Augmented Reality, or AR as a concept has literally been around for decades. In 2018 we are starting to see it pop up in a variety of forms and uses by a whole range of industries.
Though not yet mainstream, AR is poised to become the next big thing for consumer engagement – bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds.
In fact, it is highly likely you have already experienced AR in some form whether you realise it or not.
The 2016 global phenomenon, Pokemon Go, was the biggest application of augmented reality we have seen to date. Unbeknownst to many of us, AR is already a part of everyday life through Snapchat and Instagram face filters, music recognition app Shazam and scan codes used to deliver information – all examples of simple ways AR is changing the way we receive information. It is set to become the new interface between humans and machines.
Already we are seeing investment of literally billions of dollars across many industries in AR technology. In coming months and years, AR will transform how we learn, make decisions, and interact with the world around us. It will also change how you serve your customers, train your employees, design and create your products, and inevitably, how you compete for marketshare.
How does it work?
AR refers to overlaying computer generated images or video in a way that the image appears to create an enhanced version of reality, or augmented reality.
Both Apple (ARKit) and Google (ARCore) are developing platforms that allow your phone to recognise and respond to its environment using positional tracking and scene understanding to trigger AR experiences.
There are 3 approaches to delivering AR technology –
- SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) which renders virtual images over a real-world background. Scenes captured by a smart device are mapped allowing an object to be placed into the real-world scene.
- Marker or Recognition uses a camera to detect a visual marker (such as a barcode or icon) to overlay an image, video or 3D render to enhance the scene.
- Location Based AR relies on GPS technology – overlaying real time directions or other interactions to create an augmented scene relevant to the users location.
How to use AR to enhance consumer engagement
Creating interaction with consumers is the primary goal of any marketing strategy. Using AR to deliver “how to” guides, try before you buy visualisation experiences, instructional guides, location-based learning, and real-time product and services information delivery through connected packaging is just the beginning.
Leading neuroscience researchers recently measured the human brain’s response to AR experiences and found they doubled the levels of engagement compared to a non-AR equivalent. (Source: Neuro-Insight study. Mar 2018)
The possibilities are endless for businesses to take advantage of this new medium. Your cereal box, soft drink can, business card, item of furniture, billboard, even the “for sale” sign on your house, can become a TV that broadcasts your company’s private communication/advertising channel direct to your consumers – delivering instructions, nutritional information, recipes, education, or promotions in an interactive and fun way.
Augmented Reality App Development
A custom-branded app using AR technology now allows your business to deliver user experiences that enhance education and engagement specific to your brand, products and services.
However, investing in technology for technology’s sake is a common error, especially for smaller businesses. Augmented reality offers tremendous new opportunities for engaging with potential customers. As with any marketing tool, you need to be sure you develop a sound strategy around it – identifying your target audience and business objectives and how you will measure results.
A well considered, well developed, marker-based augmented reality app has the potential to revive your print ads, catalogues, billboards or even business cards. Integrate video-based, gamified or interactive solutions to really connect with consumers.
Your customers are AR ready, are you?
Soon brands will start to see the world differently as new opportunities emerge from our everyday surroundings … with everything we see and do becoming a potential trigger for AR content. We need to think of traditional print media (press ads and packaging) as a TV capable of delivering personalised experiences, educational content, special offers or even competitions to reward loyal customers.
Winning Media are at the forefront of augmented reality solutions. Backed by decades of brand, digital and marketing strategy experience, we are well positioned to partner with your business as you look towards enhanced consumer realities and new ways to generate business.
Now is the time to begin thinking about your brand and the possibilities of augmented reality. Learn more or get in touch with us today.