BMW Launches New Art Car Augmented Reality Experience
September 17, 2021
The competition in the automotive industry has always been fierce. Throughout history, automotive manufacturers have used innovative technologies to stand out from their competitors. For example, the first car with a built-in air conditioner system was introduced by Chrysler in 1953. Years later, Nissan released the first car in the U.S. with a built-in backup camera. To this day, automotive manufacturers are still finding new and exciting ways to use advanced technologies. The automotive industry has recently embraced augmented reality, which is a technology that superimposes digital elements onto the user’s real world environment. This technology can enhance the user’s real world with images, sounds, or other digital elements. By superimposing these images on the real world, augmented reality technology blends the real world and digital world together. A number of automotive manufacturers are already using augmented reality technology, including BMW. In fact, BMW recently revealed that its newest venture into the world of augmented reality involves the company’s Art Car program. Here’s what you should know about this unique automotive augmented reality experience from BMW: WHAT IS THE BMW ART CAR PROGRAM? The BMW Art Car project was established in 1975 by Herve Poulain, a French race car driver who had the idea of turning a new BMW car into a canvas for an artist. Poulain, along with the founder of BMW Motorsports, Jochen Neerpasch, selected up-and-coming artist Alexander Calder as the first participant in the Art Car program. Calder accepted the invitation and created a unique design for one of Poulain’s BMW 3.0 CSL race cars. Calder was the first artist to participate in the BMW Art Car project, but he certainly wasn’t the last. Because the project was such a hit, BMW decided to continue it after Calder’s design was complete. Since the 1970s, a panel of international judges have been responsible for selecting other artists for the program. So far, 19 other artists have used BMWs as canvases as part of the Art Car project. Some of the most well-known artists in the world have participated in the program, including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Jeff Koons, and Jenny Holzer. Initially, the cars that were created in this program were used as race cars, but the head of the Art Car program has said that the focus has shifted. Now, the goal is to use these cars to advertise BMW’s commitment and connection to the art world. The cars are not available for sale. However, miniature versions of the first 15 designs were sold in BMW dealerships and select museums in the early 2000s. Several of the cars have also been featured in special exhibits throughout North America. But now, BMW has introduced a new way for consumers to experience the cars created in the Art Car program. How to Use Augmented Reality to Experience the Art Car Program [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/How-to-Use-Augmented-Reality-to-Experience-the-Art-Car-Program.jpg] HOW TO USE AUGMENTED REALITY TO EXPERIENCE THE ART CAR PROGRAM For the first time in history, consumers have an opportunity to see and explore all of the Art Cars in one place. All they have to do is download Acute Art, which is an augmented reality app available for smartphones and tablets. To access this experience, consumers need to open the Acute Art app and point their smartphone camera in any direction. Then, they can choose which one of the Art Cars they want to superimpose onto their real world environment. The app will use augmented reality technology to project a life-size, three-dimensional model of the selected vehicle into the user’s world. This gives automotive consumers the chance to get up close and personal with the Art Cars for the first time. Consumers can see what the vehicles would look like in their driveway, parked in their garage, or even in their living room. Because it projects a three-dimensional digital model of the vehicle, the app allows consumers to feel like they are standing in front of an actual car from the Art Car program. The digital model is far more realistic and lifelike than a still image. The best part is consumers can access this experience at any time, from anywhere. Thanks to augmented reality technology, all they need is a smartphone or tablet to play with BMW’s Art Cars. Only 10 of the 19 Art Cars were available when the app first launched. However, the full collection will be available soon since two new cars from the collection are added every two weeks. HOW IS BMW USING AUGMENTED REALITY TECHNOLOGY IN OTHER WAYS? Even though the app is fairly new, it’s already been deemed a success by BMW. One BMW executive even said that they may roll out additional features in the near future. This isn’t the only way that BMW is using augmented reality technology to gain a competitive edge over other automotive manufacturers. BMW’s other uses of augmented reality technology include: * Maintenance and Repair Assistance * Training * Virtual Showrooms * Head-Up Display Maintenance and Repair Assistance [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Maintenance-and-Repair-Assistance.jpg] MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR ASSISTANCE Augmented reality is used to assist auto technicians at select BMW dealerships. These technicians can put on a pair of augmented reality glasses to access the information they need to diagnose issues with a vehicle or make repairs. For example, if a technician is having trouble with a complex repair, they can use their augmented reality glasses to connect with remote automotive experts. These experts will be able to see exactly what the technician sees. They will also be able to project digital elements onto the technician’s real world environment to guide them through the process of diagnosing the issue and making the appropriate repairs. The technician can even use their voice to open and scroll through text documents such as user manuals while wearing the augmented reality glasses. BMW estimates that using augmented reality in this manner will speed up maintenance and repair visits by 70-75%. TRAINING BMW is one of many automotive manufacturers that uses augmented reality technology to train new employees. Employees who participate in these training sessions are asked to wear augmented reality glasses. The glasses are used to project visualizations onto the wearer’s real world environment. These visualizations guide employees through the process of assembling different parts of the BMW engine. Employees are shown a detailed visualization for each step in the process so they can easily follow along and understand what they need to do. There are several benefits to using augmented reality to train new employees. Using augmented reality in this manner allows BMW employees to complete training at their own pace. If they are struggling with a specific step in the process, they can spend more time learning about it before moving on. This ensures that every employee fully grasps the concepts that are presented in training sessions. Augmented reality also allows BMW to train more employees at once. Prior to augmented reality training, BMW had managers training one person at a time. But now, BMW uses augmented reality technology to train three employees at once. Managers are now responsible for supervising these groups of three and helping them use the augmented reality glasses to complete their training sessions. VIRTUAL SHOWROOMS Like many other manufacturers, BMW is also using augmented reality technology to power virtual automotive showrooms for consumers. In the past, automotive consumers had to visit showrooms in person in order to explore vehicles, learn about different models, and narrow down their options. However, augmented reality technology allows consumers to get the showroom experience without ever stepping foot inside an actual showroom. BMW consumers can use their smartphone or tablet to visit a virtual showroom powered by augmented reality technology. Inside this showroom, they can tour different BMW models just like they would if they were inside a real showroom. They can even look inside the vehicle to see what it feels like to sit behind the wheel of the car. This makes it easier for consumers to conduct online research and decide which vehicle they want to purchase. Automotive consumers no longer need to waste time visiting multiple dealerships to get the information they need. Now, they can simply visit a virtual showroom online and head to the dealership once they are ready to make a purchase. Head-Up Display [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Head-Up-Display.jpg] HEAD-UP DISPLAY BMW has used augmented reality technology to design innovative head-up displays for vehicles. This display will use augmented reality technology to project important information onto the windshield. This way, the driver can quickly look at the information without taking their eyes off of the road. A head-up display may show the driver how many miles they can drive before they run out of glass or how fast they are going. It can also project directions such as digital arrows or road signs to help drivers figure out how to get to their final destination. BMW also uses this technology to provide the driver with detailed descriptions about their surroundings. For example, the head-up display may use digital pins to tell the driver more about the buildings, streets, and businesses they are passing. This would come in handy if a driver is searching for something specific such as a gas station or coffee shop. These are some of the many ways in which BMW is already using augmented reality technology. Because these efforts have been so successful, it’s safe to say BMW will continue to find new and exciting ways to incorporate this technology into their business.
Best Augmented Reality Apps…for Fun!
