4 Ways that AR Enhances Product Design

Bruce Thompson - Brand Strategist

by Bruce Thompson
June 2021

There are a multitude of advantages to using AR within your product design cycle. These four are just the beginning. AR offers even more benefits to products, sales, presentations, user experiences, and more.

Rapid Product Visualization

Designers and product developers are skilled and experienced in creating drawings and CAD designs of new products. These illustrations and plans, however, take a skilled eye to translate from the page or the screen to real life. This can be a particular challenge when demonstrating a new concept or seeking funding or approval for a new product.

If you think of product development like making a movie, then conceptualization and initial design are like telling the story, and AR is like storyboarding it. Storyboards let stakeholders and others on the team see how a story will play out, visually.

And because AR versions of a product can be created quickly, doing so accelerates the product’s development. There is no need to try and see the design’s issues or shortcomings on a 2D representation when a 3D version can be easily viewed.

In-Context Product Experiences

While an AR product visualization can help designers, product managers and owners, stakeholders, and others to better visualize the product as a whole quickly, an AR version can go a step further and allow teams to see the item in its context of use.

Is the item too tall? Too broad? Will it fit in the space intended? Will placing the on button on the front create a poor user experience? Will putting the button on the back make it hard to access when placed within the kind of room or space that would be typical?

Context matters, but it can be hard to fully understand without a representation that can be seen. AR makes that possible.

Broad Collaboration

Collaboration can be a key piece to creating a universally great product. However, traveling with a prototype can be difficult, and bringing in collaborators may not be feasible and is definitely time-consuming and costly.

Thanks to the inherently digital nature of AR product development, a design can be quickly shared without concern for geographic barriers. Beyond working with colleagues, AR designs can also be shared quickly and across the globe with focus groups and interested parties to get diverse sets of feedback and input.

Low-Cost Design Iterations

Product design and development has always included trade-offs. As the product design or prototype is reviewed the design team may realize that a small change could improve the usability of the device, or a large one could make it more accessible. The product could be more pleasing, visually, or might be incrementally more functional with a change. Depending on when in the design process these realizations crop up, a change could be simple or could be incredibly costly.

Again, its digital nature and easy creation make AR a valuable asset in the process. If it becomes clear that a change could improve the product, that can be done quickly to the design and the difference seen in a fraction of the time that it would take to rework a full prototype. Better yet, small changes that might improve the product won’t be sacrificed because of budget and time constraints.

Beyond that, AR makes it trivial to try out multiple versions of a design to see which is most appealing, usable, or appropriate. This kind of flexibility may not be possible without a digital and quickly malleable version of the design.


As we accelerate business with the use of digital tools, augmented reality becomes part of the essential toolkit used by organizations today. Designers and product managers can rapidly conceptualize products and iterate them to an optimized outcome. The world becomes a collaboration engine, with people from all over the globe providing direct input and offering a broader range of individual and cultural context to development. All with reduced costs and rapid experimentation.

If you’re looking for a partner to help you realize your AR product development and testing, the team at Scylla Group has the knowledge and experience to get you there. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your project and organization’s needs.

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