Augmented reality releases seem to be like buses — all of a sudden two have come along at once. The two new offerings are quite different: one to create an online shopping experience, which seems to offer the benefits of shopping in stores — where you can try a product on — without going out. The other is about augmented reality in the enterprise, supporting training and collaboration, for example.
The online shopping augmented reality tool
The NexTech AR Solution announcement entails a product called, appropriately enough: Try-It-On. It involves a solution for online retailers, utilising facial tracking capabilities and AI-assisted computer vision technology. Applying these technologies, it provides what NexTech calls “a realistic experience that enables the consumer to see what they would look like wearing certain apparel items like glasses, headwear, and jewellery.”
At the moment, the product tracks eyes, enabling an AR preview for items such as glasses, goggles, and other eyewear, but “support is due to follow shortly for lips, ears, mouths, and other zones above the shoulder,” says the company.
The idea then, is to integrate ‘Try-It-On’ into an eCommerce site. The company says that “consumers can begin ‘trying on’ items using the camera on their preferred desktop or mobile device.”
The technology can also be embedded and used in banner ads and social posts on Facebook as part of a digital marketing strategy to drive store traffic and convert shoppers into buyers.
The stars are aligned for the augmented reality shopping revolution
The enterprise augmented reality tool
Upskill claims to be a leader in enterprise augmented reality software.
Its product, Skylight, means:
• workers can seamlessly access helpful information for their tasks,
• collaborate with others through live video
• capture insights as they work on any device.
• hands-on workers can also seamlessly transition between devices, starting the day on a smartphone to review work orders and continuing on smart glasses when tasks require keeping their hands free.
The new release means that the Skylight platform runs on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, complementing its existing support for smart glasses and Microsoft HoloLens.
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What they say
Back to NexTech
Evan Gappelberg, CEO of NexTech commented: “One of the most significant pain points that remains in online retail for a consumer is the inability to try something on before they buy it. This often leads to frustration, the ordering of incorrectly sized items, and unnecessary returns that are costly to the retailer. NexTech’s new Try-It-On AR technology eliminates the issue by enabling retailers to offer a virtual fitting room to their consumers to assess the look and fit of an item before purchase.”
The service is available to companies for a monthly fee.
With the global retail eCommerce market projected to reach $4.8 trillion in 2021,(according to Statistica) technologies that can offer a more personalised online shopping experience like augmented reality are poised for rapid growth. Recent research states that 74%!percent of consumers expect retailers to offer an augmented reality experience, and one-third reported they would be more likely to buy a product after using AR to preview it.
Brian Ballard, Upskill CEO and co-founder said: “Upskill’s mission is to empower every hands-on worker to be successful. That’s why we believe it’s critical to bring the digital enterprise all the way to the hands-on workforce, with the right information available to them at the right time with minimal disruptions. With the latest enhancements to Skylight, it makes critical data, peer collaboration and the unique fidelity provided by augmented reality even more accessible. Skylight accelerates organisations along their digital transformation journey, regardless of where they are today.”
Jason Welsh, a managing director in the Accenture Extended Reality group, added, “We’re seeing extended reality (XR) solutions play a powerful role in the way that hands-on workers experience the world around them by augmenting productivity and accuracy while helping to increase safety. As clients look to leverage their existing investments in mobile technology for XR deployments, Skylight provides a unifying platform that enables them to explore a variety of AR devices and then choose the one that best meets the needs of industrial workers in the