Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversations?’
– Lewis Carol, Alice in Wonderland
As kids, all of us have wondered what it would be like to fall down a rabbit hole into a world we have all dreamt of. Fast-forward a few years and most of the fantasies we had as children of slipping into semi-fictitious worlds are now made possible by Augmented Reality.
According to Wikipedia, Augmented Reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality.
Over the years Augmented Reality has revolutionized military, education, medical, travel, gaming, advertising and countless other areas. The applications of AR are manifold and apparently only limited by the imagination and innovation of the technologist. The technology is now beginning to transform the e-commerce industry and the way people shop.
Enriched, convenient, and tailored shopping experiences within the comfort of your own home/office have completely modernized the retail experience. With a few simple clicks on a desktop or handheld device, consumers are provided with extremely convenient ways to purchase goods anytime, anywhere. Through 3D animated product demonstrations, virtual try-ons, and more, Augmented Reality allows consumers to realistically visualize products in 3D and enhance their shopping experience.
AR can be used to boost e-commerce and m-commerce in multiple ways, a few of them being: