What is Augmented Reality?

Published by: Scott Kreutzkamp

There are now more mobile devices than there are people in the world, and, in a recent study done by Cisco, roughly 55% of people travel with some type of smart phone. With Augmented Reality we can begin to reach these people by bringing digital content into these devices and engaging millennials and others through this medium to gain better understanding for the brands. So, what is augmented reality? And why is this such a big deal?

AR, as it is commonly referred to, is the mending of our physical and digital world. It overlays digital content into what we experience around us, allowing for an emersion of content.

In the market today we are seeing AR breach into many fields, most notably entertainment. You may have heard of a recent craze called “Pokémon Go." This popular application allowed people to explore the world while searching for Pokémon to catch. The success of “Pokémon Go” was driven by millennials. This young user group is perfect for AR technologies as they are active learners; associate much of their time in social media; love to multitask because it saves them time; and they like to have customization with their experiences.  “Pokémon Go” was the perfect game for these reasons — it made parks no longer merely just parks, but fantastic worlds in which you get to explore and find all your favorite Pokémon. It drove people to exercise so that they could hatch eggs and go to locations because they wanted to keep a gym under their clans' rule.

Another reason behind Pokémon's success was that it had an already large user base for its games, movies, and other such content. By creating this backstory and large cult following, we began to see users take on a mental and physical agreement. Mentally, we saw them associate areas not as they were, but of what the socially agreed upon location was in game. Physically, people started dressing up getting gear to become real life “Pokémon trainers” truly taking in the world as the Pokémon world.  This social agreement between people became a space of Heterotopia, to define a space other than its contextual meaning.  This mental and physical agreement is one of the many powerful aspects about AR that has the ability to drive how people interact with a product or service.

Next week we'll continue our dive into Augmented Reality by looking at some of the markets AR is making an impact! If you're curious to learn more about how AR has solved real world problems for brands, or want to chat about how it might play a roll in solving a marketing, training, or safety issue of your own, don't hesitate to reach out! 

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