There is a lot of discussion about how augmented and virtual reality are changing the game in public relations, marketing and even advertising. Many are unware that there is a difference between AR and VR. To get y’all caught up, virtual reality is the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a scree inside or gloves fitted with sensors. Augmented Reality is a technology that layers computer-generated enhancements atop an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it.
Ikea is a great example of how using AR can change the game. Ikea created their own app that allows their customers to view what furniture will look in their own space. In this image, I took an ottoman that Ikea sales and was able to place it in my own apartment to see what it would look like. In my opinion, this changes the game. For example, with the Ikea app, buying furniture is no longer a pain. Customers don’t have to worry if a piece of furniture will work in their space or not. They can just use the app!
I think AR has many practical benefits available to the public relations field. Here are two examples:
- Press Releases using AR: Using AR in a press release or instead of your typical press release might benefit your company more. Using images to launch a range of media content, social links and 3D experiences can take your engagement to the next level. By using AR, people are going to be more likely to engage and connect to you or your company.
- PR Events: Using AR to showcase an event experience is another way that AR can change the game of PR. Customers want to know they are going to have a great experience at an event, whether that’s their seats or venue itself. Using AR to display visual floor plans or view from certain seats will benefit the company more, because the customer knows what to expect; therefore, creating a better experience. By using AR, customers will know what they are getting for their money.
These are only two of the hundreds of ways AR can be used and optimized in the field of public relations. I believe that AR and VR might end what we call modern day advertising. AR is constantly creating new experiences for the consumer through their phone or computer screen. AR has only wet our appetite and is only going to continue to grow. A couple years from now, I think AR is going to be everywhere.