Augmented Reality

I am excited. Today, I purchased an augmented reality book, “Dinosaurs Alive!” I plugged in my webcam, loaded the software that comes with the book and, in about 5 minutes, was as engaged as any 5 year old child on Christmas Day!

The technology is incredible. Just by holding one of the specified pages up to the webcam, a 3-dimensional image appears. By turning the book, the image turns – allowing me to see the front, back, side, top and bottom of the illustration.

As if that wasn’t cool enough, I discovered that by pressing the space bar and arrow keys, I could actually make the dinosaurs walk, fly, fight and roar! By the time I had worked my way through the book, I had an office full of people just as enthralled as I was.

But, like any new technology, you wonder about the practical applications. When you get beyond the Wow! of the technology, what is the How? How will AR interact with the other marketing channels? How can I use it to sell more of my products and services?

My first thoughts are of using it to show your product in 3D – enabling prospects and clients to get a real feel for it.  Instead of just looking at a pretty picture in the brochure, give them the opportunity to see how it really looks from all directions.

Imagine walking down the street, wearing your augmented reality glasses or using your smartphone as the input device. By looking at different displays and signage, extensive information and graphics will appear in your field of vision – and you will be able to hear audio that coincides with what you’re seeing. These enhancements will be refreshed continually to reflect the movements of your head. Makes those billboards, bus signs and POP displays a little more exciting, doesn’t it?

Some other uses:

  • Test drive the new sports car you’ve been eyeing.
  • The USPS Priority Mail Virtual Box Simulator lets users compare the size of an item they need sent to the size of boxes available from the postal service, by seeing how well their item fits inside a transparent box.
  • Ray-Ban’s Virtual Mirror lets you try on glasses – virtually. Think about the applications for clothing retailers or interior designers!
  • For those in real estate, you will be able to view a building in your city and find out if there is available office space for rent.

But, like any new marketing channel, the focus should be on using the channels that support your marketing strategy. We are often tempted to jump into a new arena just because it’s new and trendy, but spending money on marketing that doesn’t work, just doesn’t make sense. Let us help you make those decisions and put your ideas in motion! www.multi-craft.com

About Debbie Simpson

President of Multi-Craft in Newport, Kentucky.
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