How you Can Use Augmented Reality to Elevate Your Packaging

August 27, 2019

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) may seem like a futuristic technique, but it is all around us. If you saw the Lion King in 3D, used a funny filter on Instagram, or played a video game like Pokemon Go, you’ve used augmented reality and/ or virtual reality.

Augmented reality is the technology used to enhance or alter a persons’ environment by superimposing virtual information on the world we see. An example would be an Instagram filter that puts animated stars in the background of your photo and makes it look brighter.

In contrast, virtual reality is the technology used to shift someone from their existing environment into a new “virtual” reality immersing you in a whole new reality.

AR vs. VR?

AR is growing rapidly, mainly via mobile. A report by the research firm SuperData projects mobile augmented reality is on track to become the primary driver of the VR/AR market by 2021. Another recent report projects the global market at nearly $120 billion by 2022 at a 75% CAGR from 2016 to 2022.

While there are a few new entrants, global conglomerate’s like Facebook and Google have invested heavy in AR as well. Facebook owns Oculus Rift, a high-end virtual reality headset for consumers. Whereas Google has launched a suite of VR products that let you paint vivid art in a 3D space, explore iconic spaces like the Pyramids or Eiffel Tower in 3D, and go on incredible adventures.

The preeminent tech market research firm IDC predicts that in 2019, VR and AR headset makers like Occulus will ship out 7.6 million headsets, primarily VR headsets. That figure is up significantly from 5.9 million headsets sold in 2018.

Why Marketers Should Consider Using VR in Packaging?

Adding additional digital imagery or content into a person’s POV is a smart play for marketers. Augmented reality presents an opportunity to make your packaging a connected, multichannel packaging experience. “AR/VR-enabled packaging—facilitates heightened interactions for the user by supplementing the real world with digital content. It provides a new, unique experience that wasn’t previously possible,” says IDC Canada senior analyst, Emily Taylor in an interview with Packaging Digest. Taylor is a VR expert who conducts strategic research and analysis of mobility technology markets, at a recent panel in Toronto this spring she outlined the major ways brands are utilizing AR to enhance their branding.

The major benefits of Augmented Reality and packaging:

  • It helps drive visits to your owned digital properties, such as your websites
  • It makes your packaging more memorable
  • It creates PR and social media hype for a brand
  • Test driving A/R and VR with packaging allows organizations to investigate the applicability of the medium to their business before making more hefty investments

It is important to note that some AR/VR executions may be seen as a gimmick to some consumers if there is no obvious benefit for the technology’s usage. So try to be strategic when thinking of how you will execute. As yourself the following questions:

  • Will the packaging unlock a beautiful lens on Instagram?
  • Will the virtual reality activation how your consumer how your products or made?
  • Will virtual reality show consumers how they can use your product in a new way?

Try augmented reality today to elevate your packaging to the next dimension. Contact us to learn more.