Augmented Reality offers brands and marketers an unique new opportunity to interact with consumers, combining the digital and physical worlds in the same environment, and giving to the user the chance of play with this information. As smartphones are being developed and becoming more and more popular, lives of most of its users revolve around being constantly connected to technology. Augmented Reality gives both consumers and brands the ability to connect even further with a product in all the purchase´s processes – this is before, during and after making the purchase-.
As a new report from Juniper Research indicates, the opportunities presented by AR are plentiful. AR technology will generate $2 million in 2012, but will jump to as much as $714 million annually by 2014. Augmented reality mobile marketing revenue will largely be driven by subscription-based services, advertising and AR-based app downloads.
Taking into consideration the previous report it really worth for brands and marketers to integrate Augmented reality with the traditional advertising world, and more if we notice that a “simple” mobile augmented reality application can be cheaper than the traditional print or broadcast advertising, at the same time that the AR experience may be more engaging both cognitively and through the user´ senses. This idea is easy: if the message & experience & advertising are not engaging, and do not create brand desire on them, customers may not pay attention to this brand and will move on.
With an Augmented Reality technology like the ARBrowser, brands can use the GPS data received from the user´s phone in order to immerse users in a brand experience no matter where they are located. For instance, an application which gets your current location and lets you find a service/shop/hotel/restaurant,etc. by populating your smartphone or tablet with directional arrows pointing you to the nearest Point of interest (POI), while you are also able to see the rest of POI´s in a radar located in your device screen.
Figure 1. It shows a view of an ARBrowser in a smartphone.
Another Augmented Reality sub-branch that can be useful to advertising purposes is the know as Markerless Image Matchig (ARMatching), which brings to user the opportunity of focusing his/her tablet or smartphone to a target, recognize it and launch an event. In this technology in particular the target is not constraint to be a fiducial marker which has to be printed before, but it can be a normal image located in the bus stop, in a cinema, or a gallery and in few milliseconds the image will be recognized. For instance, once a music CD cover is recognized, a short fragment of the songs can be played, or a video multimedia content launched.
Regarding a more direct interaction with the user, and also more impressive, we have the technology known as Virtual Buttons, which is able to recognize whether the user is moving, the direction of this movement or to recognize several gestures the users are carrying out. As example of an application that integrates this technology can be seen in the previous video, where ARLab developed a showcase where the customer was able to choose, among others, the color or the perspective of a car of a well-known brand. In other words, the customer was able to configure his/her car with direct interaction with the augmented world. Examples like this can be extended to an infinite number of fields in the huge advertising world, and also in very different environments.Tags: advertising, Augmented Reality, MAR