Augmented Reality – back to the future

Layar AR demo phone Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality from Layar

Note – this is a blog post from 2014 with some updates from 2018.

I’ve been looking at new tech / innovation in retail with an agency client.

And it seems that Augmented Reality is back on the blocks as interesting (and inherently more viable) tech.

Improved technology, smoother ux and ubiquitous of social media now allow for marketing opportunities that can really scale.

I remember going to AR meetup events in Manchester around 2010 and getting pretty excited by the applications for brands and agencies that were promised.

But myreal-lifeal life encounters left me a bit disappointed.

For example, I worked with a team that created a virtual house for a home builder’s catalogue.  It was clunky.

And as a punter around 2010, I bought Muse’s AR-enabled tour programme, which turned out to be also pretty clunky.

But it seems like it’s all changed now and AR is on the up for brands.

Probably for a few reasons:

– the move to markerless AR ( improved processing capabilities of smartphone hardware

– the potentially enormous power of social media to leverage adoption

And AR is moving away from the smartphone and tablet and heading towards car windscreens, Google Glasses*, bike helmets etc.
Interesting times and loads of opportunities for brands.

Have a look at some of the links to see what I mean:

(Note from a 2018 edit: The link above talks about Google Glass. Yes – I know.)
(this is a link of links .. lots of them on Mashable and a live collection)


Update from 2018: Article on IQS Directory about AR

Finally – no update from 2018 would be complete without mentioning Pokemon Go.
Yes, it launched in 2016 (two years after the original version of this post) so isn’t ‘news’.

But It is still alive and kicking. I can attest to seeing gatherings around twice a week in my local park – as of Feb 2018.


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