Apple and Google have both recently announced the launch of AR platforms that will enable developers to build AR apps, games and services for iOS and Android devices. Retailers are now realizing the potential to transform their brand operations by using this technology to deliver more relevant and engaging customer experiences, such as enabling store surfaces to become an environment for virtual storytelling. Even more, eye-tracking, facial recognition and artificial intelligence are being integrated into AR apps to enable even more personalized experiences.
“[Apple's ARKit] will change how we do business, how we live and how we do retailing.” – MICHAEL VALDSGAARD, LEADER OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION, IKEA
The industry is excited and optimistic about this new space. Stylus reports that "in 2017, 40 million people in the US will have engaged with some form of AR at least monthly—up 30.2% compared to 2016. With these latest developments from Apple, Google and Facebook—as well as the continued popularity of Snapchat Lenses (where users interact for 20 seconds or more on average)—we expect the use of AR apps to become embedded in consumer smartphone behavior in the next 12 months." With this rate of adoption and innovation, we are sure to see some changes in the retail landscape.
Contributed by: Scott Hauman, Dallas Office
Image Source: Apple