How Augmented Reality is Redefining Online Shopping (and My Own Shopping Experience!)
We all find excitement in shopping for things we love, whether it’s a new wardrobe or a sweet ride. If you’re like me, you find online shopping much easier than dragging yourself (and your decision-making spouse, parents, etc.) to the store to make your purchase… but there’s one issue: you can’t see or try the item on before you purchase it. Augmented Reality (AR) technology is changing that.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the eyeglasses that I use to read and work on my computer broke and I needed new ones — badly. All of the eyeglass stores were closed and I was left one option: to find a new pair online. I have a very skinny face and only particular shapes and sizes will fit me well, making it hard to “eyeball” a pair’s sizing and fitting. Luckily, I found a company called Warby Parker.
Warby Parker offers a mobile application which has an AR feature that allows you to virtually try on every single model of eyeglasses and sunglasses in their store using your front-facing camera. This made it easier than ever for me to find the perfect style and fit for my face without stepping outside my house. You can check it out yourself in the AppStore.
© Warby Parker
AR technology is spreading throughout the retail industry, revolutionizing the way people purchase goods. From sizing to styling, more and more companies are introducing innovative AR apps to aimed at improving customer convenience and creating a stress-free shopping environment.
Another great example I came across is Edmunds’ mobile application (you can download it here if you have an iPhone or here if you have an android phone). It allows you to see the actual size of a vehicle using your phone’s back-facing camera, making sure your next truck will fit into your driveway or garage. I mean, how brilliant is that!?
Scan this QR code with your phone to see something awesome!
or go directly to https://go.echoar.xyz/kCmn with your phone browser.
Sign up to the echoAR platform for free to create this yourself!
And I’m sure you’ve seen IKEA’s mobile application already. It offers you the ability to place the furniture you want in your room to see its relative dimensions and looks, making sure your interior design is on-point before you pay. You can download the IKEA app for both iPhone and android.
AR is used in my others cases, from trying on shoes to checking which tattoo will look the best on you. Consumers are now finding it easier and more convenient to do their shopping with AR, opening a HUGE new opportunity for online retailers and eCommerce businesses.
While working at echoAR this summer, I got to see many other innovative applications of AR for shopping and retail. echoAR offers a cloud platform for augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) that serves as the backend for many such AR applications, allowing developers to manage and store all their 3D models on the cloud and seamlessly stream them to devices everywhere.
by Russell Alexeev
echoAR (http://www.echoAR.xyz; Techstars ’19) is a cloud platform for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) that provides tools and server-side infrastructure to help developers & companies quickly build and deploy AR/VR apps and experiences.