The 3 Types of Augmented Reality for Marketers
Visuals are an important part of advertising, so it's not a surprise that many companies have jumped on the augmented reality (AR) bandwagon, offering tools that visualize their products in magical and memorable ways. AR, and how it can be used as a marketing tool, also was a hot topic at InterACT!
To sort it all out, Bryan Yeager, a consultant for InfoTrends' production workflow and custom communications service, explained the three main types of augmented reality marketers use in a session. They include the following:
1. Marker-based AR
This type of AR uses a camera and a visual marker baked into the content that a marketer wants to present. The viewer holds up the content to the camera to see the AR in action.
2. Markerless AR
As its name suggests, this type of AR uses a graphic instead of a marker, Yeager said. As a result, AR implementation and use is easier: Marketers can use existing graphics to present their AR ads and consumers can view them easily. What's more, the iPhone 4.0 camera can render markerless AR technology for even more easy viewing.
An example of markerless AR in action is Ben & Jerry's Moo Vision feature in its iPhone app. With this app, viewers point their iPhone cameras at the lid of one of several qualifying pints of B&J's ice cream, and, after a few seconds, they're staring at the lid with an odd 3D image atop of it.
3. Layar, Goggles
Smartphone AR apps like Goggles, free for Android phones, and Layar, free for Android and Apple devices, allow users to point their smartphones in any direction, look through the camera viewers, and reveal information about what they see.
A good example of this kind of AR application is Yelp's Monocle app, Yeager said. When users shake their iPhones three times, Monocle activates. Then, using their phone's GPS systems and compasses, Monocle displays information about local restaurants, including ratings and reviews, on viewers’ cell phone screens. Viewers can touch one of the listings to find out more about a particular restaurant.