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The Reality of VR and AR in the App Marketplace


The immersive experience of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) has everybody in the tech world buzzing. Sure, there’s plenty of games and wildly entertaining AR and VR experiences, and we’ll go over some of those later. But there’s so many relevant ways these technologies can optimize other apps on the market; retail, fashion, home improvement, and many more sectors can use this to their advantage. Let’s see what’s out there, and how it gives the users an amazing experience. 

Education

The impact of gamification on anything people might want to learn is well-known, and several apps make learning both fun and effective. Learning a new language is extremely challenging, so most folks interested in it can use all the help they can get, both in learning the dialect and actually understanding/translating in another country. Apps like Google Translate, for example, not only help with audio and typed translations, but now let you point your camera at a sign or train schedule in real time. It will identify the language and translate it into the language of your choice, even offline.

Apps like the ones developed by Unimersiv allow students and curious users to travel to ancient ruins and archeological sites in an immersive VR experience. Most have narration and pop-up facts, and some even “rebuild” the ruins to get a better idea of what it must have been like. Similar apps let users travel the cosmos or the depths of the ocean, learning along the way. 

Home Improvement and Design

 Working around the house is big business. According to this study, the average American household spends over $9,000 a year on improvements and repairs. That’s a lot of folks that need a lot of help. Apps that can use AR and VR technology to help visualize, assess, and execute home improvements are bound to find a very receptive audience. There are practical yet incredibly useful apps like Air Measure, which is an AR app that presents you with various tools every time you point your camera at something, including precise measurements, area, and more.

And the future of VR in this area is bright, indeed. Imagine virtually stepping into your kitchen as it is, and completely reimagining and designing a renovation with a few swipes of your hands. These sorts of tools can not only help the homeowner to visualize a new extension or kitchen, but also help the contractors and architects connect with each other and the homeowner to all get on the same page with the project. This saves time and money, and lets the imagination of the user run free, 

Fashion/Beauty

 This is also a sector with massive amounts of money and interest. So, it makes sense that this highly visual sector uses AR and VR apps to its advantage. One of the original AR pioneers is Sephora, the cosmetics giant. Their Virtual Artist is a pioneer in the AR app industry, and is wildly popular. It allows you to try different types of makeup, from foundation to lipstick and more, all on an actual picture of your face. This is the definition of a “sticky” app, as users will continue to use it for different looks and new products.

The fashion industry has similar needs that are filled by an AR app. Avametric has developed a revolutionary way of measuring body types, and how various fabrics and styles will fit that body shape. One of the last remaining reasons shoppers still go in brick and mortar shops is to really get a good look and feel of how certain clothes fit, so if this app or others like it do a good enough job to replicate that experience, users will flock to it, and conversions will come right behind. 

Furniture/Retail

 The furniture sector is also a hot market for AR and VR apps. Most furniture is, well, heavy and hard to move. An app that lets you choose furniture styles and shows you how it fits and looks in your home will save you all that hassle. The  Pottery Barn 3D Room View app uses both AR and VR to let the user choose styles and colors, and, more importantly, whether it will fit in their space or not. Simple and intuitive drag and drop controls allow the user to navigate quickly and efficiently, and even clear the whole room to start from scratch. If they see pieces that they want, the user can purchase them right away within the app. This sort of one stop shop feature helps to lead to plenty of conversions and suggested accessory items help to bring that cart total up. 

Entertainment

 This genre is perhaps the most popular and used in the AR/VR world. Clearly, AR games like Pokemon Go lets the user interact with the game and the real world at once, and this concept can lead to countless opportunities. Destinations like national parks, zoos, and museums use AR in their proprietary apps to enhance and gamify the existing space, and kids especially are attracted to these. There are hundreds of VR gaming possibilities, and these immersive worlds are often socially connected online, allowing you to interact and team up with people all over the world.

There are still plenty of niches and opportunities in the VR entertainment sector, and not all of them need to be game-oriented. Travel-based experiences are especially attractive to today’s on-the-go users, allowing formerly inaccessible destinations to be toured and experienced. Other experience-oriented app let you experience live music, create all sorts of art, or even drift in a sensory deprivation zone…imagination is the only limit.

 Final Thoughts

VR and AR apps are definitely a hot item, but they need enormous amounts of technical prowess and power to get them up to speed. Consult with an app development partner to learn about the costs, benefits, and potential downfalls of including these technologies in your next app.

Do you have an idea for a VR or AR app? Check out some of our work and don’t hesitate to reach out for a free app development consultation!



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