Augmented Reality Like Life Itself: What’s the Deal (And Why You Should Care)
To hear some technophiles tell it, the future is digital. All of it. Without a single, solitary space for physical presence of any kind. And sure, while the tech world is moving pretty fast, that doesn’t mean it’s all digital, all the time. In fact, we’re at the perfect place now to harness technology, and use it in conjunction with our real-world presence.
One of the best ways to use technology for marketing purposes is still one of the most misunderstood and under-used: augmented reality. But that’s certainly about to change, especially given its use in some smartphone games. So what’s the deal with augmented reality? What is it, what can it do, and why should you care?
Augmented reality, or AR, is, as the name suggests, the real world and then some. Retailers have already been making use of it – Ikea currently offers the option to scan their catalogue with a smartphone and voila, your furniture appears, virtually at least, in your home. So customers can see it and try it before buying it. Some mobile apps will allow people to get the latest info about an establishment – y’know, opening times, menus, prices – simply by pointing your phone at the building and scanning the surroundings. All this via a simple digital overlay.
But there’s certainly more that can be made of AR – especially when used in combination with an exhibition stand. After all, it can add a totally fresh and unique way for clients and customers to interact with your brand. Thanks to augmented reality, you can offer them 2D and 3D content straight to their smartphone or tablet. You could let them see your showreel in a flash. Or view a virtual reconstruction of your product before their very eyes.
If your aim is to make everyones’ experience refreshing and fun, Augmented Reality will definitely help you achieve this. You can augment any part of your exhibition stand. It allows you to bring your reception counter or one of the exhibit walls to live. And let’s not forget the flooring beneath your feet. Augmented Reality is fun because attendees start to take control of how they interact with your brand. Instead of you guiding them through displayed products, they begin to control their stand experience.
Use multi-faceted Augmented Reality experience to promote your company. Augmented walls, printed brochure and posters let you virtually display your products. It’s especially useful if they’re too large to exhibit at the show. You can use 3D models, videos and animated graphics to demonstrate your services and let the prospects see your innovations up close. It’s also great for endorsements. It can give life to any person or fictional character. Using the 3D element of AR, you can showcase celebrity endorsements or an interview with the company director. Just make sure your content is fun, informative and engaging.
AR also helps you enhance attendees’ experience by providing fun and interactive games. Let your stand visitors play with Sphero and its AR apps or create your own games based on your brand, products or exhibiting theme. Create a pirate treasure hunt or an easter egg hunt. Hide animated clues on your stand that can be revealed when scanned with an iPad. Use a number of augmented graphics to direct visitors into a hidden room or a centrally located augmented pieced that will lead them to a prize or a giveaway. The possibilities are endless.
In fact the technology is pretty much limited, as the saying goes, only by imagination. And when getting noticed in the crowd is at such a premium on the exhibition floor, AR is a great way to signal your presence. A little creativity can completely change the way your clients see you. Augmented Reality is moving quickly, so if you want to add an additional fun factor and interactivity to you booth, you should start testing it. The show floor will soon be saturated with this, so if you do it now, it will set you apart, and by the time all the other exhibitors catch up, you will already know the best AR content for your target audience.