Let’s add some virtual spice to the real meal!

7 Jun

Over the past few weeks, I have been enjoying a fascinating travel throughout the world of information technologies. I met the green giant, tickled the green cloud, admired the magical 3D printer and refused to shoot the Tipp- Ex bear. I was more than enchanted by the plethora on revolutionary business ideas. It is for now that I want to explore something less materialistic but more visualized – Augmented Reality, or in short AR!

All that the service does is to enhance real world experience with digital information. At this, a physical real-world environment is perceived via a camera of a digital device. The device detects a visual code in order to translate and then layer information in forms of graphics, description fields or animations onto those real world objects.

Impact of Augmented Reality

While reading through the article How will Augmented Reality affect your business? by John Sviokla, vice chairman of Diamond Management & Technology Consultants and former professor of Marketing at Harvard Business School, we can surely find various suggestions on a profitable use of AR.

(1) The nature of advertising: Sviokla is quite convinced that the service of augmented reality will change the nature of advertising. If any ad is featured with additional digitalized information, customers are able to transact immediately whereas advertiser would purchase even closer to the advertising stimulus. Such engagement technology is a big deal according Matt Trubow, chief executive of Hidden. In his blog entry of How brands can make the most of augmented reality he states that “a research into the psychology of sales indicates people become personally attached to a product within the first 30 seconds of contact when presented with a physical or virtual item“. Accordingly, Adidas took advantage of the powerful engagement tool in 2010 when launching its new virtual campaign. The following picture gives a glimpse on how the augmented Adidas shoe looks like.

(2) The nature of location: More commonly used at this moment may be the process of overlaying information fields on the screen. Sviokla mentions: “Right now these are focused on tourism, but it does not take a lot of imagination to see that any sales or service force would love to be able to walk up to a building and understand the nature of the potential customers inside, or installed products to be serviced.“

Especially at Hidden, CEO Trubow tries to implement the idea of augmented reality in use of information gathering. He extended the simply AR service to an Articulated Naturality Web (ANW) and its success is shown in the following video.

(3) The nature of knowledge: „Much of the knowledge we need to do our jobs is not available because we have a hard time getting access to it at the right time“ criticizes Sviokla. As for this, I once heard of the amazing concept piece of BMW offering glasses that recognize real-world objects of a car insight and then project instructions in order to replace a fan.


(4) The nature of relationships: At this point I would like to take reference to the Genuine Labsthat focuses on augmented reality projects and recently presented its new invention – the AR Business Card.

“We wanted our business cards to say more about us than a title and email address – so we created our very own Augmented Reality Business Cards. They are our Butterfly Effect Business Cards.”

Futur development of AR

In my opinion this invention is extremely important for us, knowing that we constantly have to differentiate ourselves from others on the job market. After all, augmented reality seems to be quite promising. Still, one thing has to be kept in mind as Bruce Sterling, American science fiction author, demands: “If you claim to ‘augment’ reality, then you should work hard to augment it — struggle to make it better. Otherwise you might as well call yourself ‘Defaced Reality’, or even ‘3D Spam’.” If this is taken into consideration, only time will tell if AR can completely transform into a must-have of any branding environment!


One Response to “Let’s add some virtual spice to the real meal!”

  1. arinanira July 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    Nadja, I’m amazed!

    I have not heard about Augmented Reality so far, thus your post was a good start for me to get familiar with this thrilling, futuristic appliction.I enjoyed your writing and I really liked the examples you gave us, though I liked some of them more than others: I loved the ‘Future of Augmented Reality’ video. Most of the examples shown there would be really useful. Especially investigating our neighborhood with digital x-ray view, or playing, my favorite part of Sims, furnishing virtually in the real world… While I thought that the AR-business card kind of sucked – maybe it was just a bad example, but I think that holding some piece of paper in front of a digital camera for minutes in order to watch some guy making his mark by talking basically about his CV is not very handy… As long as it is not a hologram-business card I do not approve it. (i’d rather just read somewhere about that person – takes less time and does not involve holding something until your arm stiffens. Lazy is talking!) Although this might be a good ad to give away to potential customers, who are more interested in the AR part, instead of the person.

    I found another nice site with more examples (this one http://off-the-record.de/2010/03/10/augmented-reality-8-beispiele-mit-wow-moment/). And after having a look at them and following the links you provided, I was both fascinated and frightened, because AR will be both useful and harmful – just likethe the internet: On the one hand we can get more information and on the other hand we are constantly getting distracted by it. Not even mentioning 3-D spam, just imagine procrastinating for hours while staring at a wall (through your smartphone) and virtually changing it’s look or reading about it’s structure, whithout getting anything done…
    I think it’s going to be really interesting to watch AR and complementing technologies (maybe digital-sun glasses?) evolving. I guess I’ll get the popcorn…

    Thank you for this nice post!

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