Coming off of Vuforia Live, we’re really excited to see how augmented reality (AR) continues to be a game-changer for marketing and selling industrial products and consumer goods. AR connects people to products through experiences that bridge the gap between physical and digital—whether through engaging 3D product demos, interactive brand campaigns, or creative experiences that enable customers to personalize and preview products in their own environments.
Being able to overlay or place digital content onto our physical world creates opportunities to completely transform how we interact and work with physical objects and our environments. Vuforia Engine, with its wide variety of target types, brings products to life in new ways. It's enabling customers to overlay content on all kinds of products, machines, and even entire factories in front of them.
Let’s take a look at some examples of how companies are using Engine to connect with and engage customers.
AR capabilities have evolved rapidly over the past several years. As the technology has advanced, the use cases have expanded as well. Imagine, for example, being able to detect and track images wrapped into cylindrical shapes; labels on wine bottles or cans will never be the same again. In fact, you can take a look at what 19 Crimes and Coca-Cola have done with Vuforia Engine’s Cylinder Targets. These experiences help tell stories, share information, and invite the consumer into a more rewarding brand experience.
If you are a packaged goods manufacturer, you can show a unique AR experience on each side of your product with Vuforia Engine’s Multi Targets. Even bar code technology—which has been around for nearly three-quarters of a century—can be upgraded to a next-gen version with VuMarks, which offers the flexibility to uniquely recognize and track thousands of targets in a customized and brand-conscious design, while simultaneously encoding data and acting as a trackable AR target.
While basic shape and pattern identification is useful, AR target recognition has evolved to become even more sophisticated. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and created by using 3D CAD data, Vuforia Engine’s Model Targets enables applications to quickly recognize real-life objects for tracking. Envision pointing your device at a machine or product such as a car and being able to accurately overlay digital content right on your real-world object. Through more accurate target recognition, AR experiences can become much more seamless and ubiquitous.
While these types of uses were previously nice-to-haves, there is no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way we live, and especially how we interact with the outside world. The shopping experience is no longer the same. Many of us have limited our trips to traditional brick-and-mortar stores but have also found that online shopping doesn't always give us the shopping experience that we need, especially for major purchases like a car.
For consumer facing products, engaging AR experiences can help differentiate your brand, enhance customer engagement, and even increase satisfaction after purchase. Customers can continue learning about the various features of their car through AR after purchase, for example, helping increase satisfaction and brand loyalty.
For companies that are marketing and selling these products, AR reduces the cost and complexity of user interactions. Unwieldy demonstration products no longer have to be shipped to showrooms or tradeshow floors. And products with nearly unlimited customization potential can be virtually personalized and ordered directly by the customer, eliminating the need to prefabricate products as part of the selling process.
Similarly, being able to deploy immersive AR applications in large environments simply by scanning a digital twin of a space can be incredibly powerful. Using Vuforia Engine, you can enable customers to interact with large spaces—such as offices, factories, museums, or malls. By turning an entire building or room into a canvas for augmented reality experiences, you can facilitate indoor navigation, pop-up informational signage, or showcase featured products in a retail space; the possibilities are endless.
You’ve likely experienced the benefits of AR product previews, with companies like Amazon, Wayfair, and Ikea allowing customers to use their phone to preview what a piece of furniture would look like in their own home. This functionality is exciting and effective; it also is just scratching the surface of what AR makes possible for the buying process.
By customizing, situating, and interacting with accurate 3D models, customers are more actively engaging in the buying process, and helping eliminate pain points that hinder decision making. For important purchases, like Stannah’s residential stairlifts, AR-driven pre-visualization has become a critical step in customers’ evaluation process.
With so many companies relying on Vuforia Engine to power their experiences, we know we have a big opportunity to innovate and a responsibility to continuously deliver for our users. PTC is proud to announce the upcoming release of Vuforia Engine 10.0., paving the way for a whole new generation of augmented reality applications.
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