Museums Are Using Augmented Reality To Boost Entertainment Value
November 4, 2020
Museums are bringing new worlds to visitors like never before by using augmented reality to educate. Major museums, like the Getty Museum or the Louvre, have long been regarded as cultural epicenters. They are often frequented by thousands of tourists and locals every year. Today, museums are looking to not only educate and inform their visitors but also entertain and keep them engaged. This is especially true for smaller local museums that often do not get the same rate of visitors or revenue as major museums. The revolution of smartphones and tablets has meant that museums need to keep up with and integrate mobile technology into their exhibits. However, many museums are taking their technology a step further and incorporating augmented reality through games, apps, and recreating worlds with virtual reality. While using augmented reality and virtual reality as a form of entertainment might be new for museums, they often are already using such technology in their research and preservation methods. USING AUGMENTED REALITY TO RECREATE THE PAST Augmented reality is not necessarily new technology at this point, especially in the fields of research such as anthropology and archaeology. For many years now, augmented reality has been used to recreate worlds and artifacts that have vanished. Through augmented reality, researchers can discover more information about how past civilizations lived and can piece together more information about the past. It is often a tool employed especially in Egyptology and ancient archaeology, where much evidence is destroyed, incomplete, or missing. Artifacts that are destroyed or damaged can be scanned and turned digital so that researchers can try to recreate what the actual item could have looked like. One researcher is looking to adapt such advanced technologies into a more accessible version for tablets that can be a more cost-effective version of the technology so that researchers all over the world and average consumers can utilize the technology. AUGMENTED REALITY TO SMELL AND HEAR THE PAST Archeologist Stuart Eve is working to create an app that recreates ancient ruins as they originally looked. Eve wants to develop this even further and create an app that can also help users not just see what ancient ruins used to look like but also what they smelled and sounded like to give a truly immersive experience. Although a very rudimentary model now, Eve has developed an add-on of a tiny fan that would give off the smells that might have been present in the area and time period. A recording of the sounds of the area such as a crowded market or street would also be playing. Eve says that by using AR we can render simulations of the ancient world by using the real world as a canvas. Eve hopes that his device will further research and provide insight into how ancient peoples lived. This can help researchers understand how certain landscapes might have played a role in shaping civilizations and helps to give a more engaging and at-hand experience rather than just sitting behind a computer screen. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-120.jpeg] MUSEUMS ALREADY USING AR In addition to research, many museums are already using augmented reality for their visitor experience. * The Annenberg Space for Photography While the Annenberg Space has since had to permanently close its doors due to COVID-19, the small museum was once a gallery dedicated to using photography as a means to educate. In past exhibits, they utilized augmented reality and virtual reality to help enhance visitors’ experience. Its exhibit last year of photographs of Cuba and Cuban culture also included a virtual reality room where visitors could use VR goggles and feel as if they were standing in a busy street in Havana. * The Smithsonian Institute The famous Smithsonian introduced AR to help enhance the experience of one of its oldest and most famous exhibits. The museum’s Bone Hall has a massive collection of skeletons on display. Some have been displayed since 1881 and now they are coming back to life through the app Skin and Bones. First introduced in 2017, the app features 13 skeletons from the collection, and through the app, the creatures are reconstructed using superimposed images. Users can see how the animals would have looked and moved and can see the various layers of skin and muscle looks like over the bones. The app helps to educate visitors on how some extinct animals would have looked like and interacted in their environment. * The Cleveland Museum of Art Using augmented reality, the museum was able to bring a much more interesting and interactive experience for museum visitors. Using an app, visitors could view artifacts such as pottery as they once were in ancient times. * The Kennedy Space Center The ancient and extinct worlds are not the only ones coming to life through AR. The Kennedy Space Center’s Heroes and Legends exhibit is another great example of how AR can be utilized in museums to educate visitors about key moments in history. Using augmented reality, the exhibition uses holograms throughout to help visitors see and hear from actual astronauts talk about their work in their own words. * The National Museum of Singapore The museum used a game-like feature in their exhibit of the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings. Using an app on their phone or tablet, the visitors can explore the paintings and find plants and animals within the paintings. They can then add them to their virtual collection as they walk around the museum and they can learn facts about each plant or animal they find. * England’s Historic Cities While not an actual museum, England’s Historic Cities app is a great example of how augmented reality can help to promote and educate heritage sites in countries. Using the augmented reality app, visitors to the country can learn more about the famous heritage sites across the country such as the Roman Baths and Durham Cathedral. Famous historical figures like William Shakespeare act as virtual guides and information is superimposed onto the walls and artifacts at the sites. