Augmented reality applications and gradually witnessing mainstream adoption and are witnessing rapid traction among consumers. Augmented reality (AR) generally portrays as a real time hub and integrated combinations of text, graphics, audio and several other enhancements to customer screens and showcase real-world objects. With increasing uptake of social media, Augmented Reality application providers are focusing on developinga location-based services for mobile devices.
Typically consumer use Augmented Reality “hardware” which include smart phone with GPS, camera, compass, and tilt-sensing technology all integrated under a single platform. This augmented reality applications is gradually witnessing traction among retailers, as customers are using this to find locations or products with maps and directions; customers are also using the same to search in-depth information about certain products. Retailers use this as an opportunity to contextualize products and send personalized promotional messages to their potential clients for upselling and cross selling.
Tier 1 retailers continue to experiment with Augmented Reality applications in-store, online and on mobile devices. Globally the retail space is increasingly becoming overcrowded and customers are not responding to traditional marketing methods. That’s where augmented is pitching in. As shoppers are preferring omni-channel strategy with combination of online, mobile, and bricks-and-mortar shopping for their convenience, brands and retailers has to think of new and innovative ways in which they can capture customer attention.
Examples of implementations include enabling customers to virtually try clothing online or in a "virtual dressing room" in the store or how jewelry would appear in certain lights and against certain skin tones., to enable shoppers to virtually try on their purchases quickly and easily.
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In terms of US$ market opportunity for providers, it’s still not more than US$50million in 2014; however Future Market Insights in its upcoming report indicated, with the phenomenal adoption of Augmented Reality applications for mobile devices, the retail opportunity is expected to grow at CAGR of over 35% in next few years.
In terms of application the retail opportunity can be split into, location search, and product search, accessing product information & receiving relevant promotional message.However FMI in the upcoming report highlighted that after initial hype of mobile based Augmented Reality around GPS, there have been development to develop richer and more graphic-intensive applications which is expected to drive. During forecast period, FMI predicts functionality is bound to expand its horizon to computer-vision-based location services (such as image and objection recognition) to deliver the ability to visually identify still and moving objects.
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FMI in the upcoming report highlighted that there are several options how vendor can tap this opportunity. Success of adoption of Augmented Reality among retailers will depend on their ability to use it as a means of Omni-channel shopping experiences rather than using it as a one of technology. Key vendors which were analyzed in the report are GoldRun; Iryss; Layar; Metaio; Total Immersion; Zugara.
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