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Posted on September 25, 2017 by staff

Develop AR apps or risk losing customers, retailers warned

Develop AR apps or risk losing customers, retailers warned

AR allows users to overlay digital elements onto an image.
AR allows users to overlay digital elements onto an image.

Augmented reality is now enjoying ‘its first mainstream moment’ with almost 70 per cent of consumers saying they expect retailers to launch an AR app within the next six months, new research has claimed.

The findings form part of a retail report, commissioned by mixed reality company DigitalBridge, examining the state of technology in the retail sector.

It found that AR has now become the most sought after technology by consumers, with 61 per cent of those surveyed saying this is the technology they are most excited about using, compared to 30 per cent who think virtual reality should take priority in the consumer market.

The remaining 9 per cent believing that artificial intelligence tools, like chat bots, will be most beneficial.

According to the report, Apple‘s first foray into augmented reality with its ARKit platform has helped to elevate the technology into the mainstream after “years of being developed in the shadows of VR”.

Google is also planning to launch its own platform, ARCore.

“Augmented reality hasn’t really caught the public’s attention as much as virtual reality, thanks to its popularity in the gaming and leisure industry,” DigitalBridge CEO David Levine said.

“However, Apple’s focus on this immersive technology and its forthcoming battle with Google (and others) has really turned the focus on its head and augmented reality is having its first mainstream moment.

“As a business and commerce application, particularly when it comes to mobile commerce, augmented reality has much more potential than virtual reality as it’s easier and cheaper to implement and I think we’re going to see a new eco-system of AR enabled experiences in the coming weeks and months.”

Earlier this year, research by DigitalBridge found that the UK’s retail market could be boosted by as much as £1bn a year if retailers invested in virtual and augmented reality platforms.