You Can Now Play Pac-Man on the Side of a Pizza Hut Box Through Augmented Reality
“Why on earth would someone want to put Pac-Man on the side of a pizza box?” Well, why not? Now the classic Pac Man arcade game experience is available on the sides of Pizza Hut delivery and to-go boxes for consumers to play as they eat pizza and pizza-related creations. This modern twist on a cherished video game has been whipped up by Pizza Hut as a nostalgia promotion in an effort to move more products. PIZZA HUT BY THE NUMBERS Pizza Hut itself is coming off a year of somewhat suspended numbers with Pizza Hut International scraping together 13% growth in the fourth quarter of 2020. Dominos reported a 14% growth in the third quarter of 2020, which might not seem like much of a difference, but those little percentage points tend to equal big dollars in the eyes of the pizza makers. When a business starts to hit a plateau or even a decline, it’s time to shake things up, and new creations will start to come out of high priced think tanks which incorporate the latest product and technological innovations. Since necessity is the mother of invention, it’s times such as these when consumers start to see attractions like Pac-Man-playable pizza boxes. Sure, this sort of innovation isn’t going to win the Nobel prize or any such humanitarian award, but it’s a testament to how amazing, immersive, and omnipresent AR technology is starting to become. Pizza Hut Box Through Augmented Reality [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Pizza-Hut-History.jpg] PIZZA HUT HISTORY Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. and is one of the world’s largest restaurant companies. Pizza Hut has turned itself into a household name over the years as an American fast-food pizza chain, ultimately growing to the point of becoming an international franchise. Founded in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas by Frank and Dan Carney, Pizza Hut offers its titular delicacy in addition to other Italian-American dishes, including: * Bread Sticks * Pasta * Salads * Chicken Wings * Desserts Unlike high-priced artisanal pizza shops, Pizza Hut prices their product to move, and their business model has stood the test of time. As of April 25, 2021, there are 6,672 Pizza Hut locations in the United States alone and 17,639 restaurants worldwide, both numbers down due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pizza Hut is now positioning itself to get back to some semblance of regular growth after a challenging 2020. Even after its slight 2020 downfall, Pizza Hut remains the world’s largest pizza chain — if we’re speaking in terms of number of locations. Domino’s has the crown when it comes to pizzas sold with 7.04 billion in sales in 2019. Even during a global pandemic, people across the globe turned to Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Little Caesar’s and other pizza delivery shops to keep them fed while they sheltered in place. NOSTALGIA MARKETING Putting an 80s arcade game on the side of a pizza box is an interesting piece of “Nostalgia Marketing” that is sure to get folks to purchase more pizzas by the box, but why do companies and organizations rely on nostalgia in the first place? There’s a reason why there is an app you can download on your phone that makes your smartphone operate like a rotary phone. The entertainment industry capitalizes on nostalgia with shows like Stranger Things and Mad Men. There is a ton of currency in helping people bridge the gap between the present and the past. Big box brands and Fortune 500 companies around the world pay big bucks to ad agencies (names like Ogilvy, Deloitte, Epsilon, and McCann) to tug at consumer heartstrings in order to get them to empty their pockets and often purchase something they may or may not want or need. Coming off a rough year (to say the least), many businesses are now pivoting away from COVID-19-heavy rhetoric and messaging and favoring normalcy and getting back to connecting with consumers on some sort of regular and real level. Pizza Hut Box Through Augmented Reality [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Arcade-and-Video-Game-Nostalgia.jpg] ARCADE AND VIDEO GAME NOSTALGIA Nostalgia products are on the rise in our current ever-evolving climate, which might seem like an ironic thing. Old school Nintendo products are being picked up on Ebay at a rapid clip — and the same goes for other vintage video game consoles. Any respectable gamer will likely not only have the latest Playstation or Xbox device, but they’ll also have their Super Nintendo, NES, Sega Genesis, Dreamcast, and other consoles which have long been out of production. Said gamer might even end up playing Mario Kart on that Super Nintendo in lieu of using their latest VR headset. WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT PAC-MAN? Pac-Man might inspire questions like: * How do you play Pac Man? * Is there a pattern to Pacman? * When was Pacman made? * Then, ultimately, Can I play Pac Man on my phone? Pac-Man itself took the world by storm in 1980 and remains widely played today — except in different iterations than kids, teens, and adults played in earlier decades. Instead of playing the game at an actual arcade, most people today have probably first played Pac-Man on a smartphone or on their computer. To this day, gamers learn to beat Pac Man through repeatable patterns and “Cherry Partners” that help the subject character eat all of the dots before getting caught by antagonistic monsters. At first, Pac Man could only be played in an arcade, then, later, on NES, Atari, and other consoles. Ultimately, Pac Man became available online (often free of charge), giving gamers the ability to play Pac Man anytime anywhere. PAC-MAN MEETS AR TECHNOLOGY… Now, with the help of AR technology, you don’t need your phone or your laptop to play Pac Man. You can grab a Pizza Hut pizza, maybe some wings and breadsticks, head to the park, have a nice picnic (either with a friend or solo), and play Pac Man to your little heart’s desire. If that’s not innovation, we don’t know what is. Pizza Hut isn’t the only organization that has Pac Man on the brain. In 2010, Google celebrated Pac Man’s 30th anniversary — by unveiling its first ever interactive doodle. Users were able to log in and play Pac Man straight from their home page, which has a lot of similarities to what Pizza Hut is doing right now — now that’s clever nostalgia marketing. Pizza Hut Box Through Augmented Reality [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/AR-Technology-and-Applications.jpg] AR TECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS What is AR technology and how is it used in the world today? Augmented reality has to do with the creation of an interactive experience having to do with a real-world environment. In augmented reality, objects residing in the real world can be enhanced via computer-generated perceptual information. AR is sometimes utilized across multiple sensory modalities. AR includes elements that are: * Visual * Auditory * Haptic * Somatosensory * Olfactory Augmented reality allows people to superimpose digital content (which can be either images, sounds, text, or some combination of the three) over real-life canvases. Video games have always been synonymous with AR. In 2016 augmented reality received a vast amount of exposure for the Pokémon Go launch, which gave gamers the ability to interact with their Pokémon which were superimposed onto the environment via a smartphone screen. AR is being used in the medical field to help with surgeries as well as the automotive industry and real estate industry with virtual showrooms and virtual open houses, not to mention helping provide enhanced training, even to skilled apprentices. AR is even being used for immersive therapy, which helps individuals with social anxiety get the treatment they need in an environment they are comfortable with and acclimated to. Even though in the past pizza restaurants have primarily focused on the dine-in experience, perhaps Pizza Hut is providing this attraction as a way to bring that same dine-in experience to those who have been enjoying pizza at home. Perhaps there will be a time again when people will flock to the red roofs of Pizza Hut to have a pie or two and play an arcade game (or three). Pizza Hut partnering with Pac Man to bring this limited edition product to market is only the beginning of AR/product collaboration, and AR is set to enhance even the most banal experiences for people all over the world. Sure, not everyone on the planet is going to be able to experience AR as it applies to the medical field, but anyone who has a spare $14.99 (and a craving for hand-tossed dough, marinara, mozzarella, and either veggies and/or meat) can experience for themselves just how far AR has come and get a glimpse at how far its grasp can possibly reach.
Can Augmented Reality Lessen Downtime?
