Do you need to create new shopping experiences for your customers? Augmented reality can help you

By Aldana Aón, Head of Marketing & Comms Wayra Argentina, Chile & Peru

The current context of the pandemic , the restrictions on interaction and the number of people within stores, have exponentially promoted technologies that propose solutions and transform the shopping experience of consumers. One of them is augmented reality (AR) , a solution that allows adding digital elements to the real world, creating a new dimension and ways of exploring, which makes it one of the technologies with the greatest potential for growth and innovation.

Reporter Linker, in its Global Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) Industry publication, estimates that the mobile augmented reality market will close with a value of 10.7 billion dollars in 2020, and that it will reach the value of 230.6 billion dollars by 2027 , growing at an annual rate of 55 percent. Without a doubt, this technology powered by Facebook , Snapchat, TikTok and Amazon will be a key resource for businesses, becoming a global phenomenon.

One of the most profitable industries that incorporated this technology into their processes is advertising; allowing you to view products in 3D and provide immersive experiences when interacting with brands, is no longer a “Wow!” to become a solution that brings results and good performance metrics, especially in recent months, where stores were forced to close their doors and the most realistic way to approach a product is through augmented reality.

One of the main advantages is that it does not require hardware (more than the mobile phone), nor does it require a downloaded application, the consumer can access directly from the web browser, which eliminates entry barriers and amplifies integration opportunities and broadcast, the results are exceptionally encouraging to drive conversions.

With the arrival of 5G, it is expected that the immersive technologies industry will be strengthened, as connectivity in mobile devices is improved and latency is significantly reduced, the user experience when browsing this type of content will be much more satisfactory, allowing a flow of data in real time.

A great novelty was revealed in the recent launch of the iPhone 12 Pro in which Apple introduced LiDAR ( Light Detection and Ranging ) technology, a scanner that understands the world around us and builds an accurate depth map of the scene, this enables the scanning of objects and spaces and a precise placement of augmented reality objects within the user’s environment, opening up a new creative dimension to increasingly link the digital world to the physical world.

That same week, Amazon launched its app to scan the QR codes included in its shipping boxes, in order to offer new interactive experiences to its consumers.

The main augmented reality markets are in China, the United States, Japan and Germany; in Latin America we have companies that are promoting this technology, such as CamOnApp , a startup that is part of Wayra , the venture capital of Telefónica Movistar, which

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Personalised beauty future needs digital clinical trials and augmented data collection finds review

Writing in Skin Research & Technology​​, researchers from France reviewed the dermo-cosmetics skin care category, analysing advances made in personalisation such as devices and digital techniques to collect data on consumer needs and skin parameters. The review then discussed how personalised dermo-cosmetics could be improved through advances in the study of measurement – metrology.

The researchers found that whilst significant advances had been made in personalised dermo-cosmetics, including digital face-scanning techniques and a raft of digitally native vertical brands (DNVBs), there remained “significant opportunity”​ to overhaul current business models and improve industry’s offering of truly personalised products.

Beyond the device – personalised beauty needs business model refresh

“There are currently various IoT [Internet of Things] devices, data collection and analysis methods, and cloud service providers making advancements within this field. However, there is yet to be a clear definition of strategy in dealing with big data,”​ the researchers wrote.

Beauty brands had advanced fast in the field, with the likes of Shiseido and its Optune skin analysis tool and Neutrogena with its Skin360 face-scanning application, among others, they said, and there had been a raft of DNVBs established, such as Dollar Shave Club, Glossier and Function of Beauty, that facilitated consumer-centric business.

However, the researchers said there were “still limitations”​ in technological developments and industry would do well to continue its quest in advancing and expanding beauty tech, particularly devices with sensors and mobile apps that helped increase knowledge of skin parameters.

Building and validating accurate new wearable electrochemical biosensors for non-invasive skin parameter monitoring, for example, held great promise – particularly as it merged beauty, health and wider wellbeing thus catering to preventative and curative needs, they said.

But, beyond advancing technologies, the researchers said the beauty industry also had to reconsider current business models, particularly given the amount of data that would come from advanced technologies.

“To maximise outcomes and resources, there must be a rethinking of business organisations and processes in how they develop devices, use, and protect their data.”

“…The proper business model for these types of products and services may still need to be determined and developed,”​ they wrote.

Mining real-time, real-life consumer beauty information

“The major challenge today is how companies can leverage opportunities from new data delivered by IoT devices and build a business model based on this,” ​the researchers said.

This should start with the merging of in-lab and digital clinical trials to develop and test products, in addition to widespread big data collection on consumer needs and skin parameters, they said.

“Today, products are tested on a limited number of patients or users, who have to come to the laboratory for measurements to be made, and most often, panels only include standard skin types, creating a non-representative sample (…) Digital trials as described in the paper will allow some real-life measures to be made, with the same reliability as laboratory measures, and connected to a large number of variables related to one unique

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