How AR adds value in the COVID-19 world

Maria Stenina

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic forced the whole world into the new realm of remote work. While we seek new ways of staying connected through tech, AR shows its potential by bringing connectivity to a whole new level.

In the past months, we’ve seen the world change in the blink of an eye. With sudden lockdowns caused by COVID-19 across the globe, many were imposed to isolate and build new remote daily routines from scratch. What seemed unusual just a month ago turned into an everyday necessity. 

During this time we mastered virtual meet-ups not only on a technical but also on a human level. We realized that online conversations can be just as valuable as face to face ones. Countless Zoom and Skype calls rapidly took new shapes and meanings as they substituted our daily stand-ups and Friday get-togethers. Many employees appreciated the opportunity to cut the costs and time spent in daily commutes while their managers had to embrace the whole work from home situation and learn to build new workflows around it. 

And just like that, we found ourselves in the process of change, creating a new remote reality. While the tech we are using is not necessarily new,  it’s the newly developed attitude towards technology that changes the rules. With its unleashed potential, augmented reality becomes a technology that takes our daily experiences to the next level. And although the technology has been around for a while, its spread got catalyzed during the pandemic. Suddenly, the COVID-19 pandemic made the impact AR can bring crystal clear.

Here are 4 areas where augmented reality brings real transformation:


Being constantly concerned about hygiene is a trait of the new normal, that will stay with us for a while. As retail players hectically try to invent new ways to boost sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, try-before-you-buy AR apps and masks gain solid traction with social media platforms playing a significant role in making these solutions popular.  In the next few months, we will see even more helpful “try-before-you-buy” services, allowing customers to easily try any product – from sunglasses to a new piece of furniture. In the long run, the retail industry will fully adept AR as it proves to be indispensable in providing customized experiences and solutions.  

Safe reopening

Safe reopening is also becoming an important topic. Visitors will appreciate a tech that helps estimate how many people are already inside the museum and whether it makes a visit with a safe distance feasible. And while waiting outside, augmented reality allows visitors to have an engaging experience without even entering the building. For office buildings and academic institutions, AR can help keep people informed on new regulations and get questions answered about any COVID-19 response policies. See how Niagara University helps 3,300 undergraduate students stay safe in this year’s fall term.


Schools and universities had to embrace the e-learning, as well as the ever-present possibility to go into the new lockdown on short notice. Remote learning and impromptu homeschooling demand digital tools to keep students connected, engaged, and motivated. Augmented reality could do the trick by providing new engaging ways to learn. Even the dry facts like the periodic system receive a new flair as students can interact with molecules. In Japan, kids can already use an augmented card game to learn how to code. Even printed materials get an upgrade with digital content or augmented animations that bring a foreign language to life.

Customer service

Is the vacuum cleaner broken during the pandemic? No clue what the error code is about? Customer service calls (especially in the context of a lockdown) can be long and tedious. And let’s face it, troubleshooting over the phone can be confusing and ineffective. Imagine that the manufacturer of your Roomba would be able to send an expert virtually to your house?  All you’ll need to do is to point the camera of your smartphone to the device to fix the problem. The expert then sees what you see and gives you clear and helpful instructions remotely on the next steps. These are only a few of the possible case uses of augmented reality in our daily lives.

Such effective AR solutions receive deserved recognition due to the limits the pandemic imposes. As the situation cools down, we will find the ways back into real life. We’ll most likely take the winning solutions with us to enjoy.

In the long run, AR proves to be a technology that helps us make the real-world better – by bringing more value to our daily experiences.

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