Rockwell Automation created a short YouTube video about how augmented reality tools can help reduce downtime of machines and productivity. While the video is geared toward specific products, the company also released an extensive video webinar that was published via Auto.com delving deeper into the use of augmented reality to save time—especially machine downtime. Can augmented reality lessen downtime at work? The short answer is yes. Rockwell Automation gives four reasons in its video on how augmented reality is effective: * “AR doesn’t disrupt existing technology. AR exists in parallel to OT and IT technology, without disrupting existing infrastructure and investments.” * “AR requires a low technical hurdle. With the right tools, subject matter experts can create and refine effective AR content with little to no coding experience.” * “AR can utilize existing digital assets. Repurposed CAD and other digital files created during the design of physical equipment can enrich AR experiences.” * “AR is flexible and extensible. AR experiences can easily be updated to reflect changes to products and procedures. AR is less dependent on translation requirements.” If all this sounds quite like a technological explanation, that’s because it sort of is a technological explanation. The video from Rockwell Automation that was posted to Auto.com is a bit extensive—running for more than 40 minutes. However, it delves into the heart of why augmented reality might be a crucial adaptation for factories and businesses. DOWNTIME IS COSTLY! No video has to explicitly state that downtime is costly. Minutes lost to someone waiting for an answer on how to handle a problem, fix a machine or manage a task can waste billable business hours. Of course, if production is affected, that downtime also could hurt profits. So costly are these incidents that Garvey Conveyers hilariously—and perhaps truthfully—refers to the word downtime as a four letter word. In 2013, Industry Week and Stratus Technologies teamed up for the second Manufacturer IT Applications Study. Frank Hill, with Stratus, revealed the study results to Industry Week. Hill noted that the cost of a downtime incident clocks in at about $17,000, and there might be about seven incidents each year. One of the problems that Hill noted from the results is that while many manufacturers have “traditional backup” for their systems, this isn’t a time efficient solution. Restoring data could take days. Hill explained that companies “…need to make the right technology investments to keep their critical applications up and running.” The solution pointed to technology that was “always on.” How is Augmented Reality Beneficial [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/How-is-Augmented-Reality-Beneficial.jpg] HOW IS AUGMENTED REALITY BENEFICIAL? Hill didn’t specifically mention augmented reality from the study results, but Augmenta explains that augmented reality can help prevent downtime incidents and maximize time efficiency in repairs. Augmented reality technology can prevent incidents by notifying workers of issues before they may become a problem. Think about augmented reality in vehicles. The predictive technology can help pinpoint obstacles on the road and warn drivers about other issues. Machines aren’t so different. Perhaps augmented reality technology could alert an employee that a belt is in need of repair. As Augmenta noted, augmented reality can help employees stop a problem before it becomes a major issue. Repairs also can be aided with the help of augmented reality. Many automobile manufacturers use augmented reality glasses to aid technicians in repair. These glasses show problems and solutions in front of the technician’s eyes. There is no need to stop in the middle of repairs and check a reference guide. Some of these glasses even allow the technician to connect to additional support personnel—hands-free! In the manufacturing environment, augmented reality can keep techs focused on their tasks and save them time during repairs. Perhaps the technology even lets them connect to a help desk, too. In the past, fixing a machine could have required contacting numerous people by phone or consulting a manual. Now technology can simplify the process and save time. THE ADAPTABILITY OF AUGMENTED REALITY For manufacturers and other businesses, augmented reality also could be an adaptable technology. Companies can use existing files for an augmented reality experience, according to Rockwell. For example, the augmented reality program could include data files or information related to repairs or other details. These programs, as Rockwell also noted, can be changed and updated as needed. If something changes, the augmented reality experience can be updated to reflect the new information. Manufacturing Business Technology cites Lockheed Martin’s success with augmented reality. The company builds spaceships, so there is no room for any error. When Lockheed Martin implemented augmented reality for the Space division, the company saw “…a 35-50 percent reduction in overall technician time, a 90-99 percent reduction in the time it takes technicians to interpret drawings and text instructions and an 85 percent reduction in overall time for training.” Augmented reality allowed techs to see instructions and details overlaid on actual aircraft. The visual guidance provided likely meant that the techs didn’t have to reread text or consult with another technician. AUGMENTED REALITY AIDING AUTOMOTIVE In the automotive sector, augmented reality and virtual reality is used to simplify processes and aid in collaboration. Augmented reality also is being used to aid repairs in the industry. Motortrend reported in September that Mercedes Benz technicians are eyeing repairs with HoloLens 2 glasses. The goggles let techs show issues to other experts virtually. The expert can make notes about repairs—they can actually visually note issues on the car to point out the problem. Both the tech and the expert see the engine, and the technology will superimpose arrows or other notes to show issues. The technology doesn’t come cheap to dealers, however. Motortrend reported that the price of the augmented reality experience is $10,000 per dealer. Manufacturers also are using virtual reality as a means of collaborating remotely. Ford used virtual reality during the pandemic to allow executives to discuss design details. With virtual reality, executives could use laser pointers to note any details on the car (which was also a virtual model). Executives also could switch positions with each other to gain a different vantage point. AUGMENTED REALITY AND THE CONSUMER While augmented reality benefits companies and manufacturers by decreasing downtime and aiding in repairs, the technology also has many benefits to consumers. Augmented reality follows consumers each day they drive. Many new car models feature augmented reality within heads-up displays. The most basic form of augmented reality is the rear back-up cameras. The cameras show the real world view behind the car, but the technology also projects grid lines to show drivers their turning radius. Those superimposed gridlines are a hallmark of augmented reality. More advanced heads-up displays, however, are being introduced constantly in new car models. Mercedes Benz introduced the new MBUX Hyperscreen (MBUX stands for Mercedes Benz User Experience). The Hyperscreen is massive at 56 inches and includes voice recognition and augmented reality features. Augmented reality in the car might become even more detailed. While many cars include front and rear cameras or even heads-up displays that feature augmented reality elements (like arrows for navigation), Nissan is working on the ultimate in-car technology. Invisible-to-Visible (I2V) would feature avatars of friends or family to make the ride more enjoyable. However, drivers also could have a professional driver join them (as an avatar) for advice. I2V also would allow for the windows to project bright skies to create a joyful ambiance. Road obstacles and other hazards could be predicted with I2V, and the driver would be alerted ahead of time. Augmented Reality and Consumer Downtime [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Augmented-Reality-and-Consumer-Downtime.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY AND CONSUMER DOWNTIME Downtime in industry terms is related to manufacturing, and while augmented reality can lessen downtime for the manufacturing sector, it also could aid consumers, too. Shopping can be simplified with augmented reality and the technology also can heighten the user experience. Buying cosmetics or clothes can be a guessing game. Sizes vary, and colors don’t look the same on each person. Augmented reality try-on experiences allow consumers to preview their choices before they buy. This can save time for the consumer, but it also could decrease returns for the company. Even car shopping can be simplified with augmented or virtual reality. Online showrooms exist in virtual and augmented reality to help consumers find their ideal car. With augmented reality, users can drop their car of choice into their real-world environment. Virtual reality showrooms can be accessed online or by wearing a virtual reality headset. Both types of showrooms allow users to swap out paint hues and look inside the vehicles. Even home improvement can be simplified with augmented reality. Thinking about painting a bedroom a new hue? Preview the color choices with augmented reality! Some companies let users photograph their room and then superimpose new paint colors to try-on the paint! This can help homeowners decide what hue will complement their décor…and what hues to avoid completely! Downtime is money wasted, both for the consumer and a manufacturer. Augmented reality can have the same time and eliminate downtime. Augmented reality allows technicians to make repairs without pausing to consult a book or an expert. The technology also helps stop accidents before they happen; augmented reality can alert companies that a machine needs a repair or that a part might be failing. The same benefits apply to consumers, too—especially in the car. Augmented reality features in the car could provide additional safety benefits (like a backup camera), and the technology also helps simplify the drive (through graphic directions). Augmented reality also can help consumers while shopping for new clothes, cosmetics or even deciding on a new paint hue. Visualizing choices or instructive content can provide yet another aid to simplify decisions and processes…and save time!
Tim Cook: Augmented Reality is Critical to Apple’s future
Google launched several augmented reality experiences for Android users. There’s the new Floom, which lets users peek into the other side of the world via an augmented reality hole or portal that they dig/draw. Sodar lets users draw a perimeter around their bodies (in AR, of course). An augmented reality measuring app provides 3D overlays that measure volume, and an upcoming app can give photos (via Google) an augmented reality upgrade. Google has a host of other augmented reality products, too. Will Apple take a bigger byte out of augmented reality? ZDNET reported on an interview Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, did with Kara Swisher on her podcast. While Cook wouldn’t discuss any details in particular regarding what may or may not be in the pipeline, he did talk about how augmented reality could complement conversations—like his interview–with graphics. In a first quarter earnings call last year, Cook touched on augmented reality, too. “This is the reason I’m so excited about it,” said Cook via the call. “You rarely have a new technology where business and consumer both see it as key to them. So I think the answer is that’s the reason that I think it’s going to pervade your life.” But just how big of a bite will Apple take out of augmented reality? How invested is the company in this particular market segment? Companies—including Apple—don’t often disclose what’s in the works. Technology is a competitive market, and the tight lips likely ensure that all products under development remain incognito to those on the outside…including competitors. Innovation and innovative products are valuable, and Apple has enough experience to know just how valuable their products are to the consumer. Tech sites and publications often speculate about what could be next for Apple. The popular speculation is that Apple could release augmented reality glasses. Other sites have found patent applications from Apple that delve into a mixed reality windshield. While the future of Apple augmented reality products isn’t so clear, there are many ways Apple fans can utilize augmented reality. Apple isn’t a stranger to this technology, and the company has an augmented reality platform. In addition, the App Store is filled with many augmented reality apps that Apple users can explore. While Apple may indeed take a juicy bite out of augmented reality with innovative new products, there are still many augmented reality experiences to explore…and some of them are simply out of this world! Check out these five unusual augmented reality experiences available via the App Store: LightSpace For those who want an app that augments art, get ready to paint in neon lights! LightSpace is an augmented reality app that lets users paint via augmented reality. Apparently—per the description—the app went viral on TikTok. Users can create 3D GIFS! Backyard Apollo AR Place the Apollo Saturn V rocket in the backyard and get ready for launch. With augmented reality, users can see the rocket from different vantage points. solAR System Augmented Reality The app lets users drop the entire solar system anywhere and explore the planets. Zeroing in on a specific planet brings up additional data. Find My Car Can augmented reality help drivers find their car? Apparently, yes it can. The app also lets users set timers so they don’t end up running out the parking meter. Catch Santa AR Augmented reality for the holidays. Santa can drop into any environment. Who said Santa isn’t real? He’s on video with this augmented reality app! Through augmented reality technology, Santa is shown moving in the room and leaving gifts. APPLE & AUGMENTING LAMBORGHINI During Covid, Apple teamed up with Lamborghini to unveil the new Huracán EVO AWD Spyder via augmented reality. The experience required an Apple device with iOS 11. Users could drop the vehicle anywhere in their environment, walk around the car and check out its features. Macrumors reported that Apple’s QuickLook (AR) would be an option for all future Lamborghini vehicles. In the future, visitors to Lamborghini’s site may be able to drop all their cars into a room, a driveway or the garage. Augmented Reality is Critical to Apple [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Augmented-Reality-Glasses-on-the-Market.