Intro

In 2019, augmented reality (AR) is one of the most promising technologies. With all the major players in tech – Apple, Google and Facebook adding AR capabilities to their platforms, now is the time to start thinking about how AR can be helpful for your company, no matter your industry.

Here, we’ll look at six companies that use AR in innovative and creative ways to solve real-life problems and refine and improve the way they operate.

1. IKEA Place

Back in September 2017, IKEA released an augmented reality app called IKEA Place. The app demonstrated AR’s potential to create immersive experiences. It works by allowing customers to virtually place furniture in their homes before buying them. In later versions, IKEA introduced the option to take a photo of any piece of furniture they like, then find similar or identical IKEA products through the app.

The app demonstrates that, even though gaming is the most popular genre of augmented reality apps, the market is ready for other apps that solve practical problems. IKEA Place also shows that retail AR apps can provide huge marketing value for a retailer.

2. Land Rover Web AR

An AR technology company launched one of the first AR marketing campaigns with Jaguar Land Rover which provided an in-vehicle tour of its latest SUV. The AR experience put the customers

Behind the wheel of a Range Rover Velar just months before it launched. The consumers would then have a virtual experience of sitting inside the car,  viewing it in 360º seeing the real world all around them, interacting with hotspots to change trim and color, and in the end, book a test drive.

The campaign successfully achieved the pre-order goals for the launch of the Range Rover Velar.  The promotion of the Velar with the AR experience beat industry benchmark scores and the engagement rate of the entire AR campaign was outstanding.

3. Star Walk

Star Walk is an astronomy stargazing app, which lets users identify and observe planets, constellations, and stars in real time on the night sky map. The users are able to see satellites overhead, find planets and identify stars in the night sky, while learning astronomy, studying the astronomical calendar and finding out all the secrets of outer space.

Star Walk was very well received by both users and critics. The app was downloaded over 10 million times. It has also won many awards like the Apple Design Award, the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, the  Academics’ Choice Award, and the World Summit Award in “Entertainment and Lifestyle” category. Also, the Webby Awards 2012 nominated Star Walk in the “Education & Reference” category.

4. Human Anatomy Atlas

The app allows users to interact with 3D models that appear on any flat surface that the mobile device is pointed at. When users move the device forward, the model moves through different layers and cross-sections of the model from gross anatomy to the micro-anatomy of organs.

The 3D models can be accompanied by texts and can be viewed next to illustrations and photographs to help the user better understand what they are looking at.

The app can be shared on up to six devices, which means that some features of the app can be used on a mobile device, while other classroom-like features such as creating presentations and taking notes can be used on a larger device.

5. Thyssenkrupp

Thyssenkrupp, a leading German-based industrial engineering, and steel production conglomerate, has developed an app for Microsoft Hololens that helps their service technicians find and visualize problems with elevators. It also allows them to have remote and hands-free access to technical and expert information when on site. This resulted in a stress-free environment and significant time-saving. A service maintenance intervention can be done up to four times faster than before by using the application.

Their goal is to increase efficiency, raise elevator uptimes, speed up the service interventions and ensure mobility equipment is always running while providing each passenger with the safest and most comfortable travel experience.

Augmented Reality Tablet

AR Tablet

6. Caterpillar

In October 2015, Caterpillar developed a proof of concept AR app that assists technicians in performing service and maintenance checks. For examples, if users had to replace an oil filter on a skid steer loader, the app would give them detailed visual instructions of exactly how to perform the task.

The app itself is cross-platform and can be used on phones, tablets, and AR glasses. The apps also allow its users to take a picture of each step during the maintenance process and then get information about how the steps are performed correctly. This helps new and seasoned mechanics to complete their tasks faster while avoiding the possibility of errors.

Conclusion

Even though one of the first functioning AR systems was developed in 1992, augmented reality has already proved itself as an important part of many industries and is surely going to be even more important in the future. From education to construction to AR in browsers that provide experiential ads, augmented reality apps are being developed to enhance many industries. As thousands of AR apps get released every day, we can expect them to shape many industries and touch even more aspects of our lives.

Tim Cook once said, “I do think that a significant portion of the population of developed countries, and eventually all countries, will have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day. It will become that much a part of you.” If certain technologies make our lives easier and better, then they are bound to stay in our lives for a long time.

Which companies have you seen incorporate AR into their processes? Which AR experience would you like to try for your company?