Does Google Make Augmented Reality Glasses?
Most people think of Google as just a search engine, and it’s not hard to see why. Its search engine is undoubtedly its most popular and successful product. In fact, Google handles more than 90% of searches performed around the world. However, the search engine is just one of many products created by Google. Google offers a wide range of services, including advertising platforms, publishing tools, maps, analytics, market research, email, and messaging apps. The company also creates products, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. But does Google make augmented reality glasses? Here’s everything you need to know: WHAT ARE AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES? The term “augmented reality glasses” refers to eyewear supported by augmented reality technology. The functionality of augmented reality glasses can vary from model-to-model. But in general, this technology allows the wearer to superimpose elements from the digital world such as images or audio onto their real world environment. These digital elements are projected onto the lenses of the glasses so they are easily visible to the wearer. For example, a pair of augmented reality glasses may help you figure out where to go by projecting turn-by-turn directions onto your lenses. Digital elements such as arrows and street signs may appear on your lenses to guide you to your final destination. Even though the information is projected onto the lenses, it is only visible to the wearer. This means no one will know what you are looking at when wearing a pair of augmented reality glasses. Augmented Reality Glasses [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/History-of-Google-Glass.jpg] A BRIEF HISTORY OF GOOGLE GLASS Google Glass is a brand of smart glasses, or augmented reality glasses, produced by Google. Even though Google Glass was initially released less than a decade ago, the brand has a long and complicated history. PRE-LAUNCH PROMOTION In 2012, Google released a short video called “Project Glass: One Day,” which showed how the Google Glass could enhance a normal day in the life of a consumer in New York City. The video shows how the wearer is able to use his glasses to check the weather, look at his calendar, listen to music, and perform other tasks. Later that year, Google revealed the first prototype of the smart glasses at the Google I/O event. Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, got on stage and interrupted Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president, in order to treat the audience to a live demo of the glasses. Google also partnered with Diane Von Furstenberg, a fashion designer, to generate more buzz around the upcoming release of the Google Glass. The company released video footage filmed with the Glass prototype that took viewers behind the scenes of a Diane Von Furstenberg fashion show. These are just several examples of the publicity stunts that were planned in an effort to get consumers excited about the launch of the Google Glass. THE LAUNCH OF GOOGLE GLASS In 2013, Google released its first pair of smart glasses, the Google Glass. The glasses looked like standard glasses, however the lenses were replaced with an augmented reality heads-up display. Google invited consumers to use a branded hashtag on Twitter to enter for a chance to purchase a pair of the first edition smart glasses. The company ended up choosing 8,000 Twitter users. All of the users who were chosen had to pay $1,500 to acquire a pair of the glasses. The users who were willing to pay this price could acquire the glasses before they were available to the public in May 2014. GOOGLE GLASS BACKLASH Some consumers loved the Google Glass when it was released, but the glasses received a great deal of backlash from the general public. Because the Google Glass was designed with a head-mounted video camera, many people worried that Google Glass wearers would be able to film them without their consent. These privacy concerns continued to grow as more people began wearing the Google Glass in public places. Eventually, some restaurants, bars, and other businesses began to ban their customers from wearing the smart glasses. The public even coined the term “glasshole” to describe consumers who wore the smart glasses in a way that was deemed socially unacceptable. Furthermore, prominent tech reporters complained that the Google Glass performed poorly and had a terrible battery life. In 2015, Google announced that they would no longer sell Google Glass as a result of the backlash, performance issues, and privacy concerns. THE REDESIGN OF GOOGLE GLASS Shortly after announcing the end of Google Glass, Google revealed that it was in the process of redesigning its smart glasses. Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive, was responsible for overseeing the redesign. In an interview, he revealed that his team would not release the redesigned Google Glass until they felt the product was absolutely perfect. Google Glass Enterprise Edition [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Google-Glass-Enterprise-Edition.jpg] THE GOOGLE GLASS ENTERPRISE EDITION The Google Glass Enterprise Edition, which was the second edition of the product, was announced in 2017. Unlike the first edition, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition would not be available to consumers. Instead, the product was only sold to businesses such as Boeing, DHL, and GE. The Google Glass Enterprise Edition was primarily used by factory workers. For example, workers on the assembly line could use the glasses to quickly access instructions or other information