Augmented Reality Continues to Confound Mobile App Users

According to a thought-provoking study published Wednesday by Ypulse, “even tech-savvy millennials are baffled” by augmented reality technology, particularly when its infused in mobile apps on leading smartphones.

“Augmented reality has become the futuristic media of the moment, but many consumers,” Ypulse says, but even mobile’s core audience – young, hip, tech-wise adults – are “having a hard time figuring it out.”

Based on the findings of Ypulse’s research, only 11% of high schoolers and collegians have ever used an augmented reality app.

During the holiday season, retailers like Macy’s and brands like Starbucks tried to get customers in the spirit with AR apps. They’re fun and clever, but as with QR codes, Millennials don’t always get the point,” says Melanie Shreffler, Ypulse’s editor-in-chief. “They need to see value in using AR to make the effort to download and use the apps.”

Among students who have used AR apps

  •  34% think they’re easy and useful;
  • 26% think they’re easy but not useful;
  • 18% think they’re useful but not easy; and
  • 9% think AR apps are neither useful nor easy to use.

“AR apps have to be interesting enough to get users to download them, and they also need to be engaging enough to get users to come back to the apps again and again,” Ypulse says. “But mostly, they have to work right the first time.”

Are you a fan of augment reality or have you similarly found yourself bewildered by the functionality of AR in modern mobile apps?