Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is a view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as image & sound. It hit the public consciousness back in the 1980s in the movie industry with groundbreaking movies such as 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?'. The widespread consumer adoption of this technology has been more recent withe the technology being used in playful social media applications such as Snapchat where the user is able to create a video that entertains their social group. Within retail, numerous trials of the magic mirror (also known as the virtual dressing room) use this technology to speed up the customer's search for a suitable garment without having to physically change into the item. These trials have generally been underinvested and have never gone past trial but the use case offers value and it's only a matter of time before a large technology vendor recognises the opportunity here. Other applications of AR have been used to help customers view a product in more detail in a virtual 3D space, particularly valuable to the customer who wants to preview a high value product before purchasing.