What is AR Product Visualization (and What Are 3 Top Examples)?

Updated 1 month ago
Lindsay Vine
June 24, 2021
5 min read

Positive customer experience is essential for retailers, whether operating from a physical location or an ecommerce platform. For online ventures, creating new and exciting immersive experiences are how you attract new customers, and augmented reality (AR) product visualization is the next step in the evolution of online shopping. 

Over the next seven years, analysts expect the augmented reality industry to grow exponentially. Rising from a mere $6.12 billion in 2021, the AR market will reach almost $100 billion by 2028 at a compound annual growth rate of almost 50% every year. 

Boosted by technologies like 5G, growing demand for ecommerce service channels, and shifting consumer behavior, AR product visualization is one tool every company should be considering. These experiences help you individualize marketing offers, and many big-name retailers are rolling out their own adaptations of AR technology. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about AR and product visualization, including some of the latest examples used in the industry today. 

What Is AR Product Visualization?

It took years for what we call AR to arrive at today’s capabilities. Researchers and developers spent decades working on AR technology, even when most organizations still thought of it as a novelty. That’s no longer the case. 

Today’s applications range from 3D product visualization and placement to apps that help big data scientists navigate complex sets of information to uncover new insights. 

AR blends computer-generated content into a real-world environment, often using a range of different sensory modalities. AR systems allow organizations to build additive experiences that are seamlessly interwoven into physical environments. 

An AR system uses three main features to deliver new immersive virtual realities, which are:

  • Combining visual elements from both physical and computer-generated data
  • Providing real-time interaction with these elements using an interface (like a mobile phone)
  • Creating accurate 3D registration of real and virtual objects in the experience

Advances in these technologies now allow any organization to build and deliver rich and engaging shopping experiences using AR visualization software. 

Check out how you can use ConfigureID’s new AR feature combined with product customization to view personalized products in your space.

Benefits of Using AR for Product Visualization

One of the most successful augmented reality app implementations was the Pokémon Go mobile game. It had users searching for virtual Pokémon eggs across the planet, often becoming so immersive that it caused health and safety concerns for the public.  

While it may have been a fad at the time, it quickly demonstrated what possibilities AR had to offer for delivering interactive experiences across digital service channels. 

In ecommerce, AR is opening up new vistas for organizations that want to push the boundaries of what’s possible when designing superior user experiences. The biggest benefit available from AR product visualization for ecommerce companies is improving engagement with your consumers. 

When asking consumers what they think AR will do for ecommerce, the response is staggering: 

  • More than half of consumers feel retailers aren’t using the technology to its full potential.
  • When making purchases, 61% of consumers prefer to use AR while 63% believe it will change their shopping experience.
  • Research also shows that 70% of consumers will be more loyal to brands that invest in AR to improve the buying journey.

A host of different industries are already benefiting from AR systems, including the manufacturing and logistics sectors. 

Types of AR Data Visualization Systems Available

Not every AR system is the same, and ecommerce sites will need to know what capabilities each type of app provides. You’ll need to factor in considerations like infrastructure, the user’s environment, and what experience you want to deliver now and in the future.

Some of the most common types of AR systems include:

  • Markerless AR — One of the most common types of AR systems that apps use for navigation or other experiences, markerless AR works by reading information from GPS chips, gyroscopes, or components like digital compasses.
  • Marker-based AR — Sometimes called recognition AR, the system detects objects in the camera view and then provides information, manipulates the environment, or uses it as a reference point for adding additional visuals.
  • Projection-based AR — This is a simple kind of AR that projects light onto physical surfaces, sometimes allowing users to interact with the image generated (like a hologram).
  • Superimposition-based AR — Using object recognition, this AR visualization software allows users to merge both virtual and real data to achieve a specific goal.

Of these, the most advanced is superimposition-based AR, which will likely become the predominant type used for ecommerce and product visualization. 

Examples of Ecommerce Brands Using AR Product Visualization for Superior Experiences

Retailers are now reaping the benefits of AR visualization in a variety of new and exciting ways. Companies can provide assembly instructions and help users navigate stores and discover new products by interacting with 3D renderings online. 

AR product visualization systems are also popular at trade shows where you want to show off your equipment. You can build photorealistic 3D product renderings of your machines when you simply can’t truck in every piece of industrial equipment you have available. 

Here are some of the latest AR product visualization examples for ecommerce:

IKEA Place Augment App

IKEA is one of the world’s leading ecommerce retailers for furniture and other home products. With the IKEA Place app (available on the App Store), customers can place different furniture items anywhere in their homes virtually before making a purchase. 

By helping customers place new furniture, giving them an interactive experience, and increasing their satisfaction rates, IKEA is using AR product visualization to maximum effect. If you want to make sure a new dresser will fit in your room, you can use the app to virtually place the item between real objects — all from your iOS device. 

Walmart AR Experiments and Prototyping

At the end of 2020, Walmart announced that they were experimenting with new technologies to improve the entire retail experience. The solutions the company is focusing on are primarily aimed at improving fulfillment and tracking inventory across their many locations. 

Walmart is using embedded technology teams to prototype, test, and refine new solutions that will ultimately serve the customer. One area where AR is helping the retail giant is with omni-assortment, where each product available in-store will also now be listed online.  

Immersive Marketing Experiences at Burberry

Retailers (especially luxury brands) can benefit from AR experiences. Burberry recently used AR to promote the release of a new product by having a statue of Elpis walk around Harrods, and even allowing customers to take pictures with the Olympian.

These types of activations provide consumers with immersive journeys that accentuate the entire shopping experience and pair particularly well with new product launches like the Burberry Olympia bag

Retailers can use AR to engage with their consumers, provide unique experiences, and run marketing campaigns that blow the competition out of the water — virtually speaking of course. 

Discover New Immersive Ecommerce Capabilities with ConfigureID

ConfigureID provides complete product customization and 3D rendering capabilities, with AR product visualization also now part of our services. Using our product customization platform, you can deliver rich, engaging, and interactive visuals for your items, even allowing users to augment their realities with computer-generated content before making a purchase. 

To discuss your AR product visualization and product personalization needs with an industry expert today, drop us a line at ConfigureID

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