Will the cannabis industry fully utilize Augmented Reality?
2020 will go down as a year for technological advances as the world works to keep turning while maintaining a physical distance. Cannabis retailers have been working on this problem for a while. The potent plant is very delicate. Cannabis is the one industry that needs you to keep your distance and never, ever touch the products. Augmented Reality may be able to assit in this department.
What is AR?
People often confuse AR with VR. Augmented reality is the opposite of virtual reality. Instead of bringing the customer into a virtual room, augmented reality offers a virtual product that’s identical to the real deal, without taking the user into a virtual space. Or, as some explain, a complete 3D rendering, usually with a photo-scanned texture. Early examples of AR implementation include Pokémon Go. Millions of people were chasing around cartoonish characters that only appeared if they looked through the app on their phone.
Also, practical uses of AR devices are already underway in many fields, including healthcare, where surgeons use a projection to look at 3D images of the brain and other body parts.
Additionally, the customer doesn’t have to be in the room. They would use a glass filtration device and an app to displace a digital rendering of the buds you want to purchase. While it’s not the same as having the beautiful flowers sitting in the palm of your hands, it will still be clear enough to see every orange hair and purple strand running through the bud.
Don’t Touch! And Other Problems Dispensaries Experience
Cannabis flowers are delicate. They lose terpenes and other compounds as they move around, and the delicacy increase as the plants dry. An excellent example of cannabis’s delicate nature is kief. The highly concentrated powder is a delicacy for all cannabis connoisseurs. The potent plant dust is a blend of terpenes, cannabinoids, and all the other compounds that coat the plant’s flowers.
Add in COVID-19 fears, and you’ll find customers being kept even further from the products. No one wants to contaminate flowers and concentrates. No one wants to toss potentially contaminated cannabis and lose a ton of money and goods.
It’s hard to sell products that the clientele can’t smell and look at closely. Most know now that they can’t touch the merchandise. But taking away the smell and close-up of the flowers is cruel and can hurt sales.
AR + Cannabis + Dispensaries = More Sales
Enter augmented reality. The technology that’s been around since the 1990s may be what the cannabis industry needs for another boost during COVID-19 and after. By improving the shopping experience online for customers, dispensaries can streamline its sales process.
In addition, it can allow them to serve customers faster and improve customer service. These steps may help reduce overhead expenses with less in-store foot traffic and allow stores to re-invest their savings to offer a more extensive product selection.
It won’t be long before you can use an AR glass filtration device to project the perfect replica of the products you want to purchase, from a rich budder to a premium OG Kush or new bong. Clearly, the future of bud is here and it’s going to help transform the traditional cannabis dispensary.