August 25, 2021
Augmented reality experiences are used by companies and businesses to improve the user experience for online shopping or to create unique and immersive marketing campaigns that introduce consumers to a new product. These experiences can be used to help consumers virtually try-on products, view products in their home or even check out a new car. But augmented reality is used for entertainment, too. Augmented reality also can be used to help consumers to gain or to access information about the world around them. Let’s check out the best augmented reality apps to use for fun at home…and outside, too! BEST SCIENCE-CENTRIC AUGMENTED REALITY APPS Sometimes parents might stumble across cool apps because their kids use them for school. Augmented reality apps can help students–and anyone with a curiosity about their surroundings–to explore the world, dig deeper and learn more. These augmented reality apps use the camera to point at the sky, the ground, the trees and even little crawly bugs to uncover more beyond the two-dimensional photo. Check out these apps and experiences to explore nature, celestial bodies, and even the other side of the world. FLOOM Google’s Floom can only be used by those with an Android device. But this cool experience lets users dig a hole or whirl a portal to the other side of the world. What makes Floom so cool, though, is that the user actually digs the hole or the portal in their environment. Users then can see the other side of the Earth and explore their surroundings on the flip side. Floom lets users angle their portal or hole so they can explore different destinations from the same original place. SKYVIEW LITE Download SkyView Lite for free via Google Play or the App Store. The app lets users point their device camera at the sky to find constellations and other bodies in the night sky. Graphics will appear over the user’s view of the sky with information about the patterns of stars. While the main app is free, upgrades provide access to more features…but the upgrade is an extra cost. Gearbrain reviewed the app and explained that it also can display coordinates and other information. The site also explains that the app can be used during the day…and users don’t necessarily have to point the camera at the sky. Users can actually use the app anywhere to see the night sky. The app will ask the user’s permission to access location and other data. Of course, this app is probably more fun to use outside looking up at the night sky…but, again, anyone could use it from any location (even in a bedroom!). SEEK BY INATURALIST Not sure what plant lurks beneath your feet, use Seek to find the answer. What about that unique looking bird perched in a tree? Seek can identify both the bird and the type of tree. This app can be addicting for those who love to go out in nature and explore their surroundings. Seek is easy to use, too. A smartphone or tablet camera captures whatever it is the user wishes to identify. The user will need to hold the image on the screen as the app thinks. Then data will begin to appear that identifies the image. Users can find out the species and data of almost any living thing. Some insects, though, might be too tiny to identify. Students also can take challenges via the app! ANIMAL SAFARI AR Who needs the zoo for visiting animals? Use Animal Safari AR and the animals can appear anywhere. The app is free and takes users on a virtual safari. See a penguin, a zebra, a tiger, an elephant and more. Animal Safari also displays information about each animal. Users also can walk around any animal, feed them (virtually, of course) and hear the noises each one makes. Plus other cool features, too! While this app is available via the App Store, Google Play offers the app Safari Friends – AR Animal. SKIN & BONES This app is meant to be used within the Smithsonian Museum to put a visual depiction over the bones of animals displayed in the museum’s Bone Hall. However, the app also can be used with printouts of the exhibits…so individuals at home can use the app, too. With this app, users can actually see animals in action or what they looked like…plus other activities, too! ODDLY FUN APPS Not in the mood to learn something new? Sometimes it’s fun to just use an app that’s random…and weird. But fun. These apps aren’t really games. They are not necessarily instructional. However, they are fun nevertheless. One even helps find your car while another catches the Tooth Fairy! AR SPIDERS The app lets the user choose spiders that appear in their space…and, yes, users can interact with the spider. They can also record their interaction to mess with their friends or family. Arachnophobes beware! TRACING PROJECTOR This app lets users select any image to use as a sort of design map to trace the picture on paper. Draw anything in your surroundings. Or choose from images via the app. Tracing Projector also lets users record their drawing experience. Become an artist! While this app is available via the App Store, Google Play offers an app called Trace Anything…which is similar. UFO VIDEO CAMERA This app lets users record and create their own UFO video. No, those flying objects via the app aren’t real! But maybe friends think those UFOs are the real deal! TOOTH FAIRY CAMERA This app might be great for parents. Tooth Fairy Camera lets users create videos that feature the Tooth Fairy! Fly her around the home, then show children that the Tooth Fairy visited! FIND MY CAR The app for users that are prone to not remembering where they parked. Yes, this app is both fun and useful. The app instructs users to save their location…and the app will help find the car when the user is lost. Plus, users can set alarms via the app so they don’t run out of time on a parking meter! Best Augmented Reality Apps [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Game-On.jpg] GAME ON! Looking for more fun? Augmented reality integrates into many games for an immersive playing experience. While many gamers probably have already played well-known games like Pokemon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs, there are many more augmented reality games to play via apps. Here are five apps that augment gaming reality: AR DRAGON This game is a bit like a virtual Tamagotchi. Hatch and care for a dragon and drop it into the real-world environment. Users can play catch with their pet and even style their dragon. Users must be sure to feed their pet for optimum health and happiness. The app also notes that all dragons are unique! Speaking of the old-school Tamagotchi, there is an app for an augmented reality Tamagotchi experience. Check out My Tamagotchi Forever to care for this classic virtual pet! KINGS OF POOL This app is for ages 17 and up and lets users play augmented reality pools. Challenge friends or challenge the ‘bot. There are in-app purchases, but the app is free to download. SMASH IT! AR-STRESS RELIEF Should this be categorized under the oddly fun apps? Perhaps. But it’s also a game…and recommended for ages 12 and up. So what’s the object? Destroy everything! Smash objects in augmented reality. The app notes that this game is great for stress release. Had a hard day at the office? Maybe smash up the world in augmented reality…no harm done! DAGAME What is DaGame? It’s a racing app. It boasts that it features “epic music” as well as several different characters, “epic sound effects,” and more. The game was rated 4.9 stars from more than 20,000 reviewers! It’s recommended for ages 4 and up. BUILD A BRIDGE Engineers will love this game. The app notes in its description that it “…is a complex yet approachable physics-based puzzle game.” Players build bridges at different playing levels. Will the construction hold? Will it be built with the best material? AND THERE ARE MORE When looking for augmented reality apps, users are going to have to hunt through an extensive list. Augmented reality has seeped into games, random entertainment apps, store experiences, educational apps and more. Creating a complete list of available augmented reality apps would probably take up an entire book. Consumers can find so many ways to experience augmented reality, and the variety is incredible. There really is an augmented reality app for every user. Looking to solve a cube puzzle? There is an augmented reality app that was designed to help. Users also can download fitness apps that incorporate augmented reality. Run from zombies…and get a workout in the process! Augmented reality features also can project planets into an environment or draw graphics over a photo. Different devices all offer unique augmented reality apps. Want to explore this technology? Do a search and start enjoying the augmented fun!
How Businesses are Using Augmented Reality Features to Reach Customers
August 23, 2021
Snapchat is eyeing an augmented reality future, and the social media app already provides resources and tools to provide businesses with this enhanced user experience for advertising and marketing purposes. Bloomberg reported that Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok are among the other social media players that are incorporating this tech, too. While Snapchat might be at the forefront of this unique advertising and marketing experience, businesses are utilizing augmented reality across different platforms. Bloomberg also noted that NYX Cosmetics, Gucci and Lexus all recently launched augmented reality experiences. Here’s how businesses are using augmented reality features to reach customers and provide an immersive online shopping experience. How Businesses are Using Augmented Reality [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/NYX-Cosmetics.jpg] NYX COSMETICS Named for Nyx (pronounced like Nix) the Greek goddess of the night, NYX Cosmetics is available in retailers like Walgreens, CVS, Target, and Ulta. But customers can also order products online. NYX created an augmented reality experience via Snapchat as part of the debut of its Spring 2021 collection. The debut was in the midst of Covid, and many were probably still shopping online. AR.Rocks reported that shoppers could access the augmented reality experience via Triller (another app) to virtually test out products in a virtual pop-up shop. LEXUS Toyota launched the Lexus AR Play to preview its 2021 IS model; the sedan was revamped for 2021. Like many augmented reality automobile experiences, AR Play enables users to walk around the car, look inside and even open the trunk. Marketing Dive also reported that the app lets users see 3D mechanics of the car, including the engine and chassis. Users can even change the color. Where’s the ‘play’ in the app? Lexus AR Play also functions a bit like a virtual remote control car; users can drive their augmented reality vehicle in their own environment. No racing, though! The app is free for download via Google Play (for Android) or the App Store (for Apple devices). GUCCI Exclusivity can move merchandise, but it also can entice shoppers to try out augmented reality products, too. Dezeen reported back in March that Gucci launched the Gucci Virtual 25 sneakers, which could be previewed in augmented reality and then worn in photos for social media. The sneaker experience was a collaboration with Wanna, and Dezeen noted that the shoes could be purchased via Wanna or Gucci’s app for about $9 to $12. So what do sneakers look like? They feature neon green and pink uppers. In addition, Gucci’s “…double G logo is emblazoned both on the chunky blue sole and on a dial, which holds the shoes together in place of traditional laces.” This isn’t the only augmented reality experience from the luxury brand, though. Gucci also offers a virtual try-on experience via Snapchat for its Rhyton, Tennis 1977, Ace and Screener sneakers. Stylus explains that a lens is used via Snapchat for the experience; point the camera at the feet and check out the shoes! PRINGLES The chip maker used augmented reality to make popping open one of their cans even more delicious…and they entered the world of augmented reality before it really became popular. Back in 2010, Pringles cans in Asia experienced interactive World Cup games via the can! Users downloaded software and then focused their webcam on the Mr. Pringles logo to access the experience. The site Potato Pro described the experience: “In the first level, the can became the “mouth,” and the player could move the can to control the mouth to eat Pringles chips. In the second, the player could move the can to control a soccer player to kick.” The brand also recently launched an augmented reality game via Snapchat filters called “Floor is Lava.” The goal? Get the Pringles but don’t get burned by the lava floor! The lava-hot game is on-brand with Pringles’ line of fiery flavors. KELLOGG’S In the Middle East, Kellogg’s launched an augmented reality experience tied to its cereal Coco Pops. The experience is geared towards children; users simply use a smartphone camera to scan the box to enter a virtual jungle with Coco the Monkey. Blippar reports that children can explore two different worlds—Maya and Arabian—and they even get transported via “a chocolate vortex!” The experience includes games, puzzles, and more…kids can even wear virtual headdresses. HARIBOU Haribou, the candy-maker that offers those cute and tasty gummy bears, offered an augmented reality experience that transforms adults into kids! The augmented reality experience is through Instagram, and it makes adults sound just like a child. The campaign is called—appropriately!—Kids’ Voices. Adult lovers of the candy could share their childlike video through social media and possibly win a year’s supply of the fruity sweet gummy bears. BURBERRY Google Search AR might be a treasure hunt of augmented reality animals, anime characters and cars. But users might not know that some luxury brands—or at least ONE luxury brand—lurks in 3D search results, too. Through Google Search AR, users can preview Burberry bags via augmented reality. How will that bag look on the table? Check it out with the search component. Burberry also noted on its own site that users can place the bag up to certain outfits to see how the bag would complement the outfit choice. This could allow users to explore different colors with different dresses or maybe sit the bag next to a pair of shoes, too. CHANEL Many different cosmetics brands and stores allow users to virtually try on products like lipstick, blush, eyeshadow, etc. Chanel offers its own virtual try-on experience for lipstick, eyeliner and eyeshadow via its website. The experience requires webcam access to show the user’s face (this acts a bit like a virtual mirror). Using the camera, users can try out different Chanel products. PHILADELPHIA CREAM CHEESE Marketing Dive reported that shoppers in Britain can access augmented reality experiences via pointing their camera at a tub of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. The experience provides access to recipes and more via the Blippar app (which partnered with the brand). Ads for the cream cheese brand also can transport users to augmented reality experiences. M&M’S CARAMEL When M&M’s launched its new caramel filled candy back in 2017, it used augmented reality to create a unique and fun user experience. To check out the games and experience, users downloaded the free app Blippar. Marketing Dive explained that users located in the Big Apple could scan New York City billboards to open up the games. Others located elsewhere just needed to scan a package! The ARcade lets users play old-school arcade games with an M&M focus, of course! AUGMENTED REALITY ISN’T AS NEW AS CONSUMERS MIGHT THINK While augmented reality experiences might be adopted by more businesses to create immersive shopping options or to offer cool experiences, this technology was used for years by businesses who might have been a little ahead of their time. Consumers in Asia enjoyed augmented reality experiences in 2010 for Pringles. Now, though, these experiences might be savvier and more intricate. With Covid’s impact, businesses also might have embraced augmented reality to offer try-on experiences to customers when shopping in-person wasn’t an option. For example, while Ulta offered its GLAMlab back in 2016, shoppers today are still using it. And even if customers couldn’t physically try on the products during the pandemic, they still had a way to see if a color or product flatters their complexion. Shopping online could be less about guesswork. GLAMlab users could simply use their camera to show their face and then select the product they want to virtually try on. Instantly they could swipe on eyeshadow, lipstick, blush or even try on false eyelashes. They can even see how all these products look together. Shoppers who are looking for a new hair color also can preview different hues online via the GLAMlab. They can easily transform their hair into light blonde, chestnut and various hues of red. How Businesses are Using Augmented Reality [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Virtual-Try-On-Experiences.jpg] VIRTUAL TRY-ON EXPERIENCES COULD BE THE FUTURE What about clothes, though? While cosmetics can be previewed via augmented reality, some businesses might allow for virtual try on experiences with clothes, too. However, these experiences also could be the future. Maybe augmented reality allows us to have a virtual model representation of our body. Then we can try on different outfits and maybe the store can suggest sizing or even predict sizing. For now, though, there are many different augmented reality experiences available to the consumer. While many are available through apps, others might be hosted online. Shoppers might do a search of their favorite store to find out if any augmented reality experiences are offered. There also could be hidden experiences in Google Search. Not all the products, animals, characters and cars are listed. Google Search AR remains the ultimate augmented reality scavenger hunt. Users will have to do their own searches to find out if a brand or car has been modeled in 3D for an augmented reality experience. As augmented reality further transforms online shopping, consumers may discover new immersive games, virtual try on experiences, and more from their favorite brands and businesses.
