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While the metaverse and Web3 are the cool tech trends of the moment, capturing the attention of many of the key proponents in the digital space, AR may actually be a far more significant, practical innovation, with immediate use cases that can provide direct value and enhancement to your everyday life.

And with AR glasses in development at several of the tech giants, it does seem like AR is going to become a far more significant element at some stage – likely before the VR-led metaverse becomes a real thing.

Yet, it doesn’t get anywhere near the same attention or interest.

So how do people really feel about AR, and why is this element being largely overlooked by businesses?

To glean more insight into this, Snapchat recently partnered with Ipsos to conduct a survey of more than 25k people, across 16 markets, to get a better understanding of how both consumers and brands really view AR and its potential value, in various applications.

You can download the full, 34-page ‘Augmentality Shift’ report here, but in this post, we’ll take a look at the key highlights.

First off, the report highlights the advanced opportunities of AR, beyond just fun filters and tools.

As per Snapchat:

When it comes to Augmented Reality and its full potential, brands are missing out by only seeing the tip of the iceberg.”

Indeed, Snap says that, by 2025, around 60% of people in the US, and almost all people who use social/communications apps, will be frequent AR users.

Again, with these types of predictions, it seems like we’re getting ahead of ourselves with the metaverse – and behind ourselves with Web3 projects like NFTs.

Maybe, AR should be the real focus for the next real stage of tech development and innovation – which is especially true when you consider this stat:

Snap Ipsos AR report

The capacity to use advancing AR tools to complement the shopping journey is significant, especially amid the rise of online shopping, and the role that AR can play in providing more buying context.

Snap Ipsos AR report

But it’s more than that – AR can also serve a range of educational and inspirational purposes, and provide expanded engagement in a range of ways.

Snap Ipsos AR report

Yet, according to the report, there’s a significant gap between how consumers view the value of AR and what brands are currently delivering.

Snap Ipsos AR report

Again, it does feel like distractions of the longer-term metaverse, which is a less tangible, more conceptual project, are pulling brands away from the potential opportunities that exist right now, in what would likely be a bridging technology between these two experiences. AR, in this sense, may well be of more immediate benefit – as opposed to trying to come up with digital collectibles for promotions or building a VR world for your brand.

The report also digs deeper into how AR elements can complement the online shopping journey.

Snap Ipsos AR report

And how it can help to build brand community and engagement.

Snap Ipsos AR report

Finally, the report also includes a range of tips on how businesses can incorporate AR into their process, including key considerations for effective implementation.

Snap Ipsos AR report

It’s a good guide, which could serve as a wake-up call in some ways to break businesses out of the hype cycle, and back into what’s of more value right now.

Of course, some would say that the ‘metaverse’ concept and Web3 both incorporate AR, so it’s all part of one big next-level push. But it’s not. Each of these elements is separate, and AR experiences can be created right now which deliver actual, practical value within your campaigns.

You can download the full Augmentality Shift’ report here.