How Brands Are Using Augmented Reality

by First Descent AR • 27 September 2018

Augmented Reality (AR) has been receiving a lot of attention for the past few years, though only now we are beginning to see the technology catch up to that hype.

While people have been using Snapchat filters, or still playing Pokémon Go, some incredible applications have been developed and countless more to come.

Why Are Brands Embracing AR?

The main purpose behind brands leveraging this technology is to revitalize the customer experience in a way never experienced before.

Ikea AR app

For example, IKEA knows that purchasing a piece of furniture and imagining how it would look can be challenging. It’s not like

a pair of shoes that you can try on and see how they fit. The buying process goes through quite a few steps; know what you want to buy, measurements of the room, purchase the product in-store or online, then get it to your home, and set it up.

Now let’s say you went through that entire process and something wasn’t what you expected. Maybe the colour was off or it just doesn’t fit well in the room. Your experience likely isn’t positive and a lot has been left to be desired.

IKEA understood these buying process challenges and created a free app that leverages AR technology. Their app allows customers to browse digitally for any IKEA item they desire and then use it to digitally place that exact item in their space – no assembly required.

Social media networks have been heavily adopting AR technology. Most notably, Facebook has been experimenting with advertisements that use AR technology. Recently, a select number of brands were chosen to take part in testing these new types of ads.


Michael Kors created a campaign, which allowed users to “try on”, then purchase sunglasses. These ads appeared in users News Feeds, along with Facebook Messenger.

Traditionally, ads have always been viewed as annoying, though these AR ads received a large increase in engagement when compared to regular ads.

For example, Kia, the car manufacture, had tremendous success with AR ads on Messenger. Using an AR experience, along with a click-to Messenger campaign, it drove a 46% increase in average daily dealer increase inventory searches and a 20% increase in daily calls to dealerships.

These results were surprising considering the aggressive stereotypes that are associated with car dealerships.

Through implementing an innovative AR campaign, consumers seemed to have taken a new view on the industry, similar to looking at it without any predetermined expectations or preconceived notions.

AR Future

AR is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years to $215 billion U.S. dollars by 2021, and it will likely continue to grow as society continues to adapt more mobile-friendly technologies.

The future is complex, though we’re on a verge of a breakout in tech with Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT), that will only boost the use and capabilities of AR technology.

For example, AR will likely be used in AI and location-based services. The AI will play the role of the brain and layout all the information, then AR will showcase it for the user.