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Build a Better Future with Augmented Reality for Manufacturing

Augmented Reality (AR) is slowly but surely entering the mainstream consciousness, with the record-breaking downloads of Pokemon GO and the widespread adoption of Snapchat acting as strong proofs of concept for even the most cynical of investors.

But there’s more to AR than entertainment. With its ever-improving software and hardware, it promises to have valuable real-world applications. And one industry we predict will benefit hugely from the introduction of AR technology is manufacturing.

AR for manufacturing has the potential to cut production downtime, identify issues, and streamline processes. Let’s take a quick look at how Augmented Reality applications in manufacturing will transform this industry.

What Are the Benefits of AR for Manufacturing?

There are a number of benefits to introducing Augmented Reality to the manufacturing industry, mainly centred around efficiency and productivity.

With AR, you can:

Work Faster, Work Smarter

By utilizing Augmented Reality apps and technology on the factory floor, engineers can work faster and smarter by viewing digital information overlaid onto the real-world environment. This makes them less reliant on interpreting schematics, instead receiving clear guidance and instructions via AR with regards to assembly.

Using Augmented Reality applications in manufacturing can also ensure maintenance and productivity can be carefully monitored and reviewed throughout the manufacturing process. Issues can be quickly diagnosed and resolved in real-time, without slowing production.

Access Real-time Data

One of the major impediments to the manufacturing process is the accessing of accurate and up-to-date data. Often, engineers need to stop what they’re working on and search for parts and scour a database for blueprints.

However, thanks to AR, this obstacle can be sidestepped as important information, including inventory, lead times, and specs, can be summoned in real-time without disrupting the flow of production.

Cut Production Downtime; Minimise Errors

Production downtime caused by human error or the breakdown of machinery can cost manufacturing companies dearly. Industrial Augmented Reality applications offer manufacturers a buffer to potential downtime scenarios by identifying errors and suggesting solutions faster and more efficiently.

For example, an AR app could be used to overlay a virtual representation of a design onto a real-life product, allowing engineers and designers to quickly assess the situation and pinpoint flaws, therefore preventing issues from arising and production slowing or stopping altogether.

Improve Training Effectiveness

Finally, Augmented Reality has the potential to transform the way training is conducted by manufacturing companies.

Like Virtual Reality training modules, AR applications can provide a level of immersion that contributes to more effective learning. And on-the-job training can be carried out with a greater degree of freedom, without the fear of making mistakes.

4 Augmented Reality Industrial Applications

The benefits of AR for manufacturing are clear, but what are the real-world applications? Well, here are four areas that will almost certainly be impacted by the introduction of Augmented Reality technology in the not-too-distant future.

1. Product Assembly

The clearest application of AR in manufacturing is in product assembly. The modern assembly line requires diligently piecing together hundreds, or even thousands, of components in the correct order and as fast as possible.

And typically, the instructions involved are made available as PDFs. These documents are long, detailed, and static, meaning they can very quickly become out of date.

To counter this, Augmented Reality applications projecting step-by-step instructions via an AR headset could allow the assembly line to operate quickly, work hands-free, and respond to issues with up-to-date information.

Here’s a great AR assembly line concept to give you an idea of its potential:

2. Equipment Maintenance

Of course, the assembly line is only one part of the manufacturing process. Augmented Reality can also be used to maintain and repair the equipment involved.

Instead of using a manual to pinpoint problems and implement solutions, AR can help improve maintenance by reducing the time spent on research, and helping those responsible visualise the issue and the fix.

By using a tablet device or an AR headset, engineers can quickly address maintenance problems and keep factory downtime to a minimum.

Here’s a great example of an AR maintenance app in action:

3. Instant Support

Another important and useful feature of AR for manufacturing is the ability to access instant expert support. Whereas previously support would require a physical presence on site to step in and explain a solution, Augmented Reality technology allows for a kind of telecommuting.

Technicians could therefore see what the manufacturer sees, all from the comfort of their own office, therefore cutting travel time and costs, while guiding the engineer on site to fix their problem.

What’s more, this type of support can help bridge an ever-widening skills gap in the manufacturing industry, allowing companies to supplement their employees’ knowledge with off site engineering expertise.

