The use of augmented reality technology has increased over the recent past owing to its advantages both to the consumers and the retailers. One of the greatest benefits is the increase in sales as more customers are served with the opportunity to sample goods while at the comfort of their homes (Nicolas, 2012). In addition, the technology creates interactions that would not be available in a normal customer to vendor situation. The technology attains this level of competence through removing obstacles that are prevalent in normal online shopping technologies. Further, the technology enriches content thus offering time saving and security benefits to the consumer (Azuma et al, 2001). Ultimately, the technology provides more information regarding the product on sale thus aiding the consumer in decision making.
Still, augmented reality technology provides profound benefits to the business by exposing it to a wider array of audience. Most importantly, the technology helps in retention of existing customers besides attracting new customers to the business (Frederick, 2016). Eventually, the business benefits from increased visibility as well as improved image among the customers. Moreover, the technology has applications in other fields such as games where it provides more real experiences. In so doing, people can share experiences with each other over long distances in real time (Ong & Nee, 2013). Further, augmented reality increases mobile usability by providing information that is based on user location and context.
Despite the numerous advantages associated with augmented reality technology, it has its own share of disadvantages. One of the major drawbacks is the threat to the security of the users including consumers and retailers (Zlatanova, 2002). Further, there is the imminent threat of spam in which users receive messages from unauthorized persons against their wish. There is also the possibility of the systems being hacked thus exposing user information to threats. In truth, the technology presents future security threats since walking up to a person on the streets may result in a privacy breach on the user’s part.
The feasibility of the technology is still questionable considering the devices that are currently in use in the world. For instance, most of the phones and tablets have no capacity of supporting the technology ad would thus require an upgrade to better generations. However, this is no mean task and would thus render most of the users unavailable on the platform. In addition, the content available on the platform may narrow or even obscure the interests and preferences of certain users (Azuma, 1997). The users are sometimes fed with information that is not relevant as advertisements resulting in unnecessary and bulky information. Lastly, the use of augmented reality may not be appropriate in public situations.
Although the technology is highly feasible in today’s dynamic world, it is till clogged with a number of issues largely drawn from its applicability. Indeed, there are concerns regarding the question of whether the technology will ever take off. One of the issues facing the implementation of the technology is the price associated with the concept thus rendering small businesses inaccessible (Nicolas, 2012). Moreover, the openness of the technology means that different people can develop their own content to display alongside the excising content. This development has the potential of clogging and overloading the system with too much information leading to its eventual collapse. Ultimately, the technology requires a solution to the issues facing its implementation to attain meaningful success.
Augmented reality technology has been cited as one of the promising innovations in the modern world. Today, the technology promises numerous opportunities in different fields. The ecommerce sector particularly stands to benefit from the implementation of the augmented reality technology. Although not fully operationalized, the technology presents the benefit of increased sales for the retailers. In this regard, customers are given a chance to select preferred goods from a list of sampled goods at the comfort of their homes. This not only saves the customer time but also offers security to the benefit of the users. The business also benefits from increased visibility thus improving its customer retention while attracting new customers.
The use of the technology is not without drawbacks as evidenced by potential disadvantages crippling its use. Perhaps, the threat of security presents one of the major disadvantages of the technology affecting both customers and retailers. Systems are exposed to potential hackers and spammers that may render the experience horrible in the long run. Further, the improved nature of the technology is a disadvantage as most devices cannot be used as platforms. Most phones and tablets would require an upgrade to the latest generations to conform to the hardware requirements. Lastly, users may be exposed to information that is not necessarily relevant to their needs.
There is no denying that the technology is faced with a myriad of issues hindering its effective implementation. Concerns such as the price and openness of the technology are limiting factors that will require attention before the project is successful. Nonetheless, the technology is highly feasible and has the potential of revolutionizing online shopping experiences. The benefits can only be achieved after the drawbacks and issues facing the technology have been addressed in full.
Nicolas, I. R. (2012). Augmented Reality and its possibilities for e-commerce. Retrieved October 18, 2016, from www.emarketservices.com
Frederick, J. (2016). 4 Emerging eCommerce Technology Innovations – eCommerce trends. Retrieved October 18, 2016, from http://www.pfsweb.com/blog/4-emerging-ecommerce-technology-innovations/
Zlatanova, S. (2002). Augmented reality technology. Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Department of Geodesy, Section GIS Technology.
Azuma, R., Baillot, Y., Behringer, R., Feiner, S., Julier, S., & MacIntyre, B. (2001). Recent advances in augmented reality. IEEE computer graphics and applications, 21(6), 34-47.
Ong, S. K., & Nee, A. Y. C. (2013). Virtual and augmented reality applications in manufacturing. Springer Science & Business Media.
Azuma, R. T. (1997). A survey of augmented reality. Presence: Teleoperators and virtual environments, 6(4), 355-385.
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