors that agree. Snap will create a space where brands can create sponsored lenses (think Instagram filters), allowing consumers to see themselves wearing brand apparel or participating in branded games. The revenue prediction? $4 billion in the next several years. Welcome to the AR killer app (we hope). Who knows, maybe this could be one of the biggest marketing trends for the coming year.

To get the conversation going about using AR in digital marketing for your business, contact the specialists at Rogerwilco. Our experience in augmented reality, marketing strategy, and UX design will prove valuable to your bottom line.


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