4. Quality Assurance

Finally, manufacturing quality assurance (QA) could be greatly improved with the introduction of Augmented Reality technology.

Whereas most existing QA processes ultimately rely on the human eye to spot problems, AR can be used to project digital overlays onto products and highlight inconsistencies. This can speed the process, allowing technicians to identify even the most minor of issues with a greater degree of accuracy.

AR for QA could also lead to real-time, simultaneous analysis of parts, further streamlining the manufacturing process.

Here’s an example of AR for QA in action:

In Summary

The manufacturing companies using Augmented Reality are already a step ahead of the competition. By implementing this technology across the areas we’ve discussed, they can reduce costs and increase production, all while minimizing mistakes and improving overall quality.

And investing in AR now just makes sense. A steady introduction of AR into existing manufacturing processes will allow for a smooth transition, instead of a panicked attempt to catch up with savvy competitors in the future.

Don’t delay – start thinking about AR for manufacturing today.

How Can AppReal Help?

Our talented team of AR app developers have their finger on the pulse of the latest AR manufacturing trends, and we’re ready to bring your Augmented Reality application to life.

With a high level of experience in custom app development across a wide range of industries, we can guide your idea from concept to completion. You’ll receive an AR app that will support your engineers and boost production.

Contact us today to speak with one of our AR app development experts.

Show and Sell: Virtual Reality Advertising is Coming, and It’s Going to Be HUGE

The world of Virtual Reality is filled to the brim with creativity. From exciting apps to immersive games, the virtual worlds being built are as impressive as the hardware used to explore them.

7 Virtual Reality Trends We’re Predicting for 2018

The global virtual reality market is on track to generate $26.89 billion in revenue by 2022. Considering that 2016 earnings barely topped $2 billion, the growth trend is encouraging, to say the least. Also encouraging are the VR market trends that show how virtual reality technology is maturing. From VR video to treating dementia, it appears that mainstream adoption is on the way.

Virtual Reality is Here, and Events Will Never Be the Same

In 2017, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich took 250 people on a wingsuit flight over Moab, Utah. After landing on the desert floor, the flyers were quickly shuttled to Vietnam where they took in the sights of the Ban Gioc waterfall. From there, they once again took to the skies for an aerial inspection of a Nevada solar power plant. And after a successful inspection, they enjoyed courtside seats at an NCAA basketball game.

Supercharge Your Event with Awe-inspiring Augmented Reality

In 2015, the global B2B events industry was worth an incredible $29.3bn – and 2018 looks set to continue the trend of steady growth and increased investment for this vital and thriving market.

5 Examples of Amazing Augmented Reality Car Repair Apps

The automotive industry is home to some of the most impressive and exciting technological advancements of the last century. But with each new feature and enhancement, the owner’s manual grows in size and complexity. And if you’re not a car enthusiast, even the simplest of car maintenance tasks can be very overwhelming.

VR Marketing: The Marketing Industry’s Next Big Thing

Virtual reality is becoming a daily reality for an increasing number of consumers. With global revenue projected to top $3.7 billion by 2020, VR is well on its way to transforming a diverse list of industries. Among one of the fastest growing applications for immersive technology is virtual reality marketing. As companies from Tommy Hilfiger to Coca Cola demonstrate the sheer power of VR to engage customers, outdated selling strategies are giving way to ad campaigns that capture consumers like never before.

In this article, we take a fresh look at how VR marketing is being used to turn boring ads into immersive experiences that seize the imagination.

Why VR Marketing Works

Before we see a few examples of virtual reality in marketing, let us first see why virtual reality simply works as a marketing tool.

Merchandising presents more than just another business application for VR. It is, perhaps, the best business application for it. Consider the fundamental keys to effective selling:

  • Access
  • Presentation
  • Engegement

Access

Thanks to the growth of VR headsets and viewers, consumers are already in VR space. Whether playing games, exploring Andromeda, sharing immersive experiences through social media, or watching 3D movies, people are stepping into other worlds by the droves. To reach out to the growing VR market, advertisers need not go any further than existing channels.
Virtual Reality Headsets

Presentation

Advertising is all about presentation. If an advertisement message is not appealing to the senses, the audience is lost from the beginning. With VR, you have the opportunity to show your customers and potential customers things they have never seen before — things no one has ever seen before, using stunning 3D graphics.

