How Can Businesses Use Augmented
Reality in 2021?

How Can Businesses Use Augmented Reality in 2021?
Technologies are developing faster than we know it. Only yesterday we thought TikTok is for teenagers, and today it's a top social network with audiences of all ages. Only yesterday, ZOOM just an alternative to Skype, and today it's the number one service for online meetings. And just after writing this article, Clubhouse was released and became the number one place for online discussions.

The same thing is happening with both augmented and virtual reality. We've heard so much about them being an innovation that we missed the moment they became mainstream. Moreover, it's a medium that each of us has in our phones, and that different businesses are already actively using as an essential tool.
Dmitry Kornilov, CEO of the digital agency FFFACE.ME made a selection of use cases for different categories in order to figure out what's already possible.

Dima Kornilov
СЕО studio FFFACE
AR for fitting
Beauty - already possible

Here, two giants L'Oreal Paris and MAC Cosmetics have fully mastered virtual product testing for cosmetics and offer it both on the web, and through Instagram filters.

Interestingly, with Instagram filters, brands supplement the classic product fitting with additional design elements to create a fully fledged image - ready to post. As it turns out users on the site were found to: Try on the product > Buy the product. While on Instagram users had a more appealing trend for businesses: Try the product on > Create content > Advertise > Buy something later.
Jewelry, Optics - already possible

Fitting works great for these categories. It's nice that among the examples we can single out the local brands Luxoptika and Bevza. Together with the FFFACE.me studio, these brands have implemented product fitting through Instagram filters.
Furniture - already possible

It's been known for a while now that furniture could be placed in a room with AR. Of the world's giants, Amazon and Ikea are increasingly working on perfecting this medium.
Out of the local brands, Neutrum presented its furniture collection at the Maison & Objet exhibition in Kyiv.
Clothes - not possible yet, but will be soon

The broadest category is missing some functionality that still has to be developed. However, just a month ago, Snapchat introduced a full body recognition function, so you can realistically add 3D models to the body. It looks like this.
It's not difficult to imagine that very soon, this use case will become widespread.

It's cool to see that some manufacturers don't wait for the technology to be working perfectly, but already start offering their solutions. Zhilyova offers their line of lingerie in AR to show how models of different body sizes look.
AR for sales generation
Augmented reality can also be tied to direct sales, although this requires a fully fledged marketing funnel. An example of this funnel is the case with Luxoptica. Users were given a free visit to an ophthalmologist as a gift for playing an AR game. While going to get tested, more than 300 promo participants made purchases topping over than UAH 500 thousand. The conversion from promo participant to customer was tracked thanks to a promo coupon that was sent to all participants.

In total, the funnel can be reduced to the following steps:

  1. How to create an Instagram filter to engage your audience
  2. Get additional reach thanks to the generated user generated content
  3. Give a free introductory service as a prize for using the filter, which can only be claimed at the point of sale
  4. Convert people who made use of the introductory service to primary service customers
AR for interior design
The hype around the new iPhones in the fall muffled information about a very important feature of the 12 Pro model - LiDAR. This feature allows you to scan the area around the user and accurately measure the distance between different points. This allows you to create photorealistic scans of almost anything. For example, here's what happens if you scan a mini-van:
What exactly to scan and how to use it next, depends on your goals. The very fact that anything can be quickly turned into a 3D model is great news. This is especially promising for interior designers.

The same technology also has a reverse use case. LiDAR allows you to place anything on the surface in a certain space, taking into account the height, width and depth of all surfaces. For example, it might look like this:
These solutions are great for capturing unusual content, but they can also find more practical applications. For example, you can try on new wallpaper and tiles in your bathroom.
AR for social projects
AR can and should be used for social activities, 3 interesting projects have taken place over the last year in Ukraine:

  1. Together with FFFACE.me, UAnimals held a digital march for animals in quarantine. People stood up for animal rights through their Instagram stories. To take part in the march, participants had to record a story with a filter that contained the messages of the march, and also to tag the organization's page. By doing this, the movement generated over 200 thousand Instagram impressions and over a million over press coverage.
2. The Zhivolyub project and FFFACE.me launched a charity flash mob. The project's sponsor donated to the fund for every participant who created an Instagram story with an AR filter. The filter served as a tool for creating branded content and a template for unifying content in a flash mob. Over the course of the project, 3200 UAH were collected.
3. Thanks to the Instagram filter *no filter * from FFFACE.me and the NeTakaYakІnshіVona agency of women with disabilities, 2800 UAH were collected in a week as a donation to cover some of the costs of an operation for their model Varvara Akulova. FFFACE.me transferred money for each story with the filter and tags the NetakaYakInshiVona account. Further, the charity flash mob will be continued by Dima Borisov's restaurant Mushlya. In this way, one AR filter serves as a long-term template for creating unified charitable content. It is worth noting, that in this case, AR also worked to generate more than 10 PR publications with a total reach of over 1 million people.
VR for showrooms
Something that has already proven to work well, and in a remote location has become even more relevant - VR showrooms. In fact, this is a hybrid of an online and offline store, where the first maintains the opportunity to buy online, and the second maintains the ability to walk around, feel the space and look at the products in a certain visual context. Before you get skeptical, take a look at this interesting application: https://home.crosbystudios.com/
Why is this important? The fact that these designer showrooms are already available to everyone. For example, this one is based on the engine https://biganto.com/, while https://hubs.mozilla.com/ also works very well. Unlike the first option, online events can also be arranged in it, where everyone present can be seen as an avatar.
AR for art
AR art continues to evolve and now fully digital works are even perceived as equal to physical ones. In some respects, the AR solution is even better, since we observe it through a phone, meaning that everything is ready for content creation, and to give us information about the art object. For example, this is how the KAWS exhibition was held.
https://www.designboom.com/art/kaws-acute-art-augmented-reality-sculptures-03-12-2020/
Of Ukrainian artists, Waone Interesni Kazki succeeded in this direction. While quarantine restrictions were peaking, he created his AR gallery, and presented all his sculptures in AR format.
Conclusion
AR has become a tool that can solve real problems. If earlier AR provided a solution, in some industries, it is proving to be a necessity. For example, trying on products in remote conditions, and social AR for art is almost the only tool to interact with the audience while exhibitions are banned. Google AR cases in your industry or consult with experts, the time to develop a case for your niche could be now.
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