Australian agriculture is getting some insight this week into what augmented reality has to offer now, and in the future, at the first Australian Ag Immersive Technology Conference being held in Melbourne.
.The conference is being staged by the 15 Australian Rural Research and Development Corporations, and and delegates are learning about the impact of AR and its applications in marketing, training, manufacturing and on farms.
It's at the retail level where this technology is mostly widely seen and used at this time, and for those retailers it has become a tool to learn what grabs a customer's attention.
Providing that sort of information is the business of Lumaten - Shopper 360 and its Asia-Pacific President, Sean Cunial, explained how they use AR, combined with cognitive psychology to help retailers learn what is and is not grabbing the attention of their customers.
"Marketers tend to focus on building brand health and love with consumers," said Mr Cunial.
"But it's the shopper who makes the decision. So understanding how all that falls together is the determinant of your success in a store.
"We create the real environment in the shop to make it as real as possible. Our system catches every 10th [of a second] of the behaviour of the consumer [in the virtual shop]."
AUGGD is one of the leading providers of the technology needed for providing augmented reality, and its resources and applications are used by motor companies, movie makers and educators.
One of the company's team leaders, Paul Kouppas said, for consumers the information that can be sourced and used during a shopping excursion is significant.
"You can go and fetch a recipe and cook a steak in the augmented reality environment," he said.
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"The shopper can be a little bit confused. What am I going to make tonight what am I going to buy? What you can do is point towards a poster and bring to life. The person can be given some context how to cook the perfect roast.
"Another style of experience is the take-home in house experience. I've got this steak pack I am undecided and I want to go and find some recipes. Or I just want to learn how to cook that steak."
One of the companies using AR as a tool to help sell Australian beef, lamb, milk and other products into Asian markets is AgriGate Australia.
It's head of operations, Manu Sridhar, told delegates that they want to capture and retain the many generations of Asian consumers, who are potential buyers of what Australia has to offer, and it is using AR technology to try and attract them, keep them, and pay a premium for it.
But Mr Sridhar made it clear that while Australian product needs a loyal customer base, that cannot come at a cost to its producers.
"We need to be able to pay our farmers a fair amount to allow them to re-invest in the opportunity that awaits them," he said.
"This is achieved by stressing the integrity of the Australian brand and by educating the customer to perceive the right value in our products. Farmers have been traditionally price takers. Even though they take the most risk to provide the high-quality products that we are proud of.
"So what we're doing with our augmented reality application is to be able to connect with consumers on a more personal level and share with them and explain why Australian products demand a real premium.
"Another issue we are trying to fix is trust. Trust is a major factor that affects our industry. So we have designed a customer platform that allows them to verify their own products. Many platforms are built today on the basis of 'if you build it they will come.' We have chosen to create a product that the customer wants.
"We are creating the experience for our customers across Asia that will leave a lasting impression that it is fun and exciting."
The conference continues today at Melbourne's Exhibition and Conference Centre.