You’ve likely heard about Augmented Reality (AR) by now, but a lot of people are confused on where AR and VR begin and end. Where Virtual Reality (VR) creates a new world, or a copy of our existing world, AR provides an enhanced or altered view of the world around us by superimposing graphics and 3D objects on top of our real world, in real time. Remember hearing the buzz surrounding Pokémon GO – an early AR game that placed characters on screen wherever you pointed your camera? As cool as that was (for a while,) the application of AR technology has evolved far beyond gaming.
Social media companies were early investors and adopters of AR technology. By now, we have all used Snapchat’s or Instagram’s filters on our faces, bodies, and voices – and even utilized a geographic location filter that miraculously popped up as we were taking that vacation photo at the Golden Gate Bridge! But check this out… Google Lens is an amazing image recognition technology that can instantly bring up relevant information related to an object while viewed within your camera application. And even more amazing, it can translate one language on a street sign into another language – on the fly – all with the help of AR technology.
The best news is this technology isn’t just for big companies anymore. The ability to create an AR experience has become much easier with tools released by Facebook and Snapchat. Developers now have access to ready-to-go code for face tracking and most common applications. This means brands of all sizes can leverage unique AR experiences for their customers – from simple branded filters to more creative applications.
Marbury Creative Group has developed filters for clients that drive customer interaction with the brand. For Spice World, we created a virtual mask which makes the user’s head look hilariously like a bulb of garlic! We also created an animated hamburger for Cheeseburger Bobby’s that attaches to the user’s face, as if they are eating it. While these applications can be created in just a few hours with these new tools, it’s crucial to have a strong strategy that not only emphasizes the user, but also promotes your brand in an engaging way. These filters are a great opportunity to create a user experience that keeps people compelled enough to share your brand across their social media channels.
Having to subject your creative filter to the App’s approval process is the only potential for limitation – otherwise, the sky’s the limit! There are even applications like Microsoft’s HoloLens that can implement AR in a pair of glasses – though they are expensive and not yet accessible to most users. The fact that smartphone cameras are getting better and better with each iteration means the ability to access AR is easier, and will continue to become an overall better experience than ever before.
Want to see how your brand can use AR in its marketing strategy? Give us a call.