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES ON THE MARKET Augmented reality glasses seem to be the loud whisper related to Apple products featuring augmented reality. Many sites have been speculating about Apple releasing glasses, but no one really knows what they could look like…or if they will even become a reality. There are, however, several types of augmented reality glasses already on the market. They offer different designs and features…not to mention price points. Epson Moverio Smart Glasses pop up on the company’s business tab. They can be used by businesses for aiding technicians. They also could be used to provide captioning during movies and to provide unique experiences for exhibits and more. Wareable reported that Facebook will have its own smart glasses featuring augmented reality. Per the story, the glasses will be Ray-Bans. A YouTube video from Ray-Ban Films teased the new glasses. No details were leaked via the video, however. Will the glasses be aviators or Wayfarers? Vuzix Blade Upgraded Smart Glasses also feature augmented reality. While some augmented reality products are focused towards business use, the company notes that it can be for business or personal use. Augmented Reality is Critical to Apple [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Augmented-Reality-in-the-Future.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY IN THE FUTURE Smart glasses aren’t the only augmented reality infused products on the market, though. While rumors often swirl about Apple’s next big launch, there is one major product that many tech titans seem to be pursuing: autonomous cars! While products like smart glasses can be infused with augmented or virtual reality, the idea of a smart car that is self-driven is really space-age. Several companies are testing robotaxis that are self-driving, and this technology could be the future. But will augmented reality wire into these futuristic cars? Anything is possible. Nissan is developing technology that allows for avatars to join the ride. Invisible to Visible technology also would show drivers obstacles up ahead and even transform the windows to include pleasant skies on dreary days. Avatars with this technology wouldn’t exist in a virtual realm, instead they would sit in the actual car and would exist as a type of augmented reality. Our cars are already infused with augmented reality. Backup cameras, smart rearview mirrors and even GPS systems can project graphic overlays on top of the real world environment. These features might boost the driving experience and might even help reduce fender benders (in the case of backup cameras). Businesses use augmented reality to improve the user experience. Augmented reality can create virtual try-on experiences that let shoppers preview cosmetics, paint hues on walls or even drop furniture into a room. Some augmented reality experiences may even let users try a new hairstyle. Museums also could use augmented reality to create interactive exhibits for visitors. The Smithsonian’s Skin and Bone app can be downloaded onto a device and used to interact with exhibits in the Bone Hall. Users who can’t visit the museum can print out pictures of the exhibits and use the app at home. In the automotive industry, augmented reality is used to provide help to technicians during repairs and to help consumers preview new cars. Glasses show details during the repair and can even communicate with a team of experts in another location. RelayCars offers an augmented reality showroom that lets users drop different cars into their home or other space; they can walk around the vehicle, swap out paint hues and look inside. WHEN WILL APPLE RUMORS BECOME REALITY? The buzz about any possible new Apple products can be deafening. The talk of augmented reality glasses has been swirling for quite some time. Who knows if or even when any type of augmented reality glasses could launch. Tech companies, however, are always developing and innovating. Consumers crave new products, and the excitement over a new phone—whether Apple or Android—or other device shows just how popular new products are to the consumer. When a new phone launches, the old technology becomes old news…perhaps even obsolete. Cameras now deliver crisp and precise images. And many phones are now capable of showcasing augmented reality. In the early aughts, a flip phone was popular and considered high-tech; the cameras weren’t great, texting was a chore…and apps weren’t a thing. Now our handheld devices can launch augmented reality games, apps and experiences. The phones can show videos. Texting can be dictated. So what’s next in the world of augmented reality? From Apple…only the insiders of the company likely know. However, Facebook x Ray Ban is on the horizon. Those Wayfarers might be smart in ways we never knew possible. Will they feature augmented reality? According to a story by The Verge, not so much, as Facebook confirmed to the site that the glasses will not be an AR product. The wait is still on for the next cool pair of augmented reality glasses.
The Art of Augmented Reality
Tech platforms and the evolution of technology reverberate across industries. When the smartphone first hit the market, not everyone could invest in its sleek offerings. Yet, today the smartphone has become the norm, and many industries have created apps or other experiences to satiate the smartphone gusto within society. Now mobile devices like the smartphone have evolved to become a gateway to an augmented reality of the world. Marketing success requires evolution—digital evolution. And technology has evolved to create alternate realities—both augmented and virtual. Businesses have learned that the art of augmented reality creates heightened user experiences for the consumer. Museums and artists have also realized that the augmented and virtual worlds may be the gateway to unique forms of expression and a conduit to provide greater outreach to the masses. Covid might have been a game-changer for museums and other cultural institutions. As shelter-in-place mandates affected numerous countries, nonessential businesses likely shut their doors to foot traffic. Museums were not deemed essential. Art galleries and concert venues postponed or cancelled performances or special exhibits. The tourist industry halted. And those iconic museums and cultural institutions that were once prime destinations sat empty. As businesses struggled to survive in a world without foot traffic, these venues also were left trying to find ways to exist when many across the globe were stuck inside their homes. Online experiences might have been the ticket to survival. Businesses that could sell online likely pivoted to this platform. While tourists couldn’t travel, they likely still craved unique experiences. Travel, without the travel. Yet, how could museums hold tours or showcase exhibits without in-person traffic? Museums went virtual! Many included virtual tours online, and some allowed for individuals, groups and families to sign up for personal virtual tours. Cultural venues also might have offered classes online to give bored consumers a unique experience at home. Art of Augmented Reality [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Augmenting-Art.jpg] AUGMENTING ART While virtual reality experiences integrated into online sites, there were still issues that museums faced regarding some exhibits. Not every exhibit could translate easily to a virtual tour, especially exhibits that were highly visual or that relied on technology for the full experience. Smithsonian Magazine highlighted how a few museums and artists were using augmented reality to allow art to be showcased at home. Jenny Holzer, whose exhibits include LED signs and light-up quotes featured on the sides of vans, made her You Be My Ally project accessible to anyone at home. An app allowed users to place quotes from the project on a wall…or anywhere they wanted to view it. Serpentine Galleries also embraced augmented reality for an exhibit that was originally meant to be experienced in virtual reality. Artist Cao Fei’s The Eternal Wave could be experienced in the gallery via augmented reality through an app called Acute Art. A small preview of the exhibit could be experienced anywhere. Cuseum allows individuals to bring famous works of art into their home via augmented reality. Museums that partner with Cuseum include The White House Historical Association, Timken Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Center for Creative Photography, Royal Tyrrell Museum, and the North Carolina Museum of Art. CNET reported that Smithsonian museums partnered with Verizon to create augmented reality experiences during Covid. To view the augmented reality exhibits and experiences, CNET explains that users just have to click the camera on their phone and scan the code via Verizon’s virtual museum webpage. Users can choose from multiple exhibits; check out a blue crab, extinct animals, view sculptures and more. After scanning the code of the exhibit of choice, on an iPhone the user will be prompted to open up Yahoo!, and then the augmented reality experience begins! The coolest part? Users can drop the exhibit anywhere in their real-world environment. Explore art and other exhibits from anywhere at home. AUGMENTED ART BEFORE COVID Augmented and virtual reality might have flourished during Covid, but museums and cultural venues were already integrating this technology long before the pandemic. Back in 2017, Smithsonian Magazine profiled five augmented reality experiences at museums: * At the National Museum of Singapore, an exhibit called Story of the Forest included an augmented reality component. Visitors to the museum could use the cameras on their phones to find different plants and animals throughout a massive mural (it’s composed of 69 different works of art) inThe William Farquhar Collection of Natural History. It was a bit like an artistic scavenger hunt. * The Bone Hall at the Smithsonian takes the bones that are exhibited and lets users superimpose skin using augmented reality. Dubbed the “Skin and Bones” exhibit, visitors download an app that lets them place skin on the bones…and see the skeletons (with skin!) move, too. The Skin & Bones app is still available, and, yes, it can be used at home. For individuals at home and unable to visit the real exhibit, the app allows users to print pictures of the bones and use the printed photo for the augmented reality experience. The app also includes information about the animal, videos about the scientists, and more. * The Heroes and Legends exhibit at Kennedy Space Center in Florida lets visitors see a hologram of Gene Cernan over the Gemini 9 capsule. The exhibit also includes narrations by Cernan. * The Jinsha Site Museum in Chengdu, China uses augmented reality to allow visitors to learn more about relics and see the relics in 3D. CGTN highlighted the exhibit and augmented reality experience and how augmented reality allows relics to be translated and explained for visitors to learn more about their significance. “This helps us better understand the reconstruction of the past, the way of life, how people in the past built structures, or the artifacts, how they appeared in this area,” Ramsi Shoocongdej, Associate Professor at Silpakorn University of Thailand, told CGTN. * The last exhibit highlighted by Smithsonian Magazine was England’s Historic Cities. How did augmented reality create memorable experiences in ancient sites across England? Visitors had access to virtual guides who happened to be historical figures. The experience also let visitors view data about different artifacts; each city offers its own unique experiences. In Carlisle, for example, the artifacts open up a story about a Roman Cavalry Officer’s wife. AUGMENTED REALITY TO CREATE ART Technology often bleeds into art, and as the camera allows visual artists to explore and express their creativity in photographs, tech platforms also are an artistic medium. Augmented and virtual reality can serve as surrealistic galleries accessible only through the lens of technology. Art is digital, virtual and augmented. Museums are exploring these media for allowing artists to draw inspiration and create unique works of art in realms beyond the physical. Design Boom reported that Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Snap, Inc. partnered with a group of artists to “create virtual monuments that reflect on history and representation across the city of L.A.” Currently, the exhibit that is part of LACMA x snapchat: monumental perspectives total five monuments that can be viewed via augmented reality using the Snapchat camera. Those interested in viewing the augmented reality exhibits can check them out at LACMA, Macarthur Park, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson Park, and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. LACMA’s augmented reality monuments could lead to other museums and galleries to explore augmented reality or virtual reality as a medium for the creation of art. Could paintings or sculptures soon be displayed in a separate realm? Perhaps virtual galleries infuse into the physical galleries of museums. Blank walls could become superimposed with unique artwork visible via a camera function or an app. Virtual reality experiences are nothing new, and artists may be exploring them as an art form more and more. Technology provides another mode to create and further express artistic ideas. While exhibits could infuse elements of augmented or virtual reality, they also could exist exclusively within these platforms. Art of Augmented Reality [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Museums-Go-Virtual.jpg] MUSEUMS GO VIRTUAL While augmented reality experiences have been utilized by many artists, galleries and museums, virtual reality has provided another doorway through which to access the arts and culture. Not everyone can afford a trip to France or Italy or elsewhere across the globe to visit historic art institutions and landmarks. Virtual reality has allowed museums and other cultural venues to create tours of exhibits that can be enjoyed from anywhere…even from the couch at home. These virtual tours were likely enjoyed often during shelter-from-home mandates during Covid. Yet, even now, as many parts of the world are reopening, virtual tours continue. For those on a limited budget, for those individuals who once felt that the world of arts and culture was closed to them, these virtual tours can serve as an all-access pass to works of art that everyone can experience. Perhaps these virtual and augmented reality experiences serve to equalize the accessibility of experiences that were once enjoyed by the privileged. And through this accessibility, perhaps the power of augmented and virtual reality allows the passion of art to reach a new audience and inspire a new generation of creators.
