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Augmented Reality: Combining digital and the real world

With many people in the digital world predicting that 2015 will be a big year for Augmented Reality we felt it timely to discuss what it is and some of it’s applications for brands marketing today. 

So what is Augmented Reality? 

This definition explains AR most simply as:

“Augmented reality is a digital technology that overlays text, images or video over physical objects. AR provides a way to bridge the gap between the physical and digital experience enabling brands to better engage with their customers.” – MarketingTechBlog.com  

How are brands using AR?

Here are some recent examples of companies using AR to expand the experience customers have when interacting with their brands.

 

AKL turns 175 App

Local the local front, Imersia developed an app for Auckland's 175th Anniversary celebrations that combined with physical locations and promotional material created an augmented reality experience for people in the downtown area.

People could "use the app to discover hidden magic in the Downtown, Queens Wharf and Waterfront precincts. This app will further evolve through the course of this coming year to encompass a series of city based virtual experiences." 

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IKEA augmented reality catalogue.

Ikea used augmented reality to show how customers could place IKEA furniture in their home.  People were able to scan the IKEA catalogue with the iOS or Android app for their desired furniture to see how it fitted in their home

 

 

American Apparel Colour-Changing App

US clothing company American Apparel used AR to produce an App that when used in store could interact with it's website to provide information on colour options, customer reviews, social connections and more.  

 

 

McDonalds: Track My Maccas

McDonalds used AR combined with GPS technology to let customers find out more about where the ingredients for their burger came from.  With over 180 million unique burger packaging customers could scan the code on the box to get information specific to the food they just purchased.  The AR enables the customer to have an enriched interaction with McDonalds that helps to deliver on their objective of changing the negative perceptions customers have of their food.

  

Blippar turns Pepsi can into cinema screen 

Blippar is currently one of the leading innovators in the AR field.  This video shows a Pepsi Cola campaign that included AR technology on the side of its cans that when scanned with their App could play movie trailers, games and win prizes.

  

 

Augmented Reality Trends 

While augmented reality has been around for a while, it has taken time for companies to work out how they are able to use it to deliver for specific objectives.  

Below are some additional videos giving an insight into what the future of the interaction between AR and wearable technology could provide. 

Firstly Thermal Touch shows how wearable technology can combine with augmented reality to provide a touchable interace to connect the digital and real worlds.

 

Here DHL shows how they are implementing augmened reality to help make their logisitics processes more efficient.

 

And Microsoft introduces its move into the wearable and AR realm with its HoloLens, showing how it could become a part of everyday work and life activities.