In the digital era, no one can question the appeal brought by Virtual Reality (VR). VR gives consumers a good experience-which is not going to change anytime soon. It gives memorable brand experiences that no other technology can match. However, consumers have not adopted this technology fully probably because the hardware that drives such experiences is costly. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the sale of VR headsets has declined within the past year-the market has diminished for interested buyers of VR headsets at.

The stagnant VR market could squeeze out makers of its headsets. Digiday, an online trade magazine, recently reported that the sale of VR headsets has stalled. There were a million fewer headsets sold in 2017 than expected. There was also a 50% decline in sales of VR headsets (excluding Oculus Go), in the first six months of 2018. Such a trend limits prospects for creating branded Virtual Reality experiences that are responsible for driving ROI in the short term.

Marketers have started shifting their to Augmented Reality (AR). AR takes the reins from VR medium to create a new and interactive consumer experience. It integrates digital data into real-time experience. AR marketing platform is so popular right now, with its growth expected to reach 90£ by 2020. Interestingly, consumers knew nothing about AR as a marketing tool as little as 6 years ago. Nowadays, it has become a marketing strategy that business people need to be educated on.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions recognize objects (from facial recognition software to selfie filters in social media) and augment them through devices such as smartphones. These features have become more popular thus consumers have started to know AR by understanding its real-world and practical applications.

Further, hotels have started realizing its benefits. Users can tour meeting facilities, guest rooms and restaurants, in a 360-degree view. Brands that understand its possibilities have developed apps that will enable them to create their own social media platforms (an opportunity for them to market their products/services without influence from third parties). Therefore, AR is more practical to marketers since it delivers their marketing strategies in real time, enabling clients and customers to enjoy their services or products as they are meant to be used.

Both AR and VR, with a host of virtual reality companies UK options, have unique ways of delivering experiences to consumers: VR brings users into an original and digital world while AR overlays experience and content onto the physical world. For now, however, AR is more practical and can reach a larger audience while driving more ROI compared to VR. It is easy to see why brands and marketers are certainly going to serve their customers with augmented experiences.

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