How augmented reality is changing the way we shop

How augmented reality is changing the way we shop

Furniture shopping can be arduous and overwhelming. Which couch will look best against the color on the wall? Buying new makeup can be unexpectedly time consuming when you’re trying to find the perfect look that will go with an infinite amount of clothing combinations.

We’re now in the holiday season; the most frantic shopping time of the year. To help avoid mistakes you may have to live with for months or even decades, augmented reality (AR) apps are quickly becoming a retail trend. These programs have the potential to change the way we shop, allowing us to try on products that were previously difficult or impossible to test-run, such as lipstick and bookcases.

Some of the uses for AR give you a reason to avoid the crowds at the mall; other ones give you new reasons to check out the local store.

For example, Ikea introduced the augmented reality app Ikea Space, which scans a space with the phone’s camera and enables the user to drag furniture, picked from a digital catalog, into the room they’re standing in.

“With AR you can explore a lot of options that are available,” explains Dr. Seung Hwan Lee, an Associate Professor at Ryerson University who studies VR and AR technology. “AR and VR expand the potential of what customers can see and experience in a confined space.”


“With more exposure and opportunities to use AR, more people will take advantage of it,” 
“Retailers also have to not just promote that this technology exists, but promote the success of it. They need to communicate the benefits of what technology can do to meet consumer needs.”

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