Analytics is a word thrown about all over the place today, with good reason. As a sports fan, it’s become a contentious term for new school vs old school. In business, there is much more consensus. Analytics gives us the ability to better assess and act on the ever increasing amounts of data at our fingertips. With each passing year, not only the amount, but the sources of that data shift. As new technologies emerge, they too add to the stream, and it’s important to understand the value. Augmented Reality (AR) is one such emerging technology.
We won’t cover the topic of what Augmented Reality (AR) is here. You can find general descriptions on Wikipedia and some more specific information on our blog entry. Instead, we will assume some basic working knowledge, and instead shift to what the value is for business with regard to analytics. Generally, analytics breaks down into 4 categories: descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive. Depending on the implementation of the AR solution, it’s possible to address all these categories.
First, it’s important to understand how analytics data is gathered, and what type of data. AR experiences can be built on a number of platforms, but the single biggest “platform” (we’re going to treat it monolithically) is mobile. As with any interaction on this platform, there is a great deal of data that can be gleaned. Information regarding the specifics of what mobile device type (operating system, operating system version, etc), number of views and the type of interaction can be gathered. But more specifically, with appropriate user acceptance of terms, information regarding specific interactions within the experience, locations of use, and time specifics can all provide valuable insight to an organization.
So what does this mean? Let’s talk about some concrete examples:
• A real estate builder can leverage an AR experience to provide potential customers with an AR walkthrough of a new development. But they could also gain information on which model homes/space seem to resonate best, specific areas of interest in the walkthrough (rooms or design elements), or even what geographic areas (with the ability to get granular) are generating interest, and what is drawing the interest.
• An education tech firm could provide interactive 3d models that work alongside written learning materials, and gain insight into specific areas of difficulty that students’ experience. Corporate or Industrial training programs could gain valuable insight into improving deficiencies for better results.
• Retail locations can leverage real time feedback and data to run promotions at the time the feedback is given. Imagine being able to get on the front side of the next craft beer sensation when people are finally tired of IPAs! (this could be personal bias creeping in)
• Marketers can enrich traditional print media with AR, and then also obtain data as if from a pure digital asset or campaign. So a campaign with several different markers for AR could provide feedback on which markers prompted a response, and interactive elements of the augmentation could provide further insight into what is resonating with customers.
In short, data can be pulled from each point of interaction that a user can have with an augmented experience.
It should be noted that privacy is always a concern, and it is always very relevant to ensure that users are aware and approve of data gathered. But used appropriately, augmented reality can enhance user engagement, provide understanding of the shortfalls in existing approaches (both within the AR experience and broader tactical or strategic decisions), and allow organizations to build solutions that meet the needs of their customers. At the same time, AR gives an avenue for meaningful data that allows organizations to understand and resolve issues with their products and/or services while being able to spot trends and plot the course for the future.
Questions about the blog, how you can use Augmented Reality, or what types of analytics make sense for your business? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the social media links on our site at www.smacar.com.