How Audi Uses Augmented Reality
August 18, 2021
Throughout its history, the automotive industry’s success has relied heavily on its ability to capitalize on new technologies. From new safety features and infotainment systems to electric and self-driving vehicles, technology has played a major role in the evolution of the automotive industry. The newest technology to make waves in the automotive industry is augmented reality. This technology superimposes images, sounds, and other digital elements over the user’s actual surroundings. In other words, it blends elements of the digital and real world together. A number of automotive manufacturers are already using augmented reality technology to gain a competitive edge. Audi, for example, has found several different ways to utilize this technology. Here’s what you need to know about how Audi uses augmented reality: HOW DOES AUDI USE AUGMENTED REALITY TECHNOLOGY? Over the last several years, Audi has used augmented reality technology in various ways, including: * Heads-Up Display * Logistics Planning * Marketing Heads-Up Display [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Heads-Up-Display.jpg] HEADS-UP DISPLAY Earlier this year, Audi debuted its first augmented reality heads-up display in the latest models of the Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron. This heads-up display uses augmented reality to project important information directly onto the driver’s windshield. The 70-inch heads-up display windshield is divided into two separate sections. The first is the status field, which is found on the bottom of the windshield. This section provides drivers with basic information including how fast they are traveling and how much gas they have left in their tank. The images that are displayed in this field will appear to be about three meters away from the driver. The second section is the augmented reality field. Some examples of information that is displayed in this field include: * Navigational assistance such as bright blue arrows that tell drivers where to turn. * Lane keeping assist such as a red line that appears on the lane marker when the vehicle starts to drift into another lane. * Animations that track the location of the car ahead to maintain a safe distance while the vehicle is using the adaptive cruise control system. The images that are projected onto the augmented reality field will appear to be about ten meters in front of the driver. Because of this location, the driver will be able to quickly and easily interpret the symbols shown on the display without taking their attention off of the road ahead. Projecting this information on the heads-up display allows the driver to see what’s going on without having to look down at a smartphone or GPS device. The images projected onto both the augmented reality field and status field will remain in place regardless of whether the driver is turning, driving over a bumpy road, or coming to a complete stop. The vehicle uses data from over 1,000 sensors to determine the best place to position these images on the heads-up display. This heads-up display is considered one of the most exciting and innovative uses of augmented reality in the automotive industry. LOGISTICS PLANNING Audi recently began using augmented reality technology to improve the efficiency of logistics planning. In the past, Audi created physical prototypes of tools and equipment in order to properly plan where everything would go inside a production facility. But now, the automotive manufacturer uses Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality glasses to virtually plan out the layout of new structures in an existing facility. Using these glasses, logistics planners can project life-size digital holograms of each structure into their production facility to determine where everything should go. If multiple planners are involved in the project, they can connect their HoloLens devices to ensure everyone sees the same thing. They can even reach out to touch, rotate, or move a hologram to another location. If a change is made, everyone who is wearing their HoloLens device will immediately see the updated layout. This makes it easier for teams to collaborate on the layout of a production facility. Using augmented reality in this manner also eliminates the need for physical prototypes, which reduces the cost of logistics planning. How Audi Uses Augmented Reality [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Marketing.jpg] MARKETING In 2018, Audi became one of the first automotive manufacturers to incorporate augmented reality into its marketing efforts. The app, which was only available in select markets, was launched to promote the release of four new Audi Quattro models. The app was designed to detect when the Audi Quattro ad was playing on the consumer’s TV. If the app was open while this commercial was playing, it would automatically launch an augmented reality experience showing the Quattro bursting through the consumer’s TV into their living room. The digital projections of the vehicle would remain in the consumer’s environment even after the commercial was over. The app allowed consumers to choose between a life-sized or miniature version of the Quattro. Choosing the life-sized model gave consumers the opportunity to explore the vehicle in person. The app also included a feature that allowed consumers to build test tracks for the miniature version of the Quattro to race on. Using this app, Audi was able to build brand awareness, generate buzz around the newest Quattro models, and increase engagement with its target audience. OTHER USES OF AUGMENTED REALITY IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY Audi is not the only automotive manufacturer to take advantage of augmented reality technology. Other manufacturers, including BMW, Porsche, Land Rover, and Kia, have also embraced the use of augmented reality. These are some of the many automotive manufacturers that have used augmented reality for: * Maintenance Assistance * Design * Manufacturing * Virtual Showrooms How Audi Uses Augmented Reality [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Maintenance-Assistance.jpg] MAINTENANCE ASSISTANCE Several manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi, are using augmented reality technology to assist with the maintenance and repair of vehicles. For example, Mitsubishi maintenance technicians can use augmented reality glasses to project information or how-to guides directly onto their real world environment. This makes it easier for them to quickly diagnose and address issues without having to waste time flipping through a manual. Because the glasses can project step-by-step instructions, this technology also ensures the repair is done correctly. At Mercedes-Benz, technicians can put on a pair of augmented reality glasses to connect to automotive experts located remotely. These experts are able to connect to the glasses to see exactly what the technician is looking at. Then, they can use augmented reality to project digital elements onto the technician’s screen to help them make the appropriate repairs. DESIGN The process of designing a new vehicle is also changing as a result of augmented reality technology. Automotive engineers can now create digital models of new designs instead of physical prototypes, which are expensive and time-consuming to build. These digital models can be projected onto the team’s real world environment, which gives everyone else an opportunity to examine the design and provide feedback. If changes are required, the digital model can quickly be adjusted, so there’s no need to waste time or money on building a new prototype for every new round of edits. Using augmented reality to design new vehicles has streamlined the design process and allowed manufacturers to quickly finalize new designs and move them into production. MANUFACTURING Many automotive manufacturers use augmented reality technology to assist with the manufacturing of new vehicles. Assembly line workers are given access to augmented reality glasses, which they can put on whenever they need assistance. Using these glasses, workers can quickly pull up information on how to put together a specific car part or model. This way, they can get the information they need without ever leaving the assembly line or asking someone else for help. It’s also much easier for workers to learn by seeing a step-by-step guide directly in front of them rather than having them read a manual for instructions. Using augmented reality in this way improves the efficiency of the manufacturing process and reduces the number of errors made during production. How Audi Uses Augmented Reality [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Virtual-Showrooms.jpg] VIRTUAL SHOWROOMS In general, automotive consumers are not happy with the car buying process. Eighty-three percent of automotive consumers want to complete at least one step in the car buying process online, and 7 out of 10 consumers are more likely to do business with a dealership that allows them to start the process online. Many consumers want to shift the car buying process online to avoid spending as much time in a dealership. In fact, the less time a buyer spends at the dealership, the better they tend to rate their overall experience. In an effort to meet these consumers’ demands, many automotive manufacturers now allow consumers to explore vehicles in virtual showrooms powered by augmented reality technology. Consumers can now project life-sized vehicles into their real world environment and explore them without ever stepping foot inside an actual showroom. This gives them the chance to learn more about vehicles, compare different models, and narrow down their options before visiting a dealership. Thanks to augmented reality technology, automotive manufacturers can create an at-home showroom experience for consumers. Augmented reality has already taken the automotive industry by storm, but experts predict that its impact will continue to grow in the years ahead. There’s no telling how automotive manufacturers will use this technology in the future. But one thing is for certain: augmented reality will continue to bring about new and exciting changes in the automotive industry.
