Augmented Reality – scary or useful?
I have been fascinated by augmented reality (AR) for a while now. I believe it is going to change our lives dramatically!
The film “Minority Report” came out about 10 years ago (haven’t checked, so it might be only 8)… It was the first time we would come across some truly amazing AR features. I am sure all of us can remember when Tom Cruise entered the shop, got recognised though iris cameras and all of a sudden the advertising panels in the shop changed accordingly.
Since then, AR has grown into something much bigger that has a real commercial value, and is becoming increasingly accessible for traditional business lines not only in the B2C but also the B2B market place.
The pure definition of AR is a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated imagery.
It’s much easier to grasp the real meaning of it just by looking at some of the examples below….
Example 1: Online shop
As always, the first players to jump on any new technology are B2C websites, where customer engagement is crucial to commercial success. The Zugara website concept is a good example of an AR project, where customers can virtually try on clothes by collaborating with webcams.
Example 2: Magazine – AR incorporated into printed magazines
But what about mixing offline advertising with AR functionalities? This example shows how a printed magazine can be transformed into something much more interactive by using AR technologies.
One can imagine how useful and commercially valuable it could be to replicate this idea on brochures or any type of printed materials. Even in the B2B market place, this can revolutionise how marketing teams deliver content through a combination of off-line and digital media.
Example 3: DIY! Create your own AR business cards
Oh yes. It’s possible. Everyone can play around with some AR technologies. Even very simple promotional materials, such as business cards can use AR technologies.
This website allows you to create your own AR business cards in a relatively easy way…
Example 4 – more for fun!
And finally something more for entertainment purposes. The following pool table is more than just a standard pool table. It features some really cool visuals interacting with the movement of the ball….
Example 5 – and the FREAKY one!
At last but not least… a freaky one! After viewing this, I can guarantee, you will think twice what to post online!
There are thousands of other examples of AR projects ranging from very educational to commercially very valuable ones.
To finish off, the following diagram from Gary Hayes summarises very nicely the various possible business models of AR technologies that are emerginghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/garyhayes/3917382293/sizes/o/
With all the necessary devices now in hand AR will definitely be a part of our private and business lives. The technology has been around for a while now, but it has become much more accessible for everybody and the list of potential applications is endless!