Augmented Reality, or AR, is quickly becoming a part of our everyday lives. From AR-assisted surgeries at John Hopkins that allow surgeons to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their patient care, to social media leaders, like Snapchat, changing the way we pose for the camera with their AR powered Lens Studio. But more recently, we’ve seen a rise in the use of augmented reality within the events space and this will go to a whole new level as AR wearables start to get incorporated into events.
But before we dive into that, what exactly is Augmented Reality? To put it simply, AR is an interactive experience where a person’s real world environment is enhanced by real-time computer-generated images. So in a world where everything, especially the events industry, is going virtual, it’s no surprise that professionals are looking to companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Snapchat for their cutting-edge AR devices to help drive their initiatives.
For example, Mercedes Benz has used Microsoft’s HoloLens to give their employees and potential buyers a deeper look under the hood, with a 3D immersive exploration. Without having to strip away bots and pieces, individuals were able to see exactly how the vehicle operates. This is not only effective on the sales floor – it can easily be applied at trade shows of all types, as well.
Companies like Apple (ARKit) and Google (ARcore) are improving attendee engagement by allowing every user in the room to experience the same, if not similar, images. This could increase interaction by letting attendees alter digital images like clothing on a mannequin before choosing to make a purchase. Additionally, gamification becomes a huge opportunity with resources such as ARCore’s Cloud Anchor, giving people the ability to create various gaming experiences from almost anywhere.
Lastly, a company called Spatial, is really changing the landscape of events by running simple 2D photos through a proprietary AI algorithm to create fully dimensional, recognizable avatars for participants. However, they don’t stop there – users will be able to share web pages, media, interact with 3D objects, write on white boards, and even appear in other rooms from a remote location. Speakers will be able to present their keynotes from the comfort of their home, while attendees network with one another “in-person” from two different countries.
Although, nothing will ever replace the in-person experience of watching your favorite artist live on stage or conversing with a complete stranger over a hand-crafted cocktail – the future of AR and these hybrid solutions in events are just beginning. The augmented reality headset market was valued at $1.64 billion back in 2018, and is likely to reach $340.16 billion by 2028. Here is a list of 2021 events that you can join and learn more about AR. At DesignScene, we’ll keep tracking the progress of tech in events to keep you informed – not to mention look for new ways to continue creating and innovating!
Here is a list of some of the best AR Smart Glasses for you to check out: