Friday Email 2.12.11

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week we decided to take a look at Augmented Reality. Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for a couple of years now, but lately we’ve been noticing some really fun and interesting AR applications. This technology has moved on from being the latest fad and companies are really starting to understand and use AR in effective ways to enhance customer experience.

So what exactly is it? Augmented reality is an extension of virtual reality, where the user interacts with something that goes beyond physical reality. Basically, AR is ‘Terminator Vision’; it takes an existing picture and blends new information into it. For example, AR can integrate digital information with live video or the user’s environment in real time.

Recently Starbucks, Nivea and Lucozade and Lynx have launched engaging and exciting campaigns using AR.

Starbucks

Starbucks have used this technology to create a simple, fun animation that literally lets customers bring their cups to life. As demonstrated in the video, the app works by pointing your phone’s camera at the company’s red holiday season coffee cups and 47 additional objects, such as bags of coffee, on display at Starbucks retail locations.
The app also includes traditional and social sharing capabilities. Among other things, you can send ecards as well as holiday offers from Starbucks.

Lucozade

Lucozade hope to increase their ‘cool factor’ and be seen as innovators by creating a brand experience based on creativity and engagement.
They recently collaborated with several British musicians, including Plan B and Tiny Tempah, to create an interactive brand experience using AR. The company asked seven of the UK’s biggest musician to design a Lucozade bottle which when viewed through an iPhone app leaps to life with videos and animations. The app gave consumers access to a great deal of exclusive information that was created especially for the campaign. The musicians will then promote the campaign to their massive social media followings via Twitter.

Nivea

Keeping with the theme of musicians and AR, Nivea have created an app which brings Rihanna into your bedroom (fulfilling boys’ dreams throughout the country). The app which went live this week causes a tiny version of Rihanna to emerge from the cap of a jar of Nivea Creme to sing her song ‘California King Bed’. All consumers have to do is hold a jar up to a computer’s webcam and Rihanna appears.
This is the second AR campaign from Nivea, whose aim is to ‘create engaging digital advertising experiences.’

Lynx

Bringing stars to life seems to be becoming a trend with AR apps. Not ones to be outdone, Lynx sent scores of their beautiful fallen angels to delight commuters in London’s Victoria Station earlier this year. By standing on a particular spot in the busy station these ‘angels’ came to life beside people on a large screen. The angels even interacted with each individual in real time, reacting to each person’s behaviour. The experience went down a treat with commuters, some of whom even attempted to propose to these celestial animations.

The AR experience supported the Lynx campaign running at the time, it worked with the Lynx brand and really captured the imagination of commuters.

So what are the next big innovations for AR in the future?

Researchers in the University of Washington have built a contact lens that can display images. At the moment the lens only displays a single, well-focused pixel but it is the first step toward building lenses that ‘may receive data from external platforms, such as mobile phones, and provide real-time notification of important events.’ The lenses have only been tested on rabbits in lab environments so it may be a while yet before we see them in our local Specsavers. But it appears that terminator vision may very well be on it’s way.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Happy Friday!

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