Step-by-Step Guide on How to Integrate AR in Your Business
AR technology has experienced remarkable advancements and extensive implementation across a wide range of industries. From its initial applications in the military and academic sectors to its integration into gaming, social media platforms, and beyond, AR has fundamentally transformed the way we engage with digital content. In this article, we delve into the diverse industries that leverage AR technology, including architecture, real estate, and product-based sectors. We also examine the profound impact of AR on sales and customer engagements, while providing practical insights on outsourcing AR projects and effectively embedding AR into websites and mobile applications.
Part 1. The History of AR Technology
1. AR Early Applications in Military and Academic (1990s-2000s)
2. AR Integration into Gaming and Social Media Platforms (2010s)
3. AR Expansion into Diverse Industries (Present)
Part 2. Applications of Augmented Reality in Various Industries
1. Engineering-oriented AR
2. AR Try-on
Part 3. How AR Shopping Impacts Sales and Customer Engagements
Part 4. The Industries That Benefit from AR Shopping
1. Furniture Industry
2. Fashion Industry
3. Footwear Industry
4. Cosmetics Industry
5. E-commerce Industry
Part 5. Exploring the Crucial Aspect of AR: Ensuring Accuracy
Part 6. Best Practices for Outsourcing AR Projects for Your Business
1. Select an Experienced 3D Visualization Studio with AR Expertise
2. Ensure Clear Communication Before the Project Starts
3. Regularly Review and Offer Feedback on Work-in-Progress
Part 7. How to Embed AR on Website
Part 8. How to Embed AR on App
AR technology gained traction during the late 20th century. In the 1990s, academia started exploring AR’s potential to enhance anatomy, physics simulations, and geography learning, offering interactive and immersive learning opportunities. Similarly, the military industry recognized AR’s ability to improve combat simulations, virtual vehicle training, and real-time information overlays.
In 2016, by overlaying virtual Pokémon characters onto real-world environments, Pokémon Go captivated millions of players worldwide, showcasing the immense potential of blending virtual elements with reality. This breakthrough demonstrated that AR could revolutionize gaming experiences by encouraging outdoor exploration, fostering social interaction, and creating a deeper level of engagement with virtual content.
Simultaneously, social media platforms embraced AR with the introduction of AR filters and lenses. Starting in 2015 with Snapchat, users could now apply virtual effects, animations, and face filters to their photos and videos. AR-powered selfie experiences became a global trend, spreading across various social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Users could unleash their creativity, enhancing their visual content with captivating and interactive AR elements, resulting in heightened user engagement and content sharing.
The integration of AR in gaming and social media has revolutionized digital content by blurring the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds, opening up endless possibilities for further advancements, and ushering in a new era to expand to more diverse industries in the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated the adoption of AR technology, particularly in response to the challenges posed by limited in-person interactions and the surge in online shopping. Businesses, especially retailers and e-commerce platforms, swiftly turned to AR e-commerce as a solution to bridge the gap between physical and digital experiences. Virtual try-ons with AR shopping technology integrated became a popular application, allowing customers to visualize products like clothing, eyewear, and cosmetics before making a purchase. This not only addressed the limitations of in-person try-ons but also helped reduce return rates, enhancing the overall shopping experience.
Moreover, AR has found valuable applications across a wide range of industries with 3D models and simulations. Real estate agencies have embraced AR to offer virtual property tours, enabling potential buyers to explore properties remotely and gain a realistic sense of space and design. Architects and interior designers utilize AR to visualize and present their designs, allowing clients to experience how structures or furniture would look in real-world settings. Healthcare professionals leverage AR for surgical planning, medical education, and patient education, providing more accurate and immersive experiences. Automotive companies integrate AR into heads-up displays, driver assistance systems, and virtual vehicle configurations, improving safety and user interaction.
The widespread adoption of AR across diverse industries unlocks new possibilities for businesses and showcases its versatility and impact. It overcomes the limitations of traditional methods as it continues to evolve.
Engineering-oriented AR has revolutionized industries such as architecture, construction, and manufacturing. By utilizing AR, professionals in these fields can overlay virtual 3D models onto real-world environments, allowing for more accurate design visualization and improved collaboration. Architects can present their designs to clients in a more immersive and interactive manner, enabling them to explore the proposed structures and make informed decisions with the AR architecture viewer. In construction, AR assists in project planning, enabling teams to visualize how different elements will fit together and identify any potential issues before construction begins. Manufacturers utilize AR to enhance assembly processes, providing workers with real-time guidance and visualizations to streamline production.
On the other hand, AR try-on have had a significant impact on the retail industry, particularly in e-commerce. By leveraging AR shopping technology, customers can virtually try on clothing, accessories, and even makeup, eliminating the need for physical try-ons and enhancing the online shopping experience. AR shopping solutions use advanced algorithms to map the user’s body or face, allowing them to visualize how the products will look on them in real time. This not only increases customer engagement and confidence but also reduces the likelihood of returns due to incorrect sizing or dissatisfaction with the product’s appearance.
