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AR Arrives on the Amazon App, Could Be on 900M Devices This Year

Augmented reality (AR) just landed on the Amazon mobile app for Android, enabling shoppers to visualize products in their homes and other environments, engaging them with entertaining experiences, and empowering them to make informed purchase decisions.

“AR View,” available straight from the camera section of the Amazon app, currently works with thousands of products. Some product pages include a link encouraging shoppers to see the augmented reality view of the item in question.

AR View for Android is powered by ARCore 1.0, Google’s follow-up to its previous augmented reality toolkit, Tango. Variety reported that Google will be touting ARCore at Mobile World Congress this week in effort to bring the technology to 100 million smartphones after testing the AR toolkit on its own flagship Pixel 1 and Pixel 2 devices.

Though AR and virtual reality (VR) emerged around the same time, AR has been deployed by numerous brands and retailers for practical applications that help guide shoppers through product consideration and decision-making, while VR remains a largely entertainment-oriented affair. AR powers the “magic mirror”-type experience in the fitting rooms at brands such as Adidas, Gap and Uniqlo, which let shoppers see how different garments and color options look on them without having to slip in and out of a whole rack of clothing.

According to research and analysis from Digi-Capital, AR on mobile—across devices leveraging Google’s ARCore, Apple ARKit, Facebook Camera Effects, and Snap Lens Kit—is expected to be installed on 900 million smart devices this year and could reach 3.5 billion by 2022 while driving as much as $90 billion in revenue within five years.

AR is a natural improvement on the online and mobile shopping experiences, which, while growing in popularity, are not without challenges and constraints.

“E-commerce sales (goods & services, not [in-app purchases]) could become the largest revenue driver for AR, where Houzz has proven mobile AR can increase sales conversion rates by 11x, and Alibaba has partnered with Starbucks for the world’s largest AR enabled Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai (Alibaba is a leading investor in Magic Leap for a reason),” according to Digi-Capital, which predicts that retail and consumers goods companies will invest significant dollars in mobile AR adspend once the understand the technology and its benefits.