Augmented reality is taking computer generated objects and inserting them into real life situations. Notoriously clunky for many years, the technology has developed into a tech wonder with multiple applications.
I've written another post about the ability to go shopping online with Amazon, pick a product and view it in your front room. A suitcase is 'transported' into your living room and you can 'walk' around the item to see what it looks like from every angle. A huge advancement in encouraging people to buy products.
Other retailers are all over AR like a rash and for good reason. Allowing customers to see what products look like from all angles without having to physically enter a store is a win win situation for both the retailer and consumer, For the retailer they can increase inventory and decrease shop space (I know that is both a positive and a negative), tighten supply chain processes, and create - for better or worse - a more detailed understanding about every customer.
AR filters have been available since 2017, but Instagram now allows users to develop their own via Spark AR Studio (via Facebook). This opens up a brand new, exciting and fun world for users boosting adoption of AR. Hootsuite has a good article on this. Snapchat had introduced bitmoji a while ago making Instagram late to the party but the fact both now offer AR demonstrates the popularity.
3. Angry Birds AR
Pokemon paved the way on the AR game playing front. Maybe not the first AR game but the one that ignited global attention. I found, by accident, Angry Birds AR and it's got incredible wow factors. Using the camera, the app acquires a flat surface, and the game appears on the screen. Even gameplay shadows show up in your real world and it's truly 360 play.
Only the table and trackpad are reality. Everything else is gameplay.
First, there was an AR add on to Google Maps with directions 'printed' on building; this was a w breathtaking get out moment, Then Google integrated AR into search. Although I'm a big fan of Google, this wasn't a truly watershed moment since Amazon has allowed AR image overlay for some time. Still, many more people have Google accounts (2 billion according to a Google search) than Amazon (197 million) so it's a big deal.
I hired a Holden in Melbourne in 2017 with HUD and the fuel gauge, GPS, speed, distance to destination, directions 'on' the road, speed traps, and the radio channel all visible to only me on the windscreen. Exceptional experience. Expect to see HUD become mainstream together other uses.
AR - like Google Maps prove - is a boon to all travellers visiting a foreign country for the first time and trying to get around. If a destination, Tokyo for example, has a city app with AR optional, getting around and navigating the underground will be a huge help.
There are plenty of opportunities for advertisers to be ultra creative in AR now the technology has caught up and is mass.
I'm experimenting with the Holo app.