Can Augmented Reality Be Used To Foster Social Good? | RIck GarsonDid you know there are countless ways to give back and do social good, among them the use of augmented reality tools? Surprising, huh?

We already aware of the many abilities of augmented reality (AR) hardware and software, and as we move toward a more tech-focused world, AR uses directed toward non-profits have become more comprehensive. Advanced technology can be used to bolster and support the social sector. Important causes can increase support, raise awareness, and launch initiatives by taking advantage of AR’s realism. AR is unique in its ability to create realistic interactive images, pulling the public into causes that they greatly support.

An example of augmented reality being used for awareness was during 2016’s National Blood Week. The British National Health Service (NHS) developed the NHS virtual blood donation experience to encourage the public to donate blood. People bustling through the streets of London saw a large billboard featuring someone in visible need of a transfusion. Applying a sticker to one’s wrist and hovering a smartphone prompted a simulation of a blood donation. The health of the person in the billboard then visibly improved. The effect of this campaign was astonishing, and NHS was able to meet its goal of 200,000 donors.

For mission-organizations, AR is unique in its ability to create enhanced experiences that embolden valuable information presented in other mediums, such as blogging, videos, social media, or infographics. AR can be used to feed a greater strategic goal, reaching those who aren’t easily convinced by text or video. If ‘seeing is believing’, then augmented reality doubles down on that effort.

Foundations can create engagement by offering audiences unique content. Interacting with devices, rather than reading content or watching a video, enrolls potential donors into unchartered experiences. You grab their attention by pulling them into the midst of your cause. In doing this, you also create empathy. Your content can show your audience exactly what their contribution can do for others. If contributing can feed starving children or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the visual content can demonstrate that. If you’ve already convinced a person to engage with the visual material it’s also that much easier to convince them to consider your research or sign a petition.

AR is impressive, and it can be used to share stories, sell products, and beckon the public to support powerful causes.

What other ways can augmented reality be leveraged to help nonprofits and social good organizations reach their noble goals?