without stepping away from their work. This way, they could find the information they needed to perform their job duties without stepping off the assembly line or asking someone for help. The Google Glass Enterprise Edition featured a number of upgrades, including a longer battery life, faster processor, and a light that turned on whenever the video camera was recording. Overall, this product was considered a success among its limited customer base. THE GOOGLE GLASS ENTERPRISE EDITION 2 In 2019, Google announced the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2. Just like the first edition, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 was designed for and sold solely to businesses. It featured minor design upgrades in addition to a better camera and faster processor. According to Google, these smart glasses have helped businesses reduce production times, improve quality, and lower operating costs. CAN CONSUMERS EXPECT GOOGLE AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES IN THE FUTURE? Even though the latest editions of the Google Glass have been successful with businesses, Google has not announced plans to make them available to consumers. However, some industry insiders believe that Google is already in the process of developing a new pair of augmented reality glasses for consumers. Google recently announced that they are actively looking to hire someone to create an augmented reality operating system for an unspecified augmented reality device. This indicates that the company is planning on building a new augmented reality device from the ground up, which has led many people to conclude that this device will be sold to consumers. Furthermore, Google recently acquired North, a Canadian smart glasses manufacturer. North has already successfully launched a pair of augmented reality glasses, the North Focals. The company also planned on releasing Focals 2.0, but these plans were halted after the acquisition. Neither Google nor North has revealed what the companies will be working on together. This has led many industry insiders to predict that Google is secretly working on a new and improved pair of augmented reality glasses for consumers. But even if these predictions come true, there’s no telling when the augmented reality glasses will be available. Facebook’s Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Glasses [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Facebooks-Virtual-Reality-and-Augmented-Reality-Glasses.jpg] WHAT ABOUT FACEBOOK’S VIRTUAL REALITY AND AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES? Google isn’t the only player in the mixed reality wearables market. Many other companies, including Facebook, have invested heavily in developing virtual reality and augmented reality wearables for consumers. After acquiring Oculus, Facebook successfully launched a line of virtual reality headsets for consumers. The Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and Oculus Quest were met with mixed reviews from consumers and tech reporters. Facebook has never released sales numbers for the Oculus product line, but has said that all Oculus products have been successful. For years, it has also been rumored that Facebook is secretly working on a pair of augmented reality glasses. Facebook is also in the middle of developing a high-end virtual reality and augmented reality headset for consumers. Few details have been released to the public about this headset, which the company has nicknamed “Project Cambria.” However, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did reveal that the product will be completely new and will feature face and eye tracking. The headset will also be designed with cameras that can capture and send high-resolution videos to the lenses. Many industry insiders believe that the headset will look and perform similar to the mixed reality headset that Apple is currently developing. Even though Facebook has confirmed that this headset is in development, the company has not announced when it will be available for sale or how much it will cost. But Zuckerberg did state that he expects the product to be priced at the “high end of the price spectrum.” One thing is certain: the competition in the augmented reality wearables market is heating up. Now that Facebook, Google, and Apple are all developing augmented reality devices, there’s no question that consumers will have the option of purchasing one of these innovative wearables in the near future.
Augmented Reality Marketing Immerses Consumers into the Buying Experience
Augmented reality is becoming a big move for businesses who want to reach younger consumers. An article in Advertising Week reported on the use of this technology to reach Generation Z. The youngest generation is quickly usurping the millennials to take the throne as the most coveted marketing demographics for businesses. And the portal through which businesses aim to reach Zoomers–as they are so affectionately known—is via the smartphone. Most specifically, through the camera on the smartphone. It’s that tiny lens on the back of a smartphone that powers augmented reality marketing experiences. And it’s these experiences that may be the key to reaching the heart—and the buying power–of this generation. McKinsey detailed the characteristics of the typical Zoomer. Those in Generation Z tend to be open-minded, but they are also committed to causes. They listen to other points of view. They want to instill change. And they are very individualistic. More importantly, though, this generation has always known technology and likely social media, too. The smartphone is part of their social world. And they are