NAVIGATING THE NEW REALITY: AR, VR, AND AI IN DIGITAL MARKETING

By Salt

The always-evolving world of digital marketing is still being affected by new technologies that offer exciting new possibilities. Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing how companies talk to their customers right now. This exciting trio is looked at in depth in Salt Marketing, which shows its potential and how it has changed modern marketing.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are both immersive technologies, but they work in different ways, can be used for different things, and need different kinds of hardware.

Here are some important ways that VR and AR are different

1. Definition

VR (virtual reality)

This technology immerses users in a completely synthetic digital environment. When you put on a virtual reality headset, a computer-generated environment takes the place of your actual surroundings.

AR (Augmented Reality)

AR overlays digital content on the real-world environment. AR augments current reality with additional information or graphics, rather than replacing it with a virtual one. 

2. User Experience

VR

The person using it is cut off from the real world, which lets them become very immersed in a virtual world.

AR

The user stays in the real world while digital content is added on top of or added on top of them. This lets them interact with both real and virtual things at the same time.

3. Hardware

VR

Needs more powerful hardware, like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PlayStation VR headsets, which are usually hooked up to a powerful computer or game console.

Augmented reality (AR)

May be encountered through the use of standard devices like smartphones and tablets (e.g., Pokemon Go on mobile devices), in addition to specialised glasses or headsets (e.g., Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens).

4. Applications

VR

Virtual reality is widely used in gaming, simulations, training, virtual tourism, and immersive films or experiences.

AR

is popular in gaming, but it is also used in industrial applications, retail (virtual tryons), medical visualisation, navigation, design and modelling, and other fields.

5. Level of Immersion

VR

Gives you a lot of immersion because it uses all of your hearing and seeing.

AR

Gives you a mixed experience by combining real and virtual parts. More often than not, the level of immersion is lower than in VR.

6. Interactivity

VR

In order to interact with the virtual world, users usually need special controllers that can track their movements.

AR

You can interact with it in a number of ways, such as by touching the screen of a smartphone or using gestures with some more advanced AR glasses.

7. Dependency on the Real World

VR

Doesn't rely on the real world; it creates its own environments.

AR

Heavily relies on the real world and enhances it.

A list of the various VR devices, organised by what they do:

1. Tethered VR Headsets

These types need to be connected to a powerful computer or game console and are usually the most immersive.

Examples

           Oculus Rift Series: Such as Oculus Rift and Rift S.

           HTC Vive Series: Including the HTC Vive Pro.

           Sony PlayStation VR: Designed specifically for the PlayStation 4 and 5 gaming consoles.

           Valve Index

2. Standalone VR Headsets

These don't require a connection to a computer or console, as they have built-in computing capabilities.

Examples:

  •  Oculus Quest Series, such as Oculus Quest and Quest 2.
  •  HTC Vive Focus Series
  •  Pico Neo Series

3. Smartphone-based VR Headsets

A smartphone is used as the screen and processor for these. They tend to be less immersive, but because they are cheaper, they are easier for more people to get.

Examples

  •  Samsung Gear VR
  • Google Daydream View
  • Google Cardboard: This is a very basic VR viewer and serves as an introduction to VR.

4. Augmented Reality (AR) Headsets with VR Capabilities

Some of these devices are mainly made for AR, but they can also provide immersive VR experiences.

Examples:

  • Microsoft HoloLens: While it's primarily an AR device, it has capabilities that bridge the gap between AR and VR.
  • Magic Leap One

5. PC-based Hybrid VR Headsets

These are tethered to PCs but can also function independently.

Examples:

  •    Cosmos Elite by HTC Vive

6. VR Devices for Specific Applications

People do not usually use some VR devices because they are only meant to be used in very specific medical, research, or industrial settings.

 Examples:

  • Varjo VR Series: Known for ultrahigh resolution, primarily for industrial design and research.
  • zSpace VR: Used for educational purposes.

7. VR Motion Controllers

Motion controllers are an important part of VR, even though they are not headsets. They let users interact with the virtual world.

 Examples:

  • Oculus Touch Controllers
  • HTC Vive Controllers
  • Sony PlayStation Move

8. VR Treadmills and Movement Platforms

These are intended to improve immersion by allowing users to “walk" through the virtual environment.

 Examples:

  • Virtuix Omni
  • Kat Walk-C

Applications Across Various industries

Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) are shaking up many different industries. Together and separately, these technologies are changing the way people interact with brands, making them more interested, and making business operations run more smoothly.

1. Retail & Home Improvement

AR

The IKEA AR app lets users virtually place furniture in their homes, and 68% more people have downloaded it. AR is also being used by other home decor brands to let customers see their products in real time.

VR

People shop online in 3D, seeing previews of products and possible home improvements before they buy them.

AI

Platforms like Sephora have seen a 30% increase in sales by using AI and AR together to make personalised product suggestions based on what users like.

2. Real Estate

AR

Agents are using AR to enhance property viewings by overlaying detailed property information.

