Insight / What is Augmented Reality?

What is Augmented Reality?

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Augmented Reality (AR) refers to the integration of digital graphic elements and sounds with the audience’s real-world view to create an extraordinary and fully interactive experience.

It has been around a while now – especially in video gaming, the traditional ‘proving ground’ for new technology and usage is growing rapidly.  According to Juniper Research, the number of augmented reality users around the world will rise from 60 million in 2013 to nearly 200 million by 2018.

The industry’s working definition for AR dates back to 1997, when design and technology researcher Ronald Azuma described it as a combination of real and virtual that is interactive in real time and registered in 3D. Fledgling implementations of AR have already made their way quietly into our daily lives. Television sports coverage for example, uses super-imposed elements to show us when virtual lines were crossed such as Hawk-Eye at Wimbledon and at football matches.

Your marketing campaigns may not involve such in-depth graphics for television, but this won’t stop us laterally thinking about some more beneficial applications of AR. Our first thoughts may lean to augmented reality applications for mobile and tablet devises.

We worked alongside Shorterm Group in their sponsorship of the Bloodhound 1,000mph challenge, by creating an invitation to a preview event. The invite included the ability to view a 3D image of the Bloodhound sitting on top of the invitation itself, through an application. This was a fantastic way to create a new level of interest in the event and express the innovative nature of the entire project.

Blippar takes AR into the advertising arena, turning your phone into a ‘magic lens’ enabling you to interact with brands. Already having worked with some of the largest international companies such as Coca-Cola and Heinz, Blippar have enhanced user engagement with immersive experiences creating moments of awe and excitement.  Google glasses are an example of AR head mounted display (HDM) and have been heavily featured in the news recently with high profile legal cases of people using the glasses whilst driving or at the cinema.

So how can AR be utilised within your marketing campaigns? After considering relevance, benefits and goals then there are a number of exciting avenues to take. Adding interactive 360° imagery to catalogues or adverts, enables customers to view products in more detail. Perhaps you are providing goods that require instructions; instructional videos could be watched through links built into packaging. Would it be helpful for your customers to visualise your products in situ? Seeing a piece of furniture in the home or even the office through a lens would mean that customers no longer need to visualise how it would look- they could see it for themselves.

With the continual innovative nature of the digital environment, whether it is through smart phones, smart glasses or immersive experiences, Augmented Reality is an engaging and exciting place to connect with your audience.


If you’d like to chat more about an augmented reality campaign email me at alice@valiantdesign.co.uk. If you’d like to know when our latest guides are published, signup here for our regular newsletter.


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