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-121.jpeg]Woman wearing vr headset augmented virtual reality in history city center. Concept of virtual museum. HOW TO GET VISITORS TO USE IT Museums everywhere seem to be embracing augmented reality as a way to revitalize their museums and enhance their visitor experience. However, it remains unclear if visitors are really embracing the technology themselves. PalaeoGo is looking into how museums, particularly natural history museums and national parks, can best implement augmented reality to their facilities. The group found that although many museums were using augmented reality through apps, it was not necessarily popular among visitors. They concluded that visitors were wary about downloading such a specific app that really only had use within the museum, and they were also concerned with data privacy. Museums can encourage visitors to download the app by: * Making it relevant outside of the museum – a big concern for users is that the augmented reality app will have no usage outside of the museum and will end up just taking up space on their smartphone or tablet. Incorporating other educational or game-like elements that can function outside of the museum can help to encourage them to download it and to continue to use it. * Gamifying its usage – Turning the app into an augmented reality game is a great way to get visitors to use it especially for children. This can help them have fun while at the museum and also helps to educate at the same time. * Being transparent with data usage – Before visitors download the app, it is a good idea to provide them with information about how their data might be affected. This includes letting them know about email subscriptions and offering an option to opt-out. Transparency about their information can help them feel more at ease with using the app. * Use it to advertise discount offers – An augmented reality app can also be a great way to encourage visitors to come back by offering discounts or deals if they download the app. Museums can also use the app to send offers to them. * Partner with another museum – Again, many visitors are wary of downloading an app that is limited in usage. To help encourage them to download it, museums can partner with one another to help make the app more versatile and is great for visiting tourists to be able to use the same app at different museums and sites. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-122.jpeg] AR AND OUR EVERYDAY LIVES Many aspects of our everyday lives are using augmented reality. Museums are one of many industries that are embracing augmented reality to help enhance their visitor and user experience. Everywhere you go bits of augmented reality are incorporated into our lives. Most smartphone users already have augmented reality apps like games or shopping apps. You can even use augmented reality to shop for a car as companies like RelayCars are making virtual showrooms the new norm. Shoppers at stores like Ikea and Target can see how a piece of furniture will look in their home before even purchasing it using augmented reality features on their shopping apps. Augmented reality is allowing us to not just enhance our real-world experience, but also is allowing us to visit the worlds of the past. Through augmented reality museums are bringing the past back to life and using it to educate a new generation in a way that keeps them engaged and curious.
7 Amazing Ways Marketing Reality was Augmented
October 30, 2020
Augmented reality is quickly becoming a “daily use” technology, especially as more comfortable and wearable devices hit the market. Affordable glasses or contact lenses could make what is now a novelty tech become as common as the smartphone. Just because it is still in the developing phase, doesn’t make this tech any less interesting to marketing firms. There has already been a significant increase in the use of augmented reality in games and the workplace. This market is an expanding one, and that makes it important for companies to include in their marketing. Augmented reality also has some significant usage statistics: * It can hold the attention of users * Interaction is increased (over other media forms) * Sales or conversion rates increase (likely due to the realistic experience and engagement) Right now, it has the ‘cool’ factor of being a fun and novelty technology that can create some impressive visuals and interactions. As technology develops, it is possible that conversion rates could reduce. For those already experienced in augmented reality marketing, this will mean needing to develop more unique ways of adapting this tech to attention-grabbing marketing campaigns. So, let’s take a look at some examples of how this can be done. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-114.jpeg] WEATHER – MAKING BORING ATTRACTIVE For some time, weather forecasters have used the green screen to try and add some interesting elements to their forecasts. However, mostly these have remained fairly dull. Augmented reality through a system called Max Reality makes the forecast far more interesting. It also adds an element of freedom, meaning that the reporter doesn’t need to be in a studio and can instead be at a different location for each report. It can add augmented reality elements, including clouds, 3D looking displays, or even instantaneously surround the presenter with flood water to give a clear view of how high water levels will be. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-115.jpeg] HOME DECOR Companies are using augmented reality to show potential buyers exactly how things would look in their homes before they buy. In most cases, this is achieved via an augmented reality app. The app allows the customers to see their home via the camera, with augmented changes as they are selected. In this case, they could put a lamp on the dining room table, or a sofa in the corner to see how it would look. It is even possible to test out paint or wallpaper colors before making any ‘real’ changes. This kind of app is fun but also fantastic at increasing conversion rates. This is because doubts are removed, or decisions made clearer, once the customer is able to see what the result will look like before they invest any time or money. