Augmented reality can be and is already being used for marketing purposes. It seems to be a comfortable tool on the one hand, since it allows the marketer to show to the customers features of the products, which the customer would otherwise fail to notice or even fail to comprehend (Giraldo, 2015). This may refer to various marketing applications, including, as one of the examples, the clothing industry, house building industry, gardening, and other services, which presuppose, developing or modifying objects in the existing segment of space or modifying human appearance. By means of augmented reality it is comfortable to show to the customer, how their house is going to look when it is built, allow them to take a virtual tour about their new house, help them make a decision as for what materials they would wish to use in the erecting of their walls, or, for that matter, what style of a haircut they would wish to have. Still, though augmented reality applications have been used in marketing since quite recently, there are numerous concerns regarding this marketing tool,
Some of these concerns are widely recognized, while others are discussed only by some of the specialists. One of the primary concerns in this respect is the legal concern (TRoesner, 2014). Basically, the devices, while making record of the environment and processing this record will, certainly, reach out into the personal domain. Which is, on the one hand, acceptable for the well-being of the society, but on the other hand, when the laws we are using now were adopted nobody could foresee augmented reality and the degree to which private domain could be accessed. Thus, it may be the case that in modern realities we could go to deep in violating human privacy for the sake of well-being of the society. In this respect, we may face one of the most horrible dystopias in reality. This is why it is important to have new regulations regarding augmented reality.
Another concern relates to the trust consumers have got for the manufacturers or service providers. If a customer knows, that augmented reality is widely used and knows basic principles of its application, how trustful will this customer be? There is a reasonable doubt as for whether or not the picture, shown to the customer, doesn’t have more elements of augmented reality than it is needed for the customer to better understand the product or its features. This gives the marketer an additional very powerful tool of cheating upon the customer and this in its turn gives the customer additional grounds for concerns. However, in case legislative base is adjusted properly to the realities of modern day and will properly set the game rules for the use of augmented reality applications in the sphere of marketing, this problem may be resolved to a large degree.
Another important concern is, however, of rather ethical nature. It is questionable, how much a marketer is interested in a half-simplified client, a person, who is used to augmented reality and is ready to properly comprehend information only through augmented reality applications. Will not this cause additional legal issues, where the customer would simply claim that they failed to understand the offer because of the implementation of AR in marketing process? Again, legislative adjustments may partially take care of this problem, but certainly not entirely.
As explained above, AR applications are certainly powerful tools in the hands of marketers, however it is important to remember of all the concerns, associated with its application, and it is first of all needed to make necessary adjustments to legislation prior to wide application of AR apps in marketing.
- Giraldo, Karina. (2015). Why mobile marketing is important for brands? SolinixAR, Enero.
- TRoesner, Franziska, Tadayoshi Kohno, Tamara Denning, Ryan Calo, and Bryce Clayton Newell. (18 Aug. 2015). “Augmented Reality.” Proceedings of the 2014 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing Adjunct Publication – UbiComp ’14 Adjunct (2014). University of Utah. Ubicomp. Web.