proficient in engaging via digital elements. While older generations were once reached via television commercials and radio, Generation Z’s media of choice might just be their handheld device. Baby Boomers had their hippies and, later, yuppies; they lived the Summer of Love. Generation X had their slackers and valley girls…and, yes, their MTV. Generation Z has influencers via TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. Augmented reality marketing experiences allow this generation to immerse in products and also better understand the brands they are researching. Businesses and brands can use augmented reality to allow users to preview products, to explore all the available options and to even better understand the story behind the company or brand. Augmented reality allows the real world to co-mingle with the digital universe. By overlaying graphic data on top of the real environment, businesses can create a way for customers to try on items or even see products in their home…or garage. Experiences also can include games that tie into a business. Or just seek to entertain. These immersive experiences also allow the user to explore and dig deeper into a story. Augmented reality marketing is multi-dimensional and can provide numerous possibilities to keep the consumer engaged. How do companies and brands use augmented reality? And what have been the most successful augmented reality campaigns? Check out these experiences and explore the world of augmented reality and the deeper stories brands can tell with this platform. Augmented Reality Marketing [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Food-Drinks.jpg] FOOD & DRINKS Restaurants and beverage manufacturers have leveraged augmented reality to create games and other experiences for consumers. Pac-Man, polar bears and even The Walking Dead have come to life in the real environment thanks to this technology! PIZZA HUT What do pizza and a video game have in common? At one time, teens might have been able to buy a slice of pizza in the mall food court and then head over to the arcade to play some games—including the iconic Pac-Man. Pizza Hut took the old arcade experience into an augmented reality realm, though, with a marketing campaign that turned a standard cardboard pizza box into a game of pellet-munching Pac-Man. Users could play the classic arcade game with the help of their smartphone. Augmented reality lets players gobble down ghosts while they also munch on their pizza! COCA-COLA During the holiday season, many consumers know that the cute and cuddly Coca-Cola polar bears begin to make an appearance. These bears have been a part of the brand’s advertising for decades. But back in 2019, Coca-Cola’s cans brought the bears to life via augmented reality. Using a smartphone, consumers just scanned the can to enter the cool world of the Coca-Cola characters. And two scanned cans created a special musical experience featuring the bears! NESTLE While Nestle might be synonymous with the Quik chocolate drink, the brand has a host of other products. In conjunction with the animated film Rio, Nestle transformed cereal packaging including Cookie Crisp, Honey Stars and Nesquick into augmented reality video game experiences. This promotion was actually an early augmented reality foray; it launched in 2011 and was a bit more complicated than simply using the smartphone. REESE’S PUFFS More augmented reality fun with cereal boxes! Reese’s Puffs’ experience was fairly recent and launched this year; Marketing Dive ran a story about the experience in August. According to the story, the actual cereal puffs could be placed on the back of the box to create an immersive musical augmented reality experience. BURGER KING What’s hotter than flame-broiled Whoppers? Apparently a rival restaurant’s ad is burning via augmented reality! In a creative use of the AR technology, Burger King allowed users to destroy rival restaurant ads in flames…augmented reality flames, of course! The experience was available in Brazil and let users capture ads with their camera to…burn them! MOUNTAIN DEW The citrus soda brand from Pepsi let users bring the Walking Dead characters into their world via augmented reality. Packaging World noted that the experience was in correlation with the milestone 100th episode of the series and was accessed via an app called The Walking Dead Encounter. WINERIES AND WINE BRANDS Augmented reality wine labels have taken augmented reality to an intoxicating new level. Major brands like 19 Crimes, Embrazen, Mutua and others utilize the Living Wine Labels app to create unique experiences that allow their customers to immerse in the brand’s story. For example, those who enjoy wines by 19 Crimes can explore those who were persecuted for these crimes…and even experience the warden, too. The Embrazen label highlights bold women and their achievements. And Dr. Henry Lindeman gives tips for how to be a Gentleman (the brand’s Gentleman’s Collection). The app Winerytale is used by hundreds of brands to augment their label. And experiences may differ based on the brand. Other wineries and brands have launched their own augmented reality app. Consumers looking for these experiences may want to check their bottle! Augmented Reality Marketing [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Augmenting-Retail.jpg] AUGMENTING RETAIL Retail stores also use augmented reality to heighten user engagement and experiences. These unique immersive features are popping up for automobiles, eyeglasses, cosmetics, paint, furniture and more. Many retail augmented reality experiences are designed for consumers to preview products in their home and environment…or