Augmented reality, or AR, has taken off in recent years. Many will remember Pokemon Go as one of the first wide-spread AR games that had millions hooked in 2016. Users all over the world were wandering around forests and shopping centres collecting virtual Pokemon characters.
However, AR is no longer just being used as an extension of a virtual game into a real space, but is also now a tool for brands and creators to engage more directly with consumers and followers. The technology used for AR has become increasingly sophisticated and the cost of developing said technology has decreased.
The combination of lower costs and the ever-rising popularity of social media apps has led to big names engaging their audiences in new, creative ways. Tech-savy youngsters have jumped on the AR bandwagon and through their understanding of platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, content is beginning to shift. At more or less any time, you can find branded content filters on social media that are used by the masses.
Filters are rife on apps like Snapchat and the possibilities seem almost endless. From altering your face to appear younger to brand logos appearing in the background or even on the faces of creators, AR is a tool not just to amuse but also to capitalise.
Many brands are partnering with creators to engage audiences in a new way. Instead of users simply viewing branded content, AR now allows for a direct engagement with big brands, celebrities and their products. Brands can now bring their products and campaigns to life, virtually, and users can participate from the comfort of their bedroom.
French luxury fashion house Dior incorporated AR into a 2019 launch, collaborating with The Mill, a London-based content creating studio. The filters, which could be used on Instagram, allowed users to try on runway looks, accessories and makeup though the actual event took place in a different time zone.
The fashion industry is not the only sector utilising this modern method. Homeware shop IKEA incorporated an AR feature into its mobile app which allowed users to hold their camera up and place a virtual item of furniture in a room to see via filter how items would look in their spaces.
AR forecasts include restaurants incorporating a feature onto their menus that will mean a customer can scan the menu to view what their meal would look like before they even order it.
Brands are beginning to take notice of the memorability of interactive experiences for users and experts predict that as technology evolves, we will begin to see AR in more and more of our everyday lives.
Is this increasingly integrated consumer-brand relationship the way of the future?
To read about Tej Kohli as an investor and technologist visit Kohli Ventures.
Find out more about Tej Kohli: Tej Kohli the technologist investing in human triumph, Tej Kohli the philanthropist trying to cure the developing world of cataracts and Tej Kohli the London tycoon with a generous streak.