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SXSW 2011 – Augmented Reality for Marketers – 10 Cool Examples

Augmented reality: overlaying a digital experience on top of our real world. The panel on this topic consisted of two people: Lynne D. Johnson of R/GA and John Havens of Porter Novelli.

According to Juniper research, the current global revenue for augmented reality (AR) is currently less than $2 million, but is projected to be around $1.5 billion globally by 2015.

The presenters laid out the current state of AR as such: one side of the spectrum starts with basic applications like QR codes, moves into a bit more complicated applications that require you to hold a piece of paper in front of a webcam to see a 3D hologram on your photo viewer, to similar POS applications and location based smart phone apps to real world applications, like ski goggles that show the elevation of the mountain, etc. as you’re skiing down.

Johnson described many of the current applications to be quite “awkward” – you have to hold up your phone to see these things, or print out a piece of paper and wave it in front of your webcam. The future of AR, the panelists said, is working AR into the everyday, via glasses/goggles or even AR contact lenses.

The presentation was rich with visual aides – which is really the best way to see the current state of AR or imagine the future of AR. Here are some of the augmented reality examples that they highlighted:

1 – QR codes – for Zoo Records were hidden around cities for users to scan and hear hidden sound records from local groups.

2 – Tissot watches – sit in front of your computer and virtually “try on” the different styles.

3 – Location based augmented reality:  Stella Artois bar finder on your smart phone.

4 – POS augmented reality application: LEGO augmented reality kiosk shows what’s inside the box.

5 – Real-world application: GM Augmented reality windshield technology.

6 -Tagwhat – you tag the world. Think “outernet” vs. internet.

7 – iPhone RFID: object-based media – location-based urls with your phone – wave your phone by an object and it tells you something about it, drives you to a URL.

8 – stickybits – Scan a barcode on a product, then leave a comment so that the next person that scans that will read the comment, too.

9 – Kraft / Anonymous Video Analytics (AVA) – recognizes demographics about you from scanning your face/body type, then serves up ads/products to you that it thinks you’d be interested in.

10 – Future concerns – privacy, marketer’s virtual air rights. Will we have augmented reality overload?

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