It will come as no surprise that over 90% of SMEs rely on some form of digital technology for their day-to-day operations, but latest trends are suggesting that businesses are investing AR/ VR technology to support their growth. Latest figures estimate the virtual reality market will be valued at approximately £354.3 million compared with £46.4 million back in 2016, but what how exactly is investing in AR/ VR technology good for business?
What’s the difference between AR & VR?
There are a few distinctions between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which will impact the type funding you should seek to cover the costs of implementing this technology into your business.
Primarily, AR uses real-world settings while VR is completely virtual. In addition VR requires a headset device, whereas AR can be accessed with a smartphone, as a result of this, many users of VR often report feeling motion sickness. This is because the brain is receiving conflicting messages about your bodies movement.
AR can be used to enhance both the virtual and the real world, while VR only enhances a virtual and fictional reality. AR is programmed in a way that users can control – and alter – their presence in the real world, whereas VR users are controlled and limited by the system itself.
Why invest in AR / VR technology?
As more and more business increase the use of virtual reality, we’re seeing businesses in the retail, education, healthcare and even real estate sector using AR and VR technology to improve user experience. Creating a more memorable experience in a saturated market will only lead to greater lead generation and customer retention.
One of the main reasons it’s time to invest in AR technology in particular is that millions of users use it – whether they realise it or not! Snapchat and Instagram filters are all examples of AR and are one the reasons social media platforms are so addictive.
We know that when used creatively, AR can be a boon for marketing. From makeup brands using AR to show how makeup products can look to estate agents and property developers creating AR versions of properties that allow users to walk-through the property, AR technology provides users with the opportunity to interact with the business.
This element of interactivity in turn helps increase repeat engagement. Pokémon Go is a prime example of users repeatedly using the game, which resulted in greater brand exposure as a whole. Establishing repetitive engagement will help build brand awareness and is ideal for businesses looking to grow and expand their offering.