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-116.jpeg] CLOTHES AND MAKEUP SALES People generally enjoy looking good. It is a driving force behind fashion and cosmetics. There literally couldn’t be a better way to convince someone to buy, than showing them how good they could look. With makeup and clothes, this is done through special photography apps or smart mirrors. Systems such as Modiface convince users by not only showing how they could look but also by adding additional information. They combine AI for “3D facial micro-feature tracking tracks movements and expressions through 68 non-identifying parameters” and augmented reality to show how new hair colors, makeup, etc. will look in real-time. Clothing companies are also doing similar, with smart mirrors that allow customers to instantly try on numerous styles and without ever needing to change clothes. It is convenience that sells! And, with the latest mixed reality technologies, the systems could even accurately measure clothing sizes. SHOE SALES Clothes and makeup are not the only fashion segments utilizing augmented reality in their marketing. Shoe and sneaker sales is a massive industry. It is also one that is fairly easy (compare to some) to market via augmented reality, Timberland provides its buyers with the simplicity of a virtual fitting room, allowing customers to ‘try on’ many styles instantly. Of course, as they produce a lot more than only shoes, this is a magic mirror style technology, but that can also be used from a phone or tablet. Footlocker, on the other hand, has brought their in-store marketing to life with augmented effects via a Snapchat AR advertisement. It is almost like you are seeing the stars of sports in the same room. AUGMENTED TOURS Visiting famous places is always on people’s bucket lists. While in some cases it’s a dream that will never come true, others just need the extra push to be persuaded to convert their dollars into experiences. Virtual tours are available for all sorts of major attractions, from football stadiums to the most ancient temples. However, these virtual tours often help to increase the desire to visit, leading to more sales. Of course, for those that could never afford the trip, they are also an amazing way to experience places that could otherwise remain forever unseen. CAR SALES – SEE YOUR DREAM Although virtual reality and augmented reality has been used throughout the automobile sector for a while, it is only recently that the front end of sales is starting to strongly adopt this technology. From virtual showrooms to augmented reality apps that put the car in front of your house, the possibilities are almost endless. In many dealerships, the option to view cars virtually is a nice added feature, especially for vehicles that are not in stock or currently on a waiting list. Augmented reality can also help sales staff to upsell easily, as it allows clients to see exactly what the added trim levels or features look like. Overlaid information assists further, by highlighting the key features, even allowing for examples of workings or exploded views of complicated areas (such as the engine). [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/image-117.jpeg] THEATRES – MAKING DRAMA MORE DRAMATIC This is certainly not a new thing for theatres to be using, as AMC started with interactive posters quite some time ago. Their app not only allowed posters to suddenly deliver previews but also for customers to buy or ‘pre-request’ tickets to the movies that impressed them. Today, the ways that companies are marketing movies with augmented reality is inventive and interesting. From the Justice League Facebook effects to Jumanji experiences via Snapchat, the cinematic experiences are not only becoming more realistic, but more in-depth with added content and features. WHY IS AUGMENTED REALITY MARKETING SO EFFECTIVE? Augmented reality is about as close to being able to ‘create reality’ as it gets. Until there is a time when holographic images can be solid and the world becomes truly virtual, augmented reality is the next best thing. It works so well for marketing because it is both simplistic and ‘real’. Instead of needing to understand lots of technical things, or use controllers, etc., virtual reality simply changes what we see in the real world and grabs our attention by doing so. Mixed reality is also making augmented reality advertising both more interactive and accurate. Objects can appear as the size they would be in that actual environment, and they can interact through touch, motion, or even with other real objects in that scene. It allows customers to try, test, or experience the products they are interested in, without needing to commit to the purchase. As customers can test out things fully before committing, they are also more likely to be satisfied with whatever they do decide to buy later. For those without time, or unable to travel as easily, augmented reality also provides convenience. It can often be used on mobile phone devices or special headsets. As most people have a smartphone nowadays, this allows for augmented reality experiences from anywhere and by anyone with a phone. This technology also adds information to otherwise simple or uninteresting scenarios. Business cards and posters can pop with animations or information jumping out of them, and even showroom tours can have car information overlaid on the real world car viewing experience. It truly helps create an informed buyer! CONCLUSION When done in the right way, augmented reality is a great tool for marketing. It is useful for showing off a product, giving a sample experience of a place, or even to test driving a car. It also has good potential for the campaign to go viral. When done in a clever way, such as the advert for Shadowhunters above, it surprises people and makes them laugh. It truly can take your marketing audience out of their automated comfort zones and sit up to pay attention to what your campaign has to say.
