No, it’s not a scene from Minority Report or some other futuristic film fantasy. It’s what’s already taking over the functionality of QR codes and combining it with an extra layer of amazing possibility.
Augmented reality (AR) or live, direct, or indirect views of the real world augmented by computer-generated sensory input, is creating new ways for businesses to influence customers and generate mutually beneficial brand interactions. While you may not have heard about AR yet, certain big name brands have already begun creating unique AR apps that give their brands an edge over competitors. Take a moment to explore how augmented reality works and think about whether or not it could offer value to a business like yours. QR codes may have been short lived, but a development like augmented reality offers businesses a wealth of interaction possibilities that will only continue to grow in the years to come.
scannable vs. geolocation ar apps
There are two types of AR app technologies gaining traction in the US, and more prominently, across the pond:
- Scannable AR app technology lets the marketer work interactive content into their print products’ graphic design. Now, instead of scanning a QR code to visit a webpage, a user can scan an ad or a magazine page to watch a clip, purchase a product, interact with the page, or “Like” a company, all without leaving their own reality for the digital one.
- Geolocation AR app technology does not command the user to scan an actual print or film product. Rather, it invites users to aim their smart phones out at the world around them. AR geo technology geo-fences a specific location and makes its programmed content visible to users in direct reference to the businesses and sites in that location. While businesses can still use geo-AR to push social network interaction or video views, this type of app technology can also be used to show business reviews, contact information, and directions.
AR is not a completely new technology. Its virtual roots lie in the world of gaming, an industry that has constantly striven to deliver customers with more savvy and realistic virtual experiences. However, as a business tool, only select companies have taken the leap into AR application integration.
Think about the opportunity AR could offer your business. Would your eco-friendly company benefit from creating an AR app that identifies wildlife, plants, and birds on a particular nature trail? Would your tech tool company have use for a sales packet that lets clients view product demos? What about a real estate direct mailer that shows homes or guides neighborhood tours? AR apps open up a whole new realm of possibilities for businesses. Think proactively about your business like Ikea and Yelp did, and consider whether or not AR is the place for you to carve out another niche for your brand, ahead of the competition.