Consumer Mixed Reality

How Companies Are Preparing Today For Consumer Mixed Reality Experiences.

By
Elisabeth Balistreri
Mar 7, 2022

Mixed reality development is a significant marketing and branding opportunity even before the launch of consumer AR glasses

How companies are preparing for consumer mixed reality.

Stay Ahead Of The Curve

Did you know 71% of consumers say they would shop more often if more retailers used augmented reality? Or that 61% of consumers say they prefer retailers with AR experiences?

What about that 40% of consumers say they would pay more for a product if they could customize it in AR? Or that retailers using AR see a 40% higher conversion rate?

Why then, are only 1% of retailers currently using augmented or mixed reality?

Because the majority of retailers feel ill-equipped to support emerging technologies like mixed reality.

We see this trend reach across most consumer facing industries. On the other hand, enterprises are embracing the utility and ROI of augmented and mixed reality. Just ask the 50% of Fortune 500 companies who have purchased Microsoft HoloLens 2 units for a multitude of internal operation use cases. Consumer facing businesses have only begun to dip their toes in the water.

MR headset

The technology is far from reaching its full potential in the realm of consumer applications due to hardware hangups and bandwidth limitations, but it can actually be applied in much more remarkable and impactful ways than we’re seeing in most consumer settings.

You’ve seen the screen based augmented reality applications--Etsy’s “see it on your wall before you buy” artwork application, or Sephora’s virtual makeup try-on app. These apps are the most primitive version of augmented reality, but they allow consumers a more personalized interaction with products--increasing conversion rates. 

Even now, without mixed reality glasses suitable for mass adoption, the augmented and mixed reality applications that can be implemented in consumer settings reach far beyond screen-based augmented reality.

Enter Projection Mapping

Projection mapping technology for creating holograms without glasses is already here, and it’s not only stunningly beautiful, but one of the best ways to captivate customers and optimize your advertising conversion rate.

Imagine walking into a store and seeing a poster with an unmoving, flat advertisement. Would you even stop to read it? The experience is so commonplace it blends into the background of our lives.

Now imagine walking into a store and seeing a moving, 3D hologram hovering in the air--the movements and colors taking you into an entire 3D world. That would capture your attention right?

Creating that exact marketing experience is available to businesses today through cutting edge see-through optic holographic lens technology. The only problem is the headsets that produce this experience are too expensive and bulky for consumers.

There’s a reason advertisers gravitate towards using video advertisements--why they use neon signs and LED billboards to market their products; they do a better job of standing out and capturing attention. Holograms are the next progression of this movement.

Content that inspires awe is among the most likely to go viral, giving these displays the power not only to increase conversions, but to increase your reach; those who encounter them are more likely to share their experience with their network.

Holographic advertisements are shown to extend the attention span of a typical shopper by 30 seconds. To give you an idea of how significant this is, the average time spent looking at your typical print ad is 2.1 seconds.

Converting flat advertisements into holograms only scratches the surface of holographic applications. Entire 3D, interactive, holographic worlds can draw people in for pictures and videos that create viral social media branding opportunities through unpaid influencers.

Looking Forward To Mainstream Consumer AR & MR

When consumer-facing glasses mixed reality glasses launch, people will expect to see these holograms everywhere they go; holograms will pop out from the shelves at grocery stores, they’ll entice people into shops from the street--they’ll even become the menu at your favorite restaurant. 

96% of top augmented reality stakeholders believe glasses based augmented reality will overtake screen-based augmented reality within the next 2-3 years. 

At the moment, the two companies closest to consumer AR glasses are Snap and Nreal. We haven’t heard much from Google; Apple and Microsoft are honing in on the mixed reality enterprise market, and Nreals are tethered to an Android phone only leaving a large share of consumers out of luck. 

The newest Snap Spectacles with dual 3D waveguide displays from Wave Optics are the closest option to untethered consumer MR wearables. Yet, they are only available to developers for now.

There is significant branding and marketing opportunity in simply being first to the plate in mixed reality; already having a mixed reality system developed for your brick and mortar location when glasses launch will have anyone who buys the glasses flocking to your store to experience it for themselves; this is an especially powerful move for brands looking to reach younger demographics, as millennials are sure to be the first to invest in the technology.

mixed reality user interface

Currently, the HoloLens app store has about 350 apps, compared to about 2 million apps in the iphone app store. Simply developing content for the app store in advance of the launch of consumer glasses will give you the opportunity to put your brand in front of more eyes.

When most people think of mixed reality, they do so without realizing how quickly this technology will turn the corner and change the way we do just about everything. 52% of Fortune 500 companies have been acquired, gone bankrupt, or ceased to exist since 2000 due to digital disruption.

Developing in the mixed/augmented reality space is a significant marketing and branding opportunity--even before the launch of consumer-facing glasses--and the time to start building is now.
If you’re one of the 52% of retailers feeling ill-prepared to support emerging mobile technology, partnering with a group like goHere® can help you navigate these uncharted waters with success throughout every stage of extended reality adoption. Reach out today to get started!