Augmented Reality (AR) has only recently become a relatively well-known phrase, though it has actually been around for quite some time. In the past year, AR has rapidly become available to a variety of developers – the technology evolved to be of use to millions of people, and is now simply able to sit in the palms of their hands. Here Tom Ollerton from digital creative agency, Skive, gives us his five things that marketers need to look out for.
1. Forget communication, AR is VITAL – Although it may seem so, this is not an exaggeration. AR is used to give surgeons a better sensory perception of a patient’s body during complex operations, simplifying the procedure and resulting in more efficient operations with a lower risk factor. It has also been developed to work in conjunction with equipment such as an x-ray machine to instantly give doctors the information they need to make medical decisions and diagnosis.
2. QR codes are so yesterday - QR codes are all too quickly becoming as vintage as non-colour mobile phones. The supposedly seamless transition from the physical world to the digital by scanning QR codes with your Smartphone has already been snubbed as time-consuming and clunky. Google were one of the first to say, why scan a QR barcode with your Smartphone camera when persons with NFC-enabled devices can just tap their phones against the target and see the info immediately? Technology is also being developed to have phones act as credit cards – forgetting your wallet will no longer be a valid excuse.
3. Make way for Layars – Not a fashion statement, though sure, it could well be. Layar is a vision-based Augmented Reality browser that lets us see a multitude of information, entertainment and commercial layers. Fashion marketers have already adopted layars by allowing consumers to point their phones at an item of clothing and instantly see themselves wearing it.
4. The handset will become a burden – Hand-held mobile devices are, ergonomically and practically, not fit for future purpose. Expectations now require a lens through which we can view the real and digital world simultaneously. The Tac-Eye ST is a see-through AR enabled eyewear designed to be used in a variety of defence, security and industrial applications to improve the user’s situational awareness. Without a need for wallets or phones, it won’t be long before we have no need for pockets at all.
5. Know your audience – For those still struggling to come to terms with colour phones and 3G (and possibly even the CD-player) using AR might seem very far away. In actuality, AR is existent in more than you realise – even playing something back in slow-motion can be seen as Augmented Reality, as it is enabling you to analyse the scene more thoroughly than you could do in real-time. However, AR is something that has been much anticipated particularly by Smartphone users and tech-enthusiasts, and whilst it is a whole new path for marketers to venture down, your Nan is more likely to be checking her spectacles for smears than marvelling over the technology that is showing her alternative routes to her bus stop.
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