AUGMENTED REALITY (AR): TRANSFORMING WITH DIGITAL ADDITIONS
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that enhances the real world by combining it with virtual elements such as digital objects, graphics, or sounds. It is commonly used on flat screens like smartphones, computers, web-based AR tools, and various applications. AR allows users to connect the physical and digital worlds, enabling interaction between these two worlds. For example, it uses a smartphone camera to display real-world scenes and enriches them with virtual graphics or information additions. This gives users the ability to explore real-world objects more deeply or view them from different perspectives, resulting in richer and more interactive experiences. AR encompasses both entertainment applications and various business uses, making it a rapidly growing technology field of interest.
ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS OF AR TECHNOLOGY
1. Transparency: Augmented Reality (AR) requires users to overlay digital content onto the real-world environment. This means that users need to be able to observe their surroundings and perceive both the real world and the added digital content. For instance, a transparent or semi-transparent surface like smartphone screens allows users to simultaneously see both the real world and the augmented virtual elements.
2.Camera: Many AR applications require a camera to capture the user’s surroundings and add digital content to this environment. The camera helps the user recognize objects in the real world and interact with these objects. Particularly, smartphones and tablets provide integrated cameras for this purpose, enhancing users’ AR experiences.
3. Image Recognition: AR often utilizes image recognition and computer vision algorithms to identify and track real-world objects. This enables the anchoring of virtual content in the real world and responsiveness to the user’s physical movements. For example, an AR application can add a virtual 3D model onto the cover of a book when the user scans the book cover with their smartphone camera, and this model can change as the user examines the book from different angles. Image recognition forms the foundation of the AR experience, offering users an interactive and connected reality.
These essential requirements are necessary for AR technology to successfully merge the real world with the digital world, enabling users to have rich and interactive experiences.
AR IN RETAIL:
Within E-commerce, AR serves as a critical marketing and sales tool by providing customers with realistic product previews. For instance, clothing retailers can use AR to offer interactive product try-on experiences, allowing customers to visualize how products, such as shoes, will look from different angles. Additionally, AR enables users to see how products like clothing, accessories, and furniture will appear against physical backgrounds.
MIXED REALITY (MR): A TECHNOLOGY THAT BRIDGES THE REAL AND VIRTUAL WORLDS
Mixed Reality (MR) is a type of technology that seamlessly merges users’ physical and digital experiences, typically through specially designed 3D glasses or headsets. These specialized glasses enable users to interact between the real world and the virtual world. MR glasses create an environment where what users see is not just the real world but also an integration of digital objects and effects.
These glasses contain two main lenses, which blend the user’s surroundings with three-dimensional digital images. This allows users to see real-world objects and events in three dimensions. When users turn their heads or shift their gaze in different directions, these glasses alter the MR world they are in, providing an experience as if they are interacting with digital objects.
MR technology can encompass not only visual but also auditory and tactile experiences. For instance, some MR applications can employ gloves or sensors that allow users to feel physical actions such as touching or moving in the virtual world. This further enriches the MR experience and blurs the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds.
In conclusion, MR technology guides users towards a fully integrated experience between the real and digital worlds. It enables various applications in fields like entertainment, education, healthcare, engineering, and many others, and it is a technology that will continue to grow and evolve in the future.
CORE REQUIREMENTS OF MR TECHNOLOGY:
- Spatial Mapping: MR utilizes sensors like depth cameras, LIDAR sensors, or structured light sensors to map the user’s surroundings in three dimensions.
- Virtual Object Integration: MR technology employs advanced computer vision algorithms to integrate virtual objects into the real world and associate them with specific locations or objects.
- Enhanced Optics: MR devices use advanced optics such as special lenses or holographic displays to seamlessly combine physical and digital content.
MR IN RETAIL:
In the context of E-commerce, MR provides customers with realistic, three-dimensional previews of products in physical environments. For example, users can digitally place furniture and assess its dimensions and aesthetics. This application enhances the product experience while reducing returns and customer dissatisfaction.
