Open Snapchat, look into a mirror or refurnish your apartment. Augmented reality (AR) can be seen almost everywhere now, and you might not even realize how it’s entering your everyday life.
So, what is AR exactly? Think of it as an alternative world that can’t be seen in plain sight. Perhaps you hold your phone up to a mural and suddenly you discover an animation that can only be seen on a digital screen. It’s a new field companies are beginning to utilize for marketing and advertising.
Let’s take a look at how augmented reality is shaking up a bunch of industries:
Debuting at The 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ModiFace uses augmented reality to show consumers how they would appear with makeup. The technology provides a new way for people to try different looks, colors and products. Users can view exactly how they would appear if they applied specific products ranging like eyeshadow, blush and bronzer. Worried about blemishes? ModiFace displays skincare visualization, which simulates how consumers appear after using specific skincare products such as redness relief or acne treatments. The augmented reality also styles hair, swaps eye colors, shapes eyebrows, whitens teeth and reverses signs of aging. Brands such as L’Oreal, Allergan and Jane Iredale already signed their products with the Modiface mirror.
Ever wonder what your room would look like with a brown leather couch or a pink loveseat? Softwares such as Augment, SnapShop and Decolabs allow consumers to easily access a visualization of a furnished room without assembling or arranging any pieces. Simply hold a phone or tablet in your room and you see how your future couch, table or lamp will appear in the room. Decorators save time, space and receive the best evaluation of how a product will fit before buying and physically placing it.
Before releasing her eighth studio album, Anti, Barbados singer Rihanna unveiled ANTIDiaRy.com, a mobile augmented reality web game that allowed users to explore a series of mysterious rooms in search of clues. The experience traced the pop star’s life story to get listeners excited about her new album release. As incentive, Samsung provided a free download code after completing the entire augmented reality exploration. Why did this make headlining news? Because music lovers felt Samsung proved itself as an innovation leader by combining interests with technological advances. Why would the average consumer care about augmented reality? Because they love Rihanna and want more (and more engaging) content from her.
It’s no surprise gaming companies have seriously tapped into augmented reality. Gamers want to feel as if they’re seeing and feeling the elements while they are shooting aliens, unlocking the key to a castle or saving the world. Imagine the possibility of Spy Kids 3-D Game Over becoming a product you can pick up at the nearest GameStop or download onto your iPhone.
Nintendo recently announced its development for Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game where players across the globe can capture and battle Pokémon in the real world. It’s a dream come true for 90’s kids. AR games currently available include SpecTrek, a game that lets gamers capture ghosts in their surrounding area and Ronrik, a combat gaming app that turns your environment into a battlefield.
Marriott hotels have employed augment reality to quickly take guests overseas to highlight hotels in highly desirable destinations. The hospitality company teleported potential vacationers in a virtual-reality booth. They took them to one of two locations – Tower 42 in London or a black sand beach in Hawaii. Besides seeing the locations, the teleportation experience included 4-D elements in the form of heat, wind, mist and the smell of palm trees, coconut oil and salty sea air. Consumers concluded their virtual adventure stating it made them want to plan a vacation to the locale they virtually visited.
What does this mean for the future?
So what will the proliferation of augmented reality technology mean for your business? There’s now a new open playing field available for advertising and marketing. Companies should being strategizing ways to utilize augmented reality to further their brand and reputation. Media, such as Discovery Communications, are beginning to announce how they plan to offer a new scope of services in an immersive environment.
As augmented reality becomes more and more available to the general public, BRINK looks forward to creating projects with our clients that take advantage of new abilities to show – not tell – consumers about the possibilities of their products.