The Secret to Mastering Augmented Reality

The Secret to Mastering Augmented Reality

Chances are if you’re working within the marketing or advertising industry, you’ve heard of Augmented Reality. The concept of AR was first mentioned in 1901, by author L. Frank Baum, who wrote about the idea of an electronic display that overlayed data onto real life, naming it a 'character marker'. But it wasn’t until 1992 that American inventor Louis Rosenberg developed one of the first functioning AR systems at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

For those of you that haven’t read L. Frank Baum’s page turner, The Master Key, or had a chance to visit the US Air Force Lab, Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, providing a composite view...or as we like to call it here at Bang: super freaking cool.

We believe the secret to Augmented Reality is to ensure the experience is something that provides value and elevates your message and USP. Like anything in digital marketing, it’s all about the integrated experience and ongoing communications. As engaging as AR is, it can’t stand alone – it needs to complement a wider communications strategy. And while it can be valuable in the right context, it simply just doesn’t make sense for every campaign.

In our experience here at Bang, what adds the most value to a campaign incorporating AR, is the strategic, integrated approach behind the AR experience - not the AR itself. From this you can develop a communications piece that makes sense and enhances a company's offering.

In May this year, Apple acquired Metaio, an Augmented Reality startup headquartered in Germany, a sure sign of the influence of AR in the future. Metaio have been at the forefront of AR for over 10 years, with some notable projects like this one designed for tourists in Berlin, that allows you to stand in the exact spot where history unfolded 50 years ago, embedding historical footage that you can see by pointing your phone or tablet at a particular spot.

Or take Swedish furniture giant Ikea, who in 2013 produced an AR experience, which let customers place virtual furniture within their own homes to see how it looks before they went in store to purchase. This AR experience engaged consumers directly with their catalogue to reassure them that Ikea’s furniture would be the perfect fit. Both these AR experiences demonstrate how you can use AR to elevate a message through a wider communications piece.

Here at Bang, we’ve delved into the world of AR with some of our most prominent clients such as Cisco and Pitney Bowes. Our Cisco AR experience was launched at Cisco Live for the first time in 2014 with such huge success that we were asked to develop a second AR experience for this year’s Cisco Live.

Our exciting Pitney Bowes AR campaign will be launching very soon.

Interested on how you could incorporate AR for your company? Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more.