VR

Virtual tours of properties have a dramatic impact on how properties are marketed, influencing 42% of prospective buyers.

AI

By helping to analyse real estate trends, AI helps agents better plan ahead and attend to the needs of their clients.

3. Travel & Tourism

AR

Using AR apps, tourists can put historical information, maps, and translations on top of what they see.

VR

Expedia's virtual reality previews helped make reservations 190% higher, which was a huge jump.

AI

Personalised travel suggestions made possible by AI algorithms are changing the way travellers plan their trips.

4. Education

AR

Textbooks and modules that include AR let students interact with them, which makes learning more fun and natural.

VR

Because they can make learning better, 94% of teachers support virtual reality field trips.

AI

Customised learning paths are made for each student by taking their needs into account.

5. Gaming and Entertainment

AR

For a captivating experience, games like Pokémon GO seamlessly blend the real and virtual worlds.

Virtual reality

VR headsets put players right in the middle of exciting game worlds.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

Changes the story and level of difficulty based on the player's choices in real time.

6. Healthcare

AR

Medical professionals and students use AR to see detailed pictures of the human body.

VR

Patients are introduced to therapies that use virtual reality (VR), which creates immersive spaces for healing.

AI

AI-powered analytics are used to find out what is wrong with patients, plan their care, and make the best use of treatment.

7. Automotive

AR

Dashboards that use AR give drivers real-time information.

VR

People who want to buy a car can experience it virtually before they actually buy it.

AI

Self-driving cars that are powered by AI are changing the transportation business.

8. Manufacturing and Logistics

AR

Assembly instructions are instantly relayed via AR glasses, ensuring precision.

VR

Workers are trained in safe environments using VR simulations that mimic real-world scenarios.

AI

 AI analytics help manage the supply chain better and predict when maintenance will need to be done.

9. Restaurants

AR

Customers use AR apps to preview dishes, which improves their dining decisions.

VR

Culinary VR experiences narrate the story behind dishes, elevating the dining experience.

AI

AI assists in reservation management, provides personalised menu suggestions, and optimises kitchen functions.

10. Furniture & Home Decor

AR

Before purchasing, prospective buyers can see furniture and decor items in their actual spaces.

VR

Virtual showrooms expose customers to immersive 3D product interactions.

AI

AI-powered insights guide shoppers based on their preferences and previous interactions.

11. Health & Fitness

AR

Fitness fans can use AR apps to superimpose guided workout animations in realtime, ensuring proper posture and technique.

VR

Virtual fitness classes take users to faraway places for workouts like yoga on the beach or meditation at the top of a mountain.

AI

Wearables that are powered by AI keep track of and analyse user metrics, giving them personalised fitness advice and updates on their progress.

12. Financial Brokerage

AR

Real-time stock data, trends, and alerts are superimposed on top of AR by brokers, which helps clients see and understand how the market is moving.

VR

Clients can go to virtual financial seminars or interact with 3D displays of market data, which helps them understand investments in a more complete way.

AI

Algorithms that use AI can predict market trends, which helps brokers and their clients figure out the pros and cons of different investment opportunities.

13. Digital Marketing Agencies

AR

Digital marketers use AR to make ads and campaigns that are interactive, giving customers a more complete experience with the brand. For instance, product packaging can come to life, and storefront displays can add more layers of content that can be interacted with.

VR

Advertising firms are using VR to give possible buyers more detailed experiences with products or to let them virtually attend events. This lets brands tell more detailed stories and really pulls customers into their stories.

AI

Marketing firms use AI to learn more about how people behave, what they like, and what trends are happening. This data-driven method lets campaigns be personalised, ad targeting be improved, and predictive trend analysis be done, all of which increase the return on investment (ROI) of marketing efforts.

Collective Impact of the Digital Triad

 The incorporation of virtual reality has resulted in a 34% increase in the level of interest that users have in a wide variety of content.

Tailored Experiences

The combination of artificial intelligence and augmented reality results in the creation of individualised shopping experiences, which in turn leads to increased sales.

Enhanced Realism

AI enhances the realism of virtual reality, ensuring that users have lifelike experiences.

Predictive Maintenance

The capabilities of artificial intelligence to make predictions address potential problems in augmented reality and virtual reality technologies, thereby ensuring that users have consistent experiences.

Economic Implications

PwC estimates that by the year 2030, augmented and virtual reality could contribute an impressive 1.5% to the global GDP.

Challenges

1. Investment Hurdles

Initial investments can be difficult for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as they require significant financial commitments.

2. Tech Troubles

The presence of glitches or experiences that are less than perfect can discourage users.

3. Health and Wellbeing

Virtual reality (VR) sessions that are prolonged and do not have ergonomic designs can cause physical discomfort.

4. Maintaining the Human Touch

It is possible that certain demographics that are looking for genuine human interactions will be turned off by a heavy reliance on digital experiences.

Conclusion

The intersection of augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence is not a far-off fantasy but rather a real-world reality. Brands that are currently at this crossroads have two choices: either they can embrace this new dawn or they risk becoming obsolete.

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