Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) has been about for a few years and with Google Glass it looks as if it is here to stay. We believe that we are only at the beginning of the augmented reality adventure.

At the start of the year we mentioned that we thought augmented reality would be big in 2013. In fact, we thought that it would be used across newspapers, magazines and catalogues more often. But what is it and how can you use it in your personal life and at work?

As the name suggests, augmented reality or AR provides a secondary reality that can be seen through a smartphone or tablet with software installed on it.

The software usually comes in the form of an app, such as Aurasma or Blippr. You don’t need to download their app though. You can also integrate their technology into your own branded app, which will allow users to use augmented reality, but allow you the brand ownership.

Download the app, open it and then hold it over an image, advert or page that the software recognises, and you will get a response. The simple response will be a video start playing but it can also allow you to interact with the page or choose one of a number of on-page options.

In the video below, Matt Mills and Tamara Roukaerts demonstrate Aurasma, a new augmented reality tool that can seamlessly animate the world as seen through a smartphone:

More advanced augmented reality examples have been 3D models appearing on the page, allowing for the user to move around the object and view it from every angle.

Another variation on a theme is this year’s release of Google Glass, which will overlay secondary information via a pair of glasses. Stay tuned for a Microsoft version too.

One benefit of augmented reality is to be able to move between offline and online quickly. If you have an advert in a magazine with 20 pairs of shoes for sale, augmented reality will allow someone to see those shoes and press the ones they would like to purchase. IKEA have started to use this for their catalogues in the same way. The time between browsing and purchasing can get much quicker.

If you have a product that needs to be assembled or instructions to follow, allowing someone the ability to see parts coming together and connections being made will make their life easier. Paper instructions could be scanned to see 3D versions and videos of it happening. We created a 3D model for exactly this reason and you can see how it works by viewing the image at the top of this story.

Can you say with certainty how many people have seen your advert in a magazine? With augmented reality you will be able to monitor just how many people have interacted with it, in real time.

At a minimum, augmented reality can provide you with another way delivering content that has already been created. The one thing for certain though is that augmented reality, through whatever device it is seen through, will become more advanced and mainstream in years to come.

If you would like to know more and how it can be used for your business, please contact us.