When new technology becomes available for digital marketing, companies are usually eager to try it out to capture customer interest. That’s certainly the case with augmented reality (AR), which uses digital technology to add virtual elements to the world around us.

AR marketing isn’t appropriate for every business. Some companies are better off sticking with other types of content, simply because of the product or service they offer. But for other organizations, augmented reality is presenting new opportunities for making sales and catering to customers. Here are some of the biggest emerging trends in AR.

Augmented Reality is Providing Immediate Access to Future Benefits

It’s hard for customers to visualize something that doesn’t exist yet. One trend in augmented reality is using the technology to visualize a product, service, or benefit that doesn’t yet exist. For instance, AR is being used in construction to help boost productivity.

In marketing, AR can be used by builders and realtors to show what a new build home might look like, or how an existing home might look after a remodel. But this trend isn’t just limited to construction—augmented reality has also been used to help people shop for furniture and visualize items in their space.

Humans are visual creatures. We’re much more likely to buy a product or green-light a construction project if we have the ability to see how the end result will fit into our lives. AR allows marketers to provide customers with that vision.

Hidden Advertisements Out in the Open

People love having exclusive access to deals and products. They also love it when content and marketing has an element of “gamification.” The success of Pokemon GO shows that people really enjoy having new ways to interact with the world. AR offers that experience with hidden advertisements.

Augmented reality is now allowing marketers to personalize the shopping experience for customers by creating groups and advertisements through AR-enabled apps. Only those with the app would be able to access certain deals and specials, creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity while promoting engagement.

Augmented Reality in Education is Showcasing How AR Can Be Used At Mass Level

We already have lots of uses and potential uses for AR, but it isn’t yet seen as something that could reach a large audience or be used as more than just a shiny new toy. Schools might be changing that perception in the near future—as educational leaders begin to use the technology to enhance their schools and engage students, AR might begin to take on a new role and show the general public how it can be used.

Right now, AR is being used mainly for entertainment and visualization. But if this trend of augmented reality in school continues, we might begin to see AR as a more “serious” technology, for everything from education to healthcare to construction.

Augmented Reality in Healthcare

The field of healthcare is always receptive to the power of new technology, and AR is one of the up-and-coming tools that medical leaders are beginning to explore. There are countless possible applications for augmented reality in the health industry, from motivating people to live a healthy lifestyle to allowing doctors to access life-saving equipment.

Although it isn’t used widely in hospitals and healthcare organizations yet, some institutions are experimenting with AR for enhancing digital health education and telemedicine. Now that most people are spending a lot of time at home during the pandemic, new tools are needed for providing services virtually.

In diagnostics, AR could be used to allow patients to more accurately report their symptoms virtually, allowing them to potentially skip a visit to the clinic or hospital. This gives patients more peace of mind and could prevent more serious problems if the condition turns out to need treatment right away. In treatment, AR has been used to help nurses find veins and to assist doctors in the operating room.

The possibilities are endless in medicine and could prove to be a boon for marketers who are trying to bring in new patients. Medical facilities that offer AR benefits might soon be more popular than traditional offices.

More on the Horizon

We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to the many ways AR can help professionals in a range of industries, including marketing. Although augmented reality is a fun technology, that’s not all it has to offer. It could make a big difference in people’s lives and help businesses thrive. More is definitely on the horizon for augmented reality!