Augmented Reality Applications at the Point of Sale

Essay, 2016

5 Pages, Grade: 1.7


Abstract— The technique of Augmented Reality (AR) changes the perspective of the viewer and integrates digital information into the environment (, 2016). In the last few years AR has developed from a technical gadget into a marketing tool. As At the moment AR is starting to enter the mainstream but there are still several branches which don’t use this new method (, 2012). This article analyses the use of augmented reality applications at the point of sale by going into detail from a technical and (mobile) marketing point of view. Besides discussing the added value of AR implementation the author also refers to the best practices examples IKEA and Audi. In consequence of this new fast growing market the technology is not yet mature and is currently limited by technical barriers.


Technology continues to advance at a very high speed and provides daily innovations (, 2013). One outcome of the entire innovation is Augmented Reality (AR). Summarized in a few words AR is about overlaying pieces of a virtual environment over the real environment. On mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets this means enhancing what you can see through the camera with interactive content (, 2015). When Yelp started to introduce AR features into their iPhone app in the year 2009 it was part of an experiment. Now in the year 2016, augmented reality is mostly being used by early tech adopters but is also starting to enter the mainstream due to the growth of high-speed networks, WIFI availability and the numerous choices of different apps in the app stores starting with gaming apps and ending with furniture arrangement (, 2012). Every customer can also be seen as a digital customer and inter alia this is why AR is used by car manufactures and e-commerce companies but also by companies like Coca Cola - the global leader in the beverage industry uses AR technology in order to sell coolers to supermarkets. The website shows how sellers can simulate 3D beverage coolers with a tablet at the exact place in the shop and make decisions easier for shop owners. In this article the author analyses one possible frequent question of marketers which is: ‘Is it worth investing in AR technologies for my branch and how can AR technologies be used at the point of sale’ by firstly going into the topic from a technical and a marketing perspective and then going into detail using different best practice examples such as the IKEA catalogue app.


A. The Idea of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality, once a technology found in Sci-Fi films is beginning to become a valuable asset in the marketing toolbox (Minsker, 2014, p.12). Augmented reality has been defined by several scientists in different ways. According to Klopfer and Squire (2008, p. 205), AR could be broadly defined as “a situation in which a real world context is dynamically overlaid with coherent location or context sensitive virtual information”. AR can be seen as the integration of digital information with the environment in real time (, 2016). Potentially AR can apply to all senses, also for example hearing, touching and even smelling (Azuma, Baillot, Behringer, Feiner, Julier, & Mcintyre, 2001, p.34). From a technical point of view AR has been studied for roughly 20 years (Olsson et al, 2011, p.75). In the article ‘Augmented Reality: An Application of Heads-Up Display Technology to Manual Manufacturing Processe’ of Caudell and Mizell which was published in the year 1992 the term ‘Augmented Reality’ was defined. Working with the topic the term ‘virtual reality’ often appears.

Using the following image the difference between the two techniques is explained:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: R vs VR vs AR - what are the differences (, 2013)


Excerpt out of 5 pages


Augmented Reality Applications at the Point of Sale
Munich University of Applied Sciences
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
768 KB
Augmented Reality, E-Commerce, Point of Sale
Quote paper
Jessica Wagner (Author), 2016, Augmented Reality Applications at the Point of Sale, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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