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Unlocking the potential of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality: it’s like real life, but better.

Augmented Reality (or AR) is a term that has been in the mainstream public consciousness for decades. Despite all of the promise, it is only now, since the rise of powerful smartphone technology, that AR is finally a mainstream reality. This document aims to outline some of the many opportunities that AR can now offer organisations and brands of all shapes and sizes.

Put simply, AR is the term used to describe an enhanced view of real life by overlaying computer-generated content. This computer-generated ‘virtual content’ can be almost anything – video, 3D models, dynamic web content – and it can be triggered by an image, a location or a combination of the two.

For a more detailed description of AR, view this-plain talking explanation by Common Craft:

Augmented Reality – Explained by Common Craft (Free Version)

Key benefits of Augmented Reality

When the number of major brands using AR in their marcoms increases as rapidly as it has done in the past 6 months, you know that it is a technology which has finally come of age:

“We were blown away by the technology and we’re certain consumers will be. With one in three UK adults owning a smartphone the potential market for initiatives like this is huge and we are proud to be bringing this incredible technology to the masses.”
Sonia Carter, Head of Digital at Kraft Foods

“With the high penetration rate of smartphones… we hope to drive this [AR] forward with innovative features and functionalities synonymous with the Volkswagen brand to allow our customers to connect with us at a deeper level.”
Jamie Lee, General Manager of Marketing Communications at Volkswagen Group Singapore

“Bringing the artwork to life on the CD cover for The Ting Tings is hugely exciting. Aurasma’s augmented reality opens the door to a more interactive relationship with the consumer via otherwise two dimensional means.”
Kelly Bush, Senior Marketing Manager Sony Music UK

Augmented Reality can provide a number of key benefits to brands and organisations:

  • AR increases engagement and interaction and provides a richer user experience
  • Research has shown that AR increases the perceived value of products and brands
  • Well implemented AR activity conveys innovation and responsiveness from forward-thinking brands
  • AR is mobile and personal and, therefore, hugely accessible to a rapidly growing smartphone market
  • AR is an inexpensive alternative to other media platforms as no specific media needs to be purchased
  • Brands have access to detailed analytics enabling them to truly understand their audience

Augmented Reality for all

AR has a number of practical applications for organisations across different industry sectors. Some examples of industry specific applications include:

Automotive

  • AR in-car dashboards to provide drivers with a range of technical and travel information
  • act as a virtual instructor for everyday maintenance (i.e. changing oil, checking tyre pressure)

Consumer/Retail

  • driving product sales through activating additional brand content (i.e. music videos, TV footage)
  • activating virtual product demos using AR enabled packaging

Education

  • increase engagement in learning by augmenting historical and cultural locations
  • augmented induction processes for new HE students in a campus environment

Financial

  • using geo-targeting AR to locate nearest bank facilities
  • AR activated bank cards that allow you to check account details (i.e. balance, latest transactions)

Publishing

  • deliver more value to advertisers by offering measurable AR print ads with direct links to purchase
  • create AR subscriber models that allow premium subscribers to activate augmented content

Tourism/Heritage

  • augmented exhibition content for premium museum/gallery visitors
  • virtual tour guides for specific city tours (i.e. cultural, food & drink, historical)

Augmented Reality: the stats

We believe that AR is set to become a key way for forward-thinking organisations to add value to their product and service offering in 2012 and beyond.

The range of research activity undertaken in the past 12 months adds real credibility to this belief and is the primary reason that Engine Creative has developed a creative AR service offering for the benefit of existing and future clients:

Engine Creative is an award winning integrated creative agency and world leading Augmented Reality campaign provider. They are an official Aurasma partner and have also created the world’s first fully Augmented Magazine for Top Gear (View case study here) and most recently brought to life life the cover of The Tings Tings latest album (View blog post), allowing fans to witness the band sing their upcoming song ‘Hang It Up’ by simply pointing their smartphone at the cover.

Let’s make it a reality.
For more information on how Augmented Reality could be integrated into your communication strategy, please call Matt Key on 0845 454 1000 or fill out this contact us postcard.

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