What is an Augmented Reality Car Dealership?
Augmented and virtual reality are gaining popularity, both in the gaming world and for use by businesses to heighten the user experience. According to data from Research and Markets, virtual and augmented reality is projected to reach revenues that will represent a 42.9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the period of 2020-2030. These figures represent worldwide revenue. Covid may have exacerbated the popularity and use of this technology as many businesses jumped online for survival. Even car dealerships began to embrace the augmented and virtual realms. Augmented reality car dealerships are accessible to shoppers online or via apps. However, these augmented experiences and their features may vary in design and in what they offer shoppers. WHAT ARE AUGMENTED REALITY CAR DEALERSHIPS? When consumers picture an augmented car dealership, they might have a space-age notion in mind. Augmented car dealerships, in reality (pun intended), may look different depending on the company and brand. There isn’t really an augmented reality car dealership, although in the future there could be this type of unique dealership. In our present world, however, there are augmented reality showrooms. And these showrooms may vary in design and function. Some showrooms feature augmented reality, others may use virtual reality. Auto manufacturers might offer their own augmented or virtual reality showrooms and local dealerships may refer shoppers to these showrooms. For example, Renault (in the United Kingdom) offers a virtual showroom. Individual dealerships offer their own virtual or augmented reality experiences. Tempe Honda (in Tempe, Ariz.) offers a virtual showroom on its website. The dealership also invites shoppers to schedule a virtual test drive, lets buyers apply for financing online…and more. The car buying experience can be ‘virtually’ simple. While many experiences online may seem ‘virtual,’ augmented reality showrooms are a reality, too. Unlike virtual reality, which takes users into a virtual realm for the experience, augmented reality includes graphic overlays atop a real-life environment. With augmented reality, a car can be set on top of a table, in the garage or in a garden. In January 2021, Engadget reported that Jeep would offer an augmented reality experience that was powered by Google. With the augmented reality experience, Engadget explained that users can peek inside the Jeep Wrangler 4XE and drop the vehicle into their personal space. The experience was set to debut at CES, but it will be available via Google Search, too. And, as often noted, Lamborghini launched an augmented reality experience to showcase its Huracán Spyder AWD. Users could visit Lamborghini’s website with an Apple device and see the new vehicle displayed in their own environment. The Huracán could be dropped anywhere. Users could then walk around the car and check out the interior. The website also included an interactive space to view more data about the vehicle and a video, too. Again, while dealerships sometimes had their own online augmented reality showroom, sometimes manufacturers provided the experiences for interested buyers. These weren’t necessarily augmented reality dealerships but, rather, augmented reality experiences that could enhance the shopping journey before consumers visited a brick and mortar dealership. AUGMENTED REALITY CAR APP Virtual and augmented reality car showrooms are often featured via a dealership or manufacturer’s website. However, this isn’t always the case. Some manufacturers go high-tech and launch their own app. Private companies also created apps that feature virtual and augmented reality showrooms. Some manufacturers use augmented reality for marketing purposes…and entertainment, too. For example, in 2017, Little Black Book reported that Nissan dealerships would feature an app that integrated Star Wars characters. The site explained that at the dealership, shoppers could choose from three vehicles—the Rogue, Maxima, and TITAN. A character from Star Wars would go over the new tech features of these automobiles with the user. This app experience was dubbed “See the Unseen,” as the highlighted vehicle features (like Blind Spot Warning) aren’t necessarily seen by the user…so the character helps to introduce them. Back in 2018, Daimler introduced the Mercedes cAR app, which allowed customers to use augmented reality to explore vehicles and create their own. The coolest aspect of the app was that users could actually drive the car in their environment. The cAR app amped up the user experience to create not just an augmented reality type of showroom but also added a bit of augmented reality remote control fun. The remote, however, was the user’s phone or other device! The app is, unfortunately, no longer available for download. Before Covid hit, Porsche launched its own augmented reality app. Back in May 2019, Car and Driver reported that the app Porsche AR Visualiser would allow users to check out a new Porsche at home. The app is still available via the App Store and Google Play. Create a Porsche and drop it in the real world environment. Users can now see how that new Porsche looks in the garage! RelayCars offers both an augmented reality app and a virtual reality app. Users can choose the technology they prefer to preview their potential new car. With RelayCar’s augmented reality app, users can drop a variety of different cars into their home, garage, driveway…or anywhere. With the virtual reality app, users preview the vehicles in a virtual showroom. In the virtual showroom, users can swap out paint hues and check out the interior of the vehicles. The augmented reality showroom offers similar features. Augmented Reality Car Dealership [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Augmented-Reality-Car.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY CAR In these augmented reality experiences, how does the augmented reality car look? Many augmented reality showrooms and experiences are somewhat similar in design. That is, many of them allow users to drop vehicles anywhere…so the user’s world becomes the showroom. The appearance of the vehicle is a scaled representation of the actual vehicle. Augmented reality showcases the car as it would appear in real life. However, the car will be smaller in the augmented form. Even the interior is an exact replica of the real vehicle. This allows users to understand the appearances and features of each vehicle. Both augmented reality and virtual reality showrooms are designed to provide users (i.e. shoppers) with a remote and virtual replication of the in-store or in-dealership shopping experience. While the car can’t be physically touched, users can peek inside cars and get a visual idea of each vehicle. They can check out the interior design, view the information panel and peer in the backseat. Some augmented reality apps or experiences let the user create their own car. So, in this case, users can see what their final design will look like in reality. These more detailed and personalized experiences can be helpful to buyers who are looking to envision a more customized vehicle. Even consumers who can’t afford Porsche can download the app and build a model of their dream car. Who knows? That dream could be a reality. The cool part about these augmented reality experiences is that they sometimes allow users to play around with possibilities. This could be more difficult to do in the actual dealership. COULD AUGMENTED REALITY DEALERSHIPS APPEAR IN THE FUTURE? While an actual augmented reality dealership isn’t a current reality, maybe it could be one day. Or maybe the future is a virtual reality dealership! As technology becomes more affordable, consumers could begin to wear augmented reality goggles or glasses or virtual reality headsets. Shopping experiences could go completely online…and virtual. Imagine shopping for a new vehicle while wearing a pair of augmented reality glasses or a virtual reality headset. Perhaps an avatar of a salesperson appears and shoppers build their cars in a virtual showroom realm or in their own living room. Could that new car be created while standing in the garage? Social media sites like Snapchat could be the future of augmented reality car shopping, too. In fact, Auto News talked to Shane Dwyer, head of automotive for Snap, Inc., and gained some interesting insight. The site noted that there could be a day in the future where consumers could create their cars via Snapchat in augmented reality. Auto News also cited a Snap study that revealed that a quarter of Snapchat users who participated in the study were “very or somewhat interested” in augmented reality on their phones to do a test drive or research a car. The possibilities of augmented reality or virtual reality are likely endless. Twenty years ago, the idea of a smartphone would have blown people’s minds. Today, almost everyone owns one or has access to a smart device. Even teens! The concept of an augmented reality car dealership or one that exists in a virtual space might not be so out of reach. The question, though, is buyers and shoppers. Many buyers like the in-person experience. This could remain an option. Maybe in-person shopping will never really go out of style. But the rise of augmented and virtual reality could point to a greater use of this technology. For now, however, virtual and augmented reality showrooms provide a unique way for consumers to shop for a new car. The journey for a new vehicle can begin leisurely online. Shoppers can research different makes and models and preview them from the comfort of home using virtual or augmented reality experiences. Some dealerships may allow the shopping experience to be done online, too. During Covid, these experiences could be preferred to limit possible exposure. Even as Covid and the restrictions associated with the pandemic ease, sites like RelayCars and other virtual and augmented reality showrooms may continue to be popular. Shopping online has become—for some—kind of like wearing comfy sweatpants…a hard habit to break!