In the engineering-oriented sector, real estate agents and developers can present properties in a more immersive and interactive manner, providing a realistic sense of space, design, and layout. Besides the list-for-sale real estate, this technology is also proven particularly useful for off-plan properties, allowing buyers to envision the finished product before it’s constructed. AR has revolutionized the way real estate and architecture are showcased, enabling potential buyers and tenants to explore virtual property tours and visualize spaces with incredible accuracy. As for the virtual try-on sector, augmented reality has revolutionalized customer behaviors and the product sells. Let’s dig into it in the next part.
One of the main challenges of e-commerce has been the inability of customers to physically try on products before making a purchase, which could lead to a high return rate. However, with AR shopping integrated, customers can now visualize products in real-time, whether it’s trying on clothing, testing out cosmetics, or even virtually placing furniture in their homes. Utilizing AR shopping technology enhances the customer experience, provides personalized interactions, and bridges the gap between the physical and digital realms. This immersive experience ensures a better fit and matches their preferences which not only allow customers to make more informed decisions but also reduce the return rate.
Moreover, the integration of AR-powered activations such as interactive storytelling that offer tailored and immersive ways for customers to interact with brands can differentiate themselves and forge deeper connections with their audience, leaving a lasting impact. These types of immersive marketing campaigns help grow brand loyalty and can ultimately drive repeat purchases.
In the furniture industry, IKEA stands out as a prime example of leveraging AR technology. With their AR-enabled app, customers can browse through IKEA’s AR furniture app for their furniture catalog and virtually place items in their own living spaces with the AR furniture feature. This allows them to assess the size, style, and overall aesthetic of the furniture, aiding in the decision-making process before making a purchase.
Moving on to the AR fashion industry, Zara embraced AR try-on experiences in 120 of its flagship stores worldwide back in April 2018. Through their Zara augmented reality app, customers can virtually try on clothing items without physically being in-store. By leveraging augmented reality fashion shopping, users can see how the clothes fit and look on themselves, helping them make more informed purchasing decisions.
The Nike SNKRS app has transformed the world of sneaker shopping with its impactful use of augmented reality (AR). Through the app, users can experience exclusive AR releases, allowing them to virtually explore and interact with limited-edition sneakers like never before. The AR camera feature unlocks hidden content and immersive experiences by scanning Nike logos in the real world. Moreover, Nike Fit, powered by AR, provides accurate measurements for the perfect fit, ensuring customers find the ideal shoe size.
The cosmetics industry has embraced AR for virtual makeup try-on experiences. Brands like L’Oreal and Sephora offer AR apps that allow users to try on different makeup products virtually, from lipsticks to eyeshadows. Users can experiment with various shades and styles, providing a convenient and interactive way to explore different looks before purchasing.
Lastly, in the e-commerce industry, Amazon has integrated AR features to enhance product visualization. With their AR View feature, customers can use their smartphones to visualize how products, such as furniture or appliances, would look in their own homes. This helps customers gauge the size, style, and compatibility of the product with their existing surroundings.
To create a believable and engaging AR shopping experience, accurate object tracking, precise alignment, and realistic visual elements are key elements that cannot be overstated. With the right approach and implementation, AR has the potential to deliver compelling and realistic AR content that is visually convincing and enhances customers’ interaction with the real world and transforms your business, and propels it toward success in today’s digital era.
It is a crucial step to bring your e-commerce business to a new height by choosing and outsourcing your project to a specialized 3D visualization and AR development team that ensures the accuracy of high-quality 3D modeling and rendering techniques to create realistic objects, textures, lighting, shadows, environments, and physics simulations that closely resemble their real-world counterparts. Collaborating with specialized AR development teams saves your time to focus on your core business activities while bringing your AR vision to life with optimal AR results and ensuring faster time-to-market.
If you are still hesitating, check this article: Why You Need to Outsource Your Project
When it comes to outsourcing an AR project for your business, taking the right steps can ensure a successful collaboration with an experienced team. To embark on this journey, follow these best practices to effectively outsource your AR project and leverage the power of augmented reality for your business.
Begin by carefully choosing a reputable 3D visualization studio that specializes in providing augmented reality services. Look for studios with a track record of delivering high-quality AR projects and a strong understanding of your industry.
Imagist3ds is a reputable studio with more than 13+ years of experience in the 3D visualization industry. The extensive range of services includes expertise and cutting-edge 3D rendering, 3D animation, AR/VR, and 3D interactive solutions catering to industries such as consumer products and industrial products, automotive, architecture, and real estate.
With proficiency in creating high-quality 3D models and assets, the 3D visualization studio can accurately represent your products or designs. The sophisticated 3D visualization team excels in developing immersive AR experiences that seamlessly merge virtual content with the real world, resulting in enhanced user engagement and interaction. Whether you require AR for virtual try-ons, interactive product demonstrations, or AR-enabled packaging, Imagist3ds delivers innovative solutions tailored to your specific needs.
