Augmented Reality or AR is a technology that superimposes a digitally-generated image as a composite image. The digital image becomes the new reality for the user when using any device with AR. When compared to other reality technologies, augmented reality lies in the middle of the mixed reality spectrum; between the real world and the virtual world.
Pokemon Go, the popular gaming app in smartphones, is probably the most popular example of augmented reality in gaming. AR is not only used in gaming but also in various fields such as video streaming, medical, and engineering.
The advantages of adopting AR in web design are far greater than we can imagine. AR has started optimizing the user experience on mobile and desktop. Web developers have taken advantage of smartphone cameras and webcams to encourage users to take a virtual tour of their products and services.
History of Augmented Reality
The origin of the word augmented is augmented, which means to add or enhance something. In the case of Augmented Reality, graphics, sounds, and touch feedback are added into our natural world to create an enhanced user experience.
AR is often confused with Virtual Reality (VR), although there are quite a few differences. Namely, VR aims to immerse the user completely in a digital world, while AR simply overlays digital aspects onto the user’s real environment. ~Velocitize.com
In 1968, Ivan Sutherland created the first head-mounted display called The Sword of Damocles which paved the way for the AR we use today. The first fully immersive AR system was designed and used by U.S. Air Force and later NASA in the 90s.
The rampant use of AR became possible with the launch of smartphone and smartphone gaming apps in late 2000. The number of AR users in the U.S. alone is over 60 million.
Uses of Augmented Reality in Web Design
Here is how web designers can adopt AR into the web development realm to make the entire user experience better.
1. AR for Web Designers
Web designers can rely on web applications that generate AR images and videos. AR applications for web design can help to adopt compatible web plugins like WordPress VR which lets the web designers upload 360-degree videos to their sites.
Not only that, but web designers can also begin leveraging the technology in mobile UIs to offer better AR experience to the users. A better User interaction automatically enhances the user’s browsing experience.
The AR model implemented by the Fashion website is one of the best examples of augmented reality in websites. Users can use their smartphone cameras to help choose the desired product. AR is used as a “virtual dressing room” experience where users can scan themselves using their desktop or smartphone camera and scroll through available outfit choices that are displayed on the screen.
2. AR for UI and UX Design
AR has direct implications on the user interface. User Interface is where the interaction between humans and computers takes place. AR doesn’t only help the final product abut also improve the tools web designers utilize in designing them.
Allan Behrens, a business-side IT and technology expert, believes that
The evolution of the ‘design and development’ archetype—which combines the virtual with the real—will make designers’ tools more practical.
With AR, a user can make non-command UI in real-time. For example, AR-enabled UI design in Google Translate can help to translate the language by interpreting whatever the user is speaking. The earpiece “agent” in Google Translate will constantly interpret the real-world auditory input and starts translating based on the context of the situation. Similarly, the smartphone camera can access the language written in a paper, placard, website, or billboard to translate it to the desired language in real-time.
The use of AR in the user interface can dynamically alter the visual and aural experience of the user.
3. AR for Digital Marketing
Unknown to most techies, AR has an equally greater effect on digital marketing. Digital marketing is the key to connect the user to a website or application. For this, AR can help improve the entire process of searching the product, scrolling through the information, and finding the right product. Augmented reality is the current and future of advertising!
With this technology, users can interact and engage with what you are selling before they decide to buy it. Implementing AR into websites can help build simulated environments around your products that drive more user engagement.
Augmented reality drives engagement when it comes to ads. AR generated ads are immersive. They help marketers create a certain emotional connection with customers. A user can see and even interact with the advertisement before choosing to buy it. AD in advertising can mostly be seen in mobile gaming apps where the advertised game offers the user to engage with the game for a short period of time before choosing to download it.
4. AR Drives Engagement
AR is the answer to driving engagement when it comes to effective marketing and advertising. Unlike television and billboards, AR in websites and mobile apps help to interact with the users. It has the potential to increase empathy between users, products, and businesses.
- AR lets the customers try the product before buying it, hence growing the confidence.
- Augment touring and assistance can help customers know the product better, like booking a hotel room or a villa for the next holiday.
- A user can scan the brochure with QR code to download all the necessary information about the product or services on their phone.
Driving engagement is the key to grow the numbers of users or customers for any product and service.
Augmented Reality along with A.I. is the future of technology. It’s already time for the web designers to consider implementing AR in their products to make them more user-centric and interactive.
Searchable Design LLC is a premier web design and digital marketing company in Des Moines. We specialize in developing the customer-friendly and user-centric websites and applications for SMBs.