even on their face. But some brands have created fully immersive products that also include augmented reality! GEM JOY For Gem Joy, augmented reality is part of the ownership experience. This jewelry brand doesn’t use augmented reality for try-on experiences. Instead, each piece of jewelry features its own augmented reality experience. The gems from Gem Joy are interactive in different ways; for example, the site notes that the gems can be a pong paddle, a beautiful remote control or even a landing strip for an augmented reality butterfly! WANNA KICKS Looking for new shoes? Wanna Kicks is an augmented reality try-on app that is just for shoes! The app showcases upcoming new releases, and the selection could revolve regularly. The new kicks appear right on the user’s feet! GUCCI The luxury design house teamed up with Snapchat to provide consumers with a try-on experience for its sneakers. Users could see how luxury looked on their feet. And there was a ‘shop now’ feature, too! LOUIS VUITTON The brand’s Objets Nomades furnishings and design objects line received an augmented reality preview experience. Using their smartphones, users could preview products in their home to envision how the luxury offerings could upgrade their interior features. POTTERY BARN Shopping for home furnishings can lead to guesswork for consumers. Will the chair look good in the den? Does that color clash with other hues in the room? Pottery Barn’s augmented reality experience lets users preview furniture and other products in their home. BENJAMIN MOORE The paint brand is one of several that offers an augmented reality experience to preview paint hues on any wall in the home. Virtually swipe on colors using a smartphone and stop wondering if that color will be a hit or miss! L’OREAL The beauty brand launched Style My Hair, which is an augmented reality app that lets users preview hair colors. Thinking of dying hair bright red? Try it first! WARBY PARKER Warby Parker’s augmented reality experience has been highlighted by many different media outlets. The experience lets users preview different eyeglass frame designs to find the best option that perfectly flatters their face shape! RELAYCARS Buying a new car is easy when shoppers can visualize that vehicle in their own space, including the garage or driveway. The RelayCars app lets shoppers view cars in 3D for up-close looks at the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Images can be rotated on the screen, and users also can opt for a more immersive augmented reality preview mode. This lets users drop any vehicle from RelayCars’ extensive image library into the real world environment! Augmented reality marketing experiences have been around for many years, but as Generation Z is becoming the target demographic for advertisers, this tech-centric immersive experience may become even more popular…and pervasive. When shopping online, do a quick search to see if a favorite brand or store offers an augmented reality experience for previewing products. Not only are these try-on options fun, but they also can take the guesswork out of a purchase and may save consumers the time and hassle of returning a purchase that just wasn’t quite right.
Augmented Reality Wine Labels Uncork Adventures, Mysteries and More
A bottle of wine might be the perfect complement to the evening’s dinner or even dessert. Perhaps uncorking that bottle is simply a relaxing way to unwind while watching a movie, snuggling by the fireplace or while enjoying an evening with friends. Before popping that cork, take a good look at that wine bottle because its label could be hiding a few fun secrets. Augmented reality wine bottles are a new trend among wineries. These labels can be embedded with different stories, mysteries and adventures to transform a simple bottle into a uniquely entertaining and, perhaps, intoxicatingly creative experience. Augmented Reality Wine Labels [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/The-Wine-Bottle-is-now-the-Entertainment.jpg] THE WINE BOTTLE IS NOW THE ENTERTAINMENT While a glass or two of wine might accompany dinner or a social night of fun, modern wine labels are now becoming part of the social experience. Who needs game nights when the bottle becomes the evening’s entertainment! Augmented wine labels can be crafted with almost any experience. The winery can create an adventure that highlights its personal history, a mascot or just something out of the ordinary. But how do these labels work? Augmented reality wine labels come to life with a smartphone or a tablet. Like most augmented reality experiences, the phone’s camera operates the experience. The wine label will usually be linked to an app. To immerse in augmented reality, an affiliated app needs to be downloaded. Currently, multiple wineries offer their own interactive augmented reality apps, several brands also are associated with the Living Wine Label app, and more than 500 brands are linked to the app Winerytale. Among those offering their own apps include Phantom Wine, Rabble Wine Company, CHAR NO. 3, Sonoma County Sustainable Wine, Mensa Wine, Zilzie Wines, and Campo Viejo. App selection may vary per Google Play or the App Store. When enjoying a glass of a winery’s vintage, use the app to interact with the bottle’s label. This will open up the augmented reality experience. LIVING WINE LABEL The Living Wine Label app features custom augmented reality experiences for many different brands. Participating brands with the Living Wine Label app include: 19 Crimes, Gentleman’s Collection, Embrazen, Beringer Bros., The Walking Dead, (Dr. Henry John) Lindeman’s, Matua, Château St. Jean, and Beringer