Cars Can Appear Anywhere Using an Augmented Reality Showroom App
August 13, 2021
Imagine never having to go into an automobile dealership. Instead, shoppers can choose to view a car in 3D in their bedroom. Or out in the backyard. Using just a phone or a tablet, the car appears before the user’s eyes. Walk around the vehicle. Look inside. This isn’t a futuristic scenario, it’s the power of augmented reality. Cars can appear anywhere using an augmented reality showroom app or experience. Cars Can Appear Anywhere Using an Augmented Reality Showroom App [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Augmented-Reality-Showroom.jpg] WHAT IS AN AUGMENTED REALITY SHOWROOM? Augmented reality showrooms aren’t just for automobiles. There are numerous examples of these unique experiences, and they can enhance the user experience by helping to simplify shopping decisions. So how do they work? Augmented reality combines the real world environment with overlays of graphics. An example of this would be a GPS system in a car that shows the street view but places graphic arrows to show drivers where to turn. Augmented reality is different from virtual reality and it doesn’t necessarily require any special glasses or headsets to experience. With augmented reality showrooms or try-on experiences, users can preview products like makeup, paint colors, glasses or even vehicles! With ‘try on’ experiences for products like makeup, users will have to allow an app or website access to their device camera (this can be on a phone or a tablet). The photo or image of the individual is then projected with the graphic depiction of the makeup or product of their choice. So lipstick colors will magically appear on the lips, hair color on the hair, etc. Warby-Parker even created an augmented reality experience for shoppers to try on their frames so they can find the best shape for their face. Augmented reality is a great way to try a product before purchase, and for stores it might also help to lessen returns! But augmented reality isn’t just used for makeup or even eyeglasses. Experiences even let users swipe paint hues on their walls (without actually painting them!) and drop furniture into a room. Some augmented reality experiences even let users try out new haircuts, too! While many companies offer ‘try-on’ experiences via augmented reality, some of these experiences could aptly be considered showrooms. When shoppers think about showrooms, they really think of a big open space in the store with all the products featured. But with technology, users and shoppers need to broaden their view of this definition. During the pandemic, most shoppers had to hunt for products online from home. They couldn’t visit store showrooms. Maybe the home, the bedroom, the backyard had to be the showroom. Apps or experiences that allow users to drop furniture or even a car into a room can transform the home and the user’s space into a showroom. Technology has really transformed the shopping experience, but how does this digital transformation impact consumers? Cars Can Appear Anywhere Using an Augmented Reality Showroom App [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Augmented-Reality-Showroom-Apps.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY SHOWROOM APPS AND EXPERIENCES: THE POWER IS IN THE HANDS OF THE CONSUMER Augmented reality showroom apps and experiences likely became more abundant during the pandemic, and consumers seemingly have embraced these high-tech experiences. Harvard Business Review reported that “…e-commerce company Shopify recently released new data that interactions with products having AR content showed a 94% higher conversion rate than products without AR.” Harvard Business Review’s article focused on how augmented reality made an impact on shopping during Covid. However, the convenience of augmented reality and the power it gives the consumer also might drive its popularity. Augmented reality showrooms allow customers to take their time and try out different products. In the case of Ulta’s GLAMlab, shoppers can try on a vast array of products. GLAMlab is accessible via the Ulta app. Users can then use their device camera to show their image (think of the camera like a mirror) and then select from different products. The lipstick options are seemingly endless, and users could easily spend an hour trying on different combos of products. The user’s image from the camera can display false eyelashes, lipstick, blush, eyeliner and probably more products at once! Other stores offer the same type of experience, though. Stores like Ikea let users drop furniture into a room. Sherwin-Williams lets users try different paint hues. Users could literally try out an endless amount of paint hues on their walls just for fun! For consumers, while these experiences can be entertaining (especially when everyone is stuck inside), they also are incredibly helpful. Before augmented reality showroom apps and experiences, shoppers had to guess what product would flatter them…or look good in a room. Now, some clothing companies even offer virtual try-on experiences so shoppers can preview different looks! WHO WANTS TO PREVIEW A CAR IN THE LIVING ROOM? Augmented reality showroom apps or experiences can even include vehicles. Different manufacturers have created augmented reality experiences that let users drop a specific vehicle model into any space. But why would a consumer want to see a car in their home? Or on the bed? Augmented reality automobiles are replica models of the real vehicle. So these digital models can give consumers more details about the car than a two-dimensional photo. Using the camera on the phone (or tablet), the user shows the space where they would like the car to appear. Then the car appears before their eyes. However, this isn’t just a fun graphic. The user can walk around the car or maybe even look inside. The augmented reality showroom app or experience for automobiles allows customers to have an experience that is somewhat similar to what they would have in a car showroom. While the consumer can’t touch or physically interact with the augmented reality vehicle, they can explore it visually. Augmented reality gives consumers a bit more freedom to preview cars at their own leisure. And from anywhere. Plus, the augmented reality experience is fun! Seeing the car appear and then exploring a 3D model just seems almost surreal…and, well, a bit futuristic. THE FUTURE IS TODAY…AND BEYOND Augmented reality showrooms can be found within a company or a brand’s app, online or maybe even via their own unique app. Consumers who are interested in exploring all the augmented reality shopping possibilities just need to do a quick search via their app shop to find out what’s available. Or visit the website of a favorite store (there could be an augmented reality experience!). Snapchat also could become an augmented reality hub for retailers. The Verge recently reported that Snap recently purchased Vertebrae. And what is Vertebrae’s expertise? The company creates virtual try-on experiences as well as other augmented reality and 3D commerce experiences for companies. What consumers see now might only be the beginning of augmented reality shopping experiences. In the future, the options could be extensive. Imagine if all stores included some type of augmented reality experience. Maybe in the future technology allows us to depict a to-scale model representation of our entire body and then try on clothes via an augmented reality experience. Maybe a device could take measurements and predict size, too! While none of this is in the works (at least not that anyone has announced!), the potential of augmented reality could further simplify the shopping experience. Even auto manufacturers might one day decide to launch augmented reality showrooms that let shoppers choose any model, customize it and then preview the vehicle in their own environment. Perhaps dealerships include these augmented reality showrooms, too. DO CONSUMERS NEED TO INVEST IN AUGMENTED REALITY? While augmented reality glasses are on the market, they are expensive and might be geared more for enterprise use than for the average consumer. However, there are always whispers about the consumer augmented reality glasses. The question is what company will launch them first? While Facebook announced a partnership for new glasses with Ray-Ban, these glasses are not going to include augmented reality. What they will feature is still up in the air, though. While a teaser video was released, no one knows what the glasses will look like or anything about their capabilities. Maybe there will be color choices? Maybe they will look like Wayfarers? Really, the details are a big question mark! If augmented reality glasses for consumers eventually launch and become mainstream, perhaps more augmented reality experiences would link and sync up to them. What if we put on augmented reality glasses and enter a shopping mall experience that appears before our eyes. Maybe we could use our fingers to navigate store icons in front of us. Then start shopping and use augmented reality to try on items, too! Maybe augmented reality is side-swiped by virtual reality. Perhaps virtual reality showrooms become another type of option for consumers. Could we all have an avatar that features our exact measurements and serves as our personal virtual model for clothes, makeup and more? For now, maybe consumers simply need to wait and see what happens with those augmented reality glasses to find out if augmented reality becomes reality through new lenses.
How Facebook Has Embraced Augmented Reality Technology
August 12, 2021
Facebook first indicated its interest in virtual and augmented reality in 2014 when the company purchased Oculus. Since this time, Facebook has invested heavily in these innovative technologies. In 2017, Facebook had about one thousand employees in Reality Labs, which is the company’s virtual reality and augmented reality division. But now, this number has grown to nearly 10,000 employees. This means that about one-fifth of all Facebook employees are working on the development of virtual and augmented reality products. What exactly is Facebook doing with augmented reality technology? What Facebook augmented reality products should consumers expect in the future? Here’s what you need to know: HOW FACEBOOK IS USING AUGMENTED REALITY TECHNOLOGY The team of researchers, developers, and engineers at Facebook Reality Labs are working on a number of augmented reality products, including: * Augmented Reality Glasses * Augmented Reality Wearables * Spark AR Augmented Reality Glasses [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Augmented-Reality-Glasses.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES The development of smart glasses is Facebook’s biggest project involving augmented reality technology. Facebook hasn’t released a great deal of information about its glasses, but the company has made a few details public. First, the company has acknowledged that its goal is to create a pair of stylish, comfortable glasses that can eliminate the wearer’s need to use a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Recently, a Facebook executive suggested that facial recognition technology would be incorporated into the design of the glasses. Some experts believe that this means the glasses will be protected with face ID security, which means they will only operate when they detect the owner’s face. Facebook has also partnered with Ray-Ban and its parent company, Luxottica Group Spa, to create these glasses. This indicates that Facebook is not prioritizing function over fashion. In other words, the glasses should be stylish and appealing to consumers. In the past, Facebook has released videos that highlight some of the many ways in which augmented reality glasses could be used. The videos show augmented reality glasses projecting step-by-step directions onto the street as a consumer tries to figure out how to get to their final destination. Another video shows the glasses helping a consumer decide what product to buy by projecting recommendations onto the shelves in front of them. Facebook hasn’t confirmed whether its glasses will function like the glasses shown in the videos, so it’s still too early to say what features consumers should expect. AUGMENTED REALITY WEARABLES All smart glasses are designed with features that allow the wearer to interact with the information presented in front of them. For example, the Epson Moverio glasses connected to the wearer’s smartphone, whereas Google Glasses were controlled by a touchpad located on the side of the device. Based on the information Facebook has made public so far, it seems that consumers will be able to interact with their Facebook glasses by wearing a line of “soft, all-day wearable systems.” The first wearable that will pair with Facebook augmented reality glasses is a wristband. Facebook has not released many details related to this product, but it seems that consumers will be able to control their smart glasses by moving their finger across, tapping, or flicking their wristband. For example, a consumer may be able to navigate the menu displayed by their smart glasses simply by tapping on their wristband. This allows the consumer to discreetly engage with and control their smart glasses in public. Facebook has also mentioned introducing a pair of “soft, lightweight haptic gloves” that will pair with the company’s augmented reality glasses. These gloves would allow the wearer to use a virtual screen and keyboard projected in front of them to control the information displayed on their smart glasses. This would make it easier for consumers to quickly search for information or perform other tasks without pulling out their smartphone or tablet. Spark AR [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Spark-AR.jpg] SPARK AR Spark AR is a Facebook platform that allows you to build augmented reality effects and experiences that can be used on Facebook or Instagram. You don’t need to be a tech expert to use Spark AR. In fact, the platform includes step-by-step guides and video tutorials to help users who have never worked with augmented reality technology before. Spark AR allows you to import your own files and 3D objects or pull them from Facebook’s extensive asset library. There are even easy-to-use templates that you can build off of to create your own custom augmented reality experience. Once your creation is complete, publish it so other Instagram and Facebook users can enjoy it. This platform can be used in many different ways. Some users build augmented reality effects that can be used as Instagram filters, whereas others build experiences that allow users to interact with and manipulate digital objects. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook introduced a new category of augmented reality experiences available in Spark AR that would enhance video calls between Facebook users. Now, consumers who are using Facebook to place a video call can add interactive augmented reality effects to their conversation. Businesses can benefit from Spark AR, too. Companies can create branded filters that consumers can apply to their Instagram stories or photos. Businesses can also use Spark AR to allow customers to virtually try on cosmetics, clothing, shoes, sunglasses, or other products using their smartphone. Furniture companies can use this platform to help consumers visualize what specific pieces of furniture would look like in their home. The augmented reality effects that are created in Spark AR can even be applied to Facebook Ads, so businesses can run interactive, innovative ads that are sure to grab consumers’ attention. WHEN WILL FACEBOOK’S AUGMENTED REALITY DEVICES BE AVAILABLE? Facebook’s augmented reality glasses have been years in the making. The company first confirmed that it was in the process of developing augmented reality glasses in 2018. But three years later, Facebook still has not released its first pair of augmented reality glasses. Facebook executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, have acknowledged that developing augmented reality glasses has not been easy. Zuckerberg recently referred to the task of creating augmented reality glasses as “one of the hardest technical challenges of the decade.” Despite these challenges, Facebook is still committed to developing augmented reality glasses, but it’s unclear when these glasses will be available to consumers. Last year, Facebook announced that it would reveal its first pair of smart glasses at some point in 2021. However, these glasses have been described as “the next step on the road to augmented reality glasses,” which means they won’t have augmented reality capabilities. There’s no telling when Facebook will release its augmented reality glasses, but for now, consumers can look forward to the company’s first smart glasses, which should be available by the end of this year. What’s Next for Augmented Reality [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Whats-Next-for-Augmented-Reality.jpg] WHAT’S NEXT FOR AUGMENTED REALITY? Facebook isn’t the only company that is working tirelessly to develop augmented reality products for consumers. Here’s an overview of some augmented reality products that consumers should expect in the near future: * Augmented Reality Contacts * Apple Mixed Reality Headset * Augmented Reality in the Automotive Industry * Video Conferencing AUGMENTED REALITY CONTACTS Mojo Vision is in the process of developing augmented reality contact lenses designed with a display that is the size of a grain of sand. The first version of these contacts will be designed solely for the vision impaired. These contacts will use augmented reality technology to magnify objects, clearly display text, and darken the contrast between different colors to make objects more noticeable. Mojo Vision hopes that focusing on these contact lenses first will help them quickly get the stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration. However, the company eventually plans on releasing augmented reality contact lenses for all consumers. These lenses are not designed to help consumers with their vision, but rather to present important information to them in their field of view. For example, say you are sitting at home and someone rings your doorbell. If you’re wearing Mojo Vision lenses, you may immediately see a live feed of the video from your doorbell camera projected in front of you. The lenses may also be able to provide navigational assistance, weather updates, breaking news, and other information. The lenses fit just like other contacts, so no one else will be able to tell you’re wearing them. Mojo Vision says the lenses may be powered by an external battery pack that the wearer carries with them. The lenses will also need to connect to the internet via the wearer’s smartphone or another device. There’s still a long way to go before Mojo Vision’s prototypes are available for sale, but once they are available, they could potentially disrupt the augmented reality wearables market. Apple Mixed Reality Headset [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Apple-Mixed-Reality-Headset.jpg] APPLE MIXED REALITY HEADSET Many industry analysts believe that Apple will release its own mixed reality headset by the end of next year. Experts believe that Apple’s headset will be more expensive than the Oculus, HTC Vive, and other virtual and augmented reality headsets on the market. Whereas these devices sell for around $500 to $700, experts predict that Apple’s mixed reality headset could cost more than $3,000. Experts also believe that the mixed reality headset will be designed with 8K displays, eye-tracking technology, and as many as 15 cameras on the inside and outside of the headset. Apple has not publicly commented on the mixed reality headset rumors. However, experts concluded that a mixed reality headset was in the works after analyzing Apple’s patent filings. Over the last several years, Apple has been incorporating more advanced virtual reality and augmented reality features into its smartphones, so it wouldn’t be surprising for the company to branch out into mixed reality headsets. Furthermore, Apple recently acquired NextVR, which is a virtual reality streaming company, and Akonia Holographics, which is a company that manufactures lenses specifically for augmented reality headsets. These transactions, along with the patent filings, indicate that Apple is working on a mixed reality headset. Augmented Reality in the Automotive Industry [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Augmented-Reality-in-the-Automotive-Industry.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY The automotive augmented reality market is booming. Augmented reality technology is used in many different ways in the automotive industry, including: * Design: Some automotive manufacturers use augmented reality during the process of designing new vehicles. Instead of creating clay prototypes, engineers build digital models using augmented reality technology. This drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to finalize new vehicle designs. * At-home automotive showroom experience: Augmented reality is also used to create a virtual automotive showroom experience for consumers. Now, consumers don’t need to visit a dealership in person to tour a showroom and explore different vehicles. Instead, they can project digital models of these vehicles into their environment and explore them from the comfort of their home. * Manufacturing: Many automotive manufacturers provide workers on the assembly line with augmented reality headsets that they can use to pull up instructions on how to assemble specific car parts. The instructions are projected right in front of them so they can follow along without having to stop what they are doing to look down at a manual or handbook. * Repairs: Auto technicians use augmented reality headsets for assistance with repairs. For example, if the technician isn’t sure how to make a specific repair, the headset can display step-by-step instructions to guide them through the entire process. Using augmented reality in this manner ensures that repairs are done quickly and correctly. * In-car features: Many vehicles are designed with in-car features that are powered by augmented reality technology, including navigation systems, heads-up displays, and backup cameras. VIDEO CONFERENCING Video conferencing has exploded in popularity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced millions of employees to work remotely. Video conferencing essentially replaced in-person meetings for remote workers. However, this technology is far from perfect. Many remote workers find it uncomfortable to stare at their co-workers on a computer screen for an extended period of time. Fortunately, experts believe that augmented reality can be used to solve this problem. Remote workers could use augmented reality video conferencing to project three-dimensional, photorealistic versions of their co-workers into a meeting space. This way, remote workers wouldn’t be stuck staring awkwardly at their co-workers for the duration of the meeting. Instead, they could use augmented reality to conduct a virtual meeting that feels more like an in-person meeting. This may help address “Zoom fatigue” and satisfy many remote workers’ desire for more face-to-face communication. [https://contentgm.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/content_uploads/App%5CDynamicModules%5CItem/48115/facebook-ar.png]
How Augmented Reality Improves Car Shopping Online
August 6, 2021
