Last Updated on January 11, 2023 by Ashish
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that enhances the real world with digital information, creating a seamless blend of the physical and virtual worlds. The tourism industry is one of the fields that has begun to embrace AR, with the development of AR tourism apps. These apps use AR to provide tourists with an enhanced and interactive experience, allowing them to explore and learn about new places in a more engaging and immersive way.
The history of AR in tourism can be traced back to the early 2000s when the first AR tourism apps were developed for mobile devices. However, it wasn’t until the advent of smartphones and the widespread availability of high-speed internet that AR tourism apps became widely accessible to the general public.
Today, the field of AR in tourism is growing rapidly, with more and more tourism apps incorporating AR features to provide enhanced experiences for tourists. The current state of AR technology in tourism apps is mainly aimed to provide interactive guides and overlaying information on a real-world view.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at how AR tourism apps work, their benefits, the current market, and the challenges and limitations that need to be overcome to make them more widely adopted.
How AR Tourism Apps Work
AR tourism apps use a combination of technologies, including GPS, cameras, and 3D models, to provide tourists with an enhanced and interactive experience.
When a tourist opens an AR tourism app, the app uses the device’s GPS to determine the user’s location. The app then uses the device’s camera to display the real-world view. The app then overlays digital information, such as 3D models, text, images, and videos, onto the real-world view. This provides the user with an enhanced view of the world around them, allowing them to explore and learn about new places in a more engaging and immersive way.
For example, an AR tourism app can use a 3D model of a historical building to provide a virtual tour of the building, overlaying information about its history and architecture on top of the real-world view. Similarly, an AR tourism app can use AR markers to provide information about different tourist spots, landmarks, and monuments. This enables the users to have an interactive experience and they can also read information and history about the spot just by pointing the camera at it.
Some popular AR tourism apps include Pokemon Go, Ingress Prime, and Field Trip. Each of these apps uses AR in unique ways to enhance the user’s experience. Pokemon Go, for example, uses AR to display virtual Pokemon in the real world, while Ingress Prime uses AR to create a virtual world for players to explore and compete in.
Overall, AR tourism apps provide an engaging and interactive way for tourists to explore new places and learn about different locations, cultures, and history.
Benefits of Using AR Tourism Apps
AR tourism apps provide a number of benefits for tourists, including enhanced engagement, improved navigation, and increased accessibility.
One of the main benefits of AR tourism apps is enhanced engagement. By overlaying digital information in the real world, AR tourism apps make exploring new places more interactive and immersive. This allows tourists to engage with the world around them in a new way and learn about different locations in a more interactive and engaging way.
Another benefit of AR tourism apps is improved navigation. By using GPS and AR markers, AR tourism apps can provide tourists with detailed information about different tourist spots, landmarks, and monuments. This helps tourists easily find their way around and make the most of their trip.
AR tourism apps can also increase accessibility for people with disabilities. For example, an AR app could use text-to-speech technology to provide audio descriptions of different locations, making it easier for visually-impaired tourists to explore new places.
On the other hand, AR tourism apps can also benefit the tourism industry as a whole. They can increase revenue by providing tourists with more engaging and interactive experiences, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction. Additionally, AR tourism apps can help to attract more tourists to a particular location, as they provide a unique and interactive way to explore new places.
Overall, AR tourism apps provide a number of benefits for both tourists and the tourism industry, making them an exciting and innovative way to explore new places.
Current Market for AR Tourism Apps
The market for AR tourism apps is still relatively new and developing, however, many companies have started to invest in the research and development of AR tourism apps. Many popular mobile gaming apps have started to incorporate AR features to enhance the user’s experience and make the games more interactive. Some of the major players in the AR tourism app market include Pokemon Go, Ingress Prime, and Field Trip.
These apps have been successful in attracting a large number of users, with Pokemon Go alone has generated over $3 billion in revenue since its launch in 2016.
Additionally, there are also several startups that are developing AR tourism apps, such as Waygo, a translation app that uses AR to translate text in real-time, and VisitAR, which provides virtual tours of historical landmarks and museums.
The market for AR tourism apps is expected to grow in the future, as more and more companies invest in the development of AR technology, and as consumers become more accustomed to using AR in their daily lives. According to a report by ResearchAndMarkets, the AR tourism market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 31.1% during the period 2020-2025.
However, it’s also worth noting that while there are many AR tourism apps available, they’re still considered niche products and their usage may vary depending on the location and type of tourism.
Overall, the market for AR tourism apps is growing and shows a lot of potential for further growth in the future.
Challenges and Limitations
Despite the potential of AR tourism apps, there are several technical challenges and limitations that need to be overcome to make the technology more practical and widely used.
One of the main challenges facing AR tourism apps is device compatibility. Not all devices have the necessary hardware, such as cameras and sensors, to support AR, which can limit the number of people who can use the apps. Additionally, AR tourism apps are dependent on internet connectivity, which can be a problem in areas with poor or non-existent connectivity.
Another challenge facing AR tourism apps is the quality of the digital information overlay, as the quality of the overlay depends on the quality of the 3D models and other digital assets used by the app. Additionally, the information provided by the apps may not be accurate or updated, which can lead to confusion or incorrect information.
Another important aspect is battery consumption and data usage, as the apps can use a lot of power and data, which can be a problem for people traveling for long periods of time.
Lastly, there is also the challenge of cost, as AR tourism apps can be relatively expensive to develop and maintain, which can make it difficult for small tourism businesses to adopt the technology.
Despite these challenges, many companies are actively working on solving these challenges and as the technology improves, we can expect to see more practical and widely adopted use cases for AR tourism apps.
Overall, while AR tourism apps have a lot of potentials, there are still several technical challenges and limitations that need to be overcome to make the technology more widely adopted.
In conclusion, augmented reality (AR) tourism apps are a promising technology that has the potential to revolutionize the tourism industry. By overlaying digital information in the real world, AR tourism apps provide tourists with an enhanced and interactive experience, allowing them to explore and learn about new places in a more engaging and immersive way.
The market for AR tourism apps is still relatively new and developing, but many companies have begun investing in the research and development of AR tourism apps. While the number of AR tourism apps available is growing, they have considered niche products and their usage may vary depending on the location and type of tourism.
However, despite the potential of AR tourism apps, there are several technical challenges and limitations that need to be overcome to make the technology more practical and widely used. These challenges include device compatibility, quality of the digital information overlay, cost, battery consumption, and data usage.
Despite these challenges, many companies are actively working on solving these challenges and as the technology improves, we can expect to see more practical and widely adopted use cases for AR tourism apps. In the future, as the technology improves and becomes more widely adopted, AR tourism apps have the potential to change the way we travel, explore new places and discover different cultures, it will be exciting to see the new ways that people will use the technology to enhance their travel experiences.