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Augmented Reality application in marketing

It may be sound like a thing from the future, but affordable augmented reality tools are available already. Although they are still a bit complex to understand and use – they are right here, waiting for the first wave of early adopters to utilize.

Augmented reality, or AR, is an exciting way for indirectly supplement given objects with meta data. I know this sounds disturbing and probably makes no sense to non-techies, but here is the explanation.

The AR technology allows you to “teach” a mobile device to recognize a given object – be it 2D or 3D. As soon as it recognizes it, you can then surround it with different type of complimentary objects – completely virtual, existing only on the screen.

Today we have been given a great example at SenZations how AR works in the real world. Srdjan Krco from DunavNET demonstrated how you can scan an object with your mobile phone (using an app) and given the object – supplement it with additional information, which existed only on the screen.

The given example on the presentation included a phone scanning the DunavNET logo, printed on the floor, having a person sitting right beside it, pretending to hug an invisible object. If you look beyond the phone, there is still a person sitting there, pretending to hug someone. If you look on the phone, however, the person was hugging, well.. his majesty, the God of all, Albert Einstein. As there is no video available for the Einstein hug, you can get visual idea of what I am talking about with this very simple and practical example:

This has no application in the real business world is what you already think. Why would a business care for hugging invisible persons? Well, if you are selling a product – you will probably be interested to implement AR in your marketing set. A customer can easily go to the store, point his mobile phone at the product and “scan” it. This is where the fun begins.

AR is technology and technologies nowadays are pretty flexible. You can supplement the image that your potential customer sees on his phone with a lot of things, based on different ifs. For example, you can provide a lot of different product information, which you cannot fit onto the label as it hadn’t enough space. You can play an advertising video or play a video containing use-cases for this product. You can supplement your product with additional information, which can turn the customer and make him actually buys it, if in doubt.

If the above wasn’t convincing enough – you can even differentiate between customers. By having someone point his phone to your product, you can already know if this is “he” or “she”. Probably you will be able to know how old is your potential Customer. You can know the location, so you can use different campaigns for different regions. If we dig further, you probably can run a quick parse through the Facebook pages they liked, the tweets they favorited and based on that to supplement with different information or media.

Here is an already iconic use case of AR in marketing.

Here is yet another, although a bit futuristic yet (unless until Google Glass goes to mass use).

Augmented reality is already a mature concept, but the good news is that it will no longer require bare-metal coding, ugly goggle-like devices and stuff. Don’t be surprised – there is a service for that, too – ar.NET. Think of it like a CMS – you can create your own AR campaign using a graphical interface, with just dragging and dropping. This service deserves to be reviewed in a separate article, which will follow soon.

As I use to say recently – future is here. Probably the videos above are the best way to prove that we are actually no longer living in the past. We are in the feature and we are creating it. Here and now.