The concept of shopping for a car online has become increasingly popular over the last several years. In 2018, only 1% of car buyers purchased their vehicle online, but this number increased to 10% by early last year. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of automotive consumers said they would consider purchasing their next vehicle online instead of in a dealership. Buying a car online is not the same as buying clothing, shoes, books, or other items. Because a car is so expensive, consumers typically spend a lot of time in the early stages of the buying cycle. During these stages, consumers focus on researching their options so they can make an informed purchase decision. For automotive consumers, the early stages of the buying cycle typically consists of visiting different auto showrooms to explore vehicles in-person. But if a consumer wants to purchase their vehicle online, they may worry that they will miss out on the chance to explore vehicles and learn more about their options. Fortunately, automotive companies are now using augmented reality to improve the car shopping experience online. Thanks to this technology, automotive consumers who want to purchase their vehicle online can still get the showroom experience without ever stepping foot in an actual showroom. How Augmented Reality Improves Car Shopping Online [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/How-is-Augmented-Reality-Used-for-Online-Car-Shopping.jpg] HOW IS AUGMENTED REALITY USED FOR ONLINE CAR SHOPPING? Augmented reality is incredibly helpful to automotive consumers who want to shop for their vehicle online rather than in a dealership. Instead of visiting a showroom in-person, these consumers can use augmented reality technology to project three dimensional virtual vehicles into their real world environment. They can choose to virtually place the vehicle in their driveway, on the road, in their garage, or even in the living room. The vehicle will appear true to scale, which means the virtual model will be the same size as the real vehicle. But users also have the option of adjusting the size to make the virtual model smaller or larger. This technology gives consumers the opportunity to explore vehicles from home. Once the virtual model appears, consumers can explore the vehicle just like they would if they were in a real showroom. After examining the exterior, consumers can also take a closer look at the inside of the vehicle. Thanks to augmented reality technology, consumers can finally get the automotive showroom experience at home. Even if they don’t plan on purchasing their vehicle online, this still allows them to research their options from home before heading to a dealership to make a purchase. OTHER EXAMPLES OF AUGMENTED REALITY ONLINE SHOPPING EXPERIENCES Automotive companies aren’t the only ones that are using augmented reality technology to improve the online shopping experience for consumers. A number of companies from outside the automotive industry are also taking advantage of this technology, including: * Sephora * IKEA * Nike * Warby Parker * Home Depot SEPHORA Shopping for cosmetics online has not always been easy. It’s hard to tell what a specific color of lipstick, blush, eyeshadow, or foundation will look like once it’s applied. However, Sephora revolutionized the world of online cosmetics shopping with the introduction of its “Virtual Artist” feature on its mobile app in 2017. This feature, which is powered by facial recognition and augmented reality technologies, allows consumers to virtually try on different cosmetics online. They can see what a specific shade of lipstick will look like on their lips, for example, before buying it. This allows consumers to shop for cosmetics online with confidence. Sephora also uses augmented reality technology to teach consumers how to achieve certain looks. For example, the app may highlight a certain area of the consumer’s face to tell them exactly where to apply a specific product. How Augmented Reality Improves Car Shopping Online [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/IKEA.jpg] IKEA Launched in 2017, IKEA Place is an augmented reality app that allows consumers to see what specific IKEA products will look like in their home. To get started, users simply need to take a picture of a room in their home. The app is designed to automatically measure the space and provide a list of recommended pieces of furniture based on these measurements. If the user finds a product they like, they can virtually place the furniture in their room to see what it would like in their home. The furniture will appear true to scale, so users can make sure that it is the right size before buying it. NIKE Nike’s app has been around for a long time, but an augmented reality feature known as Nike Fit was not added until 2019. Nike Fit is designed to help consumers figure out what size shoe they wear before making a purchase. This app doesn’t just measure the length of the foot–it measures the entire shape of each foot to calculate the user’s shoe size. All the user needs to do is open the app and point their smartphone camera at their feet. Once a size is calculated, the user can choose to save this information in their profile so they don’t need to go through the same process again in the future. The app may recommend different sizes for different styles of shoes. For example, if one shoe style runs slightly small, the app may recommend a larger size. How Augmented Reality Improves Car Shopping Online [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Warby-Parker.jpg] WARBY PARKER It’s hard to determine what style of glasses will look best on your face without trying them on, which is why shopping for glasses online has never been easy. However, Warby Parker solved this problem by developing an augmented reality app that allows users to try on glasses at home. To begin, the user simply needs to select a pair of glasses from the Warby Parker app. Then, choose the “Virtual Try-On” feature. Selecting this option will automatically open the front-facing camera. The app will then project the glasses onto the user’s face so they can see what they would look like. The glasses will stay in the right position as the user moves around or turns their head so they can see what the frame will look like from every angle. If the user wants a second opinion, they can even snap a photo of themselves wearing the glasses and send it to their friends or family for feedback. HOME DEPOT Home Depot updated its app to include an augmented reality feature in late 2019. Thanks to this addition, the Home Depot app now allows users to see what different products will look like in their home, just like the IKEA Place app. But IKEA only sells furniture and home decor, whereas Home Depot also sells appliances and other household goods. This means consumers can use the Home Depot app to see what a new refrigerator or washer and dryer will look like in their home. This feature makes it easy to find the perfect replacement for an old appliance or to map out kitchen remodels. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING AUGMENTED REALITY FOR CAR SHOPPING? There are many benefits to using augmented reality to assist with the online car shopping experience, including: * Convenience * Better Shopping Experience * Accessible CONVENIENCE Augmented reality makes the process of shopping for a car more convenient than ever before. It gives consumers the option to conduct comprehensive research on different vehicles without ever leaving home. It also allows consumers to get the showroom experience at any time, even if it’s outside of standard business hours. In other words, now automotive consumers can start the process of shopping for a car whenever it is most convenient for them. How Augmented Reality Improves Car Shopping Online [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Better-Shopping-Experience.jpg] BETTER SHOPPING EXPERIENCE There’s no question that augmented reality technology has the power to improve the experience of shopping for a new car. This is true regardless of whether the consumer plans on purchasing the car online or in a dealership. Either way, this technology can help automotive consumers research their options, explore different vehicles, and choose a vehicle that is right for them. If they plan on purchasing the vehicle online, they can move forward with the process with confidence knowing they have thoroughly researched their decision. If they want to purchase the vehicle in-person, using augmented reality to conduct research from home will save them a lot of time once they arrive at the dealership. They will already know what vehicle they want when they arrive at the dealership, so they won’t need to waste time touring the showroom or talking to sales representatives about their options. All they will need to do is negotiate the price, fill out the appropriate paperwork, and complete the transaction. ACCESSIBLE Automotive consumers don’t need a fancy headset or special device in order to use augmented reality technology to shop for a vehicle online. All they need is access to a smartphone with a functional camera to get started. Because no other equipment is required, this augmented reality showroom experience is accessible to the vast majority of automotive consumers. The benefits of using augmented reality to improve the online shopping experience are far too great to ignore, which is why this technology has exploded in popularity within the automotive industry. If you plan on purchasing or researching a vehicle online now or in the future, chances are that augmented reality will be a part of your car buying process.
Use the Power of Augmented Reality to Shop for a Car
July 29, 2021
Augmented reality is giving automobile manufacturers and maybe dealerships, too, new ways to create dynamic user experiences that transform the once tried-and-true car shopping journey. Augmented reality mixes real world environments with digital graphics. Now consumers can use the power of augmented reality to shop for a car. And these enhanced experiences are starting to be embraced by more and more businesses. Here’s what to know about augmented reality and how it can be beneficial to helping shoppers find their perfect vehicle. Use the Power of Augmented Reality to Shop for a Car [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Is-Augmented-Reality-Expensive-for-Consumers.jpg] IS AUGMENTED REALITY EXPENSIVE FOR CONSUMERS? Some tech experiences might require users to invest in special equipment. For example, virtual reality games require users to own a headset. These devices can range in price, but even the low-end options are a few hundred dollars. Augmented reality can be an accessible option for consumers who want a similar experience but don’t have the money to invest to fully enter a virtual realm. Businesses that incorporate augmented reality experiences online or via an app also tend to offer these experiences for free to consumers who want access to them. With the right device, anyone can experience augmented reality. HOW DO AUGMENTED REALITY APPS WORK? Apps or augmented reality experiences accessible online require access to a camera to launch the experience. For this reason, users need to have a smartphone or other device (like a tablet) that includes a camera. The camera shows the user’s environment and the app then displays the digital graphics within this environment. Users can aim the camera at their backyard to display a graphic element in that area. Use the Power of Augmented Reality to Shop for a Car [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Using-Augmented-Reality-for-Car-Shopping.jpg] USING AUGMENTED REALITY FOR CAR SHOPPING Augmented reality experiences can heighten the user experience when shopping for a new car. Instead of driving to a local dealership or just browsing photos via a dealership’s online inventory, augmented reality allows the browsing experience to be truly unique and immersive. Users can explore different cars visually in 3D. Photos are a two-dimensional depiction of a vehicle, and although dealerships can take photos of their inventory vehicles from many angles, those photos are still limited to how the user can explore the details of the car. Zooming in on a photo, for example, could allow the shopper to see details up close…or it could blur the image. Augmented reality experiences give the user more control of how they can view the vehicle. Graphic 3D models of vehicles appear in the user’s environment as they would and are more similar to an in-person experience. The vehicle appears wherever the user places it. Then, using the phone, the user can walk around the vehicle—just as they would in the dealership. Augmented reality also can let the user look inside the car. Or even change the color of the paint. GOOGLE’S AUGMENTING CARS MarketWatch reported that Google is offering augmented reality experiences for some vehicles when users search for those vehicles. The search engine giant also offers augmented reality experiences for animals and even popular anime characters (like Hello Kitty!). Not all vehicles may be augmented via Google. And finding vehicles that are accessible in 3D augmented reality may seem a bit like a treasure hunt. Some of the vehicle that appear in Google’s knowledge panel include the Toyota RAV4, Jeep Gladiator, Porsche Taycan, Porsche Cayenne, Toyota Supra, Toyota Sienna, and Cadillac Escalade. For those looking for a specific vehicle, Google might or might not offer the preview in 3D augmented reality. FINDING OTHER AUGMENTED REALITY CAR EXPERIENCES Some automobile manufacturers have launched augmented reality experiences for specific models. During Covid, these augmented experiences could have allowed consumers to check out these new vehicles from their home, offices or anywhere. There are many augmented reality vehicle experiences available. Consumers might want to do a quick search on the vehicle of their choice to discover and uncover augmented reality experiences. DON’T FORGET MANUFACTURERS! Shoppers looking for a new car but without a preference to make or model might have fun checking out augmented reality experiences offered by auto manufacturers. Not all brands offer interactive experiences on their sites, though. And these experiences may be limited to a specific model. Searching through the App Store (for iOS) and Google Play also brings up several experiences