Google Cloud

Through the Looking Glass 

See augmented reality through a new lens with Google

With AR-ready smartphones in everyone’s back pocket, augmented reality (AR) no longer belongs in sci-fi movies. Its ability to seamlessly blend virtual reality into real-life has not gone unnoticed. As AR allows customers to truly engage with products and services, it unlocks a wealth of business possibilities. Relatively new, interactive, and highly noticeable, AR captures the consumer’s attention, taking involvement levels and overall customer experience up a notch. 

This leads to more interaction with brands and increased retention: users will want to experience AR repeatedly. No wonder commercial investments in AR and VR are increasing rapidly. With an 80% increase compared to 2019, this year’s global investments are projected to reach $18.8 billion. Moreover, an Accenture survey in December 2018 showed that a whopping 86% of business executives had adopted, was piloting, or planning to pilot either AR or VR. Now, the question is no longer whether to use AR in your organization, but how. So how do organizations use AR to optimize their customer experience? Let’s dive into three cases.

Dynamic printed articles with Google Lens
Searching for what you see. Discovering where to buy products similar to what you just saw. Figuring out the neighborhood cat’s breed by pointing your phone camera towards it. All of this is possible with Google Lens, a surprisingly accessible technology boasting a range of applications. Anyone with a smartphone can use its image recognition technology. Now, brands are enhancing customer experience by creating dynamic content with Google Lens. In stores, Uncle Ben’s shows consumers their product ingredients, recipes, cooking videos, and nutrition advice through Google Lens. The New York Times Magazine uses Google Lens to make their printed articles more engaging and give readers a deeper understanding. Take a look:


Painting walls with ARCore
Google’s AR software developer kit, ARCore, calculates the mobile’s position and orientation while it moves, as well as creating an understanding of the world. This unlocks a wide range of possibilities for building immersive shopping experiences. Paint brand Sherwin-Williams, for example, lets consumers ‘paint’ their walls into any color using their ColorSnap® Visualizer app, which runs on Google’s ARCore. When using Google Search on your smartphone, you can view New Balance shoes from different angles, and even test whether they match your clothes, using the “view in your space” button.

Tapping into the potential of AR, MAC Cosmetics realized that many consumers look at YouTube reviews for advice on which product to purchase. Using YouTube’s Famebit Influencer Platform – which runs on Google’s AR and machine learning – MAC lets consumers virtually try on their lipstick shades alongside their favorite beauty influencer on YouTube. If they like the color, they can even buy it in just a few clicks.

Google’s AR technologies create a whole new world of marketing possibilities, so what are you waiting for? Visit their AR website or AR Experiments page for more inspiration.