Main & Vine. Each brand offers its own unique experience. For example, labels from 19 Crimes let users participate in a trial (actually, they have to defend themselves on trial!) and they can find out more about those numerous crimes. There’s also an appearance by Snoop Dogg! Popping open Lindeman’s? Use the label to unlock tips from Dr. Henry John Lindeman. He gives sage advice about being a gentleman. Embrazen wine labels open up the stories of ‘Embrazen’ women. Hear about their accomplishments and how they left their mark. The Rabble label features a comet destroying Florence. When using the winery’s augmented reality app, this moment in time comes to life. WINERYTALE Perhaps the largest augmented reality app available is Winerytale, which hosts experiences for more than 500 brands, including Adams County Winery, AK Wines Blank Canvas, Clyde Park Vineyard, First Drop Wines, Inkwell Wines, Moose and Goose Winery and many, many more. Wine aficionados who are looking for an interactive experience via a label might try this app first. Again, hundreds of brands (and wineries) offer experiences via Winerytale. PHANTOM WINES Phantom Wines offers an augmented reality experience via their label that actually involves different stories. Users can scan the label (via the Phantom Wines app) and then dare to experience the tales of the phantom. ARE ALL WINE LABELS INTERACTIVE? While many brands are using augmented reality to add more depth to their vintages in the form of stories and entertainment, not every winery, label or brand offers augmented reality. However, the label might be the best clue as to any hidden adventures. Labels could note that there are augmented reality experiences that can be unlocked and how to enjoy these experiences. SIP AND ENJOY ADVENTURES Interactive augmented reality wine labels can integrate into the social experience. Those hosting parties, dinners or other events with friends may encourage guests to download the label app and play games or other experiences. However, these interactive labels also could just be fun entertainment at home. Sip some wine, open the app, scan the label and check out cool adventures. Brands and wineries are getting in on the social experience…beyond just the uncorking and sipping of their vintages. Not only do augmented reality experiences serve as a source of entertainment, but they encourage individuals to interact with the brand, to learn more and maybe to explore other products. Augmented Reality Wine Labels [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Will-Labels-and-Other-Products-Augment-Reality.jpg] WILL LABELS AND OTHER PRODUCTS AUGMENT REALITY? The concept of an interactive wine label could possibly reach over into other products. Cereal boxes and packaging may already include QR codes that bring up websites to play games or enjoy other experiences. Could more augmented reality experiences be featured in packaging? Will cans of soft drink link to apps to open augmented reality experiences? Actually, interactive soft drink cans already existed! Pepsi Max cans opened up soccer experiences when the cans were scanned by smartphones; the promotional packaging was tied to the World Cup (back in 2016). And Coke transformed its cans into a jukebox in partnership with Spotify! Coke fans could enjoy free music from Spotify using the Blippar app. The demand for augmented reality may push other industries to include these types of experiences. And augmented reality or other types of interactive experience could greatly benefit the brand. Metal Packaging Europe reported that for Pepsi Max, the user engagement was nearly three minutes (per user!) and there were millions of interactions! AUGMENTED REALITY RESTAURANTS Restaurants also included augmented reality into packaging. For example, Pizza Hut boxes will be printed with a Pac-Man game design. When users scan the QR code on the box, an augmented reality Pac-Man game comes alive! Yes, the pizza box becomes an arcade! McDonald’s has released many augmented reality experiences around the globe. In Canada, the #BringHalloweenHome campaign lets users knock on a yellow door to open up experiences and, of course, a McDelivery offer. The campaign was launched during the pandemic as more people were ordering delivery services. Happy Meal packaging also opened up augmented reality experiences. The boxes featured characters from Dreamworks movies like How to Train Your Dragon 2. The experiences included interactive games with the characters. AUGMENTED REALITY EXPERIENCES ALL AROUND! Consumers should keep their eyes peeled for new augmented reality experiences affiliated with products or even restaurant packaging. These experiences could be hiding on labels, boxes or cans. To find them, look closely at packaging! Brands aren’t shy about including details! Augmented reality has become a reality in many consumer experiences. This interactive technology has the ability to change the way consumers shop…and even how they drive. Many brands and stores offer interactive try-on features. These are popular for cosmetics brands and stores that want to provide a way for online shoppers to preview colors and products when they can’t try them in the store. Even hunting for the perfect palette of paint colors for the home can now be demystified thanks to augmented reality. Brands like Sherwin-Williams and Home Depot provide homeowners with an augmented reality paint color preview. The colors literally appear on the wall! This can be incredibly helpful for homeowners who don’t know what this might look best in a room. Or if the paint shade will clash with the color themes of the room. Sometimes paint looks