Augmented reality is different from virtual reality in that it is not a full immersion into a virtual world. Augmented reality is simply an ‘overlay’ of virtual elements within the real-world. There’s no goggles to immerse one into Jurassic Park. A great example of augmented reality is Pokemon Go, in which imaginary characters appear in one’s surroundings via a cell phone camera.

Credit: Forbes.com

As for hospitality, a recent travel report found that 48% of consumers would like to use AR or VR technologies to view resorts and destinations before they book. AR allows guests to see the property, explore individual rooms, and search for nearby attractions in ‘an immersing and interactive manner.’ A great application of augmented reality exists at London’s hub by Premier Inn hotel. Guests can open the camera on their phones and point it at a city map painted on the wall in their room. They can then see pop-up bubbles that contain details about the local bars, restaurants, and attractions on the map. Another hotelier using AR technology in a unique way is PAI Hotels, which use AR technology in all rooms, including visual elements, decorations, hotel themed walls, paintings and their own app called PAI AR PARK. The app allows users to find all the AR elements in the hotel, and includes ‘awards’ if they collect 7 different hidden chips.

Credit: HospitalityNet

Augmented reality is coming to restaurant Bareburger in a unique way. Having partnered with augmented reality company, Kabaq, their menu will revolutionize the way we decide what to order. Instead of word descriptors, this technology will show a 3D version of the menu item for users via their cell phones. Customers who have the app Snapchat can open this app, scan a ‘Snapcode’, and then see the items through the augmented reality lenses. “With AR, restaurants can create even more visuals to drive more traffic to the restaurant itself,” says Kabaq co-founder Alper Guler. This technology can soon exist in Facebook apps and even restaurant apps themselves. The possibility of integrating prices and nutrition information with the 3D models are likely on these platforms.

Augmented reality can add uniqueness to your business that is relatively cheap to integrate yet enticing to consumers. It’s new, it’s cool, and it’s unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. With new advancements on the way, Bareburger is looking to eliminate paper menus altogether to reduce their carbon footprint, and only use augmented reality. That’s what AR is doing for them. What can it do for you?