The Augmented Reality Showroom: Where Imagination Meets Reality
According to Statista, the augmented reality and virtual reality market is expected to exceed $30 billion in 2021. The technology is used in the gaming world (like Pokemon Go!), in the beauty industry (preview cosmetics), in home design (preview paint colors in a room) and throughout the automotive sector. All these sectors and industries share a common use of augmented reality: the augmented reality showroom. This unique showroom is where imagination meets reality. Consumers can use their real world environment and preview products. Cars appear in living rooms, lipstick color sweeps onto lips, and living room walls are painted in any color of the rainbow (and beyond). The augmented reality showroom can aid shoppers on their hunt for perfection and, for some business, maybe it even leads to fewer returns. After all, if shoppers can see an item on their faces, their rooms or even in their garage, the decision to click buy may become less intimidating. An augmented reality showroom option also could heighten the user experience while shopping. Augmented reality showrooms can transform the seemingly flat online shopping experience into something that is immersive and interactive. If a website offers an augmented reality showroom, shoppers may play with the technology for a while…instead of clicking through the website and moving on. The site UsabilityGeek stated in a headline that augmented reality was “the shiny new toy syndrome.” Although the site noted that the technology could lead to “obsessive use.” And, when used in retail, “…people have started making unplanned purchases- all thanks to the tech’s influence.” How is the automotive sector leveraging this type of tech-heightened experience? And how do augmented reality showrooms aid new car buyers? Let’s look at the impact of augmented reality in the dealership realm. Augmented Reality Showroom [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/The-Covid-Crux.jpg] THE COVID CRUX The impact of Covid on the automotive sector was devastating. Not only did the pandemic affect production, but it also impacted dealerships. The Drive reported that Ford, General Motors and FCA all ceased production during Covid; production plants shut down for several weeks in Ford plants to ensure proper cleaning and sanitation. Car and Driver reported that Subaru shutdown through early April (2020), Daimler closed for two weeks (starting in late March 2020), and Toyota suspended production through early April 2020. CNBC reported that Ford’s Chicago plant had to close twice when some workers tested positive in May; the closures were brief. In addition, CNBC reported that Ford’s Dearborn Michigan plant also had to be shut down briefly (in May) after positive cases were confirmed. Ford wasn’t the only automaker impacted by the spread of the pandemic. General Motors had to take on quite a juggling act when workers were out sick or in quarantine because of exposure. Fiat Chrysler and Ford took on temp workers. While car sales are now rebounding, National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) reported that new car sales in 2020 finished with 14.46 million units—a 14.7 percent decrease from 2019. HOW DEALERSHIPS RESPONDED TO CLOSED DOORS When shoppers couldn’t get into the physical location, how did businesses survive? Many had to pivot to online sales, and this transition may have been harder for car dealerships. Traditionally, the new car buying experience involved consumers visiting dealerships in person to check out different cars on the lot. New car shopping was very much a tactile experience. Shoppers opened doors, sat in the vehicles, played around with the features and took their favorite models out on the road for a test drive. Duplicating this experience required a bit of creativity. Before Covid, dealerships often offered photos of car models or used cars from their inventory online. Some dealerships might have provided photo slideshows that depicted these cars from all angles and gave shoppers a glimpse at the interior. The online experiences likely varied per dealership. During Covid, online experiences likely were a means of survival. Shoppers now had to limit their visits to dealerships…if they could even visit the dealership at all. While augmented and virtual reality showrooms were offered pre-Covid, during the pandemic these tech-savvy features might have increased in popularity. Shoppers needed a way to duplicate the in-person experience. Two-dimensional photos likely weren’t enough to provide the visual insight of the car. Dealerships responded with interactive showrooms that heightened the user experience. Augmented Reality Showroom [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Cars-in-the-Living-Room.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY SHOWROOMS: CARS IN THE LIVING ROOM Dealerships may have offered virtual or augmented reality showrooms to provide online buyers with more detail about the cars offered in the dealership. While virtual reality showrooms transport shoppers into a virtual realm to preview vehicles, augmented reality showrooms overlay graphics onto a real-world environment. Virtual reality showrooms could be accessible through online portals or with the aid of virtual reality headsets. All vehicles and details in a virtual reality showroom are graphic depictions. That is, nothing in virtual reality uses any real world data. While the vehicles are virtual designs, they are completely accurate in their detailed simulations of their real-life counterparts. Augmented reality showrooms exist in various iterations. Many augmented reality showrooms—including RelayCars AR showroom—allow shoppers to integrate a graphic depiction of a specific vehicle into a real world environment. Using an app (in the case of RelayCars), users can use their camera to focus in on any area of the home or outdoor space. Then the car of their choice is dropped into this environment. The car can appear on a bed, in the living room or maybe in a garage. Augmented reality showrooms may allow shoppers to switch out elements of the car to preview different looks. Perhaps paint hues can be changed. Or maybe different features of the car can be examined. Often, shoppers can peek inside the vehicle for a glimpse of the interior and its features. Manufacturers and companies offering augmented reality showrooms may tailor their experiences differently. For example, Ferrari’s augmented reality app works in the physical showroom. The shopper can swap out colors and look at the inner-mechanics of the vehicle. The augmented reality showroom offered by RelayCars lets shoppers experience all different types of makes and models. The user can experience various vehicles in their own environment. These experiences can be a way to preview different cars but it also can help the consumer get acclimated to the idea of a simulated experience. Augmented reality showrooms require no special glasses or goggles, although users do typically need to utilize their smartphone or tablet camera. When physical dealership showrooms may have been closed to shoppers, the virtual and augmented reality showrooms offered online and via apps helped shoppers research cars and get an up-close look at their favorite models. When they found the cars that topped their wish list, they could contact the dealership and inquire about test drives. Some dealerships may have allowed the entire car buying transaction to happen virtually or online. HOW DOES AUGMENTED REALITY HELP SHOPPERS AFTER COVID? While the Covid vaccine is rolling out to the most vulnerable populations, soon the entire country will have a chance to receive the vaccine. The world may return to the old normal, but Covid also may have left an imprint on the shopping experience. Augmented reality showrooms existed before Covid. And after Covid, these offerings could remain popular for those who prefer to begin their shopping process online. Augmented and virtual reality allows the consumer to preview products at home, without commuting to a store, fighting traffic or dealing with crowds. Convenience could be a big perk of this tech. For car shoppers, augmented reality showrooms may help narrow down the wish list to a few favorites. Maybe seeing that SUV in the garage pushes the model higher up on the list. Even color preferences could change thanks to this tech. In the dealership, sometimes not all the available colors may be on the lot for buyers to see. Augmented reality showrooms, though, often let buyers switch out paint hues. That dark plum paint job could be the must-have hue, even if it wasn’t even on a buyer’s radar! Shopping for a new car could become a mix of real-life and virtual/augmented reality experiences. Virtual and augmented reality could be used for pre-buying research, with only the top models being investigated by consumers in the physical dealership. Augmented reality showrooms combined with other tools offered online by dealerships could greatly aid buyers in finding deals and their favorite cars. Augmented reality showrooms when combined with online customer service experiences could further ease the hunt for a new car. Dealerships often offer virtual customer service assistance via their website, and these virtual assistants can answer questions that buyers may have as they search for a new car. Even after Covid has dissipated, the virtual and augmented platforms that many buyers relied on to simulate the real-world experiences may continue to impact, aid and simply the task of shopping for a new car.
Designing a Futuristic Augmented Reality Vehicle
Thinking about the technology of the future may leave consumers wondering if we’ll all be driving flying cars. Or if AI will be in the driver’s seat. Augmented and virtual reality are integrating into our devices and our cars, too. Those back-up cameras that make reversing out of tight spaces easier utilize grid line overlays are an example of augmented reality. The future of virtual and augmented reality might change the way we drive, however. Could we see an augmented reality vehicle? It’s possible. Here are our imaginative ideas on what this car could look like! Augmented Reality Vehicle [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Augmented-Safety.jpg] AUGMENTED SAFETY Augmented reality already is a staple in many new vehicles. Currently, many models come standard with backup cameras. These handy cameras may reduce fender bender accidents, and, at the very least, make backing up much simpler (especially when parallel parking!). Backup cameras weren’t always considered standard, though. For many makes and models more expansive safety camera systems are an upgrade. This may include front cameras or cameras that show the entire view of the vehicle. However, additional cameras that feature augmented reality grid lines (like the backup cameras) could one day become standard. Since cameras could reduce some accidents like fender benders, maybe, in the future, research shows that cars are safer when equipped with all-over intelligence. AUGMENTED DIRECTIONS Today’s drivers may rely on GPS devices either on their phone or via a different portable GPS device. Many GPS navigation systems include graphic overlays on top of the real environment. Could future vehicles include a built-in GPS navigation system? The self-driving car may need to utilize this, as the AI driver might require a programmed destination. While using apps via phones is simple enough, as many new models allow for phones to plug into the entertainment system, having a full map system in the car would be pretty cool! Augmented Reality Vehicle [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Augmented-Reality-Windshield.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY WINDSHIELD Digital Trends reported back in October that the windshield may be the new augmented reality home in your vehicle. The site explained that the company Envisics was working on incorporating augmented reality into the windshield in a heads-up display function. The technology, per the site, is found in Range Rovers. An updated version of the windshield will be featured in the Cadillac Lyriq (which won’t hit the market until around 2023). APPLE’S AUGMENTED REALITY WINDSHIELD Apple also may be delving into the augmented reality windshield. Back in 2018, the site Patently Apple reported on a patent application from Apple regarding an augmented reality windshield. Per the site: “The detailed patent covers a future augmented reality windshield system which also is known as a Heads up Display. Apple describes every aspect of their AR display system in painstaking detail. It even describes occupants of an autonomous vehicle having a FaceTime session between different vehicles. The system will even be able to detect and make adjustments so that a panicky occupant could remain calmer in the autonomous vehicle.” The vehicles of the future could allow teleconferencing…from the car! This could be an interesting feature in a self-driving vehicle. If the driver became the passenger, then the car could be another work or entertainment space. Self-driving cars are still in development, so who knows what augmented reality details they could feature! INVISIBLE-TO-VISIBLE TECHNOLOGY Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible technology which is currently in development also could be an exciting prelude to augmented reality in automotive. This technology would allow the driver to wear goggles and visualize companion avatars in the vehicle (companions would need virtual reality goggles to join). In addition, the technology would show the driver obstacles ahead that may affect driving and can even find parking spots. Via the Tourism Scenario, the driver also could request a tour guide to provide recommendations about a destination. Invisible-to-Visible also could project beautiful skies on windows during dreary days! This could enhance the driving experience for weary drivers during long trips. PANASONIC’S HEADS-UP DISPLAY Car and Driver reported that Panasonic’s augmented reality heads-up display may debut in cars around 2024. The display can show drivers obstacles, enhance the lane lines, provide guidance on merging and alert drivers about dangers (like a car pulling in front). It also provides directions and alerts drivers when they arrive at their destination. So the idea of having in-car GPS…it will likely be a reality thanks to an advanced heads-up display. AUGMENTED REALITY VEHICLE…FOR MARKETING While augmented reality features may weave into the vehicles of the future, manufacturers are using the technology to create a literal augmented reality vehicle. That is, the vehicle is nothing more than a graphic overlay displayed in front of the user. Lamborghini