Effectively communicate your project requirements, design assets, and project brief to the studio. Provide detailed information about your desired AR experience, including any specific features or interactives you want to incorporate. Clear communication at this stage helps ensures that the studio understands your vision and sends you an accurate and reasonable quote.
What files are needed to start the project: Check this project brief for 3D visualization;
To know the workflow, timeline, render resolution, etc., check FAQ section;
For pricing, check the 3D architectural visualization price, and 3D product visualization price.
For a more accurate price quote, you can send your design assets here:
After the project is initiated, stay participated throughout the development process by regularly reviewing the work-in-progress from the studio. An augmented reality creation involves 3D modeling, adding material, textures, lighting, and rendering AR-enabled features. Providing timely and constructive feedback on each milestone or iteration addresses any issues or areas for improvement, allowing you to steer the project in the right direction, and ensuring that the AR experience aligns with your expectations and meets your objectives.
After the 3D visualization team send you the AR-enabled result, it’s time that you embed it on your website to offer your customers an AR shopping experience. The steps to configure AR is quite simple:
Step 1. Choose an AR plugin: Search for an AR plugin that is compatible with your website builder. Some popular options include AR for WordPress, AR Model Viewer, and Augmented Reality for WooCommerce. As for Shopify, browse the Shopify App Store for AR apps that are compatible with Shopify. Some popular options include ARitize by NexTech AR.
Step 2. Install and activate the plugin: Install the chosen AR plugin/app or upload it manually. Activate the plugin once it’s installed.
Step 3. Set up the plugin: Configure the plugin settings according to your preferences. Follow the app’s instructions for installation and setup. This may include adding product images, configuring AR display options, and adjusting tracking settings.
Step 4. Upload 3D models: Upload the 3D models of your products that will be used for the AR experience. Ensure that the models are in a compatible format (e.g., GLB for Android users and USDZ for iOS users) and optimize them for web use.
Step 5. Add AR functionality to product pages: Edit the product pages where you want to enable AR. Depending on the plugin, you may need to add a shortcode, use a specific block, add a code snippet, or use a specific widget to embed the AR experience on the page.
Step 6. Test and optimize: Preview the product pages to ensure that the AR functionality is working as expected. Test it on different devices and browsers to ensure compatibility and responsiveness.
As mobile devices continue to dominate our lives, shopping habits have shifted towards the convenience of mobile commerce. To keep up with the evolving needs of consumers, e-commerce companies have embraced the power of their own shopping apps. But here’s the exciting part: imagine taking your app to the next level by seamlessly integrating AR functionality. With AR, you can provide customers with an immersive and interactive augmented-reality shopping experience that transcends the boundaries of traditional online shopping. Let’s discover how you can unlock the potential of Augmented Reality within your app!
Step 1. Choose an AR development platform: Research and select an AR development platform that suits your requirements. ARKit is suitable for integration and development as an AR app for iPhone, ARCore is the best match for an AR app for Android, and Unity is for cross-platform development.
Step 2. Gather necessary assets: Prepare the 3D models, animations, textures, and other visual assets that you’ll need for your AR experience. Ensure that they are optimized for mobile devices and compatible with your chosen development platform.
Step 3. Implement AR functionality: Integrate the AR SDK into your app’s codebase. Use the provided APIs and libraries to enable AR tracking, rendering, and interaction. This step involves coding and development work, so it’s crucial to have experienced developers familiar with AR development.
Step 4. Design the user interface: Create a user-friendly interface that allows users to access and interact with the AR features seamlessly. Consider intuitive gestures, buttons, or menus to control the AR experience and provide clear instructions to users.
Step 5. Test and refine: Thoroughly test your app’s AR features on different devices and operating systems to ensure compatibility and smooth performance. Gather user feedback and make necessary refinements to improve the overall user experience. Continuously monitor the performance of your AR features, gather user analytics, and collect feedback. Regularly update your app to fix any bugs, enhance functionality, and introduce new AR experiences based on user preferences and technological advancements.
As businesses strive to enhance customer experiences and stay ahead in the digital landscape, AR technology presents exciting opportunities in e-commerce, architecture, real estate, and beyond. With its immersive and interactive capabilities, AR real estate helps potential homebuyers vision their future home, and augmented reality in retail has become a powerful tool for engaging customers, boosting sales, and increasing brand loyalty. From the furniture and fashion industries to cosmetics, footwear, and e-commerce, various businesses can leverage AR to provide unique and personalized experiences to their customers. By ensuring accuracy, outsourcing AR projects to experienced professionals, and seamlessly integrating AR into websites and apps, businesses can unlock the full potential of AR and create unforgettable experiences in the digital realm. Embracing AR technology is not just a trend, but a strategic move towards innovation and customer-centricity in the dynamic world of business.