he potential of augmented reality (AR) and its benefit to society is becoming more apparent day by day. Most recently, its function as a communication and entertainment tool has taken a huge leap forward during quarantine as more people turned to the use of AR filters and lenses on mobile devices to stay connected in a remote environment.

In fact, the use of AR filters on multimedia messaging platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram flourished throughout the COVID-19 period with Snapchat recording more than a 25% increase in use of their lens features over the past three months.

Quarantine paves way to a whole new world of augmented reality

The ability to overlay digital elements into reality has proven to be a highly successful formula for the modern consumer who now has the ability to create and recreate lifelike 3D content from their mobile phone. The dedicated and sophisticated software of AR filters proves highly entertaining especially when coupled with pop culture and based on trends, fads and movie themes, which has become a proven recipe for overnight success and virality.

As such, many have turned to AR Snapchat lenses or Instagram filters to maintain some sort of social proximity throughout the quarantine period, becoming a mainstream communication channel for millenials.

But the potential of AR and messaging platforms don’t stop at entertainment alone. Last year, Snapchat launched its AR utility platform Scan which has the ability to help users solve math equations by simply scanning the problem. Thus, it’s also evident that there’s room for AR to develop as an education tool optimised to mobile devices.

The use of AR filters throughout quarantine were as beneficial for the consumer as they were for developers, who reaped the benefits of a rapid increase in filter playtime and a plethora of market research, leading to some breakthrough developments.

While quarantine proved a troublesome time for some, it also acted as the breeding ground for developers to create cutting edge AR content optimised specifically for mobile use. Designers and developers alike are using this period to push their creative boundaries by experimenting with the use of music and other mediums in AR, bringing a whole new dynamic approach to the virtual mobile experience.

It’s clear then that AR has proven to be a source of fun and entertainment throughout the COVID-19 period while simultaneously acting as a tool for communication and remote interaction. Moreover, the ability for Instagram and Snapchat to act as utility platforms with the help of AR is a sign of the promising future that lays ahead in a post-COVID-19 world.

Jun 18, 2020
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