Not long ago, virtual reality was the futurists' "mot du jour" before the underwhelming takeup of VR gloves, headsets and Second Life.
Now, in 2009, I'm sure you've noticed, augmented reality featuring widely in the media. So as an update to for the next editions of my books, this post gives a definition and showcases some examples. I'd love to hear about other examples too - particularly where AR is being used for web marketing.
Since I wrote this post there is a useful post from Econsultancy summarising other applications of augmented reality.
Definition of augmented reality marketing
It's tricky to define AR since it's new and has many different applications and feedback mechanisms from data capture to user. But here's the one sentence definition of how I see it used in commercial web context - please put me straight!
Augmented reality blends real-world digital data capture typically with a digital camera in a webcam or mobile phone to create a browser-based digital representation or experience mimicking that of the real-world
Examples always work better than definitions, so here are 3 to start.
3 examples of augmented reality for web marketing campaigns
1. Glasses Direct - augmented reality in retail
This was the first augmented reality app I tweeted about a couple of months ago. At 50Mb it's a huge download, but worth the wait if you're buying glasses from your desktop
It's produced by Fitting Box Augmented reality who have worked for a number of retail clients across Europe.
2. BMW Augmented Reality Automotive Campaign
This was recently featured in the IAB Creative Showcase as an integrated product launch marketing campaign.
3. Layar Augmented reality browser
This is a great, but scary, Minority Report style mashup from Amsterdam featuring canals, Google Maps in what is touted as World's First Mobile Augmented Reality Browser?
So, interesting stuff, any examples of iPhone apps which do similar?
Econsultancy must have been listening - a couple of days after this post, Chris Lake did a more thorough post listing: