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By Ken Hanly    
Augmented reality is a view of reality modified by computer-generated input such as sound, video, graphics or even GPS data. The augmented reality enhances ones perception of reality.

 
 
 
 
Augmented reality is often used to enhance a customer experience in a store as is evident in the appended video. Using AR technology the woman is able to see how she looks in many different outfits without having to go to the change room every time she wanted to know how she looked in different clothes. This is a huge improvement over the old-fashioned mirror. As Wikipedia puts it augmented reality enhances ones current perception of reality.

 

The use of augmented reality (AR) is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years. By 2024 AR products are expected to have a market value of $165 billion up 80 percent from what it is now. Many companies are jumping on the bandwagon wanting to use AR to give their customers a better experience and sell more products.

 

While stores are using AR, the technology can be used as part of on-line selling such as aircraft tickets. As it is now when you choose a seat you see a diagram with seats labeled. However there is no reason why AR cannot be used to let you see what the seat actually looks like so that you can see the leg room and other important facts about the seat and its location.

 

Another in store example of the use of AR is the AR menu generated through an app called KabaQ. You not only have the text of the menu with perhaps a few illustrations but you can see on your iPad or other device how the actual items would look on the table in front of you. The app displays the food in realistic 3D models and zoom can be adjusted and the food viewed from different angles. The appended You Tube video illustrates KabaQ.

 

 

Finally Sephora, a French chain of cosmetics, provides us with another AR application that allows a customer to try on makeup without actually doing so by showing what he or she would look like if it were applied. Sephora aunched what they call the Sephora Visual Artist. The app scans your face and then allows you to try on different lipsticks, eyeshadows, and even false eyelashes. It also offers tutorials showing you how to apply highlighter and create eyeliner looks. The tutorial shows what is being done on your face. A You Tube video illustrates some aspects of its use.
These are just a few of the examples of how AR is being used to enrich customers’ experiences.