The number of handsets that have Mobile Augmented Reality Systems (MARS) enabling technologies coupled with geolocation has risen tremendously. It is a pioneering approach bringing a whole new meaning to sighting, leisuring and socializing, transforming these activities into fully interactive 3D discovery experiences. And for marketers, the limits of Mobile Augmented Reality are endless with a tremendously exciting potential for exponential growth.
Mobile Augmented Reality interactively facilitating Discovery
Let’s for instance imagine that whilst traveling you are curious about this ancient site but it’s 8pm and no-one’s around, well now you can. Just point your smartphone camera towards the site and life will come to it on your screen, spanning across its history in 3D real life mode.
You are not sure what exhibition a museum is running, just take a snap-shot and you will be taken for a virtual Augmented Reality preview before choosing to step in. You have lost your friends in the crowd, nevermind, sending your geolocation will enable them to find you easily, highlighting direction on-screen with 3D virtual objects.
What is exciting in MARS for Brand Marketers
Mobile is where AR is mostly likely to go mainstream; it has proven to be a widespread device used in life natural situations such as encountering people, places and objects set in the real world. Combining the two technologies is a tremendous opportunity for brands to reach targeted consumers in the most spur-of-the-moment innovative and interactive way and to key-in their differentiator.
It represents a pioneering approach to location-based marketing. With applications such as D’Fusion, marketers are able to combine the visual impact of Augmented Reality and location based services to deliver any type of promotional virtual information. These can either be prompted by the user’s search or triggered when the Smartphone camera points are a specific location. The list of possibilities ranges from points of interest useful information, commercial activities advertising and user rewards in the form of virtual guides, social media games, couponing and loyalty programs.
The Combining of Two Innovative Technologies: Geolocation and Augmented Reality
Mobile Augmented Reality Systems explore the synergy of two promising fields of user interface research:
- Smartphone camera and GPS tracking capabilities to pinpoint the user’s location and its compass to detect device orientation
- Augmented Reality applications which get the data on the internet, via the phone connection, to overlay it to the real image captured by the camera, to then overlays the display the result on the phone screen.