from different auto brands. For example, Toyota’s Supra has its own augmented reality experience via an app. Porsche also offers an AR Visualiser app. There’s also Experience VW (also an augmented reality experience) that lets users explore the Touareg. All experiences are free to download. HOW CAN AUGMENTED REALITY HELP SHOPPERS? While a virtual reality showroom allows shoppers to preview vehicles in a virtual space to gain more knowledge about that vehicle, what makes augmented reality valuable is that the vehicle appears in the user’s space and allows a unique interaction. With augmented reality, users can drop the car into their space and then explore while holding their phone or device to keep the vehicle in view. Users can then actually walk around this 3D model to see it as they would in a showroom (or on the lot). Each augmented reality experience may offer something different, though. Some may be more interactive than others. Maybe users can look inside the vehicle or interact in other ways. Since the vehicle appears in the user’s space, augmented reality could allow shoppers to better visualize the car in their possession. That is, users can drop the vehicle in their own driveway or garage. Seeing that vehicle parked outside their home might make the preview experience more true to life. These immersive elements simulate the in-person experience, too. Virtual reality showrooms can be a great way to figure out the look and design of a vehicle. However, augmented reality experiences provide that walk-around experience. While these augmented reality experiences and showroom options might be a bit more limited than virtual reality experiences, their potential for creating unique experiences that enhance the shopping experience shouldn’t be underestimated. Again, the walk-around element that augmented reality provides the shopper can really help capture the in-person dealership experience. This is valuable because many shoppers might now be accustomed to shopping online and researching purchases online. For large purchases like a new car, though, that dealership visit was—and is—often an essential element so that the shopper can interact with the car. While augmented reality doesn’t fully replicate the physical experience, it can help shoppers perhaps get a better idea if they prefer one model to another. Or maybe seeing the car in the driveway ends up eliciting a big “no.” THE FUTURE OF AUGMENTED REALITY CARS Will more dealerships or auto brands begin to launch more augmented reality experiences? While many companies may still focus on the millennials as a key demographic for sales, Generation Z—the Zoomers—are growing up. And they may dominate purchasing decisions. Generation Z isn’t just tech savvy; they grew up with technology. They live with technology. They never knew a day without social media. AR Insider asked the question: “Will Gen Z be the AR Generation?” The article notes that 40 percent of this generation use augmented reality lenses via Snapchat. The article also cited statistics from a survey titled “20/20 Vision for Mobile Video” that noted that more than half of Generation Z respondents felt that augmented reality was “very important.” The augmented reality experiences referenced in the survey, though, were “…experiences that let you step inside scenes of your favorite shows or videos; AR experiences that let you experience video from all angles and get up close and personal with your favorite personalities or characters.” However, as more than half of Generation Z shows a pull towards this technology—even in social media or video experiences—augmented reality could be a unique technology to use to provide an immersive car shopping experience for this particular demographic. The pandemic also changed the way that many consumers were able to shop. With nonessential businesses closed, online shopping might have been the only option. For those looking for a vehicle, online experiences could have helped them find a car when dealerships weren’t open. Going forward, virtual and augmented reality could continue to provide alternative ways to explore vehicle models remotely. Both virtual and augmented reality car showrooms allow the user to browse from home at their convenience. And without pressure. Will more brands and dealerships embrace augmented vehicles? Perhaps if consumers begin to demand these experiences or show a preference to such options, then the industry will move into augmented reality, too. Or, at least, offer more vehicles that can be previewed via this technology.
A Look at the Automotive Augmented Reality Market
July 28, 2021
Immersive technological shopping experiences may heighten the user engagement on a website or an app. Augmented reality allows for digital graphics to appear in the user’s real world environment, and this can provide unique try-on experiences for beauty brands, furniture stores or even within the automotive industry. While these digital graphics can allow users to drop furniture into their home, swipe lipstick on the lips or even drop a car into the driveway, they also can be used to aid repairs, decrease downtime in manufacturing and more! Here’s a look at the automotive augmented reality market, and how the use of this technology could see a boost in the future. TRY ON THE CAR! Augmented reality and virtual reality are both part of extended reality. However, augmented reality and virtual reality are very different experiences. With virtual reality, users may need to use a headset to enter the virtual realm or experience (although this isn’t always the case). Augmented reality, though, uses a camera from a device (a phone or tablet) to show the user’s environment and projects a digital image into that environment. The real world environment is not a part of virtual reality; all surroundings in virtual reality are graphic simulations or depictions. But in augmented reality, the real world is a critical element of the experience. And this is what makes augmented reality so cool for the user. Virtual try-on experiences are a popular way that businesses deploy augmented reality. Stores like Ulta let shoppers use augmented reality to try on different colors of lipstick, eyeshadow, foundation and even hair colors to see if a product is right for them. The camera shows the individual in real-life, and the hues of products are digitally superimposed on the user’s face. IKEA offers a try-on experience for its products, too. Users can drop furniture into their rooms to see if the product is a good fit. Even paint colors can be previewed on walls with augmented reality. But how does this technology help car shoppers? Using augmented reality might help those on the hunt for a new car see if a vehicle model appeals to them, too. Augmented reality experiences can enable the user to drop a vehicle into their driveway, garage or backyard. Maybe the car doesn’t look so good sitting outside the home. Maybe the color isn’t right. Or the design just doesn’t look so appealing once it’s viewed in 3D. Once the car is dropped into the environment, the user can walk around it to view the vehicle from any angle. Maybe they can look inside. Or opt for a different paint color. Pictures don’t tell the whole story; photos are not always worth 1,000 words. Sometimes two-dimensional photos leave more questions about a vehicle. In the past, car photos or photo galleries were the only way for online shoppers to preview the vehicles before heading to the dealership. With augmented reality, shoppers can experience the vehicle in 3D. While they can’t actually physically interact with it in a tactile sense, augmented reality does provide an interactive and immersive way to explore the vehicle. Augmented reality experiences let users try on that car…or at least see the car in their own surroundings. A Look at the Automotive Augmented Reality Market [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/How-Else-Does-the-Automotive-Industry-Use-Augmented-Reality.jpg] HOW ELSE DOES THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY USE AUGMENTED REALITY? Augmented reality isn’t just used to aid shoppers in their buying journey. Augmented reality also is used in the automotive industry in other ways, too. AIDING CAR REPAIRS Augmented reality can be used to help with car repairs. Technicians wear glasses that can send images from the ongoing repairs to a team of experts located remotely. These glasses also can help techs see small details, too. HELPING DRIVERS Car brands integrate augmented reality within their cars to help improve the driving experience and keep drivers safer on the road. Cars that have backup cameras often use augmented reality on those screens; while the camera shows the detail behind the car, the graphic gridlines are augmented reality at work! Some new navigation systems are getting incredibly AR-savvy! Newer car models may have augmented reality graphics showing where to turn and including directional augmented reality arrows. Others point out bikers on the road. Cars are getting smarter, and augmented reality may be further integrated into car features to enhance the journey and make drivers feel safer on the road. HOW TO FIND AUGMENTED REALITY EXPERIENCES Shoppers who want to use augmented reality to help them on their buying journey can search for different experiences via Google or via the manufacturers. Augmented reality experiences could vary in their features, and they also may be limited to featuring one specific model. Google has launched augmented reality experiences via its Search engine. Users can find augmented reality experiences for anime characters like Hello Kitty and even certain animals. However, not all animals are augmented via Google. The same holds true for vehicle models. While Google provides augmented reality experiences for some models, it’s really a guessing game as to what vehicles can be explored via augmented reality. A few Toyota models are augmented via Google. Porsche also has augmented vehicles on Google. The Cadillac Escalade also can be explored in augmented reality. Unfortunately, though, users can’t experience every model in augmented reality. While this immersive experience may replicate the in-person experience in a novel way, the augmented inventory isn’t as vast as it is via virtual reality. VIRTUAL REALITY SHOWROOMS While augmented reality showrooms are not extremely prominent via apps or online, virtual reality showrooms offer a massive inventory of models for users to preview. While augmented reality lets users integrate 3D graphic depictions of their favorite cars into their own environment, these virtual reality showrooms allow vehicles to be viewed in a virtual online setting. Sites like RelayCars include models dating back to 2016 or even 2015. So those looking for a preowned car can get a general idea as to what the vehicle looked like when it debuted. However, RelayCars does not include pre-owned inventory from any particular dealership. All earlier model vehicles are depictions of the vehicle when it was introduced. These images are for reference only. Virtual car showrooms do allow users to interact with vehicles in the virtual environment, however. Using the mouse, shoppers can turn the cars around to view it from different angles. They can even view the inside of the vehicle to see interior features. RelayCars also lets users swap out paint colors, so users can find what color suits their tastes. As a virtual reality showroom offers an extensive array of makes and models, visitors also can check out vehicles of all price ranges and designs. There is no pressure, and users can visit the site as often as they want. There’s also no limit on the number of cars that users can view on the site. And, of course, it’s free! A Look at the Automotive Augmented Reality Market [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Will-There-Be-More-Augmented-Reality-and-Virtual-Reality-Experiences.jpg] WILL THERE BE MORE AUGMENTED REALITY AND VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCES? During Covid, dealerships were often closed to inside visitors. Those looking for a new car might have conducted their search online. While dealerships and other businesses have opened up, shoppers may be accustomed to the online realm and all the conveniences that it offers. Are these shopping enhancements here to stay? Generation Z is the upcoming generation that many businesses may look to for purchasing decisions as this group enters adulthood (the youngest members are in middle school). Generation Z may embrace all these new tech trends, because augmented reality and virtual reality are in many of their social and entertainment experiences. Instagram, for example, offers augmented reality lenses. In addition, virtual reality games can be downloaded via sites like Steam. Businesses including the automotive sector could pivot to more immersive and interactive experiences like augmented reality to reach out to younger buyers. However, not all car shoppers may embrace technology. Some may prefer the old ways of the new car shopping process; they may continue to do much of their business at the dealership. However, those who are interested in upgrading their shopping experiences can check out the many augmented and virtual reality experiences that await them. While some of these experiences are easy to find via search engines, some may take a bit more research. And phones may help, too! Whether a user has an Android, Windows or Apple phone, all offer stores to shop for apps. To find all the augmented reality experiences for download, just search for augmented reality. From there, users can find the experiences offered by different companies (including automotive) plus different games, too. For users unfamiliar with augmented reality, downloading an augmented reality game might be a great way to get acquainted with augmented reality. Popular games like Pokemon GO can help users explore how augmented reality enhances an experience and explore the tech at their own pace. From there, users can move on to using this technology for shopping or researching new cars. Thankfully, most of these experiences are fairly easy to navigate, and, once a user enters the augmented reality world, they might not want to leave!