Engagement

Marketing has always been an exercise in psychology. Experts believe that VR stimulates the neocortex, limbic system, and primitive brain in ways not possible with conventional advertising. By involving a multitude of complex brain processes, VR marketing allows you to bypass common psychological barriers that can exist between your message and your market.

VR Technology in Marketing

Faced with the challenge of providing a high-end experience at a high-end price point, or providing a lesser experience within the budget of an average consumer, the VR industry decided to do both. With high-tech headsets and low-tech smartphone viewers available, the industry clearly intends to leave no one out.

For those who demand the best in interactive, immersive 3D reality, the Oculus Rift and
HTC Vive meet the challenge. At reduced price points of $399 and $599 respectively, a premium virtual experience is no longer beyond the reach of most consumers.

Even so, Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR put virtual reality into the hands of the masses. The Google Cardboard viewer can be purchased for under $20, or homemade from scrap cardboard, and the Samsung Gear VR can be yours for $129.

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Virtual Reality Marketing Trends in 2018

Virtual reality marketing trends suggest that companies will embrace VR to the fullest in the years ahead. With a projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 54% for the period between 2017 and 2022, smart businesses are looking to VR to engage their customers and prospective customers in ways never before possible. Far removed from the flat appeal of the print ad, beyond even the power of targeted video advertisements, the virtual marketing experience promises to provide consumers with the next best thing to conventional brick-and-mortar shopping experience. Actually, it’s even better.

Want stats?

According to one study, 74% of consumers find VR ads less intrusive than regular digital marketing, with a 70% same-day-recall rate. Those numbers are more reflective of in-store marketing experiences than they are conventional advertising.

Now, let’s look at a few companies that use VR to engage customers and enhance sales.

VR Marketing in Tourism

If you think Google Street View is cool, imagine it on steroids and you will begin to see the potential value of VR to the tourist industry. Transforming the mouse-driven 360 degree concept into a 3D immersive experience, VR offers travel-related businesses the opportunity to plant their customers’ feet at the world’s hottest destinations before they even buy the ticket.

Until now, trying to decide which vacation spot would be the most exciting has been left to the traveler’s imagination. With little more than colorful travel brochures and short videos with which to help customers decide, travel agencies have struggled to attract business. But those days are over.

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales

VR videos are particularly well suited for conveying the beauty of picturesque destinations. The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has found that VR videos significantly increase tourism interest in country’s gorgeous hotspots.

The non-profit organization has already produced two VR videos, which immerse potential visitors into the Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve in 3D glory. Among tourists who have watched the videos, 85% say they intend to visit Wales—not a bad conversion rate, especially for an out-of-the-way destination.

VR Marketing Within eCommerce

Rapid advances in technology often gets ahead of the terms we use to defined it. The merger of eCommerce with virtual reality is such an example. Whether you choose to embrace the newest marketing term, vCommerce, or to remain a loyalist to its predecessor, be prepared for changes in how products are sold online.

Alibaba

Last year, Chinese eCommerce powerhouse Alibaba committed to incorporating VR technology into its customers’ shopping experience. This year, the eCommerce company added a new shopping option for its customers — a virtual store.

Named Buy +, the new feature is designed to preempt Alibaba’s customers from leaving the platform in search of their own virtual store.

To entice customers to go virtual, Alibaba has placed special offerings within their digital stores. If there is anything shoppers like more than a good deal, it’s a good deal that is also exclusive. Apparently, Alibaba has not let technology get in the way of good old-fashioned marketing tactics.

VR Marketing in Retail

VR marketing is starting to reshape the retail shopping experience. Major brands are increasingly comfortable offering virtual shopping solutions to their brick-and-mortar customers. This only makes sense, when you consider that marketing does not end at the store entrance. It is within the retail store that the most effective sales efforts take place.

Here are some marketing examples of companies that use virtual reality to engage customers and enhance sales.