different in the can than it does on the wall; augmented reality helps decipher those colors! Augmented reality also changes the drive to work, the store or anywhere! Navigation features in cars often feature augmented reality. Gridlines that are overlaid on top of the rear backdrop from reverse cameras are a type of augmented reality. So are GPS apps that show the real world and add in directional arrows or other digitized graphic data. Even shopping for a car can include augmented reality. For example, RelayCars lets car buyers preview a car in both 3D imagery and augmented reality. With RelayCars, different car models can be dropped in the real world environment. Preview a car in the backyard. Or maybe just the garage. Augmented reality is yet another way brands, companies and stores can offer up unique ways to provide an immersive customer experience. With augmented reality wine labels and other packaging, games, mystery stories and other entertainment can be included in the product. In this way, the product takes on a new life. Not only can customers enjoy pizza or wine, they can open up games and play on top of packaging. Or explore the details of the brand. Augmented reality can take the mystery out of a purchase…and this is definitely a good thing for consumers on the fence about a paint color, lipstick tint or even a pair of eyeglasses. Augmented reality packing and experiences are nothing new. But could more brands include these hidden experiences within the packaging? Consumers might want to keep their eyes on those labels…because augmented reality might be lurking!
10 Best Augmented Reality Shopping Apps
In the past, augmented reality experiences were not available to everyday consumers. But that’s all changed as a result of developer tools such as Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore, which have made it easier than ever before to develop augmented reality apps for Android and iOS devices. Thanks to these tools, there are countless augmented reality apps available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. There are a wide range of augmented reality apps, including games, maps, puzzles, and educational tools. However, many augmented reality apps are designed to make shopping online easier for consumers. Here are the 10 best augmented reality shopping apps: Augmented Reality Shopping [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/IKEA-Place.jpg] IKEA PLACE IKEA was one of the first retailers to launch an augmented reality shopping app. The app, IKEA Place, simplifies the process of shopping for furniture and home decor online. How does it work? Say you are shopping for a new IKEA sofa for your living room. Use the IKEA Place app to browse the retailer’s extensive inventory. If you find a sofa you like, tap on it to launch the augmented reality feature, which will use your smartphone’s camera to scan your living room. Then, the app will project a three-dimensional, true-to-scale digital model of the selected sofa onto your real world environment. This gives you a chance to see whether the sofa will fit in your living room and how it will look with the rest of your furniture. You won’t need to worry about whether you measured the space correctly or chose the right color to complement your decor. Now you can see exactly what every piece of furniture or home decor item will look like in your home before you decide what to purchase. ZEEKIT Zeekit is an augmented reality app that allows consumers to see what clothing items will look like on their bodies while shopping online. In other words, Zeekit allows consumers to virtually try on clothing items using their smartphone or tablet. There are two ways to use this app. If you want to see how specific clothing items will look on your body, you can upload a photo of yourself to the app. Then, the app will use augmented reality technology to project the clothing onto your body in the photo. If you don’t want to upload a photo of yourself, you have the option of seeing how clothing will look like on a fit model with your exact measurements instead. A number of clothing retailers, including Zara, Rebecca Minkoff, and Amazon, have all used Zeekit to make online shopping easier for consumers. SEPHORA Before augmented reality, shopping online for cosmetics was challenging. But now, consumers can shop online for cosmetics with confidence using augmented reality tools such as Sephora’s Virtual Artist app. How does it work? If a shopper sees a cosmetic item they like, they can tap on “Try This Shade” to launch the Virtual Artist in-app feature. This will automatically open the shopper’s front-facing smartphone camera. Then, the app will use augmented reality technology to project the cosmetic onto the shopper so they can see exactly what it would look like on their face. For example, shoppers can use this feature to see what different shades of lipstick would look like on their lips. This feature allows online shoppers to virtually try on thousands of different cosmetic products without ever stepping foot in a Sephora store. Augmented Reality Shopping [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/LOreal.jpg] L’OREAL Like Sephora, L’Oreal uses augmented reality to provide a virtual cosmetic try-on experience for consumers. But in addition to cosmetics, L’Oreal also allows consumers to virtually try on different shades of hair coloring from its Garnier brand. However, shoppers cannot use this feature online. They can only use this feature if they are in a store that sells Garnier hair coloring products. To use this feature, shoppers need to download the Google Lens augmented reality app. Then, shoppers