AR AND MR: KEY DIFFERENCES
1.Immersion Levels: The most noticeable difference between Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) is their immersion levels. MR offers a higher level of immersion compared to AR. Immersion refers to how deeply a user engages with the virtual world and how blurred the boundaries are between the real and virtual worlds. MR allows users to three-dimensionally visualize digital objects as if they are interacting with real-world objects. Users can view digital objects from different angles, touch them, and interact with them. AR, on the other hand, is typically limited to adding digital objects to the real world on flat screens, and users can only see objects on a two-dimensional plane.
2.Interaction with the Real World: AR typically projects digital objects onto flat surfaces, so users perceive these objects as if they are on top of real-world objects, but deep interactions like physically manipulating or rotating them are limited. MR, on the other hand, allows users to interact with digital objects in their physical surroundings as if they were interacting with them entirely. Users, thanks to MR glasses, can physically overlap, touch, move, and rotate digital objects with real-world objects.
3.Scope of Use: AR has a broader scope of use as it only requires flat screens. Therefore, AR applications are accessible to almost anyone using smartphones, tablets, computers, web browsers, and even simple QR codes. In contrast, MR is limited to users with specialized glasses. These specialized glasses are typically more expensive and geared towards more specific use cases. Therefore, MR is suitable for a more limited user base, but these users can experience more in-depth and interactive experiences.
AR AND MR IN E-COMMERCE: SHAPING THE FUTURE
Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are poised to transform the future of the E-commerce sector. The augmented reality market, valued at $13.8 billion in 2022, is expected to reach $50.9 billion by 2026, with an annual growth rate of 32.3%. This impressive growth reflects the potential of AR and MR in online retail.
AR and MR are rapidly being adopted across various industries. Sectors such as video games, healthcare, engineering, real estate, live events, and retail continue to explore the benefits these technologies offer. Particularly in E-commerce, AR and MR hold the potential to provide customers with unique and interactive shopping experiences.
However, there are certain barriers to the adoption of AR and MR. User experience plays a critical role in the widespread adoption of these technologies. MR’s reliance on specialized goggles limits user access to this technology. Additionally, both technologies may face challenges related to large file sizes and content accessibility. Cost and market reluctance are also significant obstacles.
Ethical concerns should not be overlooked either. Especially, the use of facial recognition technology in AR can potentially violate privacy rights and require stringent security measures. MR glasses, especially among frequent users, can have physical and psychological effects. In the context of E-commerce, these technologies can be misused to create deceptive perceptions of products, underscoring the importance of accurate advertising practices for retailers.
In conclusion, AR and MR are significant technologies shaping the future of E-commerce. Factors such as user experience, costs, ethical concerns, and market demands should be considered for their successful adoption. However, the potential they offer presents an opportunity for retailers to provide their customers with richer, interactive, and satisfying experiences.
EXPERIENCE THE FUTURE WITH ARIMARS’ AR AND MR SOLUTIONS:
AR and MR are reshaping how consumers interact with the physical world. AR provides accessible, realistic product previews, while MR offers unique realism but requires specialized devices. To harness the potential of AR and MR, digital retailers can embrace platforms like ARIMARS within their E-commerce operations. This platform simplifies the creation and sharing of product models for both AR and MR environments, enhancing customer engagement and reducing returns. You can step into the world of AR and MR 3D product previews today by scheduling a free demo.
Arimars, offering a customized Metaverse Shopping platform for brands, enables leading companies to provide a virtual world experience for their customers, employees, and distributors. It allows interaction with 3D digital assets and their physical sale. On this customized platform, our 3D virtual experiences are easily accessible through brands’ websites. This experience works seamlessly on PC, mobile devices, and VR headsets, without the need for downloads or installations. Moreover, brands can update the content within the environment through the control panel we provide. As your strategic partner, Arimars shapes your virtual world strategy and aids in executing your virtual world plan. To learn more about how Arimars can assist you in establishing your presence in the metaverse, reach out to us.
*Important Note: Due to technical limitations and depending on the preferred virtual store methods, there may be differences between the concept design visuals and the actual implementation during the real application. These visuals are provided solely as concept design examples.