When reality isn’t good enough

Tim Hodgson, Director of Video and Motion Media

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Wikipedia: Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.

Augmented Reality (AR) has been out for awhile and most of us have been exposed to it in some way. Even so, I believe it’s still in its infancy. No doubt we’re going to be seeing some amazing applications of it in the near future in fields ranging from archaeology to zoology. And as with any new technology, there will be uses that range from the serious to the silly. (Hmmm, cat video with AR could generate a lot of hits...)

I was in a hostel in NE England a couple weeks back and picked up a tabloid claiming to be the first AR Album (as in music album), promoting a British Indie band called Roy’s Iron DNA. It’s a pretty fun and effective way to market new music. You hold your device with an AR app installed (in this case, one called layar) over each page, which represents a music track. A nicely done music video appears with social media options hovering alongside, as well as the options to view the video in YouTube or Vimeo, or purchase the track in iTunes or Google Play. It’s a pretty effective integration of video and print.

This opens up a huge world of opportunity to expand the physical environment into a virtually limitless source of information. For marketing, it could give a consumer the ability to “see” inside a product package without opening it to facilitate a sale. Or a simple and cleanly designed graphic panel on a trade show booth could hold massive amounts of information about a product or service, all on demand.

In B2B marketing, stories are often very complicated and it’s important to parse out information in a carefully thought out hierarchy. I see AR as a powerful tool fitting nicely into this. What do you think?

Augmented Reality

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