used an augmented reality experience to debut its Huracán EVO RWD Spyder. The experience is compatible with Apple devices. Users can drop the car in their environment, walk around the vehicle and explore inside. Lamborghini wasn’t the first manufacturer to use augmented reality for marketing purposes, however. “Porsche Augmented Reality Visualizer App” can be downloaded via Google Play (for Android) or the App Store (for Apple). Users can design their own vehicle and place it in their real-world environment. The Visualizer app debuted in 2019. Ferrari uses The Ferrari AR app in the showroom to simplify and amplify the user experience while shopping. The app lets users look into the internal structure of the vehicle. Users also can change the paint colors and other features. RelayCars offers an augmented reality vehicle showroom for around two dozen vehicle models. Users can drop the vehicles into their environment, and even see if the new car can squeeze into the garage. The app also lets users see inside the vehicles for an up-close peak at special features. Those on the hunt for a new vehicle can use RelayCar’s augmented reality vehicle showroom, and dealers also could recommend the site to those who can’t visit the dealership showroom in person. THE FUTURE OF AUGMENTED REALITY So what does the future hold for augmented reality vehicles? We can only assume that the augmented reality windshield may become a reality. This could mean that the driver interacts with the windshield—kind of like a heads-up display—or perhaps this could be a feature for self-driving cars. As many tech giants are jumping into the smart vehicle playground, the internal technology of these cars of the future could be incredibly cool. Imagine sitting in the car and engaging in a face-to-face business meeting…with the boss’ hologram! Perhaps digital assistants take on a visual appearance. Maybe their services become more personal; their voice becomes tied to an actual presence. Perhaps every car manufacturer programs the self-driving vehicle with a personal driver and the user can design the hologram. Augmented reality features might not be the future for all drivers just yet. It took years for backup cameras to become standard. Many of these new tech features could be upgrades but become standard. Self-driving cars also could be too expensive for the average consumer when they debut. Still, the smartphone was once considered an upgraded luxury. Flip phones used to be the standard. Now nearly all teens have a smartphone. As technology advances, its older iterations may be much more affordable. When considering the future of a self-driving car equipped with advanced augmented reality features, though, we may be many years away from every driver or car owner having access to a self driving vehicle. When AI takes over the driver’s seat completely, driver’s licenses could be obsolete. In addition, our highway system could see changes too. Could traffic lights speak to our cars in the future? Maybe road signs communicate, too. And all this information appears via an augmented reality windshield. BACK TO THE PRESENT For now, in the present, our vehicles have the very beginnings of an augmented reality. Those who are buying new models may enjoy the standard backup cameras with graphic overlays. To find the way to a new city, the smartphone may display GPS information on the car’s information screen, offering directions via augmented reality. When consumers shop for a car during the pandemic, augmented reality vehicles in cyberspace may take the place of physical dealerships in a brick and mortar dealership. Sites like RelayCars may be the access to a new type of virtual shopping experience. Consumers can shop at their leisure by previewing cars in augmented reality and using these experiences to better understand the cars that are the best fit for their lifestyle (and budget). Instead of visiting dealerships with only a vague idea of what car they might like, consumers can have a well defined list with narrowed down preferences. This can simplify the user experience and keep in-person visits to a minimum (especially as the pandemic may continue to pose restrictions on capacity). Consumers also may be exposed to more augmented reality marketing experiences that provide them with a unique introduction to new makes and models from major automotive manufacturers. Being part of a virtual debut also could get consumers more excited about a future purpose and preview the models of the future.
Apple’s Augmented Reality is Getting Better
Augmented reality is a type of technology that allows users to superimpose digital elements onto their real world environment. Essentially, it gives users the power to combine the digital world with the real world. Many people assume that they need a headset, pair of goggles, or some other type of special equipment in order to experience augmented reality technology. But fortunately, that’s not the case. The only tool you need is your iPhone, and the augmented reality technology on these devices has become increasingly advanced over the years. A BRIEF HISTORY OF AUGMENTED REALITY TECHNOLOGY ON THE IPHONE The iPhone 8, which was released in 2017, marked Apple’s first steps into the world of augmented reality technology. This smartphone featured built-in cameras, motion sensors, and gyros that were designed to roughly map out spaces by identifying floors, walls, and ceilings within a close range. Apple also introduced ARKit, a new augmented reality platform, in 2017. ARKit allowed developers to build unique augmented reality apps for iPhone and iPad users. Since its introduction, ARKit has been used to create thousands of augmented reality apps that are compatible with most iPhones. Apple recently took another step further into the world of augmented reality by incorporating lidar technology into its iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Lidar, which is light detection and ranging technology, has been around for quite some time, but this marked the first time it was ever built into an Apple product. If you look at the back of either one of these phones, you will see the lidar sensor, which is a small black dot located near the camera lenses. This black dot emits infrared lasers that are invisible to the naked eye. The sensor is designed to measure how long it takes these lasers to bounce off of objects and return to the phone. Lidar technology then uses these measurements to map out the space surrounding the phone. It is capable of mapping out the size of objects in the room and where each of these objects is located at a range of up to five meters. For example, say you are standing in front of a chair in an otherwise empty room. By measuring how long it takes the infrared lasers to bounce around the room and return to the phone, lidar technology would be able to determine the exact size and positioning of the chair. This technology is used to improve the quality of night portrait mode photos on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. But more importantly, lidar technology is used to enhance the augmented reality experience for iPhone users. Lidar technology can be used as part of the augmented reality experience to superimpose digital objects in complicated real world settings. It also makes it possible to hide digital objects behind objects in the real world, which is called occlusion. Including this technology on the latest iPhone models drastically improves the augmented reality experience for iPhone users. It has also established Apple as a major player in the augmented reality industry. Apple’s Augmented Reality is Getting Better [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Apple-Augmented-Reality2.jpg] HOW TO EXPERIENCE AUGMENTED REALITY WITH AN IPHONE There are countless augmented reality apps currently available for download in the App Store. These apps offer thousands of different ways to experience augmented reality technology. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some popular augmented reality apps to get you started: * Complete Anatomy: This augmented reality app gives you an opportunity to learn more about the human body. It is often used by teachers in a classroom setting and by healthcare providers hoping to educate their patients. * Snapchat: Perhaps one of the most popular augmented reality apps is Snapchat, which is a photo messaging app. You can use augmented reality technology to apply various digital elements to your photos before sharing them with friends. * iScape: Use this augmented reality app to see how different landscaping designs would look in your yard. The app superimposes digital landscaping designs onto your real world so you can see exactly how it would all come together in your outdoor living space. * Warby Parker: See how hundreds of different eyeglasses and sunglasses would look on your face using the Warby Parker app. This app uses augmented reality to superimpose digital eyeglass and sunglass designs on your face so you can shop with confidence. * Hot Lava: Turn your living room into an obstacle course surrounded by hot lava using this entertaining app. You will have to carefully navigate around physical and digital objects to successfully complete the course without falling into the digital hot lava. * IKEA Place: This app, which is similar to the Warby Parker app, allows you to try IKEA products before you buy them online. It uses augmented reality to superimpose digital furniture items from IKEA into your real world environment so you can see what each piece would look like in your home. * JigSpace: Deepen your understanding of space, historical events, science, and other topics using this app. The app uses augmented reality to help you explore these topics in a completely new way. These are some of the many augmented reality apps that are currently available in the Apple App Store. Apple’s Augmented Reality is Getting Better [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Apple-Augmented-Reality3.jpg] WILL APPLE MAKE AUGMENTED REALITY ACCESSORIES? For years, it has been rumored that Apple was on the verge of releasing an augmented reality or mixed-reality headset. It was reported that the headset would cost nearly $3,000 and feature 8K displays, eye tracking technology, and cameras to enhance the augmented reality/virtual reality experience. However, the company has never publicly commented on these rumors, so there’s no way of knowing the truth. A number of other companies, including Sony and Facebook, have already released mixed reality headsets. But sales of these headsets have been sluggish, which is why some experts believe that Apple won’t enter the accessories sector of the augmented reality market. But the fact that Apple has not released accessories yet does not mean that the company isn’t serious about augmented reality technology. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Apple has been quietly building more advanced augmented reality tools for its iPhones and iPads, which indicates that the company plans on focusing heavily on this technology in the future. Apple consumers can experience augmented reality using only their iPhones or iPads, which means it’s not necessary for the company to also create augmented reality accessories. However, experts still believe that Apple’s next step will most likely be releasing phone-powered augmented reality/virtual reality headsets or glasses. Because all of the computation would occur within the phone, the headset or glasses would only need small cameras and sensors to function properly. As a result, the Apple device could be far lighter than other models available on the market today. This would attract many consumers who are turned off by the bulkiness and weight of the current selection of mixed reality accessories. But this is all just speculation for now since the company is remaining tight-lipped regarding its future plans to release augmented reality accessories. Apple’s Augmented Reality is Getting Better [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Apple-Augmented-Reality.jpg] THE FUTURE OF AUGMENTED REALITY TECHNOLOGY ON THE IPHONE There are many predictions as to what Apple will do next with augmented reality on iPhones. Some of the most popular predictions include: * Sharing 3D scans: Some industry experts believe that in the future, augmented reality will allow users to scan and share 3D objects with others using their iPhones. Think of it as scanning and sending a 3D object instead of a PDF file or image. * Taking higher quality photos: It’s also predicted that augmented reality technology will be used to help users take better photos using the camera on their smartphone. For instance, this technology could help users choose the best angle to take photos from. * Vision assistance: The technology could be used to scan the user’s surroundings and measure the distance between the user and objects or people in their immediate surroundings. Using augmented reality technology in this manner could turn the iPhone into a helpful tool for the vision impaired. * Plant digital objects in real world locations: Apple’s Location Anchors technology could allow users to use their iPhone to leave digital objects in real world locations for others to see. For instance, someone could leave a digital version of the Mona Lisa painting hanging in front of the Eiffel Tower for other iPhone users to see. There’s no telling what Apple will do next. But one thing is for certain: augmented reality technology will play a major role in the company’s future. WHAT CHALLENGES WILL APPLE FACE WITH AUGMENTED REALITY? Even though augmented reality has been around for years, a lot of people still aren’t sure what it is or how it is used. Many people are even completely unaware that they’ve used augmented reality apps before. For example, hundreds of millions of people around the world downloaded and used the Pokemon Go app at the height of its popularity. But it’s safe to say that many of these active users were not aware that they were using an app powered by augmented reality technology. This lack of awareness could make it more difficult for developers to get users to download their augmented reality apps. If users aren’t aware of the exciting possibilities presented by this technology, they may not be motivated to search the App Store for the latest augmented reality apps. Both Apple and app developers must focus on educating users about augmented reality in order to get them excited about this technology. There’s no question that Apple’s effort to take augmented reality mainstream is still a work in progress. But Apple is a resourceful and innovative company that will undoubtedly overcome these challenges and successfully introduce augmented reality technology to the mass market.
