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App Development
6 minutes read

Augmented Reality (AR) Navigation: A New Way to Map 

By Jose Gomez
AR navigation
By Jose Gomez
App Development
6 minutes read

Augmented Reality is an exciting, innovative technology that is used to render virtual objects and content over the physical world. It is unsurprising that Augmented Reality would be an exciting technology for navigation systems. 

Google Maps, one of the most popular map apps on the web and mobile devices, has already begun adding AR technology to its service offering. Augmented Reality navigation is a great way to deliver an incredible User Experience and drive value for customers. 

This post will explore everything your organization needs to know about AR navigation. You might think your business has no need to develop an AR app, but any business can benefit from an indoor AR navigation tool. 

What Is Augmented Reality Navigation? 

If you have a basic understanding of Augmented Reality technology, it is easy to imagine what AR navigation entails. AR apps create digital content that is overlaid over real-world objects. For example, face filters on Snapchat or other apps like TikTok are examples of Augmented Reality. 

AR navigation generates a virtual path over the real world using a user’s location and smartphone camera based on the intended destination

For example, imagine using Google Maps to determine the right direction to walk and seeing a digital path rendered over the real world that can identify landmarks and provide real-time data about history, local news, and promotional content from the businesses you pass. 

This is the crux of AR navigation solutions. Google Maps AR navigation solution is called Google Live View, and it performs many of the functions described above. 

Google Maps is not the only popular example of existing AR navigation tools. Mercedes-Benz has a new AR navigation system in its vehicles that utilize Augmented Reality to display objects and AR directions on live images. 

This Augmented Reality app is primarily used to help drivers anticipate real-world traffic conditions and avoid traffic jams, but it also uses GPS data to display street names and house numbers to make navigation decisions easier when driving. 

You might wonder why your business needs to develop an outdoor navigation app. After all, you are likely not a car manufacturer, and Google Maps and Apple Maps have a firm grasp on the mobile map market. 

However, you are overlooking the value of indoor navigation. 

What Is AR Indoor Navigation? 

Have you ever visited a store and had trouble finding a specific product? This is a typical customer experience. Wouldn’t life be much easier if there were an indoor navigation solution that would lead you directly to the product you were looking for? 

AR apps can be developed to provide valuable indoor or outdoor navigation services in your business location. This can be particularly useful in shopping malls, grocery stores, and large box stores. 

Indoor navigation technologies differ from the technologies used to power outdoor navigation solutions. You are likely familiar with GPS. GPS is highly effective for large-scale positioning outdoors. However, GPS is not accurate enough for indoor navigation. 

GPS can show that someone or something is inside a building, but showing a specific location within a building is difficult for GPS. As a result, indoor navigation tools rely on beacons, urban visual positioning systems, and visual markers. 

The Benefits of Developing an AR Navigation App 

Implementing AR navigation features in an application will not be suited for every business. However, for the businesses that determine that this technology makes sense for their application and product offerings, there are some crucial benefits to highlight, including the following:

  • Unique customer experiences 
  • Display data 
  • Save time 

Unique Customer Experiences 

The most significant benefit of AR navigation is that it can provide unique customer experiences that drive brand loyalty. Your organization can customize the experience each customer has in its store and engage them in ways that are most likely to drive further interaction. 

For example, a grocery store that develops an AR navigation app for indoor use can market specific sales and items to customers as they use the app to navigate through the store. Based on previous searches and visits, grocery stores could recommend other products, share recipes, etc. 

AR navigation presents a unique way for businesses to engage customers and offer them new services and products. While we used the example of grocery stores, any store or mall that is large enough would benefit in this way from the development of an AR navigation app. 

Display Data 

The most effective aspect of Augmented Reality is that it enables businesses to display data over real-world objects. Imagine a museum. With an AR navigation app, visitors to the museum can guide themselves through exhibits and access informational content through AR. 

Or in our previous example of grocery stores, customers could read the nutritional information of an item without having to pick it up off the shelf and turn it around. They could check the items they buy in real-time against a shopping list or recipe to ensure they get everything they need. 

There are many effective ways AR can be used to display data. Any business that sells items should consider how it could utilize AR to display essential or related information to customers browsing their inventory. 

Save Time 

AR navigation can help save users time as they move around your store or business location. AR can show users the best possible route from where they are to where they want to go. 

Whether that is the quickest route in your store to a product they want to buy or the best route through traffic with live traffic conditions and stop light information. AR navigation enables users to make informed decisions on their chosen routes and save time. 

If you operate a large store, helping customers save time as they look for items can go a long way in creating a positive shopping experience and building lasting brand loyalty that will keep them coming back and shopping again. 

Final Thoughts 

AR navigation is an exciting implementation of new and innovative technology. You might think that AR navigation is not the right solution for your business, but you might be surprised to learn there are ways your business can utilize this technology. 

If you want to learn more about AR or discuss how AR can impact your business, contact an experienced app development partner like Koombea.

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