While virtual reality (VR) is what gets most people excited, augmented reality (AR) has a considerable advantage. AR doesn’t require expensive headsets. It can run on hardware almost everybody has – a smartphone.
Because of this, AR might present more immediate opportunities compared to its sister field. In this article, we’ll discuss three industries that have great potential for innovative AR startup projects.
1. AR In Shopping
Augmented reality is reshaping the retail industry, offering a compelling avenue for startups to explore. According to a survey by Retail Perceptions, 61% of shoppers prefer stores that offer AR experiences, underscoring the substantial market potential.
Augmented reality enhances customer engagement by allowing them to visualize products before making a purchase. Shoppers gain confidence in their choices when they can see how products fit into their real-world environment, reducing the likelihood of returns.
Successful examples in this space include IKEA Place, where the AR app lets customers visualize furniture in their homes, and Sephora Virtual Artist, which enables customers to try on makeup virtually.
Example Business Idea: an AR app that uses AI to suggest clothing and accessories based on the user’s body type, style preferences, and occasion. Users can virtually try on outfits before making a purchase.
2. AR In Education
Augmented reality has immense promise in the field of education. AR has the potential to make learning more engaging and interactive, ultimately enhancing knowledge retention.
It also bridges accessibility gaps, bringing educational content to students in remote or underserved areas. The great advantage of AR compared to physical learning aids is the lower overall cost due to having the low scalability costs of software compared to physical products.
An example of a project in this niche is Merge EDU, a provider of AR-based science and STEM learning tools for schools, and SketchAR, which artists to create accurate drawings through AR.
Example Business Idea: a platform that offers virtual science and chemistry labs through AR. Students can conduct experiments in a safe and interactive virtual environment without the need for expensive tools and ingredients.
3. AR In Architecture and Design
The architecture and design sectors are ripe for AR innovation, as AR visualization tech provides great opportunities to improve the experience of customers of architecture and interior design companies.
AR allows designers to display their projects in a real-world context, making collaboration between the designer or architect and the client much easier.
Moreover, AR can result in substantial cost savings by identifying design flaws early in the process, and by allowing designers to iterate and test concepts cheaper.
The philosophy of testing hypotheses cheaply is the bread and butter of early-stage startups and it has led to a plethora of innovations in tech. Any tool that helps designers test their concepts cheaply is bound to result in more innovation in the fields of architecture and interior design. Combined with innovative tech like AI and 3D printing, AR could be the beginning of a Cambrian explosion of new architectural design trends and movements.
Example Business Idea: an app that allows users to plan and visualize interior design changes in their homes. Users can experiment with different layouts, colors, and furniture arrangements.