Augmented Reality: What is it for?


Augmented Reality mixes the virtual and real world creating interactions to create experiences that reach a higher level.

How have people’s lifestyle changed since having a mobile device with an internet connection? We may not remember exactly the time in which the communication process began to change and revolve around technology, we now know how important it is to have a mobile device interaction when creating effective strategies for the diffusion of the information.

The need to be constantly connected has led us to have access to countless digital experiences that compete with each other to position themselves in the receptor’s mind.   

In fact, one of the biggest advantages of using digital tools is that it gives a higher quality to any format or content that we want to share. This is the case of AR, in addition to setting new standards, it offers different levels of interaction that in the end, create greater awareness. 

What’s Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality allows us to mix reality with fiction components through a technological device, because it shows the information we want such as an image, graphic, character, text or object; by using the physical space around us.

To be able to interact with this digital tool, it is necessary to use the camera lens of a laptop, tablet or smart-phone, which makes it easier to overlay any of the elements mentioned before.

The physical and digital worlds combine to provide a new context that helps us understand better what is going on around us. That’s how daily scenarios turn into spaces of constant interaction and dynamism between the elements that appear when using our device`s screen just by opening the camera and clicking on the content we want to learn.

Also read: What is phygital?

Thanks to AR, a tourist that used to have just a simple version of the world by using a printed map, can now be guided by a real time map, following the route placed on the real landscape, which would include points of interest and relevant information.

Augmented Reality and its uses.

Although its most frequent use is in the development of video games, AR went from being used for entertainment purposes only to being used on different fields like education, medicine, architecture, fashion, gastronomy, among others. 

It has also been successfully integrated into marketing strategies which provides unique experiences and creates opportunities to bring brands and their audiences closer together.

Also read: Pharmaceutical marketing strategies

Nowadays, users can interact with a certain product or service by knowing how it works, what are its characteristics, which benefits it has or how it looks, before purchasing it.   

Storytelling has become relevant because it has been proven that effectively connects our target audience with the message that needs to be delivered. Adding a component of immersion will assure us a greater client acquisition and customer loyalty.

How is augmented reality used in pharmaceutical marketing?

As we have already pointed out, beyond the commercial or entertaining purposes of technology, its uses and advances have reached levels of impact that even go as far as caring for the lives of human beings.

Due to its countless uses, AR has turned into a very important tool for studies on medicine, pharmacology and scientific research.

Big pharmaceutical laboratories have found in AR a way to anticipate the trends of content consumption used by their audiences, providing highly informative experiences with the possibility of collecting important data to move forward in their vow of creating actions that care for life.  

For instance, healthcare professionals and patients can interact with virtual 3D objects, such as molecules, which can be visualized on their mobile devices screen. Creating this interactive moment, people can learn about its characteristics, action mechanism and any other information the laboratory considers relevant to make the healthcare professional feel more confident when including it in the treatment of a pathology.

AR has also created a user-friendly knowledge environment, going above time and space barriers, by providing professionals the possibility of updating their knowledge on scientific advances in a disruptive way and also with the possibility of carrying the information with themselves to have access to it whenever they want and as many times as they want.

Innovation in hybrid events for the pharmaceutical industry.

As time goes by, digital tools have gained more relevance in the planning and development of events, guaranteeing more interaction between audiences and content, whether it be in a face-to-face, virtual or hybrid context.  

A hybrid event refers to an event that takes place in a physical and virtual world simultaneously. Certainly, hybrid events are a global trend that stand out the benefits of innovation and digital tools that motivate attendees to be an active part in the activities planned out. 

These types of events have opened the opportunity to implement innovations such as phygital experiences (physical+digital), which have a greater impact and more engagement between viewers and brands when included and used correctly.

Among these experiences, is Augmented Reality, which as we have mentioned before, classifies as a high-impact experience by including graphic content over a real-world view, from wherever the user is. By only using their phone camera, event attendees can immerse themselves in an easy-to-remember multi-sensorial activity.

Another advantage of innovation in hybrid events for the pharmaceutical industry, is the possibility of including gamification elements that create challenges, amog the attendees that can be considered as achievements. Of course, these activities are focused on the knowledge management of scientific developments and contribute to the healthcare professionals daily tasks.

Also read: Digital innovation in the pharmaceutical industry

What devices do we use in Igloolab to create Augmented Reality?

At igloolab, we are sure about the importance of making it easier for the user to access the different digital experiences we offer. When AR is included in the different strategies of our clientes, we make sure that they work in any mobile device, to make sure it will not be an obstacle for our audience. 

Our developers’ team have set up different samples of this technology that have turned into a support tool for the pharmaceutical industry because of its high interaction and application.

For more advanced options, we have implemented different experiences through a Holobox. This device allows the use of tablets that project content into a special glass, skipping the need for the user to use cell phones to visualize it.

This tool, combined with knowledge management initiatives, has made it possible to expose scientific advances, clinical cases and the benefits of new molecules in different treatments trough content showed to the healthcare professionals in a simple but different way. 

Types of Augmented Reality.

AR has turned into a new channel that makes the most out of the message that needs to get through. By providing information which engages directly user´s real world. However, there are different ways of setting up a digital experience of this type.

We can place AR content over images. Back in the day, predefined elements known as “markers” were used, these had a similar look to the ones of a QR code.  Later, with the arrival of new techniques of image classification, the possibility of using any other element of the environment for placing important information has opened up. 

Augmented Reality can also be applied to other physical spaces. There are devices that allow the recognition of any place in which we are, as well as identifying and memorizing the position of the elements such as the ceiling, walls, furniture, doors, etc; all of this can create three-dimensional maps where guidance content and important data are included.

Routes inside museums have been created, components of mechanical objects such as a vehicle or airplane engine have been mapped, information of chemical components when scanning a drug have been shown or to be able to visualize organs in 3D on the human body.

Differences between Augmented and Virtual Reality.

Even though they seem similar, their differences completely change their use. While AR places a virtual element over an existing physical space, VR is based on the immersion of the user in a three-dimensional environment created by an app, in which a fully sensorial experience is simulated inside an artificial environment in which the user can interact.

One of the advantages of AR is that, since it does not require an additional device or gadget different from a phone camera, it can be used more frequently. In the other hand, to have a VR experience, it is necessary to use holographic glasses that cover up the eyes with a transparent lens and trough sensors, replicate images that seem of normal size, and change with movement, varying its field of view too.

A key component in VR is the graphic quality of the scenarios and in achieving a perfect sync between the movements of the user’s head and eyes so that the perception is “true to reality”.

As for AR, it is essential to guarantee an optimal and dynamic interaction of the user with the recreated element, that is also in total harmony with the user’s real environment.

A technology that connects the virtual and real world at the service of companies.

At igloolab we find in both technologies the best way to manage knowledge to guarantee total interaction and high levels of engagement.

We create portable digital content, by sending information through pieces that represent savings in resources and allows us to create a whole experience around any product. 

As strategic partners, we encourage our users to set new standards and to risk going from the analog world to the digital one, to find elements that can become a differentiating factor in the market.   

The boundaries between the real and virtual worlds have combined to place us in a universe of opportunities that can only be used through our own creativity.

Luis Alfonso Ruíz                                                                                                 

Igloolab– CEO


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