Pokémon Go has caught on with the masses because of its accessibility and easy-to-understand concept — but that doesn’t mean it’s the first app to use augmented reality technology.
In fact, it’s far from revolutionary — results from Deloitte’s fourth annual survey of mid-market technology trends shows just how ubiquitous the technology is. Of the 500 mid-market companies surveyed, 89 percent of them said they were already using AR in their business.
While these uses of the technology aren’t of the pocket monster variety, or even meant for gaming, businesses have found real-world applications for augmented reality.
That includes companies like Hunter Douglas, which has had an app for years that lets potential buyers preview how a window treatment would look in their homes before purchasing it. The Home Depot and Lowe’s have followed suit, exploring the space with their own similar apps for home improvement products.
Deloitte Deputy Chief Information Officer Steve Keathley told Fortune that AR comes in handy in these specific applications when a customer is looking to preview how something might appear in the real world. Aside from the survey results, his firsthand experience with a home remodeling project has informed his opinion on the technology.
“We worked with a local contractor who created a 3D walkthrough of what the house will look like,” he said. “Clearly, that same technology would be useful for any architecture and engineering firm as well who may want to eyeball a project before actually building it.”
Augmented reality also appears in the cosmetics industry, and is used for plastic surgery, architecture, engineering, construction, and even employee training, and Deloitte’s survey offers solid numbers to back the seemingly widespread industry support.
Fifty-two percent of executives responded that they approach technology investments — including AR — for their strategic value, an increase from under 40 percent in the past two years of survey results, the Deloitte release said.
“Fifty-four percent of respondents said their company’s technology spend is higher than last year and 28 percent indicated their technology spend is more than five percent of revenue,” according to the release.
The study was conducted from June 17, 2016 to July 5, 2016, and respondents “were limited to executives at companies with annual revenues ranging from $100 million to more than $1 billion,” the report said.
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