AR (Augmented Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) have taken the world by storm, completely shifting business and marketing paradigms! Evidencing this is easy.
Just one look at the market growth rate for Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence shows that the augmented reality market will grow by $61.91 billion and grow at a CAGR of 29.5% between the period 2022-2029!
On the other hand, the Artificial Intelligence market is projected to grow from $387.45 billion in 2022 to $1,394.30 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 20.1% in forecast period.
Such optimism has fueled the rise of augmented reality and AI, making them the fastest growing technologies in the business world!
“It’s estimated that by 2025, there will be more than 27 billion connected devices worldwide”
By redefining business solutions, these emerging technologies have become disruptive in today’s business and marketing sphere – creating highly meaningful experiences for customers and a unique competitive edge for most business owners.
Augmented Reality vs Artificial Intelligence: What is the difference?
Augmented Reality and Artificial intelligence are two terms that are often talked about interchangeably. Still, some see a significant difference between them.
But what is that difference?
In this article, we’ll shed light on their uniqueness while trying to explain them in easy terms with real-life examples. Let’s go over them below.
What is AR or Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is a technology that brings imaginary elements into the real world. Through the help of special equipment (such as a smartphone or 3D glasses), these virtual elements get blended into our reality.
It may sound complex, but the concept is actually very simple.
For example, Google Translate provides AR functionality that enables the user to translate signs or texts in real-time via a phone camera.
An entertaining example of AR is Pokémon Go where users use their camera to locate imaginary Pokeballs in the real world.
If we analyze AR’s use in marketing. The Project Color app by Home Depot is a great example. The app allows Home Depot customers to see paint colors virtually on a wall based on lighting and shadows.
In a remarkably realistic visualization, this app facilitates home decorating processes for the customer and increases direct sales for the business owner.
What is AI or Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence (AI) has surprisingly been all around us. Ever caught iTunes suggesting songs for you to buy, Netflix recommending movies to watch, and Facebook promoting trending posts? Yep, that’s AI in its purest form.
AI studies your behavior patterns to suggest recommendations and actions that would be most suitable and likable for you. But this is just the surface level.
In the future, AI is slated to become so advanced that it might even attain consciousness due to ramping up of every attainable information possible!
But don’t worry!
For now, the world isn’t expecting a massive disruption from AI. Currently, it is being used in many apps to varying degrees. For instance, since AI can utilize Machine Learning to learn and present relevant content or information, it can provide users with relatable and personalized content based on their app interaction and engagement.
A key marketing example of this is Netflix. Netflix uses an AI-based recommendation engine to predict the user’s preferences and recommend relatable content. It achieves that by analyzing the users’ past activities or decisions while on the platform.
AI differs from AR in the sense that AI does not employ the user’s perception during the customer experience. AR delivers a sensory experience, while AI is more related to the algorithms and processes operating beyond the user’s sensory perception or observation.
Is Augmented Reality Part of Artificial Intelligence?
Despite the fact that these two technologies can be jointly incorporated, AR and AI cannot be used as interchangeable concepts, and both serve different purposes and applications.
AI applications range from the very basic to the utterly complex.
Both AI and AR offer singular features and can provide a fast and intuitive user experience if used together. However, AR is not a part of AI as both technologies can be exclusively employed or alongside other technologies to achieve numerous objectives and functions.
AR and AI are both commonly used in applications that overlay selected digital or augmented data with the help of AI-based face or shape detection.
For instance, the iOS app Wanna Kicks allows users to virtually try on numerous 3D sneakers in real time by pointing the camera at their feet at any angle.
Such personable applications provide a genuine and original user experience, and the final result is realistic and unique to each user.
The Pros and Cons of Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence in Marketing
When it comes to marketing, AI and AR technologies both have pros and cons despite their promising outlooks.
Pros of AR and AI in Marketing →
- Interactive and personalized customer experience: AR and AI can work hand-in-hand to achieve a seamless customer experience. Such experiences transcend traditional shopping experiences as they customize content and products according to each customers’ preferences.
- Optimize the marketing budget: AI puts marketing investments on the right path resulting in a higher return on investment (ROI). For example, when planning marketing campaigns, AI-based ad platforms can determine the best advertising campaigns and automatically adjust marketing budgets to optimize the most effective ones.
- Improved marketing campaigns: AI can enable marketing specialists to deliver highly engaging marketing campaigns. For example, Lemon & Orange, a web development company, designed a virtual fitting room for Timberland where potential customers can try out their new collection.
