New Trend Hunter Report Explores Emerging AR/VR Technology Applications

April 30, 2019 |’s latest free monthly report for Toy Association members explores how augmented and virtual reality is being used to enrich branded products, services, and offerings, including new ways toys can benefit from the technology.

“Today’s proliferation of smartphone use paves the way for brands to incorporate interactive tech – including augmented and virtual reality – to enhance the consumer experience,” said Anne McConnell, senior director of market research & data strategy at The Toy Association. “This report shares fun examples of how emerging technology is being used today in different disciplines.”  

The “AR/VR” report features the following topics, among many others:

  • AR Play – The incorporation of augmented reality into kids' products enhances play, while still offering enough variety and flexibility to please parents who prefer that their kids interact with more classic games and playthings. With Mattel’s Hot Wheels® Augmoto™ racing platform, gamers can use their smart device and AR technology to transport the physical racetrack into an immersive on-screen digital world, complete with cheering crowds, flying drones, fireworks, and attacks.
  • Augmented Label – AR in food labels is on the rise, with brands using the technology to engage and educate their customers on the products they're considering or have already purchased. Russian candy company, Konti, released an AR app to pair with its candy packaging – connecting kids to short cartoons and an hour-long full-length animated film. This example of value-added packaging transforms a simple confection into more than just a snack.
  • Augmented Preview – AR is being used by consumers to preview a wide variety of products and services, allowing them to test brands' offerings without having to immediately commit. The technology also establishes trust between the brand and consumer, due to its function as a low-pressure sales tactic. Mountain Hardwear created an AR experience that helps to simplify the task of shopping for outdoor gear by letting shoppers use a mobile device to virtually preview items like tents, sleeping bags, and packs. With this technology, retailers are able to save space on the showroom floor, while also providing consumers with a way of easily visualizing products – even in different outdoor settings.
  • Multisensory Sport – The sports field is utilizing augmented reality, analytical information, and voice assistance to elevate equipment as well as the athletic activity itself. The latest update to the NBA AR app essentially creates a doorway through which users can view 360-degree snippets of the NBA Finals experience, including player introductions, the pre-game tunnel, warm-up, and other pre-game rituals.
  • Staged Immersion – Tech and stage theater are merging to form unique, immersive experiences that incorporate elements of virtual or augmented reality. ARShow is a Tel Aviv-based company that's aiming to digitize theater and live performance, in an effort to appeal to a younger generation by integrating elements of augmented reality into its performances.

This report is the latest in a series from Trend Hunter offering in-depth perspectives and trends in various areas related to the toy industry and beyond youth markets to help spark unique ideas. For additional relevant trends, toy companies may click on the report’s consumer insights examples, scroll down, and click the images for further information.

Members are encouraged to send topic suggestions for future trend reports to The Toy Association’s Anne McConnell. has accumulated nearly 3 billion views from more than 100 million visitors. The data research company helps clients “Dive Deeper,” “Work Smarter,” and “Save Effort” in order to increase the overall success of their companies and brands.