Pokemon Go was only the beginning. In fact, it wasn’t even that. Since augmented reality first entered the mobile app scene in 2008, they have captivated audiences and provided new opportunities for businesses to engage their potential and current customers.
By 2020, Augmented Reality (or AR) is forecast to become a $120 billion industry. The reason is simple: the more you can integrate your app experience with your audience’s surroundings, the more likely you’ll be to get their attention.
The benefits, as a result, reach far beyond games like Pokemon Go. Ikea, for example, has integrated augmented reality into its mobile catalog, allowing potential customers to envision new pieces of furniture in their space. It’s not difficult to see how other industries can benefit from the same concept, as well.
That said, simply saying “I need AR” is not enough to propel your business to success. Instead, here are 5 considerations you have to make when looking to incorporate augmented reality into your mobile experience.
1) Focus on Adding Actual Value
Don’t add AR to your mobile app experience if you don’t need to. In its early stages, it was fine to experiment with the concept just to see how audiences react. But as your potential customers are becoming increasingly familiar with it, you need to make sure that you can incorporate it strategically to add value. Ikea’s example above is a perfect case study for a use case that benefits its audience instead of just playing with the technology.
2) Prepare Your Audience the Right Way
Despite its almost decade-long existence, a large portion of your audience will not yet be familiar with AR. That means it’s on you to prepare them for what it means and how to take advantage of the concept, either through tutorials or direct messaging related to the benefits of augmented reality. Again, Ikea’s video linked above shows fun uses for the technology, getting users to instantly understand its benefits.
3) Build a Realistic Experience
Make no mistake: any efforts to take advantage of augmented reality will fail if you cannot incorporate it into your app experience organically, and believably. That means thorough testing absolutely has to be a part of your app development efforts; floating objects in the air will not attract users, but turn them away from the concept. The biggest advantage of AR is its ability to believably add virtual elements to the physical worlds, so your focus has to be on that realism at all times.
4) Provide Non-AR Alternatives
Don’t assume that every member of your target audience will embrace the concept. Some simply prefer separating their virtual and physical experiences. For that portion of your audience, make sure that you provide non-AR alternatives within your mobile app. To stay with the above example, a furniture catalog should be available both digitally and in AR form. Augmented reality is just entering mainstream, and you have to make sure not to alienate the portions of your audience who are not yet familiar or comfortable with the concept.
5) Find the Right Development Partner
Finally, you should absolutely work with an app development company that already has experience in the AR space. It’s a complex concept, and one that requires different development approaches than traditional app design. Finding the right partner, as a result, is a crucial step in building an app that not just embraces augmented reality, but also functions well and delights your audience.
That’s where we enter the equation. We’re on the forefront of this new development, and would love to help you get there as well. Contact us today to learn more about our AR capabilities, and start working with us to design and develop a successful app for your business.