Augmented Reality: Science Fiction or Revolutionary Technology

Feb 15, 2012  |  By Civilian  |  

The year is 2012, Whitney Houston has tragically passed away, another end of the world prediction will be proven false, and the future of advertising and marketing is quickly arising in a unique form.

Many movies attempt to foresee the future in a 90 minute extravaganza. However, it is only real through the lenses of good editing and Hollywood tricks. Some movies that come to mind are Blade Runner, Back to the Future Part II and Minority Report. How does this relate to the advertising industry? A unique and exciting trend is blending fantasy and reality, similarly to those movies, and alternating the advertising and marketing industries respectively. The appearance and direction of this new technology has the capability of changing consumer perceptions of advertisements and marketing efforts. This new technology will engage consumers as fantasies come alive through their devices. Currently, this is dominantly recognized as augmented reality (AR).

AR, basically, brings objects and the physical environment to life though computer-generated imagery. There is no better way to do this then through a mobile device. With other trends, such as, mobile devices leading the charge of purchases over all computer devices in the past year, it is becoming clear that the future is now. Augmented reality will be a force in marketing and advertising industries.

As a result, outdoor advertising is going to come roaring back in a revolutionary manner. Currently, many real estate companies are using browsers like Junaio to advertise their available units in major cities. This enables users to point their phone at buildings and view current offerings. Also, Doritos recently tested a webcam code on the back of their chip bags. A consumer scans a bag with their device and a small cartoon character appears. Afterwards, the consumer is able to use the character in an online computer game.

This leads into the major issue surrounding AR: Visual Air Rights (VARs). Essentially, VARs will be owned by the brands that sponsor the browsers consumers are using. However, this still creates a problem because many buildings pay for air rights and other out-of-home advertising can be overshadowed. For instance, if an AR image appears for McDonalds over an existing advertisement for Burger King, infringement rights become very interesting.


James Williams
Media Intern
Mood: Intrigued

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