Judydy's Blog

Augmented Reality – now and its future
November 3, 2009, 11:44 pm
Filed under: nct, social media | Tags: , , , ,

I ended my NCT discussion yesterday on mobile revolution and mobile 2.0. Mobile phones have really changed a lot since the past. When the first mobile phone was produced, it was in brick form and phones in the past are mainly used for business purposes and only the rich professionals can afford to buy. However, mobile phones now have become a necessity which almost everyone has. Consumers now buy phones that suit their individual lifestyles; they are looking for phones with distinctive look and feel.

Well, mobile phone technology is of course not going to stop at this point. It is now progressing into mobile 2.0 which is the next generation of mobile internet services that leverage on the use of social networking sites. And the next big thing that is emerging now is AUGMENTED REALITY! It actually means superimposing computer generated information on to real world environment. I was presenting on this topic yesterday and let me share the video on how augmented reality works on mobile phones. Scroll down to watch!

Like what is shown in the video, Layar is the world’s first mobile Augmented Reality browser. This application works by holding the phone in front of you like a camera and information will be displayed on top of the camera display view. It allows users to look for nearby real estate listings, health care providers and also bus schedules. Each webpage in Layar is called a layer, just like there are thousands of websites there will be thousands of layers. If you want to change to another webpage to look for the nearest restaurant near you, you can do so just by swiping your finger across the screen. This is really convenient because you can even get review of the restaurant without having to google it. You can also find twitter users around you using tweetmondo and you will see information about the twitter user such as the number of followers he or she has, age etc. This is really awesome!

But, hold on! This is not all. Augmented reality technology is used beyond this.

I just found an interesting article online from Business Week which explained how some companies actually use augmented reality to sell their product.

Here is the link: http://bit.ly/1lThAK

This is really interesting as consumer brands such as Kia Motors, Nestlé, and Frito-Lay and Cheez Doodle are using augmented reality to market their products with the hope of engaging their consumers more deeply than other forms of social media, such as viral videos, Facebook or Twitter. This makes me think if augmented reality technology will soon take over these social networking sites tool for companies to promote their brands in the future.

So how exactly is augmented reality used to market brands?

Let me share with you an example from the article I mentioned above.

Cheez Doodle brand of Wise Foods wanted to target the teens so the company implemented a new marketing campaign which included an animated alternative rock band called the Cheez Dudes. They have launched a contest which requires consumers to build their own music video with the Cheez Dudes. What they have to do is to print and cut out small square patterns from the website and then place them in front of the computer’s webcam and each of them will become an animated character set in the real-world background or stage which the consumers have chosen to create. The contestant who can create the most popular video by 31st Dec will win the makings of his or her own garage rock band, including a Fender Stratocaster guitar, a Fender Precision Bass, a complete drum set, and other items valued at more than $2,600.

To me, I feel that this is really a novel marketing tactic which engages consumers with the brand through games which is far beyond twitter followings and facebook fanpage. And I feel that this establishes a bonding between the brand and its consumers and create interest for the consumers to know more about the brand.

Alright, this has been a pretty long post so let me end it with some figures taken from the article. “The total market for augmented reality is expected to hit $350 million in 2014, up from about $6 million in 2008, according to ABI Research. Of the total five years from now, almost $170 million will come from mobile augmented reality advertising.”

However, the article also mentioned if augmented reality will just be a passing ad fad. “Other experts fret that the novelty of augmented reality marketing and advertising will wear off quickly.”

So what do you think? Will augmented reality be a future or just a short-term fad?






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