can point their smartphone camera at a box of Garnier hair coloring. The app will scan the product and automatically generate a three-dimensional, realistic model of the hair color. The shopper can then use their smartphone’s front-facing camera to see how they would look with the selected hair color. WARBY PARKER Warby Parker is another retailer that has used augmented reality technology to make online shopping more convenient for consumers. If you’re interested in purchasing a pair of Warby Parker glasses, download the brand’s app to browse their inventory. If you find a pair you like, you can use the in-app augmented reality tool to see what the glasses would look like on your face. You can virtually try on as many pairs of glasses on the Warby Parker app as you would like. The app even allows you to snap a photo of yourself virtually wearing the glasses so you can share it with your friends and family. This way, you can ask for their opinion before deciding which pair of glasses you should purchase. Augmented Reality Shopping [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Nike.jpg] NIKE In 2020, Nike added a new augmented reality feature to its app called “Nike Fit.” This in-app feature is used to help shoppers figure out what size shoe they should purchase. To use this feature, simply launch the Nike app and point your smartphone camera at your feet. The app will activate the Nike Fit feature, which uses augmented reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence technologies to measure the size of your feet. The app is capable of measuring each foot within 2 mm of accuracy. After the app has scanned your feet, it will tell you what size shoe is right for you. This recommendation may vary depending on the shoe you are interested in purchasing. For example, if a specific style runs smaller than others, the app may recommend a slightly larger size. HOME DEPOT Home Depot launched an in-app augmented reality feature in late 2019. This feature gives online shoppers the chance to see how a specific item would look in their home. To use this feature, download the Home Depot app and start shopping for the items you need. If you find an appliance, home decor item, or piece of furniture you like, click on the product details page to see more. Then, tap on “See it in your home with 3D augmented reality.” This will pull up the app’s augmented reality tool, which will project a three-dimensional, true-to-scale digital model of the selected item onto your real world environment. You can use this feature to see how various items, including refrigerators, chandeliers, desks, rugs, and more would look in your home. DIAMOND HEDGE The Diamond Hedge augmented reality app helps shoppers find the perfect diamond engagement ring without ever stepping foot inside a jewelry store. All you need to do is open the Diamond Hedge app and point your smartphone’s camera at your hand. Then, select the diamond and setting you would like to virtually try on. The app will then automatically project a model of your selections onto your ring finger. Once your virtual ring is on your finger, you can use your other hand to adjust the size and shape of the diamond. For example, tap on “carat” to adjust the size of the diamond in the virtual ring. If you find a ring you like, snap a photo and share it with your loved ones via the app. SHERWIN WILLIAMS The Sherwin Williams ColorSnap Visualizer app is designed with an augmented reality feature called “Instant Paint.” You can use this feature to see what any shade of Sherwin Williams paint would look like on the walls in your home. All you need to do is either upload a photo of your home or point your smartphone’s camera at your walls. Then, select a shade of Sherwin Williams paint and tap on the wall you would like to virtually paint. The app will immediately apply the selected paint color onto your walls. If you like the way it looks, snap a photo so you can share it with your loved ones. You can also choose to save the paint color so you don’t forget which shade you fell in love with once you get to the store. Augmented Reality Shopping [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/RelayCars-1.jpg] RELAYCARS If you’re thinking about buying a new car, you may want to download the RelayCars virtual showroom app. This app allows you to explore thousands of different vehicles using just your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Inside the virtual showroom, you can walk around the outside of a vehicle, sit in the driver’s seat and examine the interior, and see what the vehicle would look like in different colors. Basically, the RelayCars app provides an authentic dealership showroom experience at your fingertips, so you can skip the trip to the dealership. Use the innovative RelayCars app to learn about different vehicles, compare your options, and make a purchase decision. You won’t need to go to a dealership until you are ready to make a purchase, which drastically simplifies and shortens the entire car buying process. These are some of the many augmented reality shopping apps that are available for download on smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices. Thanks to augmented reality technology, consumers can use these apps to shop online with confidence.
BMW Launches New Art Car Augmented Reality Experience
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!
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
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
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
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
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]