Virtual, alternative, and augmented
Whenever we talk about Augmented Reality, we find that some of our audience is thinking of Virtual Reality. Equally, when discussing alternative reality games (ARG) people think of Augmented Reality alone. So, before we start, let us get a grip on the differences.
Virtual Reality is an immersive simulation of an imaginary world. It is 100% digital and one often needs VR-glasses to dive into it.
Alternative reality is a gamer’s reality that is influenced by the real world in some way. While the most well-known example of this is Pokemon Go, digital technology is not essential for this.
For example, a game for new students at Cambridge in which they have to collect tokens and balloons hidden around the university is an ARG. Essentially, alternative meaning is given to real world artifacts in such games.
Augmented reality - which could be a component of larger ARG or could work independently - is when digital overlays are added to real world artifacts to enhance them with more information that is not accessible otherwise.
This article will talk about how to use this additional information for marketing purposes.
An example would be the McDonald’s packaging during the 2014 world cup which turned into a penalty shoot-out like game when scanned using a smartphone (with their app).
A more familiar example is the Hawkeye trajectory that one sees when watching televised sports - the bright blue line gives the TV audience additional information that is not available to the live audience in the stadium.
How does it work?
To view Augmented Reality content, you need a specific app. In most cases, these are the apps your customers already use to interact with you anyways. The app itself will need a target that will act as a trigger to begin the display and the content itself that needs to be displayed.
Target, or marker, is used by the app to decide where the overlay should be displayed, and how large it should be relative to the real world objects it is tagged to.
This could a QR code that sticks out in the image being scanned or could be a feature of the image itself - like the zigzag line that makes up the slope of the mountain in the background of your print ad.
The latter is called, unsurprisingly, Natural Feature Tracking (NFT).
But things work fine without it!
Maybe they do today, but will they continue to break through the clutter in the future?
The audience today is no more willing to be passive consumers, you have to engage them positively or you will lose their attention.
Of course, it helps that Augmented Reality looks cool. Even more importantly, this kind of marketing is interactive by design.
You don’t just get the audience look at it for a few seconds and block it out - they actually engage with and have a happy experience.
More importantly, the people who interact with it automatically associate the happy experience with your brand.
WOWSOME solves marketers’ problems using Mixed Reality. Our obsessive Research in computer vision, integrated with marketing and advertising best practises led to the creation of the most useful suite of products in the segment.
Our solutions merge marketing & edutainment, real and digital, founding a Mixed Reality that delights as much as it advances us towards an evolved lifestyle.