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Augmented reality

Augmented reality

Augmented Reality is the melding of the real world with the digital world found on your smartphone. Think “Pokemon Go.”

You have more than likely encountered augmented reality, even if the term is unfamiliar. It is not to be confused with virtual reality, another recent development in the tech world. AR is experienced alongside the real world, while VR simulates its own reality.

Charles Arthur, a contributor to The Guardian, describes AR as taking “a real-life scene, or (better) a video of a scene, and add[ing] some sort of explanatory data to it so that you can better understand what’s going on, or who the people in the scene are, or how to get to where you want to go”.

By blurring the line between what is real and what is not, AR enhances the digital experience.

The most well-known examples of augmented reality in today’s market are Snapchat filters and Pokémon Go. While it is more easily recognizable in entertainment, AR has also been utilized in marketing, educational and retail ventures.

Augmented reality is also starting to play a role in the workplace. It has been adapted for certain hands-on training exercises. An employee’s virtual presence erases the need for direct contact with different environments.

Where direct involvement is risky, the immersive qualities of AR allows for otherwise impossible experiences. For example, NASA has started to use it for scientific research. This enables advances in exploration that humans couldn’t achieve. We can’t send a person to Mars, but technology is taking that giant leap for us.

In the near future, you might not even be able to tell who is seeing the world through an AR wearable. Going through a single day without experiencing augmented reality in some way might even be impossible.

As the technology behind AR continues to evolve, its limits will be pushed even further. Think about how Pong and other early video games now seem so primitive, yet they were what introduced many the members of today’s workforce to computing. Their innovations have increased the capabilities of operating systems hundreds of times over.

These same kinds of giant strides in AR are still to come. The next generation might be taught about the game-changing nature of Pokémon Go just as today’s youth learn about Tetris.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has already labeled augmented reality as the ‘next new thing’. Anyone who is familiar with the tech industry will agree: now that AR has captured Apple’s eye, every competitor will be clamoring to take it to new heights.

The importance of clean data

The importance of clean data

Data plays a critical part in marketing your brand. It provides insight into your target audience and helps to focus your advertising efforts. Your campaigns can only be as beneficial as your data is accurate.

It’s vital to make sure you’re collecting data in a way that’s precise and useful to your business. Just a few simple changes can make your data collection more serviceable.

Data collection concerns:

  • Don’t ask for too much information. Users are wary of giving out information that they feel is unnecessary or invasive. To avoid this, give succinct explanations of how the data will be used.
  • Avoid using outdated technology. Information forms that look outdated can appear untrustworthy to users. Whatever form you use to collect data should still be consistent with the rest of your site. It should appear simple and professional.
  • Be sure your form fields are efficient. Form fields that require specific formatting, like phone numbers or drop-down menus that don’t offer enough options can cause frustration for users and inaccuracies. For example, users who can’t find their occupation as an option in a drop-down menu are likely to choose another occupation that doesn’t accurately represent them.
  • Validate your data. Although data validation can seem monotonous at first, it’s extremely important. If a user accidentally submits the wrong information, it could lead to complications down the road or an inability to provide quality customer service.
  • Not giving enough incentive for providing information. LinkedIn is a spectacular example of offering a valuable exchange for information. As users add more information to their profile, they can look for jobs that better fit their experience or connect with other users that are closer to their industry.

The common theme throughout each of these concerns is the act of not looking at the big picture. For example, offering a drop-down menu might mean less work for you, but it also means less accurate data. Be sure that your form facilitates your function.

Thoughtfully formatted documents communicate trustworthiness and professionalism. When making changes to the way you collect data, it’s important to think about the larger scheme of things. What changes will be more beneficial to your organization further down the road? How can you make it easier for a user to provide information? In the end, it’s accuracy that’s going to provide you with the best results.