How is Virtual Reality Transforming Digital Marketing in 2020?
August 14, 2020
With all of the time we’ve spent online during lockdown, brands are looking for innovative ways to reach and engage their target audience. Virtual reality is building a new and exciting framework for marketers and consumers to connect. Your branding strategy has the power to set the tone for your entire enterprise. If you want to expand your business in 2020, keep these VR digital marketing tips in mind. WHAT IS VIRTUAL REALITY? Virtual reality (as well as augmented reality) are predicted to generate more than $29.5 billion in revenue this year. This exploding industry is taking over, allowing people to experience brands in a completely new and exciting way. In short, virtual reality is a combination of software, apps, and devices that allow the user to immerse themselves into the digital world. VR, as a platform, can be accessed via mobile devices, auxiliary headsets, projections, and more. There are a variety of different ways to incorporate this tool into your digital brand strategy, including: Co-branding and cross-company partnerships using video games, mobile apps, and online programs 360-video and image ad campaigns “Holoroom” product and service testing Headset-enabled immersive presentations and interactive media Depending on the level of “reality” you’re looking for, you can use a noise-cancelling headset that provides complete audio and visual immersion. Or, you can opt for a hybrid experience using a 360-degree digital projection. Virtual reality can transport you to a digitally created vacation, or it can help you to alleviate pain and stress using adaptive technology. VR is expanding into a wide range of realms and industries, and digital marketing is taking advantage of the boom by tapping into the consumer desire to obtain an “experience.” The best part of this revolutionary tech is the flexibility it provides, making it an adaptable strategy for any type of business or brand. No matter what you’re offering or the type of products you’re selling, you can use VR to help your brand stand out in 2020. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/virtualrealitydigitalmarketing.jpg] HOW CAN VR BE USED IN SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING? Social media has taken over the digital marketplace, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, virtual reality is perfectly adaptable for most of the top digital networking platforms. 360-DEGREE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS Have you ever scrolled past a Facebook post that shifted with the movement of your hand? This eye-catching social media tool has been around for a while, but it’s a useful tool for keeping social media users on the page for just a bit longer. Using Oculus technology, users can view a 360-degree video or image by moving their phone to see the entire image. This allows them to experience the content on their feed from the poster’s point of view. REAL-TIME FILTERS Filters are everywhere, adorning profile pictures and direct messages. But, they’re more than a fun way to spice up your newsfeed. Businesses are using custom filters to promote and increase visibility for their brand. Face filters cross over into augmented reality, since they superimpose an image onto the user’s face without replacing existing “real” features. This tactic is an extremely useful way to amuse your audience AND promote your business, especially among Gen Z. As the world’s first “truly digital” generation, this group is becoming one of the most powerful consumer demographics. Attract this audience by speaking their language (and tapping into their love of experiences over material products). VIRTUAL PRODUCT TESTING Wouldn’t you feel more confident about making an online purchase if you could try it on first? Whether you prefer online shopping or are simply staying out of stores during the pandemic, this feature provides potential buyers with a way to see what they’re getting before they buy. From glasses to clothing to makeup, brands are using this tool to help buyers solidify confidence in their purchases. Increased buyer confidence can easily translate to improved brand loyalty, which can fast track the growth of your enterprise. The use of VR tech to help customers try out product inventory also increases the shoppers’ tendency toward impulse buying. Since more than 80% of shoppers do some online research before they buy, this is an excellent tactic for brands to pad their consumer pipeline. VIRAL VR Did you know that VR is making it easier than ever for brands to jump on viral trends? Staying relevant is key for social media marketing, and virtual reality is another way to bring pop culture and hot topics into your branding campaign. As we saw with the success of the Lexus Quantico 360-degree ad campaign, virtual reality is just another avenue for achieving internet fame. Now is the time to jump on the bandwagon and increase your brand’s social networking base by adding another dimension to your marketing plan. Stunning imagery, high-quality graphics, and fluid usability are critical if you want to achieve viral fame with a VR ad. The more exposure the better, so this great tactic for businesses and brands of any size or scale. