Contextual AR Enhances Consumer Experiences


Augmenting the physical world with digital material allows for the presentation of contextual information, purchasing options and additional entertainment. As the friction between accessing augmented effects decreases and developer capabilities increase, we’ll begin to see consumers utility of these effects play out in more and more use cases.


Within retail, AR is being used to provide more information and easier checkout options for consumers. Walmart recently added an AR scanning tool in its iOS app to allow customers to view comparison products, check prices & availability, as well as read reviews. Information which would otherwise be up to the user to search out.


While watching live sports, our ‘second screen’ experience will continue to be enhanced. The PGA Tour created an AR app that allows viewers to follow along with the action in real time, by loading a virtual creation of select holes as they’re being played on TV. Through the same shot tracking technology displayed on the screen, users can follow along with who’s playing the hole, where their shot went and what type of lie they’re currently facing ­– much of which is tough to fully grasp with a 2D representation.


Thanks to the advanced image tracking within Apple’s second rendition of ARKit, developers have more freedom than ever to add augmented features to items in the real world. Marketers should be thinking about what types of content would be useful to consumers as they browse a retail store or come across their product at any time. The ability to use that item as a trigger to launch augmented information will soon become an expected form of search behavior.


Brands that use this space to think of ways they can improve the consumer experience, instead of simply trying to sell more products, will be the ones that ultimately see results. Consumers will appreciate the thoughtfulness and utility that those types of experiences provide.

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