How AR will spice up the communication channels for brands and individuals alike?
According to Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, AR is going to become as crucial to our daily lives as eating three meals a day.
As of now, AR is an innovative technology being used as a fun tool, but, it has incredible potential. In fact, the arrival of AR is likely to transform the ‘Communications’ arena. Whether it be the marketing communication, internal corporate communication or individual communication, AR will change it all.
AR in Brand Communication
A lot of brands are now coming to terms with the scope and impact of Artificial Reality on communication. The technology is already making a mark in enhancing the customers’ shopping experience. In the field of advertising, it offers incredible attention grabbing opportunity. AR based brand communication is bound to make people pay attention, and if used smartly, it would lead to fantastic brand recall and sales conversions.
A highly acclaimed integration of AR into brand communication came via Pepsi in the year 2014. The soft-drink giant installed AR tech in a bus-shelter in London. The people on the street felt as if a lion, UFO’s and other such things were moving towards them.
The aim of this installation was to highlight Pepsi’s exuberant personality and it gave the audiences an unmatched experience. The video of this campaign has gone on to garner more than 6 million views on YouTube, making it one of the most viewed advertisements on YouTube.
By coming up with this campaign, Pepsi underscored the impact that Augmented Reality can make if the company understands the target audience. It was not a compulsion for Pepsi to use AR for marketing their products. Rather, it was the belief that the audience would be delighted with the experience and make it viral. This would invariably lead to the brand buzz.
AR in customer experience
The core purpose of any technological innovation is to enhance the user experience. Augmented Reality has some truly transformational capabilities when it comes to enhancing customer experience.
We all purchase clothes in malls and major outlets and at some point or the other, we face the ‘Trial Room’ syndrome. On occasions of special sales or weekends, the waiting time outside the trial rooms and the inconvenience of trying out each piece of clothing, often results in sales abandonment.
This is where the Augmented Reality can be of real help as demonstrated by American brand Timberland in 2014.
They created a virtual gallery trial room that helped the potential customers see a virtual image of their own in various outfits as chosen by them. Imagine how comfortable and quick the shopping experience would become when such technology is used in stores all over the world. This would seamlessly serve as a powerful word-of-mouth brand communication strategy. People would relish the experience and recommend the brand to their personal and social media circles.
AR in individual communication
Augmented Reality’s impact is not only limited to brand communication, but, it is an equally potent technology for human interaction.
It has already been around in the form of IphoneX Emojis or Snapchat filters made famous by the iconic dog face filter used by Kylie Jenner.
These filters, Emojis and other AR based features are making interactions more interesting, and the possibility is limitless.
Imagine you haven’t met a friend living in another country 2000 miles away in many years. Now, using an AR headset, you are able to talk to him face-to-face in your own living room.
Or say there is an urgent need for board meeting in a corporate house, but, the board members are dispersed geographically, and an in-person meeting is not possible. That is where AR makes the difference.
Microsoft is soon coming out with Holoportation, a new feature that will soon be unveiled on its AR headsets. It is going to allow a user to enter someone else’s reality in a life-like, full-scale, 3-D form. Geographical boundaries would become complete obsolete courtesy of these AR based communication options. Also, talking to someone face to face in your living room is always going to be better than talking to a phone screen.
Augmented Reality is going to be the biggest transformation in communication. Whether it be brand marketing communication, a conversation with a family member or a corporate board meeting, everything will become AI driven.
Geographical boundaries of communication will become more meaningless than ever, and we will all be able to spice-up our interactions, the way we want them. These are certainly very exciting times and creativity is going to be the only limit. Seems like Tim Cook is right about the future!
Founder of Scanta