Walmart

Retail giant, Walmart, is doing more than using VR to sell its products, it
intends to help build the VR retail marketing industry. The retail chain has created its very own retail startup incubator, dubbed Store No. 8.

Through their unique tech initiative, Wal-Mart will help build startups that will shape retail through VR technology. The grand debut of Store No, 8 was kicked off with all the pomp of a Hollywood gala. Only, in this case, it was not celebrities who were the stars of the show, but high-tech companies who presented their VR marketing technologies through a virtual reality showcase.

Lowe’s Home Improvement

Lowe’s was among the first major retailers to embrace augmented reality (AR). By providing customers with apps that allow them visualize the company’s products within their own home, Lowe’s didn’t just jump on the tech marketing bandwagon, they hopped in the driver’s seat. In keeping with Lowe’s cutting-edge marketing philosophy, the home improvement giant has rolled out a new VR tool to help customers become confident with DIY projects.

Introducing Holoroom, Lowe’s VR training lab for customers who are not comfortable undertaking home-improvement projects on their own. Available in select stores, at the moment, Holoroom allows customers to perform projects in a virtual environment before trying them in their homes. More than a novel VR experience — although it is that, too,

Holoroom makes use of VR to overcome a major marketing hurdle. If customers are more comfortable using the company’s products, they will be more likely to buy the company’s products.

Lowe’s Holoroom is a brilliant example of the value of virtual reality technology in marketing.

VR Marketing in Real Estate

Real estate marketing is experiencing a dramatic transformation. No longer are on-site visits or online galleries the only way to prospect a new home or business property. Thanks to VR technology, real estate agents can place their clients smack in the middle of a new home or business from the comfort of their own office.

Matterport

Matterport is just one of many companies bringing the power of VR to the marketing of properties. Through their 3D camera products, specialized software, and cloud-based services, this tech company provides all the tools agents and brokers need to immerse their clients into a virtual tour, whether the location is around the block or half-way around the world.

Sotheby’s International Realty

Australian real estate company, Sotheby’s International Realty, uses Matterport’s technology to deliver immersive tours of properties around the world. The company’s 3D interactive tours demonstrate quite well the power of VR to captivate buyers.

The Bright Future of VR Marketing

Although VR marketing is in its infancy, by all accounts it is one of the hottest trends in marketing.

VR lends itself perfectly to supercharging marketing campaigns, and creating entirely new marketing strategies. Just as radio and television disrupted, to a large degree, print advertising, VR technology will eventually disrupt conventional digital advertising mediums.

AppReal – VR Marketing Specialists

Virtual reality is soon to transform the face of marketing, from eCommerce to local business. Companies that embrace the power of VR in their marketing strategy will reap the benefits. As customers turn increasingly to sellers who can provide a 3D shopping experience, those who can deliver will capture both customers and sales, while those who can’t will fall behind.

Scary thing is, as a marketeer, what do you know about virtual technology? How can you hope to turn your marketing agency into a high-tech VR selling machine when you’re still trying to grasp the concepts yourself?

Clearly, you need a plan.

AppReal-VR specializes in providing leading-edge technology solutions to businesses around the globe. From mobile app and VR software development to monetization platform solutions, our team of professional developers has the skills and experience to turn your marketing ideas into high-tech marketing solutions.

Together, we can develop a custom VR marketing strategy that allows your company to meet customers where they will be found — in virtual reality.

We invite you to contact us, today, for a free consultation.

The VR marketing revolution is here. Are you ready?

3 Augmented Reality (AR) Investment Opportunities

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have a great deal in common. They’re both emerging technologies, they both utilize exciting new hardware and software, and they’re both brimming with endless possibilities for creative applications.

Here’s Why You Should Buy a Ticket for Augmented Reality (AR) Lottery

Augmented Reality lottery apps might be a relatively new phenomenon, but the concept of a lottery has been around for centuries. In fact, the first recorded lotteries where money was offered as a prize took place in Western Europe – specifically Belgium and the Netherlands – way back in the 15th century. As is often the case today, these lotteries were looked upon as a sort of ‘painless taxation’, raising money for important public projects. In fact, the English word “lottery” stems from the Dutch “lot” meaning “fate”.