CRM covered Augmented Reality (AR) back in the January Innovation issue as one of the five innovative technologies for 2010. CRM Editor Christopher Musico wrote, “In a world elevating the value of real-time, whether in mobile marketing or service-related issues, being in the right place at the right time is more important than ever, and augmented reality can put this capability in the palm of your hand.” This week at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York I had a chance to revist AR through a brilliant session by Lynne d Johnson of the Advertising Research Foundation and John Havens of Porter Novelli.
Havens opened the presentation by stating that augmented reality is neither a gimmick nor a one-off. “These technologies are not myths – they are happening,” he said. Is AR ubiquitous? No. Is it easy to use? Not yet. However, as marketers and brands recognize the utility in such technologies, Havens insisted that adoption will increase.
The duo, went on to introduce recent AR use cases that, quite frankly, blow traditional marketing case studies out of the water. AR videos after the jump.
With Stella’s iPhone app, users can tap into the device’s camera, wave the phone toward a street, and view nearby bars. The app also lets users finely search nearby bars and even find which locations serve Stella Artois.
IBM and Wimbledon
For Wimbledon 2009, IBM created an AR app called “Seer” that acted like a pop-up tour guide when users would point the camera toward streets and buildings in the town. The campaign achieved more positive brand exposure for IBM than the company had achieved in five years.
Swiss watch company Tissot uses AR in magazine to let readers “wear a watch.” After printing out a “T wristband” consumers can hold their wrist in front of a webcam to try on watches and swap out different colors and styles. After the AR campaign, Tissot reportedly saw in-store sales increase 85 percent.
With Hotels.com Virtual Vacation, site visitors can experience destinations in ways they would not be able to in 2D. The company attributes the AR campaign for a 36 percent boost in bookings.
For more cool AR marketing examples, I suggest searching “Augmented Reality” on YouTube. To take things a step further, check out how AR can be applied to a human. Robert Scoble took it upon himself to be the an AR guinea pig at this year’s SXSW tech conference.
Johnson and Havens’ Web 2.0 presentation can be viewed here on SlideShare.
What are your thoughts on augmented reality? Will AR be a reality in the near future?