The New Marketing Reality: A Real World Matrix A look at Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a revolutionary technology transforming how users and advertisers interact and engage with the surrounding environment. According to John Havens, EVP of social media at Porter Novelli, “AR is the GPS of your life,” that could possibly turn every landscape into a screen of information, promotions, and advertising. Augmented reality has the potential to greatly impact the lives of users and the marketing capabilities of advertisers.

Augmented reality is the combination of real world and computer generated data that functions to enhance current perceptions of reality. Virtual reality uses technology to transform real world surroundings into a simulated environment that is bursting with information. The technology allows the surrounding real world to be digitally manipulated and enhanced.

For example, Valpak  recently announced its new augmented reality coupons. With a phone application called Junaio, users are able to interact and view the world around them in a new way. By simply typing in a key word, entering a distance parameter or holding up an enabled smartphone, users are presented with virtual information and coupons redeemable at surrounding establishments.  The information presented is in real time and allows users to intermingle and examine the world around them. Although the Valpak application only offers information pertaining to businesses with relevant specials or coupons, the future of augmented reality is immense.

The life changing technology offered by augmented reality will continue to evolve the way users and advertisers interact with consumers. With facial and object recognition, AR allows users to screen their surroundings with more than just the naked eye. Imagine a world where users can hold up smartphones and suddenly know the names or marital status of every stranger surrounding them on the street or the detailed information pertaining to logos and storefronts within the vicinity. This application will act as an advanced screening tool that will transform not only how users perceive their surroundings but also how they make decisions based on information provided.

As LG and Wikitude prepare for the release of the new Wikitude 3D Augmented Reality Browser (which will be available later this summer), advertisers should be prepared to interact with potential customers in a whole new light.

With this technology, every terrain presents a new possibility of connecting with users. For example with object recognition, a logo is now much more than just a symbol to promote a brand. Logos will be virtually screened and will allow users to know pertinent information pertaining to specials or close-by locations.  Augmented reality has the possibility to turn every street, building, sign, vehicle and environment into sources for information, promotions and advertisements. The possibilities will be endless.

How do you feel augmented reality will impact the lives of users and/or advertisers? Share with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

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