Brands Are Finally Embracing Augmented Reality, But Not Without Speed Bumps

by MR Magazine Staff

Pokémon Go and a dancing hot dog: two augmented reality stars that burst into the tech universe over the last two years. One hundred million people downloaded Pokémon Go. And the hot dog, which was a Snapchat filter, has been so popular that Snap recently turned it into a plush doll. For retail brands, AR also is a natural fit. Retailers like Wayfair, Lowe’s and Ikea are using AR to help consumers place scaled versions of their products in their homes. Using a phone’s camera, customers can pick a couch, set it anywhere they’d like in their home and see how it looks. But as these companies venture into AR, they’re finding that replicating the success of a dancing hot dog isn’t as easy as firing up a grill. AR presents brands with challenges like mass adoption and ease of use, plus the added challenge of solving a consumer’s problem when he or she is trying to buy a product. “This technology is still very new for people,” said Josh Shabtai, director of lab productions and operations at Lowe’s. “[But] over time they get more comfortable with it … as more of these applications come out.” It’s not entirely up to Lowe’s to teach AR either. Shabtai explained that some parents expressed more interest in playing with AR after seeing their children use Pokémon Go. For Lowe’s, the home improvement store said it scores a 104 percent higher conversion rate when customers interact with 3-D objects in its app compared to those who didn’t. Read more at Adweek.