Multisensory Experiences: The Role of Augmented Reality in Customer Experience Creation

Alexander Skyum Mortensen & Martin Steinicke Brandstrup

Student thesis: Master thesis


Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging technology that facilitates the blend between the real physical world and virtual environments and can stimulate the senses by adding digital inputs. In this view, this paper defines AR as a technology that can enable the stimulation of all five human senses through sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste in both a biological and cultural understanding of these. Also, this paper defines AR within the context of mixed reality technologies and in relation to the importance of how an interface such as AR is designed to facilitate interaction. The aim of this paper is to explore how AR can influence customer experience creation through stimulation of the senses, with an outset in the Conceptual Model of Customer Experience Creation (CEC Model) laid out in this paper as a natural progression from more general customer experience theory. To fulfill this paper’s aim, then a clear focus has been put into determining which AR specific functions that can allow for such sense stimulation. Determining this was done through the method of thematic synthesis to arrive at these functions, by looking at concrete AR use cases within the academic literature, and by coding and creating descriptive themes based on these. After generating those AR functions, then these were applied and tested within each of the seven determinants making up the Conceptual Model of Customer Experience Creation. The results stemming from this analysis and the subsequent holistic analysis indicate several implications. First, the results show that each of the CEC Model determinants can be influenced both positively and negatively when it comes to two or more senses stimulated through AR. Second, it has been possible to conclude that these influences can allow for a multisensory experience both within each of the determinants, but also across them. Third, the results show that AR can influence the CEC by allowing for various synergies to exist across the CEC model’s determinants made possible through these sense stimulations, and lastly, that AR can influence the CEC by changing not only the nature of some of the model’s determinants, but also the nature of the model in its entirety. Lastly, this paper conducted a discussion around the technological, social and ethical barriers for the integration of AR within customer experiences.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages115
SupervisorsMads Bødker