How Your Business Can Benefit from Augmented & Virtual Reality

Augmented and virtual reality might seem like a technology of the future, but as it turns out,the future may be closer than you think! Social Media Today released an article on their predictions for 2021, and when I saw the section on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), it instantly had me thinking of all of the benefits this will bring many businesses like yours, especially with our current world. 

Due to the global pandemic, we have been spending a lot more time at home. Businesses changed their hours and the way they do things, classes went online, and everyone adjusted to a more virtual world. AR and VR will give businesses another tool in their belt to help drive their sales, enhance their brand, and continue delivering the best experience possible for their target audience. 

If you aren’t familiar with AR and VR, here is a quick little breakdown!

Augmented Reality (AR): “AR is when you look at the real world and see it overlaid, or augmented, with location-specific information and graphics.” 

A great example of AR is Snapchat or Instagram filters. When you use the filters, like the famous dog nose, you are seeing the real world augmented with a graphic. Pokemon Go is another app that has used AR. When you catch the pokemon you can see them standing right in front of you on the same sidewalk you are standing on in real life.

Virtual Reality (VR): “VR is when the sights and sounds around you are replaced with virtual, computer-generated ones.”

VR is when you are fully immersed in a different reality than your own. VR goggles let you step out of your living room and into a forest filled with dinosaurs or put you into the world of one of your favorite video games. 

A real-life application of AR that Facebook is set to roll out sometime in 2021 is “Project Aria” –  wearable AR glasses that will add a 3D layer of useful, contextually-relevant, and meaningful information to your physical world. They described this device as a way to help us perform everyday tasks better like finding our keys, navigating a new city, or capturing a moment in time. Check out this video to learn more about “Project Aria”! 

So, all of this is pretty interesting stuff, but what does it mean for your business? There are many ways that businesses of all types will be able to benefit from AR & VR, but since Marketing TEA focuses on the health and wellness industry, I thought I would share a few key ways that I can see that market flourish from AR & VR devices!

Augmented & Virtual Reality Benefits

Touring & Assistance 

Tours are an important part of the new client process, particularly for our clients in the midwifery and birth center world, for example. Soon to be mothers want to see the space they will give birth in, get to know the amenities they have to offer, and see if it’s a good fit for what they are looking for. With COVID-19, many birth centers and other healthcare facilities had to switch over to a virtual tour of some sort, whether that was pictures or a quick video of the space, but imagine how effective a virtual tour would be if your business was utilizing AR or VR! 

Your potential clients could either be fully immersed in the virtual reality of your center and walk around in the space as if they were there in person or utilize augmented reality to walk around the center seeing 3D information and answers to questions as they are in that space. Starbucks has used augmented reality to digitize the experience of touring one of their coffee shops by allowing users to scan objects within the shop to access a virtual tour that conveys additional information to supplement the physical site.

Health Services 

There are some pretty incredible services that AR will be able to offer to the healthcare world like saving lives by showing defibrillators nearby and revealing someone’s temperature without having to come in contact with them! With fever being one of the symptoms of COVID-19, this could help healthcare providers know who could potentially be infected before they come in contact with anyone else.

Another incredible possibility for birth centers and other women’s health providers is being able to help moms who are having trouble breastfeeding by seeing things through their eyes! A company called Small World used Google Glass to effectively allow their telephone counselors to see through the eyes of mothers while they breastfed at home. Struggling mothers could share their perspective and get help from experts right from the comfort of their own home!

By now I hope you are seeing some possibilities of how beneficial augmented & virtual reality could be for your business (and this blog post barely touches the surface!) One of the main things we always talk about at Marketing TEA is how marketing is always evolving because there are always new technologies, platforms, and strategies to learn. Keeping up with them all isn’t always easy, but it is essential if you want to continue to grow and succeed in the future! And we are always here to help you when you need it. 😊 What do you think VR or AR will be used for in your industry?