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  • Writer's pictureDonavan R

AR / VR Trends To Watch Out For This 2021

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Led by a surge in adoption within the commercial & retail sector. Augmented & virtual reality has quickly pivoted from a cool-to-have fad to a segment leader accelerated by the current pandemic and shift towards online shopping. With visual media such as video / print ads being a long standing mainstay, most consumers have gotten used to the effects of targeted selling. We've grown accustomed to what visual media has to offer, despite still giving into them from time to time.

What happens when you combined the appeal of strong, attractive visuals with an element of immersion and interactiveness. Now, we're no longer being advertised to, contrary to the fact, we are actually part of the experience. That warm fuzzy feeling of being part of the brand we support. That is what AR and VR has successfully proven to be able to deliver time and time again.

This year has been a springboard for these experience and there has been a lot of them. From face-filters to virtual retail environments with a portal for users to walk-in, explore, learn more and even purchase.

So what can we expect for the coming year? What does 2021 have in-store for the immersive tech industry and how can brands get a head start on capitalising on these trends?

Here are some of the key AR and VR trends to keep an eye on, especially if you call the shots for your brand.

The Rapid Growth of Mobile AR / Web AR

Remember Pokémon GO? Of course you do. You're probably still trying to catch em' all. Pokemon GO showed how AR can be dangerously immersive. With mobile phones only getting better, mobile AR experiences have seen a huge growth spurt. This is only going to continue into 2021. With the new iPhone having a built-in LiDAR lens to detect surfaces for better AR experiences and Google pioneering in the field of AR occlusion. Mobile web-based AR will be a big player in the global immersive tech industry. Google and Apple have also launched tools that will allow developers to develop amazing mobile AR experiences for Android and iOS users. This is what we call a win-win for brands and agencies alike.

5G Accelerating AR / VR innovation

With the widespread implementation of 5G well on its way, the next step up for AR/VR especially when it comes to web-based experience is a bump in speed. A major bump in speed. This allows many brands to explore experiences that could have never been done with the current bandwith limitation of 4G. With low end-to-end latency times of less than 20 miliseconds, buttery smooth AR with low to non-existent loading screens may truly be a reality. This not only enhances the user experience but also allows us to create higher quality, dare I say it, photorealistic AR models. This is something exciting to pay close attention to as we move into 2021.

AI Integrated AR / VR

What happens when you combine Artificial Intelligence with AR /VR? This might be something that we are about to find out in 2021. Researchers and developers are, as we speak, doing groundbreaking tests to see what are the results of adding intelligence to AR /VR technology. This may spawn a new type of tech that before this we thought was impossible. Just to give you a visual example of the possibilities, imagine being able to do real-time face swapping or having filters detect your mood and change uniquely depending on the person. Or 3D AR objects that react a certain way based on the type of environment it is placed in. This may be another frontier that changes the very landscape of brand-to-customer experience.

Widespread Adoption of VR and AR

AR and VR have grown to become a mainstay in current retail marketing or just general marketing campaigns. Majority of consumers now expect their favourite brands to have some sort of immersive experience. This has propelled spending on AR significantly within the commercial sector. A majority of brands, retailers, and other businesses have begun releasing VR and AR technologies to enable consumers to preview products before purchasing them. On top of that, virtual retail experiences have grown in popularity as a way for brands to engage with their consumers from home. With most mobile phones today being AR capable, the audience for AR experiences will continue to grow in the coming years.

Final Thoughts

As an agency that specialises in AR-powered immersive campaigns. It may seem our points may be driven by our own passion for the industry and that is true. Nonetheless, the game has changed. With consumers less susceptible to traditional methods of garnering attention. An emotional, impactful and engaging form of experience is the way moving forward. Don't be late to the party, there's still time.

Interested in learning how your brand can start working on an upcoming AR campaign? Tap here to learn more and drop us a line for a free consultation.

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