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/virtualrealitydigitalmarketing-1.jpg] IS VIRTUAL REALITY ACCESSIBLE FOR EVERYONE? While you might opt to choose from the range of tools and programs that are compatible with a VR headset, there are ways to create a virtually immersive experience for every customer. Despite the costs associated with auxiliary VR equipment, providing a shared set can also pose health and safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, there are few ways to use this technology in a way that’s accessible for everyone. If you want to use virtual reality to improve your marketing efforts in 2020, some simple solutions include 360-degree video advertising and virtual walkthroughs. VR marketing methods can also be incredibly affordable for advertisers, as many platforms are app or browser-based. Instead of building a full apparatus to provide customers with an immersive experience, marketers can simply tap into their audience’s social media feeds via targeted advertising. Or, brands can offer a digital experience to customers via login code or app download link. Many popular VR methods and programs only require a mobile phone, with or without affordable add-ons like Google Cardboard. Customers can assemble their own viewing devices, and this is a method that allows everyone to obtain the same experience. This method is ideal for VR apps or optimized videos that show off everything your company has to offer. [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/virtualrealitydigitalmarketing-2.jpg] WHAT IS INTERACTIVE ADVERTISING? Interactive advertising incorporates a variety of user-driven actions, including quizzes and QR codes. But virtual reality tools have opened up a completely new, untouched landscape for marketers to reach their target audiences. Using VR, brands can create advertising that’s truly interactive and fully immersive. As important as it is for brands, advertising is a hit-or-miss topic for many consumers. The standard American shopper’s attention span is becoming shorter and shorter, which makes it more important than ever to grab your audience’s attention immediately. Just like video marketing grew to supersede still imagery, virtual reality advertising is adding another layer to advertising efforts that’s proven to increase brand growth. The goal of advertising has always been to create a sense of need or want in the target consumer. To do this, marketers often use videos and images to create an idyllic scenario to lure in potential buyers with happy, positive energy. Brands can use virtual showrooms, stages, and digital scenarios to paint a picture their audience would want to become a part of. In this environment, every audio or visual element can be tailored to fit the specific goals of your marketing campaign. Using virtual reality, you can truly build an environment that makes each and every consumer see your product or service in the best possible light. They can imagine themselves as an active user of your brand, which has been proven to influence shoppers both in brick-and-mortar stores and online. VIRTUAL REALITY MARKETING AND TELECOMMUTERS Did you know that pay-per-click advertising increased by more than 35% during the COVID-19 lockdown? More people staying home has equated to more time spent online, and this means that there’s never been a better time to try innovative digital marketing techniques. As offices continue to move to a remote business model, teams are required to adapt to an increasingly digital marketplace. Even prior to the lockdown, more than half of all companies around the world provide some telecommuting flexibility for their workers. VR is giving remote workers and managers an easier, clearer way to communicate and collaborate during conference meetings – no matter there they’re based. Remote educators are utilizing immersive experiences to teach their students, while healthcare workers are using holographic projections to practice procedures. The possibilities are endless, and remote workers are at the forefront of this innovation. Whether you want to sell a furniture set or you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, virtual reality is becoming one of the fast-growing digital tools for marketers. Build the perfect campaign for your business and your target audience by creating a digital world that consumers will want to be a part of. Give your marketing plan a facelift and expand your company’s reach by integrating VR into your digital branding strategy.