Extended Reality works with the help of computer technology and so-called wearables. Wearables (loosely translated as »portable computer systems«) are hardware objects such as AR or VR glasses or smartphones. With these wearables, the user can either completely block out the real world and replace it with a digital one (Virtual Reality) or expand it with digital features (Augmented Reality). In Mixed Reality, the latest XR technology, real and digital objects can even interact with each other.
For XR applications, you need the right equipment. While you can already experience Augmented Reality with your smartphone camera (and bring a tiger into your living room with the 3D view of Google Search), Virtual Reality experiences require VR glasses. Augmented Reality experiences also offer even more possibilities with the right AR glasses. Since the technologies have been around for some time, the corresponding devices are easily available and do not cost the earth.
MR headsets, which are necessary for Mixed Reality applications, require more computing power and are currently still more expensive than comparable AR and VR wearables. However, one can assume that the market will grow in the near future and that the technology will become cheaper over time.
The possible applications of XR are as diverse as the technologies behind it. With the help of augmented reality, the user can, for example, digitally place furniture in his or her own home and thus test before buying whether there is enough space and whether the good piece fits the style of the room. Clothing or accessories such as glasses and watches can be »tried on« by the user with AR technology and thus decide on the right model instead of ordering different ones and sending them back. Read our article about AR in e-commerce to learn more.
XR applications can also take the user to other places: Virtual flat tours or networking with colleagues in virtual meeting rooms make distant or digital places and people tangible – even the most emoji-heavy communication can't compete with that. For the gaming and entertainment industry, XR technologies also hold great potential, which is already being used on a large scale: Users can immerse themselves completely in virtual worlds or bring digital game elements into reality (just think of the great success of Pokémon Go).
Fun for consumers is all well and good, but what do businesses get out of XR technologies? Extended Reality offers companies the opportunity to bring users closer to their brand and products than ever before. Users can get a lipstick or sports jacket from their favourite brand without leaving home or spending money. In this way, companies strengthen the brand experience and make it easy for users to interact with their brand.
Want to know more? Then read our article about XR and brand engagement.
No, QR codes are not required for our image tracking technology to function properly. They are simply a convenient way for users to navigate to the webpage where the AR experience exists. We recommend that your graphic design includes both a QR code and a short web-link, which we provide. This offers users the option to either scan the QR code, or type in the link, to navigate to the webpage.
The AR experience is initiated by either scanning a QR code with your smartphone camera, or navigating to a unique web-link. Both of these actions launch the AR experience in your mobile web browser, where image tracking technology is then used to play a video, animation, or 3D content that is augmented into your reality. Take a look at our Monkey XR helmet for a first hand Web AR experience.