Why Augmented Reality is Set to Transform Retail in 2021
While we’ve been barreling towards online shopping as the new standard for years now, it’s become exponentially essential during the ongoing pandemic. As more and more people look to the internet for a semblance of normalcy, ecommerce retail has come in to bridge the gap. Online shopping becoming the norm has been expedited by the need for fast, contactless commerce – while making up for the closed brick-and-mortar stores across the country. As a result, the growth of augmented reality (AR) technology has helped the ecommerce industry to thrive in a major way. By driving the increased dependency of online shopping, online retailers have been faced with a wide set of challenges – and advantages – as they rush to meet consumer demand. Keep reading to learn more about the ways augmented reality is set to transform retail in 2021. Augmented Reality is Set to Transform Retail [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Augmented-Reality-is-Set-to-Transform-Retail2.jpg] MARKETING AND PRODUCT LAUNCHES If anything has been completely transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the way we’ve been able to meet and converge with each other. This means that live events, including product launches and grand openings, have been severely limited by social distancing regulations and accessibility issues. Augmented reality in retail is helping to recreate this corner of the commercial sphere by allowing customers and brands to connect with each other digitally, with many of the features included in live, in-person events. Using AR-enabled programs and immersive technology, brands can easily set up a virtual product launch, live video chat, or even holographically projected event regardless of anyone’s physical location. As long as there is an internet connection and the right compatibility between each user’s respective apps or programs of choice. Allowing online users to take part in these major steps of the ecommerce life cycle also gives brands the ability to open their events to a wider audience. International users are no longer impacted by their proximity to their favorite pop-up shops or products. With something as simple as an access code or shared URL, it’s possible to link up via mobile or desktop devices using capabilities like: * Omnichannel interconnectivity * Remote access * Encrypted data via cloud-based access points * Hybridization of online and in-person shopping Launch events, client parties, and even new product lines can be unveiled to the cybersphere – which has the potential to change the ecommerce industry as we know it. Augmented Reality is Set to Transform Retail [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Augmented-Reality-is-Set-to-Transform-Retail3.jpg] PERSONALIZED SHOPPING EXPERIENCES Today, we’ve become so used to getting what we want when we want it. Augmented reality has revamped this special brand of instant gratification in a way that can make shopping easier, faster, and more streamlined in the long run. AR apps allow shoppers to manipulate digital versions of their favorite products, and can give users the power to: * Virtual try-on features * Customize products instantly (specs, colors, and other details) * View stock levels * Connect with support and sales staff via live chat * Utilize AI-enabled shopping features for heightened experience individualization Rather than limiting support features and in-store assistance to the hours when there is someone “in the office,” augmented reality with AI capabilities can make up the deficit and give shoppers 24/7 support access. Providing shoppers with more agency during the buying and research processes, while also giving them a higher level of support to simplify the process, can boost sales conversions and return customers significantly across multiple specializations and demographics. Augmented Reality is Set to Transform Retail [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Augmented-Reality-is-Set-to-Transform-Retail4.jpg] IMPROVED CUSTOMER FEEDBACK FOR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT While augmented reality isn’t a new concept, it has drastically changed consumer habits regarding shopping and researching new products and brands. More than 70% of consumers in a recent study stated that they would shop more often if AR apps were presented as an option. Virtual showrooming solutions have opened doors for shoppers, retailers, and manufacturers alike. Not only can customers try on personal items like clothes, jewelry, and glasses, but they can also see what larger items can look like in their own spaces. Take a photo of your driveway to see how your new car will look in it’s prospective home, or test out a new furniture setup with similar technology. Augmented reality isn’t only used to customize products based on customer selections and user-initiated content. Shopper data can also be collected by these systems and repurposed into personalization filters to bring the right products and services to their right set of eyes. Instead of spending hours browsing through an online or in-person store, having only the most targeted recommendations on the screen can cut a lot of time from each individual shopping session. Additionally, augmented reality can be applied to in-store experiences as well – which is ideal for businesses that plan to scale in a post-pandemic landscape. Mobile AR apps and in-store interactive displays can provide brick-and-mortar shoppers with the same level of personalization as ecommerce retailers. Linking user profiles with proprietary apps and accounts is one easy way to connect shoppers with their personalized content. Additionally, QR codes, links, and even biometric software can be utilized in a similar way, while providing an added layer of data security. Augmented Reality is Set to Transform Retail [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Augmented-Reality-is-Set-to-Transform-Retail.jpg] VIVID COMMERCIAL STORYTELLING AND MERCHANDISING From dish soap to apparel to even real estate, storytelling plays a major role in the customer acquisition and retention lifecycles. Augmented reality shopping has made it easier than ever before to express your brand’s vision, purpose, and offerings in an efficient and accessible way. Just like mixed reality experience provides a more vivid and immersive way to consume media, it’s also helping merchandisers and advertisers reach target consumers on a granular level. This type of blending reality with constructed imagery can help online users to enjoy advertising content without necessarily processing that they’re being marketed to. Creating a fun and immersive experience while integrating valuable informational and branding information has built a sweet spot for individuals who traditionally stray away from brands that rely on marketing and hard sales to generate conversions. Favoriable online experiences, such as immersive social media posts and videos, change the way customers and prospective buyers interact with the products and services they’re seeking. Additionally, immersive marketing promotes critical thinking and curiosity among those who might not otherwise associate with the brand in question. Some concrete benefits of using augmented reality to generate retail interest include: * Reshaping brand narratives using customized media * Hyper-specific targeting with AI-enabled data collection * Emotional connection building * Hybridization of in-store and online features * Ability to siphon audience participation for research and development From immersive videos to games and more, there are an endless amount of options brands can employ to utilize augmented reality technology for lead generation, increased adoption rates, and overall profitability. SUSTAINABILITY AND COST-SAVING BENEFITS One of the main reasons why augmented reality is reshaping the retail sphere is the reduction (or elimination) of physical resources in the sourcing, shopping, and merchandising processes. Rather than utilizing sample products, physical prototypes, and brick-and-mortar office locations – augmented reality has all but digitized the entire retail experience. Typically, online shoppers are limited by their ability to try before they buy. This leads to double-purchasing becoming a norm in the ecommerce sphere, which leads to product waste and storage costs to accommodate the inevitable returns. For example, shoppers might purchase a product in two sizes or colors to decide which one they’d rather keep. By utilizing virtual product testing, try-on features, and instant customization, shoppers are less inclined to double up on their purchases and retailers can expect online returns to drop to less than 2% (as shown by top brands in 2020). For large products like cars and furniture, eliminating the need for physical product merchandising and try-before-you-buy options is a great way to reduce costs for brands AND customers. Additionally, the time saved by rebuilding this process instantly can be translated to saved wages and operational costs over time. Eco-friendly shopping has taken over in recent years, and augmented reality is facilitating the trend exponentially. As more people search for sustainable ways to enjoy the commercial world from home, augmented reality is becoming a leader in the tech, ecommerce, and brick-and-mortar retail spheres. From increasing product accessibility to disabled and affected populations to simply making shopping more fun for target consumers, retail brands have adopted augmented reality in a variety of ways. Even after the coronavirus comes to an end, experts in the industry expect this type of immersive technology to stick around long past the pandmeic. Food delivery, clothing shopping, and even furniture delivery as we know it is being rebuilt by this form of mobile data management and media consumption. Receiving highly tailored marketing and advertising, as well as having tangible instant access to the brands they love, is solidifying augmented reality as the preferred method of ecommerce and in-store shopping across the world. Keep an eye out for the growth of these systems next time you go to buy something, and watch how augmented reality is set to transform retail in 2021.
