Deborah Agboola   |   August 20, 2020

Augmented Reality Enhances Cannabis Experience

AR is finding it's niche in a post-pandemic world.
Deborah is an inquisitive writer with a forte in technical writing. Her desire to enlighten and inform gives her the extra edge of structuring her writes to an easily understandable form, while retaining its technicality. When she is not…

The progressive merge of the physical and digital world has brought to reality formerly implausible and unrealistic innovations. This trend in technological advancement has made a positive mark on the world of cannabis, considering the numerous upgrades achieved in its tools, retail services, cultivation systems, and other related features.

Recently, Philter Labs, in collaboration with Daily High Club, became the first technology-filtration company to provide the augmented reality experience in a glass filtration device. The AR-glass zero-smoke filtration via the Philter App displays a video on Daily High Club’s influencers: MacDizzle 420 and Koala puffs. According to Elizabeth Whiting of Daily High Club, this is just a tip of the iceberg of what’s to come, because the partnership has a goal to expand the industry and provide users with a better experience.

Philter Labs isn’t the only company making waves on the AR front.

Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality

The term ”Virtual Reality” is pretty much a household name, but “Augmented Reality” is less common, as many do not understand the difference. While Virtual Reality (VR) provides a digital simulation of real-life or an entirely new area, Augmented Reality (AR) renders digital graphics into real space.

The World of Augmented Reality

The technology, which was discovered in the 1990s but remained unpopular until mid-2016, has three primary features: a merge of the real and virtual world, data synchronization, and 3-D characters rendering. Ever since it broke grounds, AR has made waves in various sectors, especially in the retail industry.

What makes shopping better is the ability to check and test products before purchase. This was not always available, and most shoppers were subject to the apprehension of ‘blind purchases.’ Due to this, merchandise return rates were high, reaching a value of $309 billion annually, so the development of AR is quite an investment.

Statistics on customers’ reactions to augmented reality in the general retail industry shows, 61% of shoppers opt for stores offering the AR experience, 71% will frequent such stores, and 40% are willing to pay more for products with AR features. It is no wonder, many corporations  - such as IKEA™, Topshop™, Sephora™- now offer this technology in their services.

The Limitless World of Augmented Reality in Cannabis Retail

Strict regulations on cannabis retail, the previous hindrances to the better shopping experience, are now figuratively obsolete with the AR system in place.

Just recently, an AR-dispensary was designed and launched by NexTech™ to enhance the functionality of the cannabis industry, bridge the gap between the buyers and manufacturers, and enlighten buyers on all purchases.

Despite the global stand of cannabis, it remains one of the top industries using AR - could this be as a result of its status, we can’t say. Nevertheless, the following are some reasons why it maintains its position.

Tech-Savvy Consumers:

According to the Cannabis Consumers Coalition, a large percentage of cannabis aficionados are between 21-35 and are receptive to an omnichannel retail system. In one of his papers, Dr. Tim Hilken, a professor in the Massachrist School of Business and Economy, agrees on Augmented Reality providing an opportunity for limitless, obstacle-free consumer experience.

Easy Cannabis marketing:

It is often said, “Enlightenment is the key to success.” The era of AR provides shoppers a walk-in dispensary experience, thereby eliminating the previous obstacles to online shopping. AR-products feature 3D-rotational graphics, which allows for better products’ examination.

Better Customer Service:

The informative feature of AR-products relieves shoppers of the need to request non-displayed products’ data from store representatives. Scannable features on such products give an instant display of sufficient data –discounts, health facts, cultivation methods, and several others – for the shopper’s satisfaction.  A similar system is the Kanvas AR™ which supplies to the shopper, additional information on products; ranging from terpene profiles to certified purchase locations.

Privacy:

The societal issues associated with cannabis have caused many of its consumers to feel reluctant about visiting dispensaries for their purchases. Thanks to augmented reality, nothing is lost, as the extensive assessment of products can still be made before purchase.

In conclusion, the development of AR has unarguably made its mark on the industry, and several plans remain underway to its integration into other parts of the industry. One of these plans is the AR-Greenhouse system - which will provide patrons the opportunity to have first-hand knowledge of the cultivation system. As long as there remain no restrictions on the use of augmented reality, we are well on the path to achieving our dreams.

 

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