Augmented Reality in the Car Buying Process
July 23, 2021
The car buying process has changed drastically over the years. In the past, the average consumer visited five dealerships before making a purchase decision, but now, 41% of automotive consumers only visit one dealership. Instead of traveling from dealership to dealership, automotive consumers now make more decisions online ahead of time. In fact, many consumers are ready to purchase a specific vehicle once they arrive at a dealership. This shift in the automotive consumer’s car buying process was made possible in large part due to augmented reality technology. Over the last several years, a growing number of automotive companies have started to use augmented reality to digitize the process of buying a car. How is augmented reality used in the car buying process? How can using this technology benefit automotive companies and consumers? Here’s what you should know: Augmented Reality in the Car Buying Process [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/What-is-Augmented-Reality.jpg] WHAT IS AUGMENTED REALITY? Augmented reality is a technology that allows users to superimpose elements from the digital world into their real world environment. Using this technology, users can project digital images, sounds, videos, and other elements directly onto their surroundings. In other words, it blends the digital world and real world together. Users may need to wear a special headset or pair of glasses in order to experience augmented reality technology. However, in some cases, an augmented reality experience can be accessed using just a smartphone or tablet. Perhaps the most famous use of augmented reality is Pokemon Go, which is an app that launched in 2016. The app superimposes Pokemon characters directly onto the user’s real world environment so they can “catch” as many characters as possible. HOW IS AUGMENTED REALITY USED IN THE CAR BUYING PROCESS? The automotive industry is currently using augmented reality in several different steps of the car buying process. Some of its many uses include: * Explore Cars * Access Important Information * Post-Purchase Support EXPLORE CARS Before the introduction of augmented reality technology, consumers used to have to travel to multiple dealerships to see cars in person, explore their features, compare different models, and decide which car was right for them before making a purchase. These were all important steps in the car buying process. But now, consumers can complete all of these steps from the comfort of their home thanks to augmented reality technology. Many automotive companies now offer consumers the opportunity to explore vehicles with augmented reality technology. Using this technology, consumers can project different vehicles into their real world environment. This gives consumers a chance to get up close and personal with different vehicles so they can learn more about their features and tour their interiors and exteriors. They can explore vehicles just like they would inside a real showroom, except they won’t need to step foot inside a dealer. Consumers can also use this technology to see how a specific vehicle would look in their driveway or garage. This feature is especially useful for consumers who aren’t sure whether a specific vehicle will fit in a tight space in their garage. Because of this technology, consumers can research all of their options from home so they won’t need to spend as much time at the dealership once they’re ready to make a purchase. Augmented Reality in the Car Buying Process [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Access-Important-Information.jpg] ACCESS IMPORTANT INFORMATION Sometimes, a consumer’s car buying journey may begin when they spot a car that they like in a parking lot or driving on the street. In cases like these, augmented reality technology is used to help consumers quickly access important information on the vehicle they have their eye on. One company that is using augmented reality in this manner is USAA. In 2019, USAA launched an app that allows users to point their smartphone at any vehicle located nearby in order to pull up information on the car. The app will provide the user with important information such as the average purchase price and cost of insurance. It will also provide the user with a list of local dealerships that currently have the vehicle in stock. All of this information will be superimposed onto the user’s real world environment using augmented reality technology. This app makes it easy for consumers to quickly get information on vehicles they are interested in purchasing. It also provides them with the information they need to determine if they can afford the car and if so, where they should go to purchase it. As a result, consumers won’t need to conduct this research on their own, which speeds up their car buying journey. POST-PURCHASE SUPPORT The car buying journey is not over once the consumer purchases a vehicle. The last stage in the car buying journey is the post-purchase experience, which is the stage where automotive companies try to convert consumers into loyal customers. A number of automotive companies are using augmented reality to transform the post-purchase experience for consumers. For example, some automotive companies use augmented reality to educate consumers on how to care for and maintain their vehicles. Automotive consumers can use their smartphone to scan their vehicles, which will launch virtual animations projected onto their real world environment that walk them through the steps of checking their oil, changing their tire, or diagnosing a fluid leak. The animations will be projected directly onto their vehicle so they can easily reference the information. After-market car parts suppliers are also using augmented reality to appeal to consumers in the post-purchase stage of their car buying journey. One company, Delphi, uses augmented reality technology to show consumers a full list of products that are available for the specific make and model of their vehicle. Augmented Reality in the Car Buying Process [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/What-Are-the-Benefits-of-Using-Augmented-Reality-in-the-Car-Buying-Process.jpg] WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING AUGMENTED REALITY IN THE CAR BUYING PROCESS? There are many benefits to using augmented reality to change the car buying process, including: * Enhanced Shopping Experience * Convenience * Realistic Assets ENHANCED SHOPPING EXPERIENCE Augmented reality technology has taken the automotive shopping experience to a whole new level for consumers. Today’s consumers expect a high quality, unforgettable shopping experience regardless of whether they are shopping in person or online. By using augmented reality, automotive companies can provide a unique experience that fulfills this need. Using augmented reality to research vehicles early on in the car buying process helps automotive consumers save time at the dealership, too. Research shows that automotive consumers are unhappy with the current process of buying a new car. Their least favorite part of the process is the amount of time they are forced to spend at the dealership to complete the transaction. In fact, research shows that the less time a consumer spends at a dealership to purchase a car, the higher the consumer will rate the car buying process as a whole. To improve the consumer’s shopping experience, automotive companies must focus on helping them complete as many steps of the car buying process online as possible. This is where augmented reality technology comes in. Now, consumers can use this technology to narrow down their options and make a purchase decision at home. They don’t need to visit a dealer until they are actually ready to make a purchase, so they won’t need to spend as much time inside. Furthermore, using augmented reality technology allows consumers to take their time when it comes to researching vehicles. They won’t feel pressured by the presence of a sales representative since they can conduct this research on their own at home. For these reasons, augmented reality has led to significant improvements in the car buying process. Augmented Reality in the Car Buying Process [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Convenience.jpg] CONVENIENCE The use of augmented reality technology has made the process of buying a car far more convenient for consumers. Automotive consumers no longer need to spend hours or days visiting different dealerships to explore their options. They also don’t have to wait until a dealership opens in order to start conducting research. Now, they can get the showroom experience from the comfort of their home at any time. Using augmented reality in this manner makes the car buying process more convenient for auto dealers, too. Because consumers can use this technology to virtually tour a wide range of vehicles, auto dealers won’t need to keep as many vehicles on their lots. This can reduce the cost of transporting, storing, and maintaining dozens of vehicles on a dealer’s lot. REALISTIC ASSETS The vast majority of automotive consumers start the car buying process online. During these early stages of the buying cycle, automotive consumers expect to find a wealth of information on their options. This includes detailed information on each vehicle’s features in addition to high quality, realistic photos and videos. Automotive companies can no longer get by with standard still photographs of their inventory. Now, consumers expect to see realistic, three-dimensional assets of each vehicle they are thinking about purchasing. The use of augmented reality technology helps automotive companies exceed these consumers’ expectations. Augmented reality technology gives automotive consumers the chance to take 360-degree tours of different vehicles. They can walk around a car and see it from every angle just like they would if they were standing inside a dealership. Because augmented reality assets are so realistic, they allow consumers to get a real sense of what the vehicle looks like without ever seeing it in person. Augmented reality has helped the automotive industry enter a new age of car buying. As more companies begin to adopt this technology, it’s safe to say that the industry will continue to find new and exciting ways to use augmented reality to gain a competitive edge.