The Oakley Mobile Blog

Business Augmented Reality – Beyond the dungeons & dragons!
Wednesday July 16, 2014

In short, AR is essentially a live view of a physical real world environment, in which elements are augmented. The aid of AR technology, allows information around the user’s surroundings to become interactive and digitally manipulable. With this in mind, AR has surely become the hot topic of discussion, holding various views and showcasing the wide range of possibilities in which AR can prove to be beneficial.


The honeymoon period…

But, even with our proven experience in AR, we recognise that AR has a honeymoon period. When you first encounter an AR experience, whether it’s a virtual teapot or even a fire-breathing dragon, we’re struck with the ‘wow’ factor. The amazement lingers and deep down you’re left thinking if this is some fusion of mystical dark arts... but is that all there is to AR? If users find themselves asking ‘what now?’ - then it could be the case that the experience itself was ill considered. AR will always be seen to be a terrible gimmick if it has no purpose.

All things considered…

It all boils down to keeping users engaged, i.e. ensuring it’s an interactive experience, not a passive one. The focus should be providing informative content that benefits users whilst keeping them entertained.

As Jerry Seinfield said ‘there’s no such thing as attention span – only the quality of the content you’re viewing’. Whilst he’s not Confucius, he’s got a point.

This technology has been stereotyped as solely used for entertainment purposes. However, this is no longer the case as various industries find rationale uses for AR. Whether it’s used for gaming, travel, education, real estate or even healthcare, AR is being taken more seriously. Similarly, the emergence of Google Glass and other wearable technology highlights that the future of AR within a consumers’ ecosystem is beginning to take shape. Statistics and latest industry news supports the fact that AR no longer holds its gimmicky past. As it is predicted that 2.5 billion AR app downloads will be taking place within the next 3 years.

But, you wouldn’t use a hammer to remove a tooth…

AR is only an effective tool, if it’s used correctly. The key to making the most of AR - is for it to do something that a website or a native app cannot. Whether it’s making traditional print media interactive, or providing an immersive in-store experience for the ‘show roomers’. When used properly AR is a technology that has the power to create a lasting customer connection.

To give you a couple of real world examples of rationalised AR experiences (and yes, we developed them) Kate Russell, a BBC technology reporter and TV web expert, presents an exclusive two minute keynote session preview whilst standing on top of her book.  With downloads exceeding delegates, it displays how AR has potential to engage with a new generation of consumers in a unique manner.

An AR experience targeted to an even wider audience includes Cisco, who used AR to showcase their ground-breaking cloud technology. Developed initially for Cisco’s global roadshow – the app which overlays video content onto the real world, provided a dynamic and contagious experience to over 18,000 delegates, attaining an even larger audience beyond the event.

With the AR market rapidly expanding, it’s beginning to seem more than just a fad! Even though we make it look easy, the seamless execution of an AR experience should be a considered experience - which provides good content and includes the ‘fusion of dark arts’ that we speak of! The opportunities that the digital world and changing customer behaviour brings, has undeniably led to a revolution.

Trial AR yourself using EUREKAR – our AR demonstrator app. 

Written by Jaina K at 00:00