AR continues to prove itself as a shopping tool. It can help consumers visualize products on “faces and spaces,” to make better-informed decisions. This is amplified during a pandemic when it can bring back some of the product essence and dimension that’s lost in retail lockdowns.
On the “sell side,” AR likewise resonates with brands and retailers. On one level, it appeals to their creative sensibilities — erstwhile stuck in 2D media — to demonstrate products in their full 3D glory. On a more practical level, they’re seeing real results from AR-based campaigns.
All of this continues to be validated in case studies and figures we track from AR-forward eCommerce leaders like Shopify. In fact, we recently rounded up several AR shopping performance metrics in a Data Dive article like this one. These proof points continue to roll out.
To continue that narrative, another angle to the story needs to be told. Beyond performance metrics in the aggregate, how do consumers actually feel about AR shopping? Are they asking for it? Are they comfortable with it? Answers to these questions can help to extrapolate demand.
Jumping right into the data, we’ve rounded up several data points that indicate consumers’ sentiments towards AR shopping for this week’s Data Dive. Here they are in no particular order.
– Accenture reports that 50 percent of consumers have better brand recall through immersive ads, and 47 percent say they feel more connected to products.
– Nielsen reports that 51 percent of consumers are willing to use AR for shopping, scoring higher than other emerging shopping technologies such as retail self-checkout (44 percent).
– Hubspot reports that 75 percent of shoppers expect AR experiences from retailers.
– Snapchat reported a 2.4x lift in consumer interest for shoppable AR lenses during Q3 2020.
– A Harris Poll survey on behalf of Threekit reports that 60 percent of U.S. adult respondents who shop online are more likely to buy products shown in 3D or AR.
– A GetApp survey reports that 65 percent of consumers surveyed are comfortable using AR as a shopping tool.
– According to consumer research firm, Gfk, 68 percent of consumers are familiar with AR shopping and 25 percent plan to use it in the next year. This scored higher than other emerging shopping tools such as smart speakers (23 percent) and subscription services (21 percent).
– In a survey from IoT software company Arm, 58 percent of consumers say they’re extremely or very likely to buy AR devices designed for everyday use such as shopping. The figure shoots up to 79 percent for respondents aged 16–24.
– According to Parks Associates, consumers familiar with AR prefer it for price comparison overlays ( 48 percent) and product reviews ( 39 percent).
– Lastly, consumer survey data from our research arm, ARtillery Intelligence indicate year-over-year growth in both current and aspirational use for mobile AR shopping (click charts to expand).
The data points above have a range of sample sizes, survey wording and focal points. But there’s a directional trend towards comfort and demand for AR shopping. That includes “faces & specs” visualization as well as visual search to contextualize products with one’s smartphone.
Acclimation to AR shopping will also accelerate as Snapchat continues to cultivate rear-facing camera lenses. This shifting use case could bring Gen-Z shoppers with it — offering a broader canvas for a wider range of products, beyond sunglasses, lipstick. and other selfie fodder.
Lastly, to circle back to an earlier point, the value that AR adds to e-commerce is evident in normal times. But it takes on new meaning during Covid-era retail lockdowns when the value of visualizing products remotely is amplified. It brings some dimension back to shopping.
That dynamic is clear, but it’s unclear what will happen next. Will the tools discovered during this period create permanent habits through a “ mere exposure effect?” If so, it could bode well for AR’s sustained use in a post-Covid world, and its continued rise as a shopping utility.
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Solaris: Offworld Combat is coming to PSVR this June with a physical release from Perp Games. According to a First Contact Entertainment representative, the digital version is planned to release a month earlier in May.
Perp Games on Twitter: “We’re not finished just yet. Solaris Offworld Combat is the next game to be getting a physical box release. Coming in June to global markets! Will you be buying it? https://t.co/5sphrqsh10” / Twitter
Solaris: Offworld Combat on PSVR
Originally, Solaris was coming to PSVR late last year around the same time as the Quest and PC VR version of the game but got delayed. Now, it’s slated for release in just a couple of months.
The latest VR shooter from First Contact Entertainment (creators of Firewall Zero Hour) is a sci-fi competitive VR shooter that feels a bit like Quake in VR due to its speed and intense arena levels. It’s a very breezy, fast-paced game that’s accessible and easy to quickly jump in and out of. The closest comparison is probably Hyper Dash.
Soalris is a notable release because other than Firewall Zero Hour, there really haven’t been many options for shooter fans on PSVR. Alvo is coming soon too, but the headset is on its last legs at this point.
The PS Aim Controller continues to be one of the best things about the PSVR platform, so I’m all for seeing more games support it, but it’s a shame games like this didn’t hit PSVR earlier in its life cycle. Hopefully PSVR 2 on PS5 is backwards compatible and it can give late-life cycle games like this one new life when it releases.
Solaris is coming to PSVR very soon with a planned digital release in May and physical release from Perp Games in June. For more on this game make sure and read our Solaris: Offworld Combat review and stay tuned for all the latest in VR.
The VR fitness genre is still relatively new, all things considered. Even though the space is still somewhat niche, it’s absolutely growing at a fast pace as seen by the number of games and players that continue to spring up. How did we get to this point though, you might ask?
Microsoft won a large US Army contract to supply advanced AR headsets for frontline soldiers, based on the HoloLens platform.
The US Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) program aims to equip infantry with AR helmets for situational awareness and convenient display of sensor outputs.
The contract is worth up to $21.88 billion over 5-10 years. While the order has been widely reported as 120,000 units, a US Army statement to Breaking Defence suggests that is the maximum, not a fixed quantity.
Early evaluation units based on HoloLens 2
In 2018 Microsoft won the $480 million evaluation contract for just over 2500 units, based on HoloLens 2 with some modifications and an extra sensor.
The current, ruggedized, upgraded IVAS
The evaluation found the hardware not rugged enough for military use, and identified problems with the sensors at night. Since then the hardware has been significantly upgraded. It’s more ruggedized and houses many more sensors.
The field of view has been significantly increased from roughly 40°x30° to 80°x40°. That’s significantly wider than any other see-through AR headset on the market.
Reported use cases for the headset include:
overlaying icons on friendly units, objectives, threats, and points of interest
built-in night vision & thermal view modes
live picture-in-picture feeds from drones, including the Soldier Borne Sensors (SBS) personal drone
simulated weapons & enemies for training exercises
scanning nearby people for high temperature (COVID-19)
facial recognition for hostage rescue situations
The Army is also testing integrations with vehicles, such as soldiers being able to see-through the walls of the armored vehicle carrying them. That means on dismounting they’ll be situationally aware.
Some Microsoft employees have protested providing technology for the military, but that’s unlikely to have any effect given the enormous potential value of the contract.
IVAS is still in the late testing & evaluation stage, and the scale of deployment will depend on future budgets. But if things go to plan, frontline soldiers could be equipped with these game-changing AR capabilities by the end of the decade.