The Future of Augmented Reality in Cars
Augmented reality is technology that allows users to superimpose digital elements such as images, text, and sounds onto their real world environment. Perhaps the most well-known use of this technology is the Pokemon Go app, which took the world by storm several years ago. Due to the popularity of this app, many people now associate augmented reality technology with the gaming world. It’s true that this technology is widely used in gaming, but it has also been embraced in a number of other fields, including the automotive industry. Even though the technology has been around for decades, augmented reality is still fairly new to the automotive industry. But it’s already made a significant impact, and experts believe that augmented reality will continue to shape the future of cars in the years ahead. Here’s what you should expect: HOW COULD AUGMENTED REALITY BE USED IN CARS? There are endless ways for automotive manufacturers to incorporate augmented reality in vehicles, including: * Navigational Tool * Identification of Points of Interest * Hazard Detection * Parking Assistance * Smartphone Notifications The Future of Augmented Reality in Cars [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/The-Future-of-Augmented-Reality-in-Cars2.jpg] NAVIGATIONAL TOOL Several automotive manufacturers have started to design vehicles with navigational tools powered by augmented reality technology. One of these automotive manufacturers is Cadillac, which included an augmented reality navigational tool in its 2021 Escalade. This vehicle is designed with a 14.2-inch center screen that displays a live video feed of the road ahead whenever the navigation system is in use. The system uses augmented reality technology to superimpose digital elements such as arrows and chevrons onto this live video feed. These digital elements make it easier for the driver to clearly see where they need to go to reach their final destination. Using augmented reality technology in this manner ensures that drivers won’t need to squint their eyes to read street signs or make dangerous maneuvers if they miss a turn. IDENTIFICATION OF POINTS OF INTEREST Automotive manufacturers can also use augmented reality technology to help drivers identify points of interest located nearby. For example, say a driver is running low on gas and needs to find a gas station as soon as possible. This technology could be used to superimpose digital pins marking the location of nearby gas stations directly onto the driver’s windshield. This way, the driver could quickly see where the closest gas station is without taking their eyes off of the road. The Future of Augmented Reality in Cars [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/The-Future-of-Augmented-Reality-in-Cars3.jpg] Of course, this feature can be used to pinpoint more than just gas stations. It can also help drivers quickly find restaurants, shopping malls, schools, and other points of interest that they may pass on the road. HAZARD DETECTION Automotive manufacturers can use augmented reality technology to help drivers avoid dangerous collisions. Built-in sensors are now found in the front, rear, and sides of many vehicles. These sensors are designed to detect changes in the driver’s environment that could indicate danger. For example, the sensors may detect that the vehicle directly in front of the driver has suddenly come to a complete stop. If a change like this is detected, it will be immediately reported to the augmented reality system, which will use this technology to display digital warnings on the driver’s windshield. In this example, the warning might consist of a red alert symbol superimposed onto the vehicle that has suddenly stopped. These sensors can also help drivers avoid colliding into a pedestrian or bicyclist. If a pedestrian or bicyclist is detected, the system can use augmented reality to visually highlight them. This ensures that the driver is aware of their location. PARKING ASSISTANCE Augmented reality has the power to completely transform the process of parking a vehicle. This technology can be used to help drivers quickly locate parking spots that are large enough for their vehicle. For example, if a driver is slowly traveling down a road lined with parallel parking spots, this technology can scan the vehicle’s surroundings to look for empty parking spaces. If a spot is detected, the system can highlight it directly on the driver’s windshield so it grabs their attention. The system may even project digital arrows and other elements to guide the driver as they safely maneuver into the parking spot. This feature can benefit all drivers, especially those who operate large vehicles. SMARTPHONE NOTIFICATIONS Drivers often take their eyes off of the road if they get a phone call, text, or another type of notification on their smartphone. But augmented reality can be used to help drivers stay focused even when these notifications come in. These systems can use augmented reality technology to superimpose notifications directly onto the driver’s windshield. For example, a phone icon may be projected onto the driver’s windshield whenever they receive an incoming call. The icon may also be accompanied by the name of the contact who is calling. If a notification appears, the driver can respond to it using voice commands. This may mean answering the call and having a hands-free conversation or using their voice to dictate a response to a text. This ensures that drivers don’t need to take their eyes off of the road in order to check a notification on their smartphone. WHAT FACTORS SHOULD AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURERS CONSIDER WHEN DESIGNING VEHICLES WITH AUGMENTED REALITY? There’s no question that the future of augmented reality in the automotive industry is bright. Automotive manufacturers will undoubtedly find countless other ways to incorporate this technology into the design of new vehicles. But there are a number of factors that they must consider when designing vehicles with augmented reality in the future, including: * Placement * Recognizable Icons * Smart Use of Animations * Color Usage * Hands-Free PLACEMENT No augmented reality system should be placed in a position where it could accidentally interfere with the driver’s view of the road. This is especially important when designing heads-up displays, which could severely obstruct the driver’s view if not positioned correctly. No matter how helpful the augmented reality feature, it cannot interfere with the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle. The Future of Augmented Reality in Cars [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/The-Future-of-Augmented-Reality-in-Cars4.jpg] RECOGNIZABLE ICONS Augmented reality systems in vehicles convey a wealth of information through the use of icons. But in order for the system to effectively convey this information, it must be designed with recognizable icons. Drivers should immediately understand what an icon signifies simply by glancing it. They should never have to consult a user manual to figure out what the augmented reality system is trying to tell them. Doing this would not only make the system ineffective, but it would also distract the driver and put them at a greater risk of getting into an accident. SMART USE OF ANIMATIONS It is important for automotive manufacturers to think carefully about the use of animations when designing augmented reality features inside vehicles. Animations are moving digital elements, so they could potentially draw the driver’s attention away from the road. As a result, these digital elements must be used sparingly and only when appropriate. For example, it would not be appropriate to use an animation to alert a driver that they are approaching a random restaurant on their right. However, it would be appropriate to use an animation to alert a driver of potential danger such as a pedestrian or bicyclist in the street in front of them. In the first example, the animation is not providing crucial information, so it should not be used because doing so would take the driver’s eyes off of the road for no good reason. But in the second example, it is appropriate to use the animation since doing so could help the driver avoid a potentially dangerous situation. COLOR USAGE Another factor that automotive manufacturers should consider when designing vehicles with augmented reality is the use of color. People tend to associate certain colors with specific emotions or meanings. For instance, the color red is often associated with danger or the need to take immediate action. If a driver sees a stop sign, they know that they must come to a stop to avoid getting into a collision. The color green, on the other hand, typically means go because it is associated with a green traffic light. Automotive manufacturers must keep these associations in mind when designing augmented reality features. Warnings that are designed to alert drivers of potential danger should be red, for example. This way, the driver will know that the warning is serious and requires their immediate attention. HANDS-FREE Automotive manufacturers should ensure that drivers can use all features supported by augmented reality without taking their hands off of the wheel. In other words, manufacturers should develop augmented reality features that are automated or controlled by voice instead of touch. For example, if a vehicle is designed with an augmented reality navigation system, it should automatically display arrows and other symbols whenever the navigation system is in use. The driver should not have to touch the screen to activate the augmented reality feature of the navigational system. Developing hands-free systems ensures that the driver does not have to sacrifice their safety in order to take advantage of one of their vehicle’s augmented reality features. THE OTHER USES OF AUGMENTED REALITY IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY Incorporating augmented reality technology into the design of vehicles will be a huge trend in the automotive industry in the years ahead. But this industry has already found countless other ways to use this technology, including: * Virtual Showrooms * Design * Repairs * Manufacturing VIRTUAL SHOWROOMS In the past, consumers visited multiple dealerships to conduct research on vehicles before deciding which one to purchase. But now, the vast majority of consumers conduct automotive research online without ever stepping foot in a dealership. In response to this shift in consumer behavior, many automotive manufacturers now use augmented reality technology to create virtual showrooms. Virtual showrooms give consumers the opportunity to explore the inside and outside of a vehicle from their home. For example, they can use augmented reality to project a true-to-scale digital vehicle into their driveway. Then, they can explore the vehicle just as they would if they were looking at it in a real showroom. Using this technology in this way makes it easier for consumers to get the information they need to narrow down their options and make a purchase decision. DESIGN Several automotive manufacturers, including Ford, are currently using augmented reality technology to assist with the design process. Engineers typically make clay models of every new vehicle design. If a change is made to the design, they must make an entirely new clay model that reflects the change. Multiple changes are usually made before the design is finalized, which means engineers usually have to make a number of different clay models during the design process. But at Ford, engineers now only make one clay model. Then, they use augmented reality technology to superimpose digital elements onto this clay model to reflect changes to the design. They don’t need to waste time or money building a new clay model for each change. Instead, they simply adjust the design of the digital element that is being superimposed on the clay model. Not only does this save Ford money, but it also drastically reduces the amount of time that it takes to finalize the design of a new vehicle. The Future of Augmented Reality in Cars [https://relaycars.gryffin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/The-Future-of-Augmented-Reality-in-Cars.jpg] REPAIRS Some automotive manufacturers currently use augmented reality technology to assist auto technicians with repairs. Technicians at Mercedes-Benz can seek remote assistance from experts by putting on an augmented reality headset. The experts will be able to see exactly what the technician sees. Then, the experts can use augmented reality technology to project digital elements onto the technician’s screen to help them make the necessary repairs. For example, the experts may spot a loose plug or frayed wire that needs to be repaired. In this case, they can use augmented reality technology to highlight these issues so the technician can quickly identify what needs to be repaired. MANUFACTURING Augmented reality is changing the way vehicles are manufactured, too. Assembly line workers can now use augmented reality headsets to access information on a specific vehicle, vehicle part, or manufacturing process. For example, if an assembly line worker doesn’t remember how to put together a specific part, they can project digital instructions or a how-to video directly onto their real world environment. This way, the assembly line worker can easily reference the instructions while working on the specific part. They won’t need to ask someone for help or waste time looking through instruction manuals—they can quickly access the information they need thanks to augmented reality technology. These are some of the many ways in which augmented reality is currently used in the automotive industry. Experts predict that automotive manufacturers will continue to find new and exciting ways to use this technology to streamline production, market new vehicles, and create a safer, more enjoyable driving experience for consumers. [https://contentgm.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/content_uploads/App%5CDynamicModules%5CItem/44509/the-future-of-ar-in-cars.png]