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Danny Moon is the CEO and cofounder of Viro Media, a platform for developers to rapidly build AR and VR applications.
ARKit’s release in 2017 unleashed a new category of mobile apps and created a greenfield for mobile app developers. The more than 1,000 AR apps already in the App Store cover a wide range of developers, from big corporations like the NBA and Ikea to indie game developers and independent hackers.
In addition to creating new standalone apps, both Apple’s ARKit and Google’s counterpart, ARCore, offer developers and companies an opportunity to engage users of their existing apps with new AR features. But it might be better to approach this tech as “AR as a feature” — not as the end-all, be-all of the app. It is important to note that while AR is a hot topic that’s quickly gaining momentum across industries, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use it in your branding. Depending on your core audience, it could be could be confusing for those unfamiliar with the technology, and by engaging users through multiple potential entry points, users immediately understand the value of the feature.
One of the best examples of “AR as a feature” is Amazon’s addition of “AR View” into its main mobile shopping app. It enables customers to digitally place an item they might want to buy on a real location. Customers can now “see” how that armchair would actually look in their living room. By adding the AR as a feature, Amazon was able to create a new layer of value to the shopping experience for its customers, without having them leave the app to open a separate tool.
Companies should have multiple entry points for the user to find the tool and to make sure its placement provides relational context for those users that would be unfamiliar to its purpose. Again, Amazon has done this well by introducing it through the camera icon on the Home Screen. This provides the context that the AR feature allows a view of product through the camera. It also created a playful aspect to the AR by making it so users experiment by “viewing” novelty items (such as the Back to the Future Delorean) and cartoon characters.
The second entry point is through product pages. At this point, AR View is providing utility by helping users solidify a buying decision. They can view the product in the real world, at scale, and walk around the product to see all sides of it. Notice that Amazon does not use the term “AR View” here but instead uses descriptive language: “See how this product fits in your room.”
Enhancing the world
Adding “AR as a feature” to your existing app can offer value to your customers and engage them in new ways. Here are some other opportunities and examples of AR as a feature.
One of the main use cases of AR is the capability to enhance the real world by showing what it looks like by adding to it. This can […] UploadVR