Tom Cruise. Robocop. Fight Club. Here’s What They Have In Common.

Minority Report - Robocop - Fight Club

In Minority Report, Tom Cruise is greeted at The Gap by a digital display asking how those tank tops worked out from his last shopping excursion. Robocop’s head mounted display recognized faces and displayed information about the subject in target. Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club flips through Ikea catalogs wondering what kind of dining set defines him as a person, set to a virtual catalogue of his condo.

What do these movies all have in common? Augmented Reality technology. The idea of Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for decades, but not until recently have we seen this futuristic technology being remarkably employed in commerce. AR offers the ability to provide brands content rich, utility based experiences that can entertain, educate, and capture –and even better, retain – customers.

The more time we spend interacting with a brand, the more likely we are to develop a loyalty and affinity for said brand. There’s no room for gimmicks in Augmented Reality anymore – used without content in the proper context, shelf life is low, with a one and done approach. But when used to breathe life into a commerce experience with entertainment, customized suggestions, and interaction opportunities, long lasting, successful AR campaigns bridge the gap between passive and progressive relationships. It’s estimated that in 2014 30% of mobile subscribers will use AR at least once in a week. 864 million smartphones will have AR technology enabled on them.  Revenue is expected to reach $600 billion by 2016. It’s continuing to broaden customer experiences more than ever – so, just how?

Let’s take a look at a recent example of AR being used in retail today and a demo experience PlayNetwork recently created:

Ikea | (Fight Club was on to something!) Turn your home into an Ikea showroom with a scalable view of 90 catalogue products. This clever use of AR brings the Ikea brand right into your home, allowing you to take the time to match up your next furniture purchase perfectly. The Set Up: The Ikea app uses the measurements of the Ikea catalogue in comparison to the surrounding room to scale each furniture item at the appropriate size. Choose from 90 popular pieces to flip, set, and rotate in any space. Think you’ve found the perfect fit? Snap a picture to tide you over until the real deal takes its place.  Ikea showrooms can be overwhelming even for the savviest of shoppers; this AR application solves the problem of finding parking, adds an entertaining element to their shopping process, and allows customers to interact with the brand in a whole new way.

PlayNetwork | Our Product Innovation team created this proof of concept using Father John Misty’s latest album. The Set Up: While browsing the record section at your favorite clothing store, you find you’re able to make the cover artwork “come to life” using your phone; turn the album over to preview the tracks then and there. Continue browsing the rest of the store by double tapping to take the player with you and by the end of track 3, you’ve decided you need this in your collection. Simply tap to add it to your cart and checkout online. This AR experience increases the time customers spend shopping, giving them an interactive excuse to linger as they listen. It also allows the customer to make their purchase decision in-store or after they’ve left.

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Interested in using AR to help build your brand? Give us a shout.

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