- Boost creativity in the marketing team: Marketing specialists can deliver better results and realistic marketing implementation and visualization using AR.
For example, marketing specialists can model 3D buildings by rendering them with the help of an AR tool for architects like Augmentecture, thus facilitating detailed workflow and presentations.
Cons of AR and AI in Marketing
- AI cannot mimic human creativity: Despite being able to analyze huge chunks of data and predict market trends, AI cannot completely replace humans yet, as creativity and innovation are essential in marketing, and our current technology cannot integrate such factors into AI.
- Not completely reliable: As is the case for any other technology, AI is not error-free, and some algorithms prove to be unreliable sometimes. Consequently, a plan B is always needed in order to not halt the performance.
- AR can be costly: Costs vary depending on your marketing objective, and this might be challenging for small businesses, especially since technology is constantly developing and additional resources may be needed to support this functionality in the future, which results in extra costs.
- Privacy concerns: AR might create privacy risks since it uses real environments or people to overlay the digital data. For operational purposes, the customer’s information is often collected, and this information could be used in unsolicited marketing campaigns or even exposed to a misuse of privacy threats.
Disadvantages of Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence in General
Even with seemingly limitless advantages, AR and AI still have their drawbacks →
Disadvantages of AR
- Limited in mobile applications: AR requires high processing power which can be difficult to achieve with low-end phones. This limits the availability of the services for a significant portion of consumers.
- Imprecise spatial recognition: It could take time to place or locate a virtual product in AR correctly. Despite the advancement of technology, objects or products might still seem a few inches off when placed in a physical environment.
- Bulky equipment: AR-based applications that do not require a mobile phone often need a headset. It is fun at first, but users soon experience head or neck aches due to the weight of the head-mounted devices.
Disadvantages of AI
- Possible unemployment: AI’s overwhelming advancement has changed how we perform tasks and jobs. A study conducted by McKinsey Global Institute, an economic and business research center, estimates that between 75 to 375 million workers will lose their job to AI by 2030. These statistics predict an unfortunate outcome for workers in different fields.
- Biased algorithms: There is bias in everything, not just humans. Even in AI, biased or faulty algorithms can result in flawed or imbalanced data thrust into algorithms. For example, Amazon used an AI-based tool to rank job candidates according to a 5-star ranking system. The AI tool showed discrimination against women by preferring male candidates since the initially provided data was biased toward male applicants.
- Controlled by big companies: Many big names in the tech industry, such as Google and Meta, are acquiring small startup AI companies to dominate the marketing landscape and further improve their businesses. This concentration of data and power raises concerns as the direction of AI can only be determined by big tech companies.
So what Are Your Best Options then? Is It AR, AI (or Both)?
For e-commerce retailers and business owners, AI has been an indispensable lucrative technology that has revolutionized how people buy products and services. As a matter of fact, many businesses are constantly seeking new resources on how to build an AI system.
According to a study by Deloitte, an international professional services network, 73% of business owners who incorporated AI into their businesses believe that it is critical to business today, while 67% report that AI has given them a competitive edge over competitors.
On the other hand, AR is being gradually incorporated to enhance customer experience further and replace brick-and-mortar businesses.
A study conducted by Retail Perceptions, a global retail solutions provider, on AR retail experiences with the participation of over 1,000 people from the U.S. revealed interesting findings:
- 40% of the participants are willing to pay extra money for products that can be viewed in AR
- 61% of the participants prefer stores that offer AR shopping features
- 71% of the participants would repeat purchases if the retailer provided AR
As exciting as this may sound, introducing AR and AI to your business is worth exploring. Your decision should be directly linked to your short-term and long-term goals while considering target consumers.
If providing customers with a memorable experience is your priority, then a combination of AR and AI might be the right option for you.
After understanding the basics, you will be able to evaluate the validity and viability of these technologies in your niche.
If you’re looking at both of these new technologies, the main thing to consider is what your priorities are. Do you want the software which will make your business more efficient? Do you want a better brand image? Do you want data analysis that every company dreams of?
These are just some of the many applications in which AR & AI could prove vital over time. Hopefully, between this article and your own research, you will be able to determine exactly where augmented reality and artificial intelligence can help your company grow and develop.
Finally, when you’re ready to get started on your plan, you can get in touch with our experts here to bring your vision to life. Whatever your questions or concerns are, we will carefully listen to them in the discovery call and help you find solutions so your plan can thrive.
Looking forward to hearing from you! Cheers 🙂