Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is so new that companies are only just starting to bring into the public. The premise of it is so unusual it is becoming more and more popular with new campaigns. Out of all the technologies listed in this dissertation augmented reality is one of the most expensive, Myles Peyton from Total Immersion, the global leader in augmented reality states the average costs being around £35-40k, a lot to invest in a campaign for a company, though large businesses like Nestle have financed AR campaigns. Augmented reality works to enhance the real world, there are thousands of AR capable phones on sale with applications for phones such as the IPhone coming out daily that include augmented reality, for such things as games and even maps using the inbuilt GPS systems to show directions. There are numerous capabilities for AR and it has a huge future potential ahead of it. In 2010 there are 91 million smart phones capable of AR, it is predicted to rise significantly to 197 million by 2012.
The technology is not only used on mobile phones, it has been used in stores to promote brands or certain products, and is also used at home. Around 70% of homes own a home computer, and most computers now come fitted with a webcam, something that is vital for AR to work at home. There have been many campaigns including AR recently, one of those is Kit Kat from Nestle who are using AR to help promote their competition to win tickets to concerts James Maxton of Nestle stated that Nestle was the first confectionary brand to use augmented reality on packaging and that they would definitely use it again. The competition is run on all Kit Kat products, but because of the shape of most the only one that could fit the key for the AR experience was the 4 finger Kit Kat, only if consumers bought this particular one would they be able to try the AR experience. Augmented reality uses symbols (like the box on the Kit Kat) for the AR software to recognise which can unlock anything from games to something more simple like watching a video, Nestles AR campaign includes UK group Scouting for Girls performing on theKit Kat when held up to the webcam when visiting the website.

Augmented reality has proven popular with consumers; one of the best examples of an augmented reality campaign is ‘I Am Iron Man’ for the release of Iron Man 2 in cinemas worldwide in May2010. Total Immersion created the campaign for the film which included using your webcam, choosing between characters ‘Iron Man’ and ‘War Machine’ and being able to see yourself with their helmet on. The effect of the augmented reality makes it look like you are actually wearing the helmet wrapped around your head on the screen, and not just a 2D image. The campaign received 750,000 visitors in the first few weeks with users spending an average of 2 minutes experiencing being ‘Iron Man’.

It has been debated as to whether will hold through to the future. There are different levels of AR that can be used though, the mobile applications are most definitely going to remain and get better, and as technology gets more advanced campaigns will be able to find new ways to use it. Not only this but shops using it to create a better experience for consumers. Lego have created a very effective use of AR with their products. When buying Lego Technic, and screens were made available, if the packs were held up to them they showed the model that the package held in full 3D size, making it easier to understand what was being bought than only having the images on the back of the box. Since they included AR on their packaging sales intent and sales have increased for Lego Technic.
Andrew McCormick from Marketing Magazine (2010 page 15) writes of a technology using AR being developed by Cisco, a mirror for fashion outlets that allows customers to view themselves wearing clothes virtually, without actually trying them on. He states figures that show the vast future for AR, the total spend in 2010 on AR reaches to £13.6m, a high figure expected to reach £204m by 2014 showing the faith in the technologies future.

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