augmented reality (AR)

The Next Big Thing In Digital Marketing: Augmented Reality Coupled With Social Media

Augmented Reality (AR) may be hitting the big time!  While AR is not necessarily brand new technology, it has never been in the mainstream. However, with mobile devices as ubiquitous as they are these days, AR’s time as a powerful digital marketing tool may have come, and Florida web marketing company, Oamii, is poised to help you make the most of it.

The real pioneer in a form of AR engagement that uses a person’s location as a trigger for brand identification was Pokémon Go – an interactive AR game that used the GPS and clock in your smartphone to locate and capture Pokémon based on your physical location.

The logical next step, it seems, is to get Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in on the AR action.  For example, your smartphone or another mobile device will provide tailored AR marketing content on those social media apps when you arrive at a particular location. The sponsored AR content would only be triggered on your device, and perhaps alert your friends, when you reach a certain spot at a certain time.

To better understand the potential for this new trend in digital marketing, and how Florida digital marketing company Oamii can help, this article will take a high-level look at the most important aspects of Augmented Reality.

What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

At a basic level, AR is an interactive experience of a real-world environment that is “augmented” by digital information.  In other words, the reality around you is slightly enhanced with computer-generated elements that are overlaid on top of what you already perceive.

If you have never dealt with AR before, a good analogy would be glasses (like Google glasses) that add digital information elements to your visual perception as you look through them.  Glasses with digital enhancements, however, would only be a very rudimentary form of AR.

A better, and more recent, marketing example would be the use of AR by the winemaker, 19 Crimes.  The 19 Crimes wine bottle has a photo of 19 different historic criminals on the label, one photo per bottle.

With the use of the 19 Crimes app on your phone, you can point your phone’s camera at the label and the criminal character on the label comes to life and tells his or her story.  It’s brilliant, it appeals to 18-34-year-olds, and it sets the label apart from other wines. Check out this link to see the AR in action.

Notably, AR does not stop at visual or auditory enhancements.  AR can be used to augment other senses, such as the sense of smell or touch. The overlaid sensory information provided through AR could be “constructive,” where elements are added to the natural environment. It could also be “destructive,” where elements hide or mask the natural environment.

It is important to note that Augmented Reality should not be confused with Virtual Reality.  The difference is simple. Augmented Reality alters your perception of a real-world environment. Virtual Reality, by contrast, completely replaces your real-world environment with a simulated one. Other terms for AR include “mixed reality,” and “computer-mediated reality.”

What Are AR’s Current Applications?

In addition to the 19 Crimes use of AR above, the use of AR has been growing exponentially since the beginning of 2018.  Indeed, the number of AR startups in the U.S. has grown 50% in the first six months of 2018.

Here are some interesting recent applications:

1. Facebook is mounting trials of news feed ads that employ AR.
2. eBay is employing AR so sellers can find the right box for the items they wish to ship.
3. Amazon is doing AR research and development in order to provide a feature that lets a shopper view a virtual version of a particular product in their home, in 3D, before making a purchase. The idea of seeing how a chair or other piece of furniture looks in your home before you buy takes online buying to the next level (Ikea has been doing something similar for a few years now).
4. Showpad, getting the jump on Amazon, has just launched an AR feature in its app that allows users to project 3D models onto a real-world environment. This is particularly helpful for businesses that use massive pieces of equipment.  The AR app shows business consumers how a piece of equipment will look in an office or on the factory floor.  The feature will be helpful for all types of businesses, from construction companies to those who use expensive medical devices.

Of course, Ikea has offered AR features for years – like allowing, as noted above, shoppers to preview furniture in their home – but the accessibility of AR technology has seemed to reach a tipping point.  That is in no small part due to Apple’s ARKit developer program that was launched last year.

AR and Social Media – Into The Mainstream

The next phase of AR will be to integrate it into social media. As already noted with 19 Crimes wine, printed marketing material can be designed to trigger videos and other interactive versions of the promotional material.  The added benefit of AR, however, compared to simple image recognition is that AR can overlay multiple media at the same time – such as social media share buttons and 3D objects.

AR can enhance a product preview by allowing you to view what is inside the package without opening it, or scan an image that will then activate additional content related to the image. AR can also allow you to point your smartphone’s camera at a building and view facts about the building and its current fair market value.

Since Facebook has already begun trials for AR in news feeds, the next step is to enhance a customer’s experience of any type of product through AR.

In that regard, West Palm Beach web company Oamii should be your partner in using AR to enhance your customer’s experience.  With our state-of-the-art web design technology, we can re-create the AR experience for your customers. We can seamlessly blend your product information with the social media your customers are using today. We can help you, through web solutions and digital marketing set you and your company apart from the competition.

Call us at 561-228-4111 and see what Oamii, a professional Florida Internet marketing company, can do for your bottom line